Author and Silk Road lecturer, Peter Ward is a published author for Random House Children’s Books, part of the Random House Group plc. With his father serving in the military, Peter was born in Yorkshire but his early years were spent in Malaysia, living later in Germany and a number of different places in the UK. His early career at Sotheby’s in Bond Street, London, instilled in him a love of Chinese ceramics, and from there his interest developed into Chinese legend and mythology, especially the Chinese fascination with the life-affirming dragon – in complete contrast to its ferocious Western counterpart. This interest then branched into the Silk Road and all its influences on Western civilisation, becoming a passion and the driving force in making his book, Dragon Horse, a published reality.
Set in ancient China, two brothers fight the classic battle between good and evil as the Shadow-without-name attempts to break free from an eternal imprisonment by utilizing the strength and power of the famed dragon horses.
Rokshan and An-Lushan are drawn into this centuries-old struggle, along with a young girl destined to become the Spellweaver of her nomadic tribe. And as An-Lushan is pulled towards the dark, Rokshan must embark upon a dangerous journey into the lands of the Wild Horsemen – where he is to meet the great stallion Stargazer and, ultimately, must learn the innermost secrets of the dragons.
Dragon Horse, (Random House Children’s Books, Doubleday hardback 2008 and CORGI paperback 2009) is published internationally: in the UK & Commonwealth, and in translation in Germany and Spain. As a fantasy, it appeals to readers of all ages who enjoy this genre. Dragon Horse is a work of historical fiction with a strong element of fantasy set on the ancient Silk Road, circa 800 AD during the T’ang dynasty, when usage of the old trading routes was at its height.
THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO... DOG
“We kalb guard the Great Ones, our human masters. ‘Kalb’ means -dog- in their tongue. We guard them: this is why we are in the world. I am Kal, fisher-dog. This is my story.” When Peter the Fisherman takes pity on a defenceless, abandoned puppy saving him from being beaten and drowned, little does he know that the dog will grow up to be his most loyal friend prepared to follow him to the ends of the Earth. Meet Kal, the fisher-dog. Follow him on his adventures from the shores of Lake Galilee where he happily helps Peter in his fishing boat, all the way to Jerusalem – where something so terrible happens, Kal thinks the world will never smell right again. Storms being calmed, delicious-smelling (to a dog!) lepers being cured and other familiar Gospel stories are all told afresh through Kal’s wise, humorous, and very different canine perspective.
Planning out my talk and the vocal warm-ups were very useful.