Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Dragon's Fool by Aldred Chase (VNBtM, Excerpt, GIVEAWAY) GFT

It is my pleasure to have a guest post from the author of Dragon's Fool, Aldred Chase and to be able to share information about his book with you!

Outrunning My Inner-Critic

by Aldred Chase

I picture my imagination as a sandy beach. Every morning, when I write, I’m taking time to visit the beach and build a sandcastle. Most days it doesn’t matter that the tide will come in and wash the castle away, because my pleasure was in building it, but on some days an angry boy watches over my shoulder as I work, and when I’ve finished he jumps up and down on the sandcastle, demolishing it. The angry boy is my inner-critic, speaking spiteful words about what rubbish my writing is.

I first had an insight into how powerful and destructive my inner-critic was when I attended a creative writing class where the teacher gave us a series of timed writing exercises where the only two rules were keep your pen moving and don’t judge the quality of what you write. The fact we all had pens to keep moving rather than laptops or tablets does date the class but not the message. I was astounded by how much more creative I was when I suspended my judgment and forced myself to keep writing. It wasn’t just me; everyone in the class made the same discovery.

Since that lesson, I’ve integrated this approach into my writing. The first draft of every scene in the Nobody’s Fool Quartet was written keeping my fingers dancing across the keyboard and making no attempt to judge what I’d written. I’d do a brief outline of the scene in advance, write the scene in one go without stopping, and then leave it to compost on my computer until I had completed the whole first draft of the book, and it was time to edit. My inner-critic talked about the work festering rather than composting but I ignored it.

I’ve used these simple rules on other occasions that have had nothing to do with writing. Sometimes, I’ve felt overwhelmed when I’ve been faced with a crisis or a difficult decision. I’ve found one of the best ways to get a grip on the situation is to sit down with a blank piece of paper and write about it, keeping my pen moving and not judging a single word I put down. This act of writing calms me down and helps me see the issues involved with far greater clarity.

My inner-critic is a tough beast and it does sometimes succeed in interrupting me. When that happens, rather than beat myself up, I remind myself of the simple pleasure that I receive from writing. I love splurging words on paper; it’s joyful and exhilarating. In a noisy world, the page is a quiet place where I can express myself and no one will interrupt me. Best of all, I find writing things down helps me think more clearly and I feel less muddled; this applies both to my fiction and real-life.

Do you have any favorite tips for dealing with your inner-critic? I would love to hear about them.(comment below with a valid e-address for a chance to win the giveaway prize!)


Dragon's Fool, Book Four of the Nobody's Fool Quartet
by Aldred Chase



Keth has become the most powerful person in the city of Russett. He is both Prince Dawyn's fool and his most trusted adviser. The secret of Keth's success is listening to the tart, sour comments that the turnip on the end of his fool's stick pours into his mind, which no one else can hear.

When an earthquake strikes Russett, it is only the first in a series of disasters to devastate the city. Superstitious folk say that these are signs that a dragon is coming and only the golden prince of legend can save them. Keth's turnip tells him that these are only natural events and dragons don't exist, but he can use peoples' fears to his own advantage.

In the ruined city, Keth has to decide who he will trust and what he will believe. The fate of his friends and the survival of the land depend on the choices he makes.

Dragon's Fool is book four in the Nobody's Fool Quartet, the gripping climax to a tale of comedy and adventure.



“Dragons and the princes who fight them are only in stories, aren’t they, fool?” Dawyn said. His fingers were gouging at the blankets.

“That’s right, Your Highness,” I said, sitting on the bed beside him. “They’re just legends.”

“Like that ‘Golden Prince’ play,” Dawyn said.

“Exactly,” I said. “We don’t have any real dragons, only actors holding up a costume on sticks.”

Dawyn sighed and his fingers relaxed.

“Are we expecting Dawyn to fight a dragon?” I thought at Turnip.

“Of course not,” Turnip said inside my head then chuckled. “You must reassure our noble prince that no acts of courage or heroism will be required from him.”

“Captain Wheelbrace spoke of a dragon,” I thought at it.

“And so will his crew,” Turnip said, “and so will his passengers, and with every telling the dragon will grow bigger and its fire will burn hotter.”

“I don’t believe they’re all making it up,” I thought at it.

