Five get literary in Sandbach


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So, last weekend I was at the Sandbach Author Signing event (SASE). I may have mentioned this event a few times over the last few months, most recently here, because I was incredibly excited by it. Turns out I was excited for good reasons.

#SASE Sandbach Author Signing event at Sandbach town hall

Sandbach town hall (c) Nellie Simpson

SASE was the first event of its kind in the Sandbach area, though it followed a pattern similar to many other events (like the Manchester signing of August this year). A group of authors getting together in a location and a bunch of readers wandering around the tables looking to buy books and get them signed.

I travelled to Sandbach from Manchester in the company of Ninfa Hayes and Alex Campbell, two members of the Tea Society and Vampire Month posters. We weren’t the only members there either, there was also Dianna Hardy and Elizabeth Morgan (who was also the organiser of the event). We were only missing Alex James, Miriam Khan and Russell Smith but we did have leaflets from all of them so they did not miss out too much. We set up our tables in the lovely, modern interior of the Sandbach town hall (nicely contrasted with the older exterior of the building) and awaited the arrival of the public.

D.A Lascelles, Alex Campbell, NinfaHayes and Dianna Hardy

The Urban settings panel  (c) Nellie ZSimpson

There were also some panels throughout the day on a number of topics ranging from Women in Fantasy to Fangs and Fur (vampires and werewolves in fiction). I was asked to moderate two of these – ‘Fangs and Fur’ and one on settings in Urban fantasy. Turnout for these was low (a handful of people) but the audience was keen and the discussions were wide ranging and interesting. From talking to another blogger, it seems that panels are not a common thing in her experience of signing events so this idea is both a way of distinguishing this event from others and also something new that the attendees may not have been too sure of. Personally I feel Alex Campbell’s reminiscences of  the tales of Northumberland to be worth the entry fee to the event by itself. Catherine Green and Lucy Felthouse joined myself, Ninfa and Dianna for the discussion on Vampires and Werewolves and we tackled the age long issue of why vampire fiction never seems to die. In the urban fantasy location panel we explored the idea of the location as a character (something I touch on in Gods of the Deep), how some stories are location dependent while others are not and what locations in our stories were influenced by places in our real lives. There may have been some discussion about trying to set a Batman story in the countryside but I have no idea who came up with that mad idea. As moderator I also posed the question about overuse of location – are certain locations (London, Chicago, New York etc.) overused in contemporary fantasy fiction and should other sites be given a chance to shine. There were excellent arguments from both sides there, with an overall conclusion that the common sites are used for recognition purposes – more people know about London than they may know about Newcastle – and so are likely to remain popular. However, there is scope for stories set in other locations, especially ones with their own myths and legends – Alex Campbell’s use of the Northumberland Lambton worm story being a case in point.

Throughout the day there were visits by some journalists and the event made it into theSandbach Chronicle authors hold masterclass local papers (Sandbach Chronicle headline: Authors Hold Masterclass) and Elizabeth was interviewed by Stewart Green for Sandbach Soundbites. Click the link to listen to the interview in full. This all suggested that there was quite a bit of media buzz about this event which is the first of its kind in the town.

It is to be hoped that Sandbach will return bigger and better next year with more people risking attending the panels and getting involved in discussions. I know the organisers have big plans for next year and any success of this new event would be well deserved.

The photographs in this article were taken by Nellie Simpson.

D.A Lascelles is the author of Lurking Miscellany, Transitions (Mundania Press) and Gods of the Sea (Pulp Empires) and Gods of the Deep. He lives in Manchester UK. You can sometimes see him writing about Zombie porn on but he mostly blogs about books, vampires, science fiction and Terry Pratchett. He is inordinately proud of the fact that one of his Pratchett articles was referenced on the French version of the author’s Wikipedia page.


Twitter: @areteus

Buy Lurking Miscellany (paperback)

Buy Lurking Miscellany (Kindle)

Buy Gods of the Deep (Kindle)

Buy Gods of the Deep (Paperback)

Judy Bagshaw


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 Sometimes Facebook can be a right bitch and hit you so hard in the feels with something so innocent as a birthday reminder. Judy009cropped

This morning it decided to tell me that it was Judy Bagshaw’s birthday. The feels came because Judy died in 2015, leaving behind a writing legacy that includes me and a hell of a lot of other people who are trying to follow her. She wrote romance stories that included female protagonists that were not ‘standard size’, positive stories in which their size was not part of the plot nor the subject of comic relief. From her I learned a number of things – how to stay positive in the face of adversity from your own self esteem, how to edit effectively and how to approach publishers. It is thanks in part to her (with Skyla Dawn Cameron taking credit too) that I got published in the first place.

