Please watch the film, but then enjoy the story below, after all it's all about the written word!
Then follow all the magical ideas here at Phoenix Ark Press too, after the story text, including a second film about projects you will open a door to and a third talk about Edmund Shakespeare, Shakespeare's brother. Also don't forget to press that 'Remind me' button:
DRAGON IN THE POST - (making a blogged story a real book and a recipe for a whole publishing adventure)
CHAPTER ONE - FIRE IN THE LONDON EVENING
THERE was a brilliant fire in the London evening. It burned outside the oily kitchen window like a growing ribbon of blood-red light, cut with bruising purple clouds and smoking over the tower on that great building Gareth’s dad always told him was called Parliament. Where all those funny people met, MPs, to talk and fight and do whatever they do. Ir rose there, with its boldly waving flag and funny, pointy turrets. To Gareth Marks, gazing sadly through the grimy window, it looked almost medieval, like that dumb book he'd seen of Camelot and King Arthur, although this was modern London, for certain. Gareth Marks knew it from the screaming police sirens he could hear screeching and wailing through the streets again, as if there had just been another horrible terrorist attack.There seemed so much fear about nowadays, all over the world.
AND SO THE DOOR BELL RINGS AND AN EGG BOX ARRIVES IN THE POST.......
Gareth fumbled in the UPS box now, but all he found was a note, although oddly this one was to him. "Tell your mum to make an omelette Gareth, and break a few! They’re really delicious. Sorry I missed your birthday. I was going to ask you to a boy’s camp I’m doing down here, but things are a bit hectic right now. Perhaps another time then. Your Godfather. P" Gareth sighed and wondered about this boy’s camp. He had heard of the training weekends before, and it all sounded a bit heavy, although his stepfather wanted him to go to ‘toughen him up’. Besides, Gareth would no doubt get into a fight, which he often did at school. It was why some of the idiots muttered he had ‘special needs’ or even said he had something called T'ourets'. Words about missing his birthday just made Gareth more sullen, and made him think again, not of presents, but his dad.
Three whole birthdays he had missed now. Three. Gareth suddenly grabbed the lump of clay again and started banging. Blast and damn him, his stupid father. Thump. Thump. Thump. Damn. Damn. Damn. Through the window the whole sky was glowing with fire and Gareth suddenly felt horribly alone. Horribly angry too. It was at that moment that some little gremlin seemed to wake inside him. Gareth noticed one of the eggs was outsized, and slightly bluer than the rest, leaning off to one side, tilting stupidly, and the twelve year old suddenly took a vicious swipe at the thing - THWACK.
Gareth was going to hit it again, as the cracks spread everywhere now, and with a kind of gruff chirrup, a little head suddenly came out. The chick that had arrived through the post had a beak all right, but Gareth’s fascination, and vague fear too, was compounded by the fact the little, bird-like head was perfectly blue, and looking boldly up at him. What really astonished Gareth though was the size of its huge eyes, and the fact that they were glowing bright red, just like the fiery sunset outside the window.
Gareth Marks could have fallen over, when the thing seemed to burp, a little puff of smoke came out of its beak, and then, as if it was swelling, it shrugged off its casing, in a shower of breaking egg shell, and stood up in the brown egg box and the remains of its broken home. The little creature raised its beak as if to sing and uncurling a pair of tiny blue, leathery wings, only slightly sticky with a glistening slime, it unfurled a minute club ended tail too, that waved about like that flag on the House of Commons. In the Class A, organic egg box, Gareth Marks was suddenly looking down at a real, live dragon in the post.
The Author reserves the right to change all names, characters and events in the story. 2014
NOW "JOIN THE STORY, BECOME PART OF THE ADVENTURE..."
Here at brave little Phoenix Ark Press, almost brand new to Kickstarter School ourselves, we're hatching up huge ambition, vision and I hope genius too, in both a fictional book and a whole publishing project. One that hopes to use the internet to fight digitisation and get back to making real books that connect and inspire people. So we're cooking up many recipes and ideas, for both younger and older readers, but we need your grass roots help and support!
We are cooking things up just like the great Bouchbold, a Master Dragon Chef in Dragon in The Post, after Gareth Marks gets his blue she-dragon, a Firecutter, in the post, and a copy of The Very Dangerous Book of Dragons and Universal Dragon Law, a kind of guide to dragons, magic and a recipe book too. Then Gareth escapes to magical Blistag and goes to Dragon School, to learn to fight in the Great Wars, with boys and girls from all around the world, with their own psychic dragons, male and female. So, the adventures begin that change his world.
