Nick’s Writing

Me researching ‘A Pile of Leaves’, drawn by Paul Magrs, somewhat after Quentin Blake

If you’ve enjoyed this blog and want more, prepare to be excited. I’m written a lot, and by now I really think there must be something for everyone. A decade ago, I began my books blog ‘A Pile of Leaves’, and it’s full of fascinating musings on novels for adults and children, as well as pieces on bookshops, on having too many books and on reading children’s fiction as an adult.

Some blog pieces there reflect the wonderful process of writing my PhD thesis, Children’s Neo-Romanticism: The Archaeological Imagination in British Post-War Children’s Fantasy which you can read in its entirety (as if that extremely long title were not enough) on the University of Roehampton’s website here. I wrote a related journal article on the work of John Gordon for Roehampton’s Round Table journal, available here. Not online, but available somewhere, is my series of articles on fantastic literature and landscape in the British Fantasy Society Journal issues 12, 14 and 17. There are assorted pieces on books and film by me on We Are Cult’s excellent website here.

Nowadays, I’m writing more and more for children. I made twelve individual contributions to Pearson Mexico’s Learning Destinations series, including long and short fiction, poetry, fables, non-fiction essays, and even an interview with Victorian archaeologist Mary Anning. These were written to exacting briefs of reading comprehension and vocabulary. In June 2019, the summer issue of Scoop magazine (A Feast of Words and Pictures for Kids) contained my article ‘Word: The Invention of Language’. Scoop is an wonderful magazine and you can learn more about it here. Since 2018, I’ve also been editor for ‘The Oz Gazette’, a four-page children’s insert featuring fiction, fact and faction in The Baum Bugle, long-running journal of The International Oz Club, devoted to L. Frank Baum and his work: the Gazette is written by Dorothy, the Scarecrow and even Glinda the Good Witch of the South – but I type it up for them.

If you like the Oz Books, you may also enjoy the blog I co-write with my childhood pen-pal, Burzee: it’s as niche and eccentric as it sounds. If you like Doctor Who, here’s The Dandy, my blog about watching the Jon Pertwee era in order: stories that I thought I would hate, but fell in love with (or mostly). If you like Blake’s 7, you probably shouldn’t read my blog Space Fluff.

You may also be interested in some of the fiction I’ve written for older readers (though, as a rule, often not very grown up). Here’s a bibliography, including the celebratory novella published this autumn to celebrate ten years of Obverse Books:

The Mystic Menagerie of Iris Wildthyme, Obverse Books 2019

“The Story of a Criminal Practice”, Gents, ed. Matt Bright, Lethe Press, 2019 (A Lambda Literary Finalist)

“Eff the Unknown”, The Brenda & Effie Treasury ed. Douglas / Magrs, Obverse Books, 2017

“The Illuminated Omi-Palone”, The Myriad Carnival, ed. Matt Cresswell, Lethe Press, 2016

“Dark Side”, Wildthyme: Reloaded, Big Finish Productions; directed by Scott Handcock, 2015, featuring Katy Manning and David Warner

“The Adventure of the Decadent Headmaster”, Further Encounters of Sherlock Holmes, ed. George Mann, Titan Books, 2014

“Grandad with Snails”, Storyteller, ed. Stuart Douglas, Obverse Books, 2013

“The Corrective Tender”, Shenanigans, ed. Paul Magrs, Obverse Books, 2013

“The Wildthyme Effect”, Iris Wildthyme: Fifteen, ed. Stuart Douglas, Obverse Books, 2013

“Up the Hill Backwards”, Iris Wildthyme: Lady Stardust, Obverse Books, 2012

“Fântomville”, Wildthyme in Purple, Obverse Books, 2011