Sunday, 27 July 2014

Guest Post; Land of Dragor by Julia Suzuki

Dear March House Books Readers,

Firstly a big thank you to Barbara for this lovely invitation: a site I often visit for a trip down memory lane.

My name is Julia Suzuki and I am author of the soon to be released Land of Dragor, a children’s adventure series with an appeal for the child within us all too!

My formative years were enchanting, and the strongest inspiration for my current authorship. The earliest recollection I have was being sat in my bedroom with the breeze blowing in through the window on a beautiful summers day, listening to the sounds of animals merged with the thrill of happy human cheers!

It wasn’t the usual garden sounds though; not dogs, not cats, not birds - nor of children playing in the garden as they would normally do.

But it was the noises of real beasts: lions and monkeys, zebras and cheetahs! Our family home was uniquely set on the closest edge to a Zoo and Theme Park in Staffordshire; we were separated only by the Millrace at the bottom of the garden on the ‘Deer park Estate’ by Drayton Manor Park in Tamworth, Staffordshire.

The Drayton Manor Theme Park

One summer, my Father lovingly handcrafted myself and brothers wide canoes. In the years ahead we would regularly set off for secret adventures. Down the millrace we would paddle, and into the fields we would go; playing wildly in the woods, loving nature, embracing the outdoors - pretending we were the animals.
Boating with my eldest brother: In my element!

My imagination started to grow with my love of books.

My winter months were spent indoors often reading. I loved all the now vintage books: Beatrix Potter, CS Lewis, Enid Blyton and others of that period. I would often close the book and write my own endings and so my joy of creative writing began.

At the age of seven I was enrolled in elocution lessons with a local speech and drama school, ran by a former teacher from a local convent. She was very strict and austere but that did bring out the best in the group of girls that attended. In the lessons I would practice reciting pages of literature and poetry, from memory, in preparation for the London School of Music examiners. I continued through to the senior grades. My favorite and most memorable recital was from the book the Snow Goose; such a sad tale that even in recollection pulls at heartstrings.

Here are my three favourite books and their covers that sat on my shelf:

Into adulthood a business career followed. After time at University studying marketing, a career with Disney licensing then followed. After this I worked in international licensing with the leisure entrepreneur David Lloyd in a resorts business. I had the good fortune of travelling to many of the most beautiful places in the world - inspiring me further.  My urge to be an author was growing daily, and I recently gave up this career to become a full time writer.

And so the first book the Gift of Charms came to be!

I had been thinking back to the wonderful vintage books I had read and wishing there were more like this - but with unique and modern edge and an interactive web presence. Being a mother I believed I knew first hand what parents were looking for when purchasing a book for their children, yet more than that, I felt strongly that I knew also what they sought themselves: gripping action, lots of adventure - all the classic aspects of heroes and villains, mystery and magic, quests and suspense, and the dream of happy endings.

I wanted to write books with universal appeal, that were fantastical and 'out there' and yet still felt somehow real; to fulfil the expectations of book lovers and also hook non-readers back into reading. For me this had to be in the form of a series set in a place we would all be excited to visit.

I designed the land, integrating beautiful countryside, mountain trails, great waters and caves to explore. All the things I loved as a child and still do today. The most beautiful places that I had seen on my international travels formed the setting of Dragor: the amazing mountains of Colorado, the great deserts of Palm Springs, in California, the vast waters in the Lake District, and the seaside caves of Cornwall - not forgetting the enchanting wilderness of Scotland. Dragor would be my ideal place to live - full of magnificent scenery, bursting with animals and nature's magical flowers and plants. A place of adventure, excitement and promise.

 Synopsis of Book #1

The Gift of Charms is an enthralling children’s tale of magic, adventure, and suspense, with a heart-warming centre.

 The first in the Land of Dragor series, transports the reader to the magical Land of Dragor, where dragon clans live hidden from man.

 Their great wars with humans and the evil dragsaurs are over and the dragons live in the caves among smoking mud pools and around The Fire Which Must Never Go Out. But the terrible years when they were enslaved by humans has left a lasting scar and they are told they can never soar above the mountains and leave their safe haven to explore the outside world.

There is unease in the air of their mist-filled valley, and the coming of a strange egg heralds a new era. Unlike the normal delicate lilac, this shell is multi-coloured like the contents of a treasure chest.

The newborn hatchling is called Yoshiko, but he is immediately treated with suspicion by the elders, and is lucky to survive. The last time a coloured egg was laid, legendary warrior leader Surion was born from a red shell, and with his gift of fire the dragons went to battle with the humans. Will Yoshiko bring a blessing to the clans, or a curse? Could Dragor be about to meet its saviour, or its destroyer?