OppositeAttraction_AuthorCopy_revised I never met her in person, though I always wanted to, but she was my mentor, a cheerleader and a self confessed fan of my work. She owned one of the ten ‘limited editions’ of Lurking Miscellany that came out of the first print run with the error on the cover. I would have sent her it for free (she helped edit parts of it) but she not only insisted on paying for it, she insisted on me signing it and sending it to her despite the fact she could have got it cheaper by Amazon. She even told me to add the international postage cost to the invoice (which I didn’t… I owed her at least that much).

That Facebook reminder this morning woke all these feelings in me again so I just had to share. I urge you to do her the honour of looking up one of her books and buying it. I feel it is the best way to celebrate her birthday.

News (but not weather)


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 So, it has been a while since I did any updates. Apologies for that, it has been a busy month or so. So, here are a few things to keep you updated.D A Lascelles Gods of the Deep Kindle Fantasy Swashbuckling

First of all, those of you in the North West of UK are welcome to come along to the Sandbach Author Signing event tomorrow (5th November) at Sandbach town hall. It promises to be lots of fun and will include not only signings but panels too. I am talking on two of them – Fur and Fangs (all about vampires and werewolves) and Urban settings, the magic within city landscapes. Both look to be interesting discussions. There are other activities on the day too but to find out what they are you will have to come along. Tickets are very cheap – only £5 on the door. It is also worth pointing out that a lot of the UK based Vampire Month alumni will be there including Elizabeth Morgan, Dianna Hardy, AJ Campbell and Ninfa Hayes.

Secondly, if you cannot get to the above event, you can get copies of Gods of the Deep or any of my other books from Amazon. I have an online order form for signed copies too which you can find here – Online order form. You can arrange to pick up your book at one of the events listed (and this list will get updated periodically as I confirm events) or you can contact me via this page or my email address to arrange alternative arrangements such as postage.

Thirdly, this blog may be undergoing a change of appearance sometime soon. This has now become my main site so I am going to be using it more and more as such. This means a bit of a rejig and maybe a change in image and I will be putting things like my bio and book info onto the home page and relegate the blog to another page. Look out for those changes as they happen over the next month or so.

Finally, things are heating up in other areas of bloggage. The blog I am an occasional contributor too – News from the Spirit world –  is going to be getting more from me. In fact for the last week or so, my latest story has been the front page. There is also a secret project ongoing in the background of the blogosphere which I will talk more about when it hits.

So, that puts us up to date in terms of what is happening for me at the moment. Hope to catch you all soon.

[Review] Unhappily ever after by Lucinda E Clarke

Touted as ‘a Fairy Tale for grown ups’, this book explores what happens after the ‘happily ever after’ that ends all fairy tales. Here we meet Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty and Snow White several hundred years* after they all married their respective princes and see the effects that long marriage can have on even the most ardent love story.61nwkh6jnpl__sx330_bo1204203200_

Played for laughs, we therefore see these characters at their worst as they prepare for the annual Charmingdon ball hosted by Prince Charming and Cinderella and various plots and stratagems ensue to allow various Royals and others to achieve their goals. Of course, in modern day fairy tale land, nothing is ever going to stay as it once was as quaint old fashioned ideals come against the influence of the modern world – TVs, cars, casinos all feature – and especially the forces of feminism, BDSM and an attempted Communist revolution.

This is a strange book, one which I suspect may well be a bit Marmite. Some may love it, others hate it. I found the humour to be too broad for my tastes, lacking subtlety. There are moments of true comedy and some wonderful ideas which are reminiscent of Tom Sharpe or even Pratchett but most of the humour is layered on too thick with Carry on style nods and winks that make it too blatant. I also feel that, while the didactic ‘once upon a time’ style prose is appropriate for the material, it is not the best style for a modern tale – being too ‘telling’ rather than showing in places. Once Clarke gets away from the ‘here is what is happening’ sections of prose and into actual character interaction it reads a lot better.

