Over on the Piper at the Gates of Fantasy website I’ve reviewed the new novel by James Brogden, Hekla’sChildren:
Quite simply, I fell in love with this novel almost instantly. I admit some may think I’m somewhat biased: I’ve known James Brogden for many years and have included some of his short stories in the magazines I edited for the British Fantasy Society, as well as publishing a collection of his finely crafted short stories (Evocations, The Alchemy Press). However, and trust me in this, if I hadn’t enjoyed Hekla’s Children I wouldn’t have read it so quickly and thus you wouldn’t be reading this review.
Pop over to Piper to read the full review and then buy, read and savour this fabulous novel.
I have uploaded a handful of new “zapped” images to my Flickr gallery. As usual, most of these are available to use as book covers, etc. Just drop me a message if you are interested. I am able to do slight edits on the images if necessary (eg hue, size, etc).
I haven’t posted anything since before Christmas. How remiss of me. But I have been busy. Honestly! For starters, I am co-running the storytelling evening for this year’s Cheadle Arts Festival. If you are able, do come along.
Many novels, particularly the lengthier multi-volumes in the fantasy field, are packed with characters, some major, some minor, others appearing so intermittently that they can be easily forgotten. Many readers will remember a full cast list with no problem; or they simply go with the flow and, especially with a well-written story that has an engaging narrative, hardly ever need to check the list of characters, or dramatis personae . Nevertheless, having something that can be referred to when you’re unsure just who is who can be invaluable. Think Lord of the Rings or Game of Thrones and you can see what I mean. Or you may be reading mainstream or crime or any other genre: the arguments for the dramatis personae may still apply.
You can read the full essay over on the Penkhull Press website. Don’t forget when you do: these are guidelines, not rules.
Hope you all have a suitably spooky Hallowe’en today. The image above is of a pumpkin carved by my own fair hands from this year’s crop. To be honest, we only managed two of the beggars. Not sure of the variety, but not the usual type of pumpkin found at Tesco or Morrisons.
It can’t be difficult, surely, to organise a book launch (as part of the recent FantasyCon weekend). After all, I have organised and co-organised the British Fantasy Convention itself – several times – plus many one-off events. Ah, as with all best-laid plans, it didn’t quite go according to – well – plan.
My first worry was: did I have enough copies of the books to be launched? It turned out, yes I did. It’s better to bring home unsold copies then it is to run out.
Number 2: Would I have enough wine? I counted the number of authors who said they’d come along to the event and the anticipated audience based on pre-convention interest. Thus a couple of weeks beforehand I doubled the wine order. Weirdly, considering this was a fantasy, horror and science fiction convention (those who have attended these things in the past know that attendees drink like fish), relatively few people were in fact drinking the wine (and for hotel wine it wasn’t too bad). I brought home a few unopened bottles of the red and white stuff. Never fear – it will be drunk.