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The Point of Fictional Damsels

The Point of Fictional Damsels

One of my favourite animated series was, and still is, The Mysterious Cities of Gold. It aired on the BBC in the very late eighties and it has always been a huge comfort and inspiration to me. There was only one sticking point (aside from navigator Mendoza’s tendency...

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Literacy: Life and Death

Literacy: Life and Death

Literacy ought to be a topic of concern for any author, since – obviously – it goes straight to the heart of what we do, but even we don't appreciate quite how much it has become a matter of life and death. Few people do, apparently, but a report from the National...

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Reading the Wind

Reading the Wind

I never thought of myself as a writer. I read fiction nonstop and even wrote some Tolkien fanfiction, but in my mind, that didn't make me a writer; I also taught technical writing to college students. About that kind of writing, I counted as an expert. Still, that...

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A Man Writing Heroines

A Man Writing Heroines

Here's a story about D&D, listening and trying to be a good ally. Why am I, a man, writing about heroines? Let me tell you a story. A friend told me about a game of Dungeons & Dragons he’d played. The Dungeon Master was keen to create a diverse world, so he...

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Stop Talking About Diversity In Books

Stop Talking About Diversity In Books

“The importance of diversity in books”, “diverse characters – tokenism or important?” and my personal favourite, “is diversity really that important?” Every time I see a convention panel discussion with a name like this, my eyes roll so hard I end up chasing them...

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Victims, Villains and Vulnerability

Victims, Villains and Vulnerability

Over a decade ago, the children’s charity, Barnardo’s, ran a controversial advertising campaign aiming to raise awareness of the damaging impact of being born in poverty. The Advertising Standards Authority received almost 500 complaints about the ads, which showed...

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Full Steam(punk) Ahead!

Full Steam(punk) Ahead!

After much procrastination, I’ve returned with a new book in tow and Inspired Quill has been nice enough to take me back. So, what is this new book? Well, it’s a sequel to The Adventures of Alan Shaw, my globe-spanning Steampunk adventure. What’s taken so damned long?...

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