Overall, a not bad book but one in which I feel some of the potential was lost. The strengths are in the very modern Princesses (the Princes, such as they are as part of the plot is not enough of them, are as bland as they always are) who are wonderful but also underused. I would have liked to have seen more of them and a bit more of them expressing the feminism that they sort of hint at in their interactions with their parents. Plus I was totally expecting two of the female characters to end up paired off which unfortunately never happened.

Buy the book on Amazon


*Because people in the land of Fairy tales live several centuries. At least the rich do.

[Review] Raven Song by I.A Ashcroft


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Raven Song by I.A AshcroftThis is a surprising book. Not because it is well written (it is) and not just because it has an engaging plot that keeps you reading and wishing for more but rather because it is such an unusual concept.

Or, rather, it successfully mashes together two well worn concepts and makes out of them something new which is very close to originality.

From the title and a brief read of the blurb my brain instantly tagged this as ‘urban fantasy’ or ‘fantasy’. There is talk of an Order of Mages and similar and the idea of ravens being linked to magic and spirituality. I therefore had expectations for something similar to Ilona Andrew’s writing with maybe some riffs from the Harry Dresden books in there for good measure. Tropey but fun. So, to be thrown into a cyberpunk style near future world that also happened to have magic in it was a surprise and a pleasant one at that. Of course on a second read of the blurb it became more obvious so maybe I should have read that more clearly in the first place.

The story follows two characters. Jackson is a orphan in the 2200’s who has grown up to be the CEO of his adopted father’s delivery company (that also dabbles in some illegal smuggling) in a world that is ravaged by nuclear war and the populace living in cities that are shielded from the radiation. He has a mysterious past, is haunted by shadows and visions of ravens, and is being treated by the Order of Mages for these uncontrolled outbursts of magic.

Our other character, Anna, was a physicist working at a Las Vegas based US Military base in the 21st century. How she comes to be in suspended animation in a box that Jackson is tasked to recover by the Coalition government from the radioactive wastes and why she has the ability to emit radioactive energy when stressed is what kicks us off on our rollercoaster of a plotline.

This is an engaging read with many fascinating characters and ideas expressed in a very easy to read prose. The plot progresses at a fast pace, while giving sufficient time to take in the details of the world building – a balance that is sometimes difficult to achieve.

Overall, an excellent novel that is well worth reading if you want something different to the usual tropes.

Buy here – Raven Song by I.A Ashcroft

Website for I.A Ashcroft


[Review] A Change of Heart by Mark Benjamin


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A change of heart by Mark BenjaminA Change of Heart is set in a standard Urban fantasy milieu where vampires rule in the shadows and humans are largely unaware of their existence apart from a few who are in the know – either because they serve the vampires or are actively trying to destroy them.

The central tale of this novel follows the story of Gabriel, a geeky university student who gets caught up in the hidden supernatural world when he is bitten by Lucas, a vampire Royal. You follow the changes that  occur to him as he transforms  – improved strength and speed, better night sight and all the other benefits of immortal blood, including a psychic link to a ‘dark beauty’ who is actually Lucas’s sister, also a powerful vampire. How he copes with this and how it affects his day to day life makes an interesting story, albeit one rather tropetastic with themes that have already been explored to death in other settings, including Peter Parker in Spider-Man (with the compulsory ‘weedy hero beats up the bullies’ scene in there for good measure). This thread is entertaining despite being heavy on the cliché – basic geek wish fulfilment stuff – and would make the basis of a strong novel by itself.

However, that strong story is  somewhat swamped in the rest of the novel which is overambitious in its attempt to encompass the entirety of the world building. There are chapters and chapters in which many PoV characters weigh in, most of them with very little to actually contribute. Each of the main vampire characters, many more minor vampires, some of the human servants of the vampires, each of Gabriel’s friends, several of the modernised Knightly order of Vampire hunters and many other characters all get a shot in the spotlight and most of them waste it without actually progressing any of the plot. Some of these sections are very short – a paragraph or two – and if those chapters had been removed I do not think anyone would have noticed. At most, this needed four characters in the spotlight (Gabriel, his mortal love interest, the ‘dark beauty’ and the leader of the vampires) and could have done very well with only Gabriel’s point of view – allowing the reader to explore the mystery of the new world he has fallen into. A whole novel could have covered the transformation of Gabriel, the effect this has on his life and relationships and ended with him and his friends meeting the Knights (something that occurs about half way through the book) and leading into a second book where more of the politics of vampire society and the nature of the knights is revealed. Pared down like that, cutting out the extraneous fluff and pumping up the scenes with Gabriel, this could have been a great YA urban fantasy novel with a lot of potential for sequels.

