Writing a Book: Stages of Awesomeness

Writing a book is a lot of things. Fun and hard work. Terrifying and exhilarating. Time-consuming and all-absorbing. So if you are yet to take the plunge, or you are part way through the process, or you’ve just started the next book, don’t forget to make the most of these Stages of Awesomeness. They are […]

Strong Female Characters in Fantasy Books

Discussing gender and its attributes always seems to be a touchy subject. And yet, I still think it’s something we need to talk about. I’ve read a lot of books, and it’s clear that certain genders both write and are portrayed in particular ways in particular genres. A lot of fantasy books, particularly the older […]

The World of the Fae

​ Notes taken from the BristolCon 2016 panel ‘The F Word’.  Whatever happened to fairytales?  Today’s popular fairytales are very sanitised. Generic fairies roam the covers of children’s book. Disney gives everyone a happy ever after. In the UK, Enid Blyton has been responsible for numerous jolly little fairies, brownies and pixies with maybe a […]

Writing Through the Storm

This post was inspired by the BristolCon 2016 panel of the same name – with thanks to those authors who shared their personal experiences.  At some point in your life, difficult times will come. You may experience health problems, both physical and mental, illness or death of close friends and family, financial issues, or simply […]

Diversity in Fantasy Novels

  This post has been compiled with help from the BristolCon 2016 panel ‘The Regiment of Monsters’. Are fantasy novels diverse enough? Many fantasy novels, especially the epic fantasy of the last twenty or thirty years or so, involves a white male human lead character. In fact, the entire cast of many fantasy novels is […]

The Call of Magic

“Magic is Chaos, Art and Science. It is a curse, a blessing, and a progression.” – Yennefer of Vengerberg  This post has been developed from the panel “Not just Hocus Pocus” at BristolCon 2016. Why are we drawn to magic? Fantasy books are hugely popular at the moment, but what is the appeal of magical […]