This piece was first published on writing.ie
Join me as I talk with Alan Early at his book launch of Arthur Quinn and the World Serpent in the Gutter Book Shop. Leitrim born Alan studied in the National Film School, Dun Laoghaire and co-founded Annville Film while writing Arthur Quinn and the World Serpent.
His interest in Vikings was spiked "when I was about ten, I visited Dublinia, a recreated Viking village and so began an interest in Viking lore that survives today.'
Arthur Quinn and the World Serpent is the first of a trilogy. Alan was lucky in dealing with Mercier as they "came back to me very quickly to say that they were interested and it went from there. They've been a great help all the way through it; I think dealing with an independent publishing house is a brilliant position for a new author." The Irish Examiner said his book is "a clever blend of fantasy and the every day. It's like Harry Potter, Dublin style."
When we spoke to Alan before his speech he said that "It feels very strange, that what I was writing is now an actual book and I am here at my book launch." Alan said in relation to social media; "I wasn't afraid of social media but with the book coming out, Mercier were activity pushing me to use it more and now I found it great, this networking thing is great. I can get in contact with other writers, readers and get great feedback."
Patrick from Mercier press was was next in the firing line of questions and he shared, in his lyrical Cork accent; "we focus a lot on non fictions, we only take about 2 or 3 kids books a year, I mean they have to be exceptional for us to take them on. And I have to say that there has been so much excitement in the office about this book, we love it. The book is quite different but at the same time it is like the Rick Riordan books, which are hugely popular, so as Rick tapped into the Greek mythologies Alan tapped into the Irish mythologies."
Bob from the Gutter Book shop welcomed us to the launch and as Patrick from Mercier took to the stage we were treated to a book trailer on the screen, there are two trailers and some character trailers also. Which is exciting as you can see where co-founding Annville films helps his writing career.
Here are the book trailers;
Alan was next to talk to the crowd, he thanked everyone for attending, and gave us an insight into the idea behind the book, "A lot of it came from the fact that, while Ireland has a very rich mythology background, I've never read any fantasy set in modern day Ireland. Every other country is well represented by children's fantasy except Ireland. I just really liked the idea of seeing a monster rampaging through Dublin."
Patrick, Mercier Press, welcomed and thanked us. He told us that "it is looking likely that Arthur Quinn and the World Serpent will be nominated for an Irish Children Book Award 2012
With Arthur Quinn and the World Serpent "when we got the manuscript it was passed from person to person with wild excitement, we knew it was going to be big. We were lucky enough to get the support of Easons, we are thrilled with the quality of the book."
"With his Dad starting work on the new Metro tunnel, Arthur is forced to move to Dublin. While exploring a hidden underground river, Arthur and his new friends Will and Ash find a mysterious pendent. It glows in the gloom of the river and depicts a monstrous snake strangling the trunk of a tree. They soon work out that the pendent is a warning, a sign that something evil is waiting underneath the city. Something that's been imprisoned for a thousand years, something left by the Vikings, something that can – and will - destroy first the city, then the world.
What did the Vikings hide under Dublin and why did they leave it there? Who is the dark man that spies on Arthur and what is his evil plan? This hair-raising fantasy adventure will have you thrilled to the end, as only Arthur and his friends can save the world from the dreaded World Serpent. Described by Eoin Colfer, author of Artemis Fowl as 'a brilliant creation... fast-paced and thrilling' and by Image Magazine as 'an exciting fantasy novel', Arthur Quinn and the World Serpent is the first of a trilogy and a thrilling read for anyone 8+!"
To find out more about Alan and his book Arthur Quinn and the World Serpent see below -