Inside the Book:
Title: Hazard of Shadows
Publisher: Caliburn Press
The Secret Life of Goblins
Thank you for joining me for this guest post. My name is Mike Phillips and my new book is Hazard of Shadows, the sequel to The World Below. For those of you who aren’t familiar with my work, especially the Goblin King Series, it might seem strange to have what is traditionally thought of as monsters to be the heroes of my books. After all, goblins have always been viewed as the most evil and despicable of creatures in myth and folklore. I thought it would be interesting to turn things around and see what developed. The result was this wondrous and crazy urban fantasy series. So for this post, it’s the secret life of goblins.
Throughout history, goblins are portrayed as wicked creatures, not as powerful and evil as demons, but certainly no one you want to meet in a dark alley. They are usually looked upon as the worst of the monsters that hide under the bed or go bump in the night. They are blamed for everything from the breakdown of machinery to the disappearance of small children. Goblins make mischief and mayhem wherever they go. With all that to work with, creating a world where these rotten creatures are the heroes was an interesting process.
First of all, I had to come up with some kind of moral code. If goblins are nothing more than bloodthirsty animals, they aren’t going to make many friends. So, I went for tough, sometimes even brutal, but misunderstood. They might do bad things, but often they do it for the right reasons. Think of a very short version of Robin Hood and you won’t be far from my thinking. Goblins are loyal to their friends, even if what their friends are doing is wrong. They lead tough lives, so they realize that if they help someone out in the present, they might need the same support sometime in the future. Goblins never leave a friend in trouble.
The goblin social structure is loose, due mostly to the fact that goblins are never safe in a world where they have such bad reputations. They are often organized into crews. This involves associations for protection, but more importantly, personal gain. Once part of a crew, a goblin commits his or her life to the success of the group ventures, but once completed, is free to move on. They do, however, tend to stick with the same crew, even if they don’t get along particularly well with the others. Changes in status and position within a crew are common. All goblins fancy themselves the leader of their crew, which often causes arguments, but these disagreements are generally nothing a good, old fashioned knock-down drag-out fight can’t solve.
The goblins in my stories are a little taller than knee high. They are lithe and well-muscled but not bulky. They are more like gymnasts than football players. The goblins look like oversized toads with long noses and floppy ears –so they’re kind of cute in an ugly sort of way. Living on the fringes of human society, they have taken up the habit of clothes, often dressing in light clothing with lots of pockets to hide things of value. In public, they often take the guise of stray cats, an illusion that allows them access to all of human society with little interference.
Goblins have many talents. Much like their human counterparts, they often focus on one area of expertise. One might be a good fighter or especially adept at food court dumpster diving, where another might be really good at breaking into liquor stores. All goblins have a good amount of magic, especially illusion and concealment, but only a few serve as the storehouse for the ancient goblin wisdom. Pranking and theft are considered the most honored of goblin talents, honed to perfection over many lifetimes of humans.
Writing about goblins was a lot fun. They make colorful characters. I look forward to future books, number three is already in the works, and developing my goblin heroes even more. Thank you for joining me on this guest post. I hope you check out Hazard of Shadows and the first book in the Goblin King Series, The World Below. You can always catch up with me at on the web at www.mikephillipsfantasy.com. Take care, MP
Meet the Author
Mike Phillips grew up on a small farm in West Michigan, living much the way people did at the turn of the century. Whether it was growing fruits and vegetables or raising livestock, Mike learned the value of hard work and responsibility at a young age.
While his friends spent their summers watching reruns of bad sitcoms, Mike’s father gave him a very special gift. He turned off the television. With what was