“They’re not,” Turnip said. “They saw something they did not understand, so someone called it a dragon. That made sense to everyone else, and they repeated it.”

“So what did they see?” I thought at it.

“A special type of mountain called a volcano has erupted,” Turnip said, “and when that happens, huge fiery lumps of molten rock are hurled high into the air. It’s far more awesome than a paltry dragon dragged from a legend, but a dragon is the best description these people can come up with.”

“So what do we do?” I thought at it.

“Relax and become heroes,” Turnip said.

Buy links:


Barnes & Noble

For readers who would like to begin the series from the beginning, Apprentice Fool, book one of the Nobody’s Fool Quartet, is available free at Amazon in the USA, Canada, and UK, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo and Barnes and Noble
(thanks, Aldred!)

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Aldred Chase’s first experience of fantasy fiction was reading ‘The Hobbit’ at school, and he has been hooked on the genre ever since. His favorite places for writing are cafes and park benches, but he does most of his work sitting at his desk. His best ideas come to him when he is travelling by train or walking by the sea.

Aldred has just released Dragon’s Fool, the final installment of the Nobody’s Fool Quartet, a tale of adventure and comedy with some scary bits, aimed at children age 9 to 12. He vacated his desk to give his brain and keyboard a rest, but during a recent train ride the idea for his next novel arrived, and the desk is calling him back.

Aldred’s website
Aldred on Facebook



Aldred will be awarding a $25 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour.  Answer his question...
Do you have any favorite tips for dealing with your inner-critic? I would love to hear about them.(comment below with a valid e-address for a chance to win the giveaway prize!)

Follow the tour for more chances to win!


  1. Thank you for inviting me today. I'm delighted to be here.

    1. Hi Aldred!
      Thanks for visiting and sharing your thoughts (and for the free read). I argue with my inner critic all of the time...fortunately, I am just as snarky as she is, lol. Good luck on the books, they look like fun reads!

  2. We are often our own worst critic. Can't help you there. I wish I could.


    1. That is quite true, Mary, and sometimes it helps us to improve but other times, we just have to muffle what our inner critic is saying so that we can function! Thanks for visiting.

  3. Replies
    1. You are welcome, thanks for catching my typographical error (my apologies, Aldred!).

  4. When I feel especially self-critical I call my sister for positive reinforcement. No matter how down I am on myself for my actions or decisions or lack of success etc. she always gives me proper perspective. My sis is the chiropractor of my self esteem lol


    1. That's a great way to look at it Elise-Maria! Thanks for visiting.

    2. I like your description of your sister as the chiropractor of your self esteem. I'm passing it on to my wife, who plays the same role for me.

  5. Lately I have been dealing my inner critic, I have decided to tell it to shut up!!! LOL---Rae

    1. Rae,
      I am surprised that your inner critic can find anything to criticize, as busy as you are--unless it is telling you to slow down occasionally, lol. Thanks for visiting!

    2. This is a tip that sometimes works for me when my inner-critic refuses to pipe down, I open up a fresh word document, set my timer for ten minutes and let my inner-critic write whatever it wants. After several minutes of raging insults that would make a troll blush my inner-critic starts to run out of steam and by the time the timer pings it's relieved to take a break and leave me to write in peace.

    3. I love that seems a great way to get it all out. Thanks for the idea!

  6. My inner critic is extremely severe. Never lets me alone for a moment. I really enjoyed all your comments.

    1. Sounds like you need to take some stern measures with your inner critic, Jane. Thanks for visiting!

    2. It sounds like your inner-critic is a real pain, Jane, but on the positive side at least you know it is there so you can begin to tackle it.

  7. Nice lesson; not really

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

  8. My problem is I aim to do everything perfect then it doesn't turn out that way. I tend to be a little hard on myself.

    1. If I'm being hard on myself I try and remember the saying 'Perfect is the Enemy of the Good'. I googled it just now and Wikipedia says it is commonly attributable to Voltaire.

    2. I finally gave up and just accepted that I am definitely never going to do anything perfectly! Thanks for visiting, Crystal.

  9. Thank you for hosting and thank you everyone for taking the time to comment.

    1. I appreciate your taking the time to visit, Aldred. Your series looks delightful, good luck with the tour!

  10. Thanks for this great giveaway!!!