Making Monsters

I’m delighted to share with you a guest blog post I wrote for This is part of my Fantasy Friday series (though please forgive it going live on Monday!).

Fantasy is a genre rich with imagined creatures and beasts. Creations which haunt our dreams and make us walk that little bit faster after dark. This article first looks at a few of the more common monsters and then explores some methods to assist you in becoming the next Dr. Frankenstein.

Thank you, Sam, from Writing Bad for letting me loose! I hope you enjoy it.

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The fantasy genre is rich with imagined monsters, creatures, and beasts. Creations which haunt our dreams and make us walk that little bit faster after dark. This article will first look at a few of the more common monsters, and then will explore the methods to assist you in becoming the next Dr. Frankenstein.

Types of Monsters


Cthulhu_by_disse86-d9tq84iDemons are probably one of the most common types of monster I come across in fantasy. They feature in James Barclay’s Noonshade, quite heavily in Raymond Feist’s Riftwar Saga. H.P. Lovecraft had his famous demon, Cthulhu, and Tolkien his demon, Balrog. But what is a demon exactly? Let’s have a look at some of the most common tropes:

  • They are inherently associated with evil. Their desire is to break into our realm from whatever plane they come from and wreak havoc on life as we know it.
  • In terms of…

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#AuthorInterview with Richie Billing @Magpie_Richie The General & The Visitor #RaisingAwarness #Dementia #Charity #Raisingfunds

A massive thank you to Kerry for letting me loose on her fantastic blog!

In this guest post, you can learn a bit more about the fundraising behind ‘The General and The Visitor’, as well as a few facts about me, including my name of subtle misfortune.

Thanks again, Kerry! If you havem’t already checked out her blog, Chat About Books, do so forthwith!

Chat About Books

Today I have the pleasure of welcoming Richie Billing to Chat About Books 🙂 

Richie Billing

Having lost my lovely Grandad Adams to dementia last February, this charity is one I am more than happy to help promote.

I’d like to thank Kerry for letting me loose today. She very kindly offered to help me raise awareness for a fundraising campaign I’m currently running. Thank you, Kerry! Heaven awaits you at the end, I’m sure.

You’re very welcome, Richie. I have already downloaded a copy and I hope everyone reading this post will download a copy to. I wish you every success with your fundraising.

What’s the campaign? A few months ago my friend and I released a couple of short stories to raise money for my grandmother’s care home, Ranelagh House

When I gave up my job as a lawyer one of the reasons was to use my time to give…

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Indy Fantasy Writers: Richard Billing!

Many thanks to Iain for asking me to get involved in this. Very enjoyable looking back at my favourite cover image. You can learn a bit more about the meaning behind The General and The Visitor, both available on Amazon. All proceeds donated to charity!

Iain Lindsay, fantasy author

indyfantasywritersWelcome back, Gentle Readers. I trust that the New Year saw you all drowning in books, and to that TBR pile I would love to add the latest addition to the Guild; the erudite and truly-nice-chap, Richard Billing, author of The General.

nb. Every week, here at the erstwhile home of the Guild (not really a home as such, more of a drinking spot for the itinerant adventurers that indy writers so often are) this blog is lucky enough to host a discussion on different aspects of the indy writing obsession occupation with some fantastic names. We hope that you enjoy, and that it inspires you to put pen to paper yourself!

This series of interviews is on the subject of covers.

~ ~ ~

Richard Billing, The General

Latest Work: Magpie

Series Title: The Last Magpie

The General, by R. BillingTell us about your cover. What does it…

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Sharing is Caring Thursdays #4 Literary jobs, showing v telling, livening up book reviews, and readers’ pet peeves

There’ve been a lot of very good articles flying about in the past few days. I’ve tried to feature as many as I can. Below you’ll find a nice variety of subjects: literary jobs, showing v telling, livening up your book reviews, and some of the things that annoy readers most.

The Races of Fantasy: Re-use, Recycle, or Rubbish

I see many complaints about the stereotypical races found in fantasy. Elves who sing to the birds and can shoot a wing off a fly from three hundred yards away without looking. Beardy dwarves who heft axes bigger than their bodies and defy sadistic dragons for a bit of gold.

Sharing is Caring Thursdays #3 Editing, querying, writing myths, and growing your blog

It's Thursday (we're almost there) and that time of the week to give you a round-up of some of the best articles I've come across in the past week. Today: self-editing, querying, writing myths, and growing your blog. You're bound to find something of use.

Prose: The Flashback

Why the hostility toward flashbacks? If done well, they work. But done badly, they break the reader’s experience, preventing them from discovering what happens next in the story. To quote editor, Sol Stein, “If we are enthralled, we don’t want to be interrupted.” The trick, therefore, if you feel compelled to use one, is to use the flashback in as little a disruptive way as possible. Here are a few techniques to help you do that.

The General & The Visitor Review

An honest and very detailed review of The General and The Visitor courtesy of the fantastic Books4Jessica! If you haven’t already checked out this blog you need to immediately!

A million thanks, Jessica!

CoverI have not read a book of short stories in a long time, so when I was given the chance to review this book I did not know what to expect as this was not a novel I would usually have much knowledge about.However, I am very glad that I did decide to read these stories as they were both thought provoking and emotional.

The General (by: Richard Billing) & The Visitor (by: Mark Brooks) are the names of the two stories featured in this small 64 some page book. The General tells the story of a army and chief of that army who believes he is doing right by his country when ordered by the king to attack a land and people who did not know really much about. The chief soon learns though that what he may have believed prior to their attack, may have not been true.

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[Video] World-building chat with Fane of Fantasy

A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of recording a chat with Jesper Schmidt over at Fane of Fantasy. We spoke about minimalist world-building, where this approach has come from, and what it means for fantasy moving forwards.

The Pesky Peasantry of the Middle Ages

Welcome to another instalment of Fantasy Fridays. Today we're looking at the lives of the medieval peasantry, a class of people somewhat shrouded in mystery—peasants weren't good note-takers. In exploring the lives of the peasantry we'll uncover what it was like to be one of them, the kinds of houses and towns they lived in, and what their day to day lives involved. There's plenty of nuggets of information for you to pick up along the way which you can use to enrich your fantasy stories.