 Author Julia Suzuki

 ‘The Gift of Charms’ is released by John Blake Publishing under the Dino Children’s Imprint on September 4th and is available to pre-order here:

The Land of Dragor: Book 1: The Gift of Charms

 All best wishes 

Julia Suzuki

Fantasy Author 
The Land of Dragor adventure series
(John Blake Publishing House, Dino Imprint)

After so many stories and myths about dragons finally the truth is revealed!
The epic series begins with 'The Gift of Charms' PRE-ORDER at AMAZON

'A beautifully presented, wonderfully unique debut' - The Sun

WEBSITES (Author blog and website) (An interactive website for Dragor fans)
TWITTER (Follow Julia here on Twitter)
FACEBOOK (Follow Julia and here on Facebook)
GOODREADS (See latest book reviews)
AMAZON (Buy the books here)

Thank you so much Julia! The gift of charms certainly sounds like an exciting read.  I wish you every success, Barbara.


  1. What a lovely guest post, Barbara. Julia - you sound like an amazing person. How I would love to go and live in Dragor.....

    1. Hello Marilyn, me too! How about it, Julia – is there room for two little ones?

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. Of course! And you can become a Dragorian at -- so happy to have you both

  2. This sounds like an amazing series. We have much in common Julia, although I grew up in Canada on a farm with many interesting animals and magical experiences, instead of next to a zoo and amusement park in the UK.I will be reading your books for sure. All the best. Thanks Barbara for introducing us to Julia and her books.

    1. Hi Darlene, you are most welcome. I enjoyed finding out about them too.

    2. How lovely Darlene, I am thrilled that you will be reading the series. Your childhood on a farm sounds fascinating and enchanting. Lovely to hear from you

  3. It sounds a great book Julia and you had an exceptional childhood !! loved the pictures :) Thanks Barbara fro such an interesting guest post. Its amazing and I will be waiting the books to be in India :)

    1. My pleasure Kokila. It will be interesting to see if the books make it to India.

    2. Thank you Kokila -- am pleased you liked the pictures, it was a long time ago but the happiest of times. Much love to you in India

  4. Wonderful to read how your childhood adventures inspired you to write!

  5. It is a joy to read about your childhood dream come TRUE! I never tire of revisiting my childhood "closet" of dreams because I always find my way back as an adult, much richer because I've never let go...and those dreams are finally becoming true. ENJOY YOUR JOURNEY! (HI BARBARA!) Anita

    1. Thank you Anita for your lovely words. I agree that our dreams are there to keep us going :)
      All best wishes to you

  6. How lovely to meet Julia! Her book sounds absolutely enchanting and it is one I would love to read. It was wonderful to learn more about her and her path to becoming and author. It sounds like she is doing exactly what she loves!

    Wishing Julia the best of luck. The cover is so beautiful! :)

    1. Hi Stephanie, it sounds amazing doesn't it? I want to read it too and have already added it to my must treat myself list. Thanks very much for calling in and leaving a comment. Have a good weekend, Barbara.

  7. What a lovely guest post Barbara..:) Loved to read her reading tales :)

    1. Hi Nagini, yes, I felt very honoured when Julia asked if she could guest post on my blog. I also loved reading it.Thanks for calling in. Barbara

  8. Beautiful Barbara! Good morning! Thank you, friend, for coming all the way from England to visit my post on my beautiful city of Minneapolis, Minnesota. We are dubbed, "The Land of 10,000 Lakes" and what a grand place it is. It's also one of the coldest places in the United States, but I don't care. Living here and enjoying the sights is worth it all.

    Enjoy your Tuesday!!! Anita

    1. Dear Anita, it certainly sounds grand & beautiful. I just added it to my 'must see' list. Thank you for telling me about your beautiful city and for your visit xx

  9. Oh dear friend, if you ever came here, you would love it. But not in the winter! WOW, it's cold, but so lovely....

  10. What a fun, fun childhood and it shows how it inspired your creative side.

  11. That is a great cover and a really engaging storyline! Congratulations on the book, Julia. It's good knowing about you and your childhood here. How fascinating to live next to the zoo. Instead of hearing birds, you heard lions. "The Enchanted Woods" remains my favourite Enid Blyton series, too. I wish you huge success with "The Gift of Charms!"

    And a special 'Hello again' to Barbara! *wave, wave.

    1. Hi Claudine! I’m waving right back at you. I hope life is being good to you. Barbara x

  12. Julia what a wonderful post. I can relate to the lovely childhood you had as too grew up surrounded by jungles and mountains and the sound of real wild animals at times.
    Thank you for sharing some of those beautiful moments of your childhood with us


I really appreciate your comment. Thank you!
Barbara xx

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