I guess the issue here is the author is trying to portray a complicated political situation with conspiracies and secrets and is making the mistake of thinking that the reader needs to see all that immediately. As a writer myself I know the temptation is there when faced with this and I think the solution is to strictly limit point of view – the reader sees what the character sees and therefore may well be oblivious to the plots in the background but will see evidence of it in other character actions. It is a hard trick to pull off well (and I am by no means an expert at it myself).

Overall, a good story that manages to entertain marred by an over ambitious plot that needed a subtler approach to manage well.

[Review] Blood Secrets by Elizabeth Morgan


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Followers of this blog will be familiar with Elizabeth’s work already as she was interviewed for Vampire month and has been in attendance with me on a number of signing events, most recently the Manchester Author Signing in August. At that event she was launching her latest book – Blood Secrets, the long awaited sequel to Cranberry Blood and the next in the Blood series of Vampire novels.Blood secrets by Elizabeth Morgan

Blood Secrets takes up the story more or less straight after the end of Cranberry Blood. Heather Ryan, our vampire slayer infected with vampire blood, is on the outskirts of Venice in Italy, on the trail of the ancient vampire her family has been trying to kill for centuries. But first she has to deal with local supernatural politics as she attempts to convince the local werewolf pack to allow her and the members of the UK pack she has an alliance with to enter Venice in search of both the vampires who live there and the kidnapped pack members who were snatched at the end of Cranberry Blood.

There follows an intense thrill ride of a plot where Heather and her love interest Werewolf, Brendan, explore Venice looking for vampires and the captured members of the pack.

This is a far heftier tome than Cranberry Blood, verging on 100,000 words and covering a lot more scope. It also brings in two new Point of View characters in addition to Heather and Brendan.  One is Eve, the daughter of the UK Pack leader, who is a Loup – a woman born to a werewolf but who does not have the shapechanging abilities. The other is Galen, the immortalised teenager, who is the Bloodling (or childe) of the Vampire Heather is chasing. In less skilled hands, this approach may have come across as clumsy or amateurish (and it does seem to be a popular style following GRR Martin’s use of it in A Song of Ice and Fire) but Morgan manages to make each voice different and every scene is relevant as seen through the eyes of the PoV character. The Brendan/Heather scenes are pretty much as written in Cranberry Blood – entertainingly alternating their views on each other and their relationship while the action happens around them. The Eve scenes allow us to see her fate in the Vampire run research facility she ends up in and the Galen scenes offer a fascinating insight into the mind of the enemy and the complicated stratagems in play from their side.

The story also pulls no punches. As the title suggests, there are a lot of secrets revealed in this instalment and Heather has her worldview shattered on a number of occasions. Her faith in her family is sorely tested and her relationship with the werewolves changes massively through the events in this book.

If there is a flaw it is that the end goes on a little too long. Stuff happens which to me feels it may have been better suited to the opening chapters of the third and final instalment. Closing the curtain a few scenes earlier may have been more effective in inciting interest in book three. However, this is only a minor issue and the events of the final few scenes are still relevant and interesting. The big reveals in this book do lead me to wonder if there is anything left secret at all in this series. Are there more reveals in book three? If so, what on earth could be left to find out that hasn’t already been spilled here?

In all, a very solid and entertaining second book in a trilogy that expands on the world building, develops the characters and leads us nicely into what promises to be an epic finale in book three.

Ruth Frances Long interview


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adarknessattheendcoverAt EasterCon in April this year I had the pleasure of being on a panel moderated by the fascinating YA fantasy writer, Ruth Frances Long. After spending a lot of the conference talking to her about many various and random things (Irish census data being one bizarre topic) and on hearing she had a book release this month, I invited her to do an interview.

You set your books in Dublin and a fey mirror realm called Dubh Linn, how important is setting to you and how much of your real world experience of Dublin has gone into your world building?

Setting is extremely important to me. I believe that when writing fantasy the more real world, definite details a writer can put in, the more real the world becomes and the fantasy elements become more convincing. I grew up in Dublin and in Dalkey (the town just outside where Izzy comes from) and made a number of research trips to each setting. I have so many photos of the various settings that I think my computer might melt some day soon.

