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Quest Fiction

June 5th, 2020

An anonymous critic recently claimed that all stories are “quest stories”. The critic  did not enlarge on the claim and my immediate reaction was to doubt this and like most people I could think of one of two novels which don’t involve a search or quest.

On the other hand, I would have to agree that the quest is a central issue in a great many stories and novels.

There has been a tendency to think of the quest story as just a genre for children’s fiction. The classic, well-known example is “Treasure Island” by R L Stevenson. The whole story is based around the quest or search for treasure by a number of parties. In “The Wizard of Oz”, Dorothy is literally blown away and she can only find her way home by searching for the Emerald City at the end of the yellow brick road. Read the rest of this entry »




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That’s The Way To Do It!

June 8th, 2015

R.Belligerence-BlogOur kids dragged us to the Manchester Film and Comic Con last weekend. Well, I say dragged … I was more excited than them. It was a huge event, packed with dealers, big screen TVs, an auditorium for talks, and rows of desks where celeb’s were signing graphic novels, DVDs, original artwork, baseball caps, etc.

My ten year old son was after ‘retro’ games, and we soon found some. So while he hummed and hahed over Pokemon and Donkey Kong I had a look round. I noticed one particular table which was quite simple (by comic con standards.) On a plain black cloth, it held just a few piles of books, all copies of four paperbacks that were neatly laid out on display – all clearly part of a series. Behind the table was a woman in a striking outfit – part Tolkien’s Rivendell, part Mos Eisley spaceport.

“Are you the author?” I said.

“Yes,” she said

And that’s how I came to meet the inspirational C. G. Hatton. Read the rest of this entry »




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Where There’s a Will …

March 30th, 2015

Knights-Vampire-BlogCarole Taylor’s a stubborn lass. Even back at school she told everyone that, one day, she was going to write a book. Now, granted, she did get a bit side-tracked raising a family (and with her daughter the deputy head of a London primary school, son a departmental leader in an international bank, I think we can assume she put a reasonable amount of effort into that.) More recently, there’s been a major health scare with her heart. And now, as well as working part time for a TV production company, her first grandchild’s appeared on the scene … Nonetheless, she never did give up on that book thing and, in the end, didn’t just write one, but five. They’re not only written either, she’s had them all published as ebooks by an American online publisher. So, if any of you out there were thinking it was too late to get started on a writing career – read on. Read the rest of this entry »




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How to Write a Best Selling Novel

February 3rd, 2015

shock_fallWe’d all like to know how to do that, wouldn’t we? But Nathan Filer, author of Shock of the Fall seems to have got it just right and in this clip he gives you tips on how to go about it. He was winner of the Costa Book of the Year, 2013; the Betty Trask Prize, 2014 and Popular Fiction Book of the Year at the National Book Awards, 2014. Not to mention the fact that the book has now been translated into 27 languages. Not bad for a first novel! Read the rest of this entry »




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It’s a Complicated Business

September 22nd, 2014

Self-Publish-blogThey used to call it ‘Vanity-Publishing,’ but that was back in the days of rotary telephones and four channel TV. These days it’s ‘Self-Publishing,’ and it’s quite the thing. There’s loads of ‘Book-Making’ websites out there, Amazon even has one of its own. But are they any good? What do they actually provide? Do you have to pay them up front? And do they take a cut of your profits? (should you ever make any). Read the rest of this entry »




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