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Fantasy Book Review #1: Drachenfels by Kim Newman

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Welcome to the first fantasy book review of this blog! Drachenfels by Kim Newman - also known by his psuedonym Jack Yeovil - is a Warhammer Fantasy novel written in 1989 and is now publilshed under, and considered part of, the Warhammer Horror genre.  The story follows a group of adventurers, led by Crown Prince Oswald, and the intriguing vampire, Genevieve, as they travel to the home of the sinister Drachenfels in a quest to defeat him. This novel has a wide range of fully developed characters with an intricate narrative and clear French-Germanic influences.  What I liked about Drachenfels Although the characters in this novel started out as borderline stereotypes, or cardboard cut-outs of typical adventure quest characters, they soon grew into 3D and interesting individuals - even the more secondary and tertiary characters became well rounded! Consistently vivid descriptions and details really brought the story alive and had me reacting in all the right ways at the right times. Thr

An unexpected hiatus!

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 Hello again! I hope you are safe and well during these troubling times. Despite the current UK lockdown, I am still clinging to the hope that 2021 is going to be a better year than 2020. First of all, I want to say that I am sorry for being quiet for so long on this blog. A lot has happened since my previous post in September 2020 and I haven't had much opportunity to work on my becoming a fantasy expert journey since. This includes starting a new, high-pressure work-from-home job that required a lot of training and a lot of learning on how to work my new role from home. For a few months it was a stressful situation. Similar to many others, I have been unable to see my family since August 2020 (including over the Christmas period) which also took a toll on my mental health.   During this time, however, I was also able to write the first draft of my newest novel idea - mentioned in my previous post Did the boggart drug my tea with sleeping draught?  -  a dark, quest, fantasy filled

Did the boggart drug my tea with sleeping draught?

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 Hello, reader! Where have the past 14 days gone? Time seems to be just flying by during this pandemic - fingers crossed 2021 is better!  Last week was mine and my partner’s 9 year anniversary and we both took the week off of work.  I took a break from my journey of becoming a fantasy expert in order to enjoy this time with my partner and our two spaniels.  However, I am now getting back on track and have uploaded my researched list of publishers that  work with fantasy writers of shorter fiction.  The list contains over 30 journals, magazine and e-zines (online magazines) with  basic submission information on each as well as links to each publishers’ website.  You can find the full list on the page titled  Publishers - Short Fiction  at the top of this blog! In other matters, NaNoWriMo is approaching fast - for more information see my post  Packing for summer Camp (NaNo)! Now, where’s that house-elf?’   - and    I have decided that I'm going to commit this year with a brand new no

Time for an update - Publishers and more!

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Hey, again! After nine days of research (as well as working and reading, etc.) I have finally uploaded my accumulated list of publishing houses that work with fantasy writers. You can find the full list on the page titled Publishers - Novels and Longer Fiction  at the top of this blog! There are over 50 publishers listed on there with basic submission information on each as well as links to each publishers’ website. Next to do on my list for the following few days is to research into the publishing magazines, journals, and e-zines (online magazines) that also work with fantasy writers for shorter fiction.  I also finished reading  The Salem Witch Society  by K.N. Shields (for the second time) yesterday and, although it is a very good read, I would not agree that it is part of the fantasy genre. It is, for the most part, a crime novel with a villain who has an obsession with witches and the occult/supernatural. However, there is nothing of a fantastic nature that happens, which cannot b

I'm back from summer Camp (NaNo)! Time to unpack ...

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Hey, there! I am back from participating in the month long challenge of Camp NaNoWrimo! For more information on this please see my previous post  ‘Packing for summer Camp (NaNo)! Now, where’s that house-elf?’. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the current mental health crisis, my work-from-home job, and a few personal complications, I was unable to write many words last month. However, I did use the time instead to think about, re-evaluate, and consider a lot of about my writing life and projects.  I have included an overview of the ideas and decisions I made during the last month here. I am planning to write and submit fantasy short stories for publication to continue to build my writing portfolio. Keep an eye out for future submission announcements! During the last month, I went through my collection of my previous fantasy ideas and have had a few strokes of inspiration that I will be lookng into pursuing. There are so many elements of the fantasy genre that I want to explore within my ‘

Packing for summer Camp (NaNo)! Now, where's that house-elf?

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Hello again! As we approach the month of July, I will be using the next five days to prepare for one of my favourite writing challenges of the year: Camp NaNoWriMo!  My research and reading progress on becoming a fantasy expert will continue in August. If you are unfamiliar with Camp NaNoWriMo, its parent challenge, NaNoWriMo ,  stands for National Novel Writing Month. It is a virtual yearly challenge set in November in which participants attempt to write 50,000 words (the minimum word count for a novel) within the month. The Camps, set in April and July, are both virtual and last a month too. The Camps allow participating writers to choose their own word count goal to achieve during the challenge as well.  The NaNoWriMo website also acts as an online writing community for all members. They have even recently made their challenge features (timed sessions, word count tracker, progress chart, etc.) available all year round for your writing projects outside of the challenge months. Best o

Fantasy: Greatest Hits!

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Hello! Researching into the history of the genre in my previous post inspired me to explore which books the fantasy community considers the most influential and inspiring since the beginning. In other words, which fantasy titles are our classics; our greatest hits. My research yielded an extensive list which you can read in full on  the page titled  Greatest Hits  at the top of this blog. While compiling this list of greatest hits, I noticed some elements that I found intriguing. For example, some eras in history have produced more classics than others and there are some authors who have more than one mention. These are just two observations (out of a good few) that I would like to explore. Therefore, I will be posting a number of explorations into these on the blog in the future. I also have plans to read most, if not all, of these books over the course of this journey and will discuss them in detail for you in future posts.  If you have read any of these books yourself, and would lik