Friday, 14 January 2011

My First Follow Friday/Blog Hop

I'm popping two cherries at once tonight, with my first Follow Friday, hosted by, and my first Blog Hop, hosted by

So here goes!  This week's question from Parajunkee: What makes up your non-human family?

For years we were a dog house, with a giant German Shepherd that resembled a bear.  These days, we have two cats: Jojo, the snob who gives the most withering of looks if she thinks you're insulting her cat-telligence, and Baby, the shit-for-brains kitten.

Book Blogger HopAnd from the Blog Hop, courtesy of

"Why do you read the genre that you do? What draws you to it?"

I've always been drawn to outlandish, imaginative prose.  Not necessarily the kind of fantasy that takes place in alternate worlds with elves and orcs, but more the kind of storytelling that transports you out of your everyday life, while still remaining believable due to its real world setting.

Modern horror is a staple in my literary diet: Stephen King being the author to whom I return time and time again.  His characters are relatable, grounded human beings, and it is always a pleasure to watch them thrown into otherworldly struggles and see how they evolve.

Neil Gaiman's brand of fantasy appeals for similar reasons; in American Gods, the protagonist is everyman Shadow.  In Neverwhere, it is office worker Richard.  They are both led away from the world they know, and into a place of magic and darkness: but this odyssey is rewarding because we know exactly where they have come from.

Other authors who excel at this are Joanne Harris (her earlier paranormal novels The Evil Seed and Sleep, Pale Sister are fantastic), John Connolly (blends the real world grimness of the 1940s with a young boy's fantasies in The Room of Lost Things) and the supernatural romance authors Laurell K Hamilton and Kelley Armstrong, who introduce vampires, werewolves and witches as a part of modern society.

If anyone knows of other authors who tell wildly imaginative stories, do let me know!


  1. Hi Philip, congrats on the double cherry-popping. I haven't taken part in Follow Friday yet, must take a look next week. We're not meant to have pets in our flats but the owner has turned a blind eye to our 2 budgies (parakeets if you're American)

    I've never been a big fantasy fan but The Room of Lost things sounds interesting, will check it out.

  2. Here I am hopping on by...

    I went all over the map with this question on my blog. I read and enjoy almost every genre of fiction out there. There’s no way I could just pick one.

    So I talked about all of them. Even romance fiction (sort of)! I invite you to hop over to my blog at and see for yourself.

    Howard A. Sherman

  3. Happy Follow Friday and congrats on your first FMBBF post! I am a follower!

    Emma Michaels
    The Thirteenth Chime

  4. Hi guys, thanks for stopping by.

    To TC, I made a little typo - it's The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly, not The Room of Lost Things.

    Am following you all back!

    P. x

  5. Hopping by, and decided to follow. As for imaginative books- I'm a fan of Martin Millar, author of Lux the Poet, The Good Fairies of New York, and Lonely Werewolf Girl. He's a bit strange, but I like it. :)

  6. Just hopping by! Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    Reading Lark's Hop Post

  7. hi Philip! hopping by from FF! following you now. have a great weekend! c",)

  8. Hoppin' on through. Congrats on your first FF,
    Just seen your bio. Hahaha, awesome!

    J x

  9. Hi Philip,

    welcome to the blogosphere and book-blog hop :) I'm one of your newest followers... maybe you'll change my views on fantasy haha.

    Feel free to visit my blog in your spare time,

    Take care & happy weekend,
    Ms. C

  10. Hi! I used to read a lot more 'imaginative prose' when I was younger. I haven't read as much lately but I have been meaning to get into Neil Gaiman. I heard he is exceptional. Any recommendations on places to start with him?

  11. Welcome to the hope! I'm a new follower.
    The only Gaiman book I've read is Graveyard Book but I loved it.
    My Hop

  12. I love the you like Laurell K. Hamilton and Kelley Armstrong! You don't come across a lot of men who are willing to read books with female protags.

    I also find Stephen King fascinating. "One for the Road" is one of my favorite short stories by him.

    Thanks for following my blog and entering my giveaway. Following you back now! I'm looking forward to reading your posts!

  13. Alicia B. - Stardust is a brilliant book as it is quite short, I finished it in a day. American Gods and its loose sequel Anansi Boys are both great too.

    Alison - I've recently bought The Graveyard Book, can't wait to get into it!

    Carissa: I love the worlds that Hamilton and Armstrong create, but unfortunately both seem to have lost their way recently. Haven't read anything past Cerulean Sins in the Anita series, and I couldn't finish Broken by Armstrong (I got bored!).

    P. x

  14. New follower! Let's see, 'bout authors? John Connolly, Jonathan Maberry, Michael Connelly, Rachel Caine, Kelley Armstrong, the list goes on... Stop by and say hi if you get a chance! Giving away Rot & Ruin and Patient Zero by Jonathan Maberry!