Your Dubh Linn series draws on a lot of Irish mythology. What is your favourite story from these myths?

It’s very hard to pick just one and so many of them have gone into the Dubh Linn books. Many of them are local folklore – which range from stories to tiny details about buildings and places. I love stories about fairy trees and mounds, about not messing with the Sídhe. In the grander mythological sense I’m very fond of the story of Midir and Etain, but didn’t really use it in this story. One that I used is that of the Leanán Sídhe, the fairy lover or muse, who seduces artists and musicians, making them great but draining them of their life force so their lives will be brilliant but short. I combined it with the urban legend of the 27s, musicians who all died when they were 27, which made for a different twist.

Who would win in single combat – Cuchulain or Hercules?

Cuchulain. I’m pretty sure he fights dirty.

As R.F Long you also write paranormal romance. Do you find there is a difference between writing this and your urban fantasy work?

A lot of it is to do with voice and themes rather than anything else, the type of story I’m telling. There is actually a lot of overlap but voice always is a key element in YA.

Do you find that being a romance writer has helped you develop more realistic relationships in your fantasy work or has it been a hindrance?

I think writing is all about capturing emotion – whether that’s love or fear or hate, whatever. I’m not sure if writing romance has helped that but the sense of emotion and the sense of story are key ingredients in romance. I love writing about relationships because of all the emotions relationships throw up. It isn’t just about love.

How has your work as a librarian helped or hindered your career as a writer?

I came to both through a love of books. I don’t think that could ever hinder a writer. Perhaps by putting far too many books easily to hand to procrastinate with. But that also has the advantage of research!

You have obviously been very successful in two genres of fiction. Do you feel you have yet ‘made it’ as a writer or are there still things to achieve to get there?

I’m not sure any writer ever feels that they have “made it”. There’s always room to grow and each new book presents a new challenge (or abject terror of getting it wrong). I tend to follow the story and telling the best story I can and having people read and appreciate it is the most amazing thing.

If you had a choice, which author (living or dead) would you like the chance to spend some time with?

I’m a bit fan of Terry Pratchett and I’d like him back to tell more stories.

What would you do with this author?

I’d like to talk to him about folklore because I think he had a sublime understanding of it. I love the way he worked it through everything he wrote.

Tell us more about your latest release – A Darkness at the End.

A Darkness at the end is the final book in the contemporary fantasy trilogy set Dublin and Dubh Linn, the fae world that exists in the cracks and corners of reality.

Angels, fae demons and humans are drawn into lethal conflict as the fate of the world hangs in the balance in the final instalment in this urban fantasy. Holly, the fae matriarch, tries to seize the power of heaven for herself, while Izzy has lost her memory and Jinx is dead … or is he?

Confronted with ancient powers, sacrifice and treachery. War is looming within the ranks of the Sidhe. The angels and the demons begin to draw lines, daring each other to transgress and start another war …

You have just ended a trilogy. What is next for you? What stories are there in your future?

I’m currently working on a Space Opera, and a Young Adult contemporary, and a timeslip… so plenty.


Ruth Frances Long writes dark young adult fantasy, often about scary fairies, such as The Treachery of Beautiful Things, A Crack in Everything, A Hollow in the Hills and the forthcoming A Darkness at the End. (O’Brien Press, 2016). As R. F. Long, she also writes fantasy and paranormal romance.

She lives in Wicklow and works in a specialized library of rare, unusual & occasionally crazy books. But they don’t talk to her that often.

In 2015 she won the European Science Fiction Society Spirit of Dedication Award for Best Author of Children’s Science Fiction and Fantasy.

