General details

  • Malekin

  • Aylesbury, UK

  • Ben Foster

  • BTh Degree

  • Male

  • English

In short

  • I'm married, with three young kids, and stories fascinate me. I work in a library, but I'm working hard so that one day, my books could be stocked in there too.

  • I met Val Biro as a kid.
    No love for the Gumdrop picture books, ay?

    Umm, well the closest thing I can think of is winning the Dragon of Honour in the March '11 writing challenge! I guess it's my one and only writing achievement so far, so I'm pretty chuffed!

My Favorites: Reading and Writing

  • Fiction: Children's, Fairytales, Folklore & Mythology, Graphic Novel, Humor/Satire, Sci Fi/Fantasy, Teen

    Non-Fiction: Memoir/Narrative Non-fiction, Popular Science, Religion

  • Possibly the 5 novels which have had the biggest effect on me are (in chronilogical order) are:
    -The Ice Palace by Robert Swindells. As darkly magical as a 6 or  7 year old can handle, and introduced me to the fantasy Quest.
    - The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien. If I ever see a light in the woods at night time, I still wonder if it's a trio of three cockney trolls. And it generally is.
    -The Subtle Knife by Philip Pullman. My favourite of His Dark Materials, largely because I love Will. (And Lyra, of course, but that goes without saying). In fact, Will has become so ingrained in my mind as a heroic name (thanks to a couple of other books too) that I named my son William.
    -Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman. It's got the whole punky-fantasy feel, it turns London on its head, and the Marquis DeCarrabas is awesome. But it particularly stays with me because Richard has become my archetypal reluctant hero in over his head. That's what my heroes generally are in my stories, because that's how I feel about myself often. But Richard, he's the best.
    -In Your Dreams by Tom Holt. The whole trilogy/series is brilliant, but the middle piece (once again) is just about my favourite. It's funny, so very, very funny, but the plot gathers real pace and urgency.

    But of course, how can I not mention Ole' Tezza? (That's Terry Pratchett to you) Gotta love the Discworld, because it's actually illegal not to. Fact. The Watch,and  Tiffany Aching/ Granny Weatherwax are in general the best, particularly Night Watch, Thud! And Wintersmith.

    And then there's Harry Potter (it all comes together beautifully in the end), Narnia, and a bunch of great books that I read over the age of 20, too! Basically, if it's clever and/or funny and/or fantasy, I'll probably like it.
  • Just read Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch which was the best thing I've read in a long, long time. Felt like a natural heir to Neverwhere (Neverheir?). It's funny, it's exciting, it's magical, it's sexy, it's London. Can't wait for Moon Over Soho! (Actually, I think that's out tomorrow, so I probably won't have too!

    Also read quite a few Christian books over Lent, so as well the Bible (It's a Good Book, so I've hear), there's  Money, Sex and Power by Richard Foster (NOT Jeffrey Archer, as the title may suggest), I am not, but I know I AM by Louie Giglio, and The Lost Message of Jesus, by Steve Chalke and Alan Mann. All of which I'd recommend. I'm about to start the (controversial) new Rob Bell book, Love Wins. (Except when you're playing Monopoly)
  • In bed
    In the library
    In my bath

    In YOUR bath.
  • Lots of projects on the go, some alive some in hibernation.
    My first was Stigandr, a portal fantasy about a boy who travels to a Norse world beseiged by werewolves. It was meant to be about forgiveness (the boy who bullies him ends up travelling there too), but actually seemed to carry the message "Kids, adults will screw you over if it'll benefit them" Which I didn't really want. Currently binned, but may get revisited and rewritten. There were some good bits.

    Away With the Fairies, another portal fantasy (see? I'm already in a rut!) about a boy whose gorgeous girlfriend (NOT ex-girlfriend, alright?) gets abducted by elves to marry the King of Fairie. And only Matt, with the help of a faun and a dwarf/goblin reject can save her. If she wants saving. Oh, and he may have to stop the elves enslaving the whole of the human race too... About 2/3 of the way through, but after three years on it, I just needed a break and to work on other things.

    The Evil Twin's Good Brother, currently floating about on Page to Fame. Much shorter than the other two, and for a younger audience, about a evil genius boy who discovers he has a goody two-shoes twin brother he's never met. Nearly complete!

    And ones in early development:

    Maybe (hopefully) continue the Super-Duper Adventures of Derek the Dragon Slayer (the reduced opening of which won the Dragon Killing writing challenge). I'm not 100% sure if the story (stories?) will focus mainly on him and his adventues, or if they'll be a bunch of short stories and mini-adventures about the town of SquiggleSmudge.

    Ragnarok, Baby!, in which a boy finds the Norse god Loki imprisoned in an underground car park. Having set him free, he has to then stop Loki's destined plan of ending the world by kick-starting the Battle of Ragnarok. This will feature in a small role,

    The League of Heroes - Hercules, Beowulf, Robin Hood et al live in modern day Britain fighting monsters and arguing. They're not very good at thinking things through, but are VERY good at fighting. And drinking.

    Is that too much info? It's nice to have things written down.

    Generally fantasy, hopefully comedy.
  • Fiction: Children's, Fairytales, Folklore & Mythology, Humor/Satire, Novella, Sci Fi/Fantasy, Teen

    Poetry: General, Personal / Confessional, Song Lyrics

  • Hmmmm, well most heroes you can identify with have pretty crappy times for a lot of the story, don't they? I may wish I was Harry Potter, but I don't actually want to BE him!




    Ooh, it would be great fun to be Rob Anyone, leader of the Nac Mac Feegles in the Discworld. I don't think he knows how NOT to have fun!
  • Bloody hell, I've written enough for one night! I think my answers speak for themselves!