Starting with a book, we're hoping to change the world too (not just mine!) and especially the world of publishing, platforms and corporate power. It's why we are all going to Kickstarter school. We'd love you aboard, for many adventures, at every level, children's or adult, which is why the film has been made partly with fan art and more can be found at http://www.deviantart.com/art/The-Sight-Fell-36909251. Just like the words of such great backers too, that you can read at the bottom. (I've tried to contact people but Youtube makers, please don't sue your favourite author and thank you! ) Incidentally project films will go up on Youtube at phoenixarkpress
But now a short reprise on all those other things you could be opening a magic doorway too....:
First's there's a story to finish though and turn into a real book, not just an ebook, the very first created here properly. Then sent to you in the post.
YOUR MAGIC INVITATION AND PAYING IT FORWARD
Remember though, your backing, courage, passion and involvement will also help to open a magic doorway on so much more here...epic fantasy, like Light of the White Bear, an animal epic set in the arctic about polar bears, Amazon Rat, or for adults a beautiful book and gift about The 12 Days of Christmas and unique non-fiction work on 16th Century London and Shakespeare's youngest brother Edmund - "Looking for Edmund".
I'm listening for your ideas too and if a growing publishing base can back several future projects at Kickstarter or at Phoenix Ark Press, so mutually direct writers and illustrators with your visions, perhaps in the style of the crowd funding model of Paying it Forward. That's why too, if you think you are too old for Dragon In The Post, you can write to us and simply nominate someone else it could be sent to.
"LOOKING FOR EDMUND SHAKESPEARE - The next adventure in the post? If we get to 12k now it will ensure that work too.
It's why I'd love artists, writers, illustrators, actors, poets, producers, journalists and great minds on board, along with readers and fans driving all this too and with the possibility of work here in future. All of us 'Dragons' to something connected and visionary, not just the cynicism of editors in big houses following the successes and worried most for their own jobs. So if you follow us, who knows if it can bring work and involvement in projects themselves?
THE DRAGONS AND FRIENDS OF PHOENIX ARK PRESS
Everyone backing this over £25 will be made a Friend of Phoenix Ark Press then, listed in a roll call of praise at an online publisher and receive news of future projects and special benefits. Think of it as your publisher, where you can literally wear you art on your sleeve, with clothes and sweatshirts at The Poet's Sweatshop too. You can get a prototype with the higher pledges.
To be hard nosed, also not a bad way of advertising our books, dreams and ideas and a whole publisher too. Phoenix wants to take a lead with animal adventures, ecology and cultural essays, subjects that matter, but let's make many books and stories, let's dream big ideas, let's even make a movie and reach producers! Incidentally, since we were backed by one of Tolkien's illustrators, did you know that Shakespeare uses the term Middle Earth and that, for lovers of Harry Potter, there was a Muggle Street right next to Silver Street, where Shakespeare lived for a time? You see, it's all magic...
COME TO THE PARTY
Have a look at all the pledges, because they bring different things, including an invitation to a London launch party. Which, although we cannot cover travel and expenses, could also see you attending by Conference call, if you are not in London.
First come along as readers of great story though, lovers of fun and fantasy, younger or older, of great design, real books and lovely artwork. Here we're all young at heart, making something happen together! The root of the word happiness is actually from the Latin Hapere, "to make happen", so let's make it happen.
So if you are 12 and would love to read the book of Dragon in The Post, 20, or 120(!) and want to read it too, or give it to someone you know who certainly would, 'join the story, become part of the adventure...!"
6k is the target for the first book in the post, easy, but let's not stop there, let's spread the word now, be very ambitious and push it higher and higher - to 30k, 50, 100k and open the floodgates on immediate ideas and future creativity everywhere!
"Join the story, the making of Dragon in the Post, but become part of a whole new publishing adventure too..."
Risks and challenges
The risk and challenge over this kind of passion is that a project, which is in the long or short term also an ambitious publishing venture, will take 'Phoenix ' wing so fast we might not be able to fulfill all the free pledges! Well, we can live in hope and magic and dream! (Although don't put exclamation marks in your fiction, too often, instead earn every bit of drama and page turning magic, in skilful story.)
