Elspeth Cooper

Purveyor of fine fantasy adventures

Tag: fiction (Page 1 of 2)

Are we cool?

Hey, guess what? Songs of the Earth got a mention in the Sunday Times!

Unfortunately, that mention turned out to be little more than a single line of internal dialogue quoted out of context†, with the admonition that lines like that aren’t going to do anything to make fantasy cool.

Um, what? Who says a particular genre of fiction is cool or uncool? Is there a Department of Cool somewhere in the bowels of the Home Office that makes these distinctions? Do I have to apply to them in triplicate for an EC Certificate of Cool Conformity before I’m allowed to write books?

Read More

Editors are evil, and other fairy stories

Red pen on page of typescriptIt’s hard enough being an unpublished writer, struggling along with the rest of the teeming multitude, trying to get noticed, so why the heck do we make things harder for ourselves by perpetuating myths, misunderstandings and downright untruths about the process of being published?

Hang about in any writer’s community, be it online or in the real world, and sooner or later you will encounter a manifestation of this phenomenon. It happens with the inevitability of Godwin’s Law: just as every Internet argument will devolve into accusations of Nazism, so every place where unpublished writers gather together will throw up one of the following gems.

Read More

Father, forgive me…

…for I have sinned.

I’ve never read George RR Martin.

Don’t ask me why, because I really couldn’t say.  I adore the title of the series “A Song of Ice and Fire”.  I’ve just never found myself motivated to pick up one of his books.  Actually, tell a lie, I did pick up a copy of  “A Game of Thrones” in Waterstone’s once but put it down again before I got to the till.

Before the fantasy establishment mob besieges Cooper Towers with pitchforks and blazing torches, ready to burn the heretic,  let me just say that I am remedying this right this instant.  Since HBO has green-lighted a mini-series based on A Game of Thrones, starring the scrummy Sean Bean, no less, my interest has been piqued.

Piqued enough to go and buy the book.  Gawd knows when I’ll find time to read it, since I’m supposed to be writing one of my own here, but I’ll try.  Really I will.  Now put those pitchforks down before someone gets hurt.


Whatever happened to the heroes?

The unsung ones, now quietly dropping off their respective perches and we never know anything about them until their obituary shows up in the newspaper. And you read it, and you think to yourself: “Bloody hell!” and sit there, quite stunned.

Freddie Spencer Chapman is one such. Worked behind enemy lines in the Malaya campaign of WWII, cheerfully blowing up the enemy with bamboo-and-gelignite bombs and inflicting so much damage with two comrades that the Japanese thought they were being taken on by 200 crack commandos. A life that, if it was fiction, would be dismissed as unbelievably far-fetched.

Read his obit, and I dare you not to be moved, inspired, uplifted, and also saddened that we don’t seem to make ’em like that any more.


What’s in a name?

Quite a lot, actually.  A lot of to-ing and fro-ing, trying to find one that looks right, sounds right, balances well on a book cover and isn’t too hard to pronounce (so you don’t end up with lots of confused readers in the bookstore who want to buy your book but don’t know how to say your name and are too embarrassed to go and talk to the girl on the Customer Service counter in case they get it wrong and look like a plonker).

In the opinion of my agent, it is not dissimilar to the naming of cats.  I’ve always maintained that cats should be named something you wouldn’t be embarrassed to yell down the street at midnight to get the wretched thing to come home, and my subconscious immediately presented me with an image of a group of agents wandering around Bloomsbury trying to round up their authors after one of Gollancz’s legendary parties.

Read More

Page 1 of 2

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén


Get every new post on this blog delivered to your Inbox.

Join other followers:

Newsletter Powered By : XYZScripts.com