I think it would be a good idea to mention some of the creative activities that we embark upon here at the Citadel. The gnomes, of course, are experts in pottery, sculpture, metalwork, wood carving and abstract expressionist painting, but that is the topic for another day.
I would like to talk about former Citadel resident , and close friend of the Mountain Lord - Mike Evers.
You may not know this, but Mike spent a few happy years here in the Karkonose in his youth. As well as attempting to chart the Forest of Confusion (unsuccessfully) and spending far too much time in the Forest of Enchantment than was good for him, Mike brought a breath of fresh air to our humdrum lives, and educated us in some of the strange and frankly baffling activities of mankind.
It has been said that Mike is perhaps the only human being who truly understands the gnomes. He has spent many hours communicating with them, and is probably the only person to be fluent in Gnomish. In fact, he is held in such high esteem by the little creatures that they are said to have set up a cult worshipping him. Very odd.
I am always most overjoyed when he sends me messages occasionally, telling me of his life in Albion with his lovely wife, Joanne, and young son, Joseph. He dwells in a place called Yorkshire apparently.
Anyway, I would like to spend a little bit of time introducing you to some of the stories he has produced. He tells me that during his time at the Citadel his eyes were opened to the magical world of myth, legend and fantasy.
He still has a lot to learn, I can tell you! Without further ado, let me mention his books.
The Chaosifier - his debut novel
Mike says he first had the idea of there being 'luck goblins' who are able to shape our destinies with a sprinkle of dust one spring Sunday morning: When we sneeze it marks a change in our fortune. It is not such a silly idea when you think about it. Our lives are shaped by decisions we make and situations we find ourselves in. So what if there is a force that helps us make the right decisions or brings us a bit of luck just when we need it? He has also been thinking about the philosophy of 'complexity' and 'change' when reading theories for a Masters' thesis about 'prediction'. From the theory of 'bifurcation' the luck goblins gained their name - Bifurs.
All he needed was an evil nemesis for the Bifurs - and that is when he thought of me! My ability to control the weather and cause havoc was just what he needed. Things just got a bit out of hand, I am afraid.
Maybe I will even be famous one day. Who knows ?
The Hopfield Tales
"The voices of the past can change our lives forever."
From June 20th 2013 the novellas The Spirit Archer and Campaign of the Gods will be part of the Urban Fantasy trilogy, The Hopfield Tales. The new publication will include the new, as yet unreleased, story Mark of the Legion.
The three Hopfield stories:
The Spirit Archer
If the Chaosifier is a seat-of-the-pantaloons action adventure, Spirit Archer has a slower and dreamier narrative pace. Mike wrote it as a simple and straightforward coming-of-age fable after marvelling at the fact that Robin Hood is buried near where he lives and hardly anyone knows about it. He also wanted to write a children's book for modern youngsters who may not have the patience or wherewithall to read a full-sized novel.
Spirit Archer contains genuine historical accounts, local Yorkshire characters and dialogue, wrapped up with a paranormal twist. It is Robin Hood as you have never seen him before.
For some reason, Spirit Archer remains the book that is what the Albion folk call Marmite (after a type of sandwich spread people either love or hate). It has been called everything from inspiring, delightful, witty and remarkable to plodding and, er, uninspiring. Each to their own, I suppose.
Campaign of the Gods
In Campaign of the Gods the action is ramped up once again. The author uses the plot device of telling the story from different points of view. There are two clumsy Norse gods playing a Risk-like board game in Asgard which impacts upon the present day; a flustered policeman who has to get his pregnant wife to a hospital in the neighbouring town; a 'dire wolf' which finds itself jostling in a pack about to devastate a small town; and last (but not least) a bewildered and fearless group of 9th Century Viking berserkers who are transported to the town to save it.
What is not to like?
Mark of the Legion
I think I could talk about these books for hours. You are welcome to come to our library to read them. Ruby even has them on something called a Kindle.
The Chaosifier - Trailer