The General & The Visitor by Richard Billing and Mark Brooks

A review of The General & The Visitor by The Fantasy Inn!

The Fantasy Inn

The General and The Visitor are two compelling and thought-provoking short stories about life, decisions, and character. Both are quite well written, but at times I did think they could’ve done with a little bit more work to make them flow easier. They’re both short and do an excellent job of provoking the intense emotional reaction I tend to look for in short stories. Of these two stories, only The General is a fantasy story.

The General and The Visitor were written as a way to raise money for the Ranelagh House Care Home, a charity based in Liverpool, UK. All proceeds from the sales of these short stories (sold together) go to charity. You can learn more about their fundraising here

The General

The General, as the name suggests, follows a military leader as he is ordered to destroy a small section of land. Things don’t go quite as…

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Tubes of Thunder: The Medieval Cannon

For Fantasy Friday this week, I thought we'd return to medieval warfare and to something I don't come across all too often in the fantasy stories I read: the cannon. This article covers the development of European cannons, how they were made, the gunpowder used, and how they fared in battle. Hopefully, it'll give you a few ideas for your own tales!

Sharing is Caring Thursday #8 How not to write body language, T.S. Eliot, ‘bestselling’ authors, and scrapping work

Here’s another collection of helpful content for you to sink your teeth into, featuring advice for aspiring writers from T.S. Eliot, defining a bestselling author, scrapping your work, and how not to write body language. Thank you, writers, for the quality content!

The Sunshine Blogger Award

An ocean of thanks to Douglas for the kind nomination! I'm honoured, I really am. And also reassured that at least one person reads my blog and I'm not just spewing words into an empty void.

[Guest Post] Creating a Fantasy Map

For this week's instalment of Fantasy Friday, I'm delighted to introduce fantasy author Jesper Schmidt. Jesper runs AmWritingFantasy.com along with Autumn Birt. He's a world-building and mapmaking genius and I could think of no better person to give an insight into the world of cartography!

Sharing is Caring Thursday #7 Insights of a creative writing teacher, the unchosen heroes of fantasy, the importance of reading, and using infographics to promote your books

Here’s another grouping of wonderful articles from the blogging world for you to sink your teeth into. This week we’re treated to the insights of a creative writing teacher, the unchosen heroes of fantasy, the importance of reading, and using infographics to promote your books!

Why Stop Reading a Book?

I wrote to book reviewers and undertook polls on a number of Facebook groups: AmWritingFantasy (693 members), Fantasy Writers Support Group (5,447 members), The Phoenix Quill (846 members), and Writing Bad (8,000 members). The results are pretty interesting and hopefully will be of some use to writers.

The Life of the Medieval Lord

To gain an insight into the role and lives of the lords of the Middles Ages we'll first take a brief look at the reign of King Richard II, otherwise known as Richard the Tyrant. From there we'll turn our focus to the world of barons, the individuals who held almost unlimited power over the land granted to them by the king.

Sharing is Caring Thursday #6 Reviewers selling ARCs, world-building, agents, and using ‘and’ & ‘the’

This week I'm sharing a mix of articles courtesy of some of the excellent bloggers I follow. You'll find an interesting research piece on the use of the words 'and' & 'the', insights into querying agents, the importance of world-building, and a very sad development in the world of writing, one all writers should be aware of: reviewers selling ARCs.

The Many Sub-Genres of Fantasy

For Fantasy Friday this week, I’m revisiting an old post: The Many Sub-Genres of Fantasy.

In identifying your sub-genre you can better target your readers as well as publishers that look for that type of tale. It’ll help you make useful comparisons to other, well-known books in that sub-genre too which may, with luck, help you sell more!

Richie Billing

For more writing tips and discussions on the fantasy genre, why not sign up to my mailing list? Subscribers receive a list of 50 fantasy book reviewers and an eBook on the craft of creative writing, featuring guides to world-building, writing fight scenes, plotting, viewpoint, editing, prose, and much, much more.


As I draw closer to completing my work in progress I’ve begun to wonder what sub-genre of fantasy it actually fits into. I’ve always assumed it falls into Epic/High Fantasy, but set in a world with little magic I wondered if there were any other sub-genres to which it may be better suited.

In identifying your sub-genre you can better target your readers as well as publishers that look for that type of tale. It’ll help you make useful comparisons to other, well-known books in that sub-genre too which may, with luck, help you sell more!

So I embarked…

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