The nature of myths


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This topic has been on my mind recently because a few weekends ago, the LRP event I used to be a major part of (Odyssey LRP – which I have talked about in the past on here) came to a satisfying end. Through seven years of ongoing story, many of the characters worked through story arcs which matched those seen in mythology. Several found themselves ascending to godhood or higher, others emerged as political leaders of their people. There was glory, honour and tragedy; with much of the plot driven by the inevitable heroic fatal flaw. All in all it was an emotional

As part of the preparation for this event we listened to some podcasts on myths and legends. In particular, one on the Trojan war by Paul Vincent which I feel highlights the problem (or maybe the advantage) with mythological heroes – heroes are idiots. Seriously, have you actually looked at that story? They make massive mistakes in tactics and common sense which lead to what should have been a very quickly settled dispute into ten years of constant siege. I am fairly sure that they were suffering from the age old problem of the self fulfilling prophesy in that the gods decided that there has to be a war and it must last ten years so the mortals channel their stupidity to ensure that a) the war happens and b) it carries on as long as the gods say it should.

zodiacblurredfightBut that issue is only part of what I want to talk about here. The main focus of this post is that weird transition between myths and history. The events in the Iliad and Odyssey, for example, combine elements of both. Archaeological evidence points at the existence of Troy, there is a good chance that there was indeed a war there between Greece and Troy. There have even been attempts at working out the exact date of this war by use of dating techniques and evidence of bodies buried near the ruins of what is believed to be Troy. The podcast also talked about how many of the historic kings of Greece claimed descent from the (in)famous kings described in these myths. Though it is unclear whether they actually were descended from those people (assuming they even existed) or were just legitimising their claim to the throne.

I think the problem here is actually based on lack of actual historic evidence coupled with biased oral history reporting. Stories passed down for generations from a time when little was actually recorded which are embellished in each retelling by individuals who have a good reason to amp up the exploits of their ancestors or excuse them their sins by blaming them on fate or the gods. The result is a bizarre merging of myth and reality where the actual exploits of individuals get exaggerated to the point where they take on a supernatural air. Cultures like the  Celts have been  shown to have added  a creative and boastful bent to their oral storytelling – where a story of one man defeating two becomes the same man defeating ten and ultimately hundreds of enemies. The ancient Greeks would likely to have had the same tendency and it is easy to see how many famous warriors became demigods. Chances are they were good – good enough to make a name – and their fame spread and grew and their stories were embellished and added to until they were legends.


A character at Odyssey LRP enters the underworld (with a little help from photoshop).



So, how does this apply to a writer? Well, it is an insight into the nature of story in general and myths specifically and can be applied other things to0, such as faerie tales. Many Urban Fantasy novels play with ideas of myths and legends – whether they are vampires, werewolves, fey, wizards or similar. Thinking critically about the stories you are playing with can help to make these more believable, especially if it is removed to a modern setting. What is the real reason why vampires do not show up in mirrors? Is this even a real thing in your world or is it just a confused story based on the recollections of survivors of vampire attacks whose perception of the events may not have been fully reliable due to stress? What about all this stuff about garlic and crucifixes? If I were an ancient undead creature trying to survive, I’d probably consider spreading some rumours about things that can kill me in the hope that the prey would turn to them when attacked instead of investigating more reliable methods. Then I could laugh at their pathetic attempt to kill me with a spear made of garlic while killing them, making sure no one knows the garlic failed. Or maybe there was a vampire who was actually allergic to garlic or one who really hated the church to the extent of reacting badly to any symbol from it and the story grew from there?* What about all the legends of fey and the rules associated with them? Can we apply a rational rule to these too? Probably.

img_5056Also, I guess you can say there is precedent (Classical Precedent at that, you cannot get much more venerable that Homer***) for allowing your characters to be idiots. Always a good way to progress a plot and make readers shout ‘No! Don’t do that, you idiot!’ at the page while they read.

Ian Stewart** said that we are Pan narrans (the story telling ape) rather than Homo sapiens (the wise man). Telling stories is our strength but sometimes the way we tell them mutates them. Understanding this can help a writer produce more unique ideas, or at least present old ones in a new way.

*It is worth pointing out here that AFAIK (correct me if wrong) the earliest example of vampire being repelled by crucifix is Dracula but since then every single one seems to have that weakness. Could it be that Dracula merely had a personal grudge against Catholicism due to their perceived betrayal and other vampires are perfectly fine with it? What about atheist vampires or those of other religions?

**In The Science of Discworld series, which is well worth a read for many many reasons. It has been invaluable to me as a science teacher for the way it interprets and describes scientific theories and challenges preconceptions. They’re also great fun, and not in the way science teachers (like me) often say ‘this is going to be fun’.

*** Not that ‘Homer’ apparently existed. Evidence suggests it was a name given to a story teller so the Iliad and the Odyssey are actually collections of folk tales. Probably the most popular versions of those tales. So again we have the oral tradition getting involved.