Showing posts from September, 2013

Reporting Live from Bradford Dragon Hunt!

Today I'm trying something new - a live blog!  I'm in City Park, Bradford on Positive Bradford Day, manning a stall with my husband for something we call Bradford Dragon Hunt. This actually started with my Bradford: City of Fantasy short story reading at Ilkley Literature Festival, in which I read stories inspired by aspects of Bradford, accompanied by a slide show of fantastical architecture in Bradford.  As a booming city in the Industrial Age, Bradford contains loads of Victorian gothic, which is full of stone dragons and other mythological creatures.  As a result, my husband became really interested in stone dragons in the city centre and started photographing them.  Today's stall encourages people to take part in a dragon hunt around the city, counting the dragons in three "hot spots" to receive a certificate.  We're hoping it will encourage people to look at Bradford in a new way. As a little extra, I've also added a "find the hidden dragon"

7 Magical Short Stories

I recently read a Top Ten of short stories from The Guardian , and I hadn't read any of them!  So I thought I would post a list of short stories that made a lasting impression on me.  They're all fantasy stories, and 7 is a magic number, so it seemed to fit together well.   Smith of Wootten Major by JRR Tolkien From Tales from the Perilous Realm On a completely different scale from the epic Lord of the Rings , but with the same heart, this is a beautiful story about a boy who swallows a star which enables him to walk in the land of Faery as an adult.  For anyone who has ever felt, like me, that "I'm walking in the wrong land.  My generation doesn't understand". The Kith of the Elf-Folk by Lord Dunsany From Time and the Gods (Fantasy Masterworks) It's very hard to choose just one story by "the master", Lord Dunsany, but this one really does linger. The little Wild Thing of the marshes wishes for a soul when she hears singing in the cathedral, so h

Fanfic Contest: Show us your silver hands!

                             Hidden Grove Extra is launching its first ever competition.  For fan fiction.  Yes, some authors hate fan fiction, but I started my adult writing career with fanfics (which are still being read and enjoyed by new readers) and I happen to think fan fiction is rather wonderful.  What more natural response to a story you love can there be than to become totally immersed and creatively involved in the plot yourself? So, the challenge is: can you write a fan fiction based on Silver Hands?  It can be any length, from a simple oneshot to an epic with chapters, but you only have 2 months to do it, and it must be posted on a reputable fan fiction site, such as  Share the link in the comments box below, and I will choose a winner after 31st October.  The winner will receive a signed, limited edition postcard featuring my flash fiction, "Laputa Sends Out the Fleet", and will be receive honourable mention on this blog and across my social medi