To be more practical, the 6k is the right target, I think, set for me to finish the book, find the right great illustrator, editor and copy layout expert and to publish and distribute with quality books, real books, not just e-books, both in hardback and paperback. It goes into a Company account, so is drawn down for work and the more we raise the higher the quality and the more space it brings for other things, like advertising and distribution, that I want to crack in the States too.
This is obviously about finding a fan base again then, rather than just bespoke books, and so, both as I think it's right Kickstarter money is not released unless specific targets are reached, so I hope reaching that target is part of a widening fans base and only then an engine to so many great ideas.
Obviously the higher it goes right now though, the more we can do, but you will also be ensuring the doorway opens on other ideas. The spirit of Phoenix Ark Press lies in its name, using story to change the world, drive meaningful animal based fiction, which is part of an ongoing redesign and redirection, but to engage much more too, fiction and non fiction. Think that magical Firebird the Phoenix and a flame that can never die, as well as a protective ark to journey in too. 'Join the story, become part of the adventure' in a book and much more.
It's why I would love readers, friends, amateurs and 'professionals' to back the project, spread the word but even if backing money is small, whatever you can really afford, to also initiate a much bigger conversation too, that can certainly involve you. For instance unofficial 'externs' could help re-make a website or build on the fan base. Conversations about the disconnections of the internet nowadays, the domination of mass designed books and corporations, the possibilities of bringing writers and artists back together, at a grass roots level, and make us all matter again. The bankers seem to matter rather too much, but let's start a publishing fire right here and make it blaze!
Back this Project then, reader or creator, and you become part of something, get access to updates and will get direct contact with me.
That dream has its own challenges and pitfalls though, because it cannot just be a 'you scratch my back thing', it has to depend on the quality and integrity of each book, film or art project launched - the human and artistic skill and value. But I do want to draw on your talent and passion to make many projects happen, whether we can afford to do it independently, with success at a growing Phoenix Ark Press, or each time, via Kickstarter or other crowd funded platforms. As a Firecutter arrives one day in an egg box then, or a book with a 'Golden Invitation', let's hatch up many brilliant things together! Easy.
If I can weave stories but also lead this story and then an ambitious publishing project too, I certainly can't do it without you and would not have got this far. So to mention Clare Bell, Sheila Ruth and Linda and Roger Garland. But also the genius making it happen already, friends, readers, young and older fans and those very first backers, in something I called "the fellowship of the white bear." Join that fellowship. I'll let their words and generosity speak for themselves about my stories though, especially when I asked that vital Kickstarter question - TRY AGAIN?
THE DRAGON TEAM:
I'm sure my sentiments will be echoed by others when I say how impressive it is for you to be making a stand for your work and how glad I am to help in what small way I can. DCD, for me your books were my first step away from the standard 200 page childrens' book; and the adventure of Fire Bringer has never been regretted. Now an avid reader of Classics, I am immensely grateful for the curiosity your books sparked and for the influence they have had on me. So do, please write more and inspire more children. We're backing you :)
Tim, chum and photographer who won't stop being an artist himself:
Fifteen years ago, probably more I forget, I went to Italy on holiday with friends. I took another friend's first novel, with no little trepidation. I'm not good at telling people their work is good when it isn't. The book was Fire Bringer by David Clement-Davies. It rained for the first three days solid, and I lay on a sofa reading the book, until on day three, tears streaming down my face, I finished it. Light of the White Bear must see the light, we must continue to support this and spread the word. DCD, don't give up, it's not fair on the world. How about re-launching and writing us a short story, one episode a day for thirty days, instead of updates. Make us cry again, have our hearts beat faster and let us glimpse into hidden worlds wreathed in magic and mystery, let us touch that other place where our minds, un-bonded by the fetters of today, can fly free in the wild.
Sarah H, who has sent many great comments:
I agree with Tim's eloquent comment. Do try again! Behind you one hundred percent. ....I would like to contribute more finances than in my previous pledge now that i am better prepared for the next go round of Kickstarters. Words cannot accurately express my gratitude. Your talent and tales are what the mind and spirit needs; the world in fact, needs these stories. If more people read your books the world perhaps would be in a better state of awareness and connection to nature. People would certainly be less inclined to ill treat the earth and its animal inhabitants (the human animal too). :)
Adam, a fine young man in the UK who has always supported:
Please do try again David, it's been such a pleasure not only to help a favourite author to so many but also for you to have taken the time to thank us all individually. Any future kickstarter will have my full backing and the backing of many others. Please do continue to do what you do as it brings so much joy to so many.
Carolena, who kept telling me never to give up:
You must definitely TRY AGAIN!
Lee, an oldest friend and brilliant sound editor, winner of two baftas:
Yes, Mr Clem. Go again, give us more time to raise the cash and the spirits of our meaner friends. If you don't try, then it won't be published, that would be awful. More please,
Eugenia, such a staunch friend to many and lover of quality and double negatives:
I've never not known you not to give up. Sam Johnson never did...despite Chesterfield. Have a break, a re-think, re-trench and try again. Backing you all the way....
Darren, who came in not only with the highest pledge but a warmth of heart that was literally out of the blue (on a Boris bike!) and quoted Theodore Roosevelt's 'In the Arena speech':
David, I whole heatedly congratulate you on you tenacity. It's hard to see with so much 'battling' that you have been subject to but if you keep going there can only be one outcome and that is a win and this is a fact if you just don't give up. Keep going, you and your writing(s) are worth it.
Dinah, I met years ago in a Texan bookshop and who's generous support, clever presents and genius book marks never stopped:
Of course try again! Rethink, regroup, and start again. No point in wasting all you have learned so far. We will all wait for you!
Jonathan, a reader and young activist who fights for things:
Try, try again!
Stephanie, who loves animals and threatened to sell her signed Tshirt from the Olympic Swimming team to raise her pledge:
Martin, friend and amateur psychologist who loves jumping on Fire Engines:
Justin, reader and warm fan:
I would gladly pledge again; nostalgia's got my money no matter what you end up doing. You can push for Light of the White Bear again, or you could try a different idea. My personal recommendation would be to try a different story, perhaps one with less of an environmental focus. I understand that it's an important issue to you, but many environmental stories rub people the wrong way. Whatever the case, I'll donate money if I can. Being a college kid I don't have much to give, but I'll do what I can.
Sheila Ruth (Imaginator Press), who I did a talk for after climbing out of the Grand Canyon years ago and came aboard immediately with such warmth and ideas:
I just discovered that on Goodreads, you're the #5 most followed author in the UK this month: https://www.goodreads.com/user_followings/most_followed There are definitely plenty of people out there who love your books; we just have to find a way to reach them!
Happy to be included in the honor roll! (Yes, I spell it the American way, LOL). It's been fun taking part in this. I still hope that you make the goal, but even if you don't, you fought the good fight, and I think you helped to get the word out and reach your fans and readers.
Sierra Jane, fiery heart and one of Melbourne's coolest young female DJ's, in a male world:
Keep trying! Never ever give up! I will back you no matter what!!
Great quote I love - "May every sunrise hold more promise and every sunset hold more peace"
Yasmin, who so inspired with generosity and saying "how could I not give something back?":
I think it's always better to try and risk failure then never try at all and to keep trying until you make progress. Is that not what it was like to break into the industry as a fresh new author with his/her first book? If they gave up after the first rejection of their manuscript then they'll never get anywhere. At least that's what I've heard. Learn from mistakes and get back on that horse (or that camel/dragon/triceratops...whatever you want to ride to victory! haha). I agree with Piccia and the points he made. (ps Piccia is a lady)
Piccia, who came in though I haven't seen here in years:
David, I think you should definitely start again immediately as 1 month is not long enough at all. But I suggest you don't target existing backers so much: instead try and branch out as much as possible to people you haven't reached yet. Also write much shorter updates, they take up too much of your energy and not everybody has the time to read them (I hear you, I hear you!): employ that precious time to find other avenues to spread the word.
Linda and Roger Garland, who have illustrated the Master JRR Tolkien's stories and have a wonderful art gallery:
So sorry the project is at present on hold, but with your dynamism something will crop up and it will come to fruition one day.
Kelly, brilliant reader, ecologist in the US and the very first to back the first project:
If money matched passion, you’d have made well over 6,000 pounds.
The fight is far from over. Not just for Light of the White Bear, but beautiful writing in general. You have ideas, especially potent with Edmund Shakespeare and a Christmas book on the 12-Gift origins. Please put them to paper soon. Animal fiction may not be in the vogue at the moment, but I think these ideas could be catalysts in restoring the taste of readers. You shook the shelves once, and in great talents, I believe lightening strikes more than once.
You're right Kelly, so come along and add you support, quotes, energy and ideas.
I'm afraid music in clips of fan videos has not been sourced for licenses or origin. If there is a problem please comment here and they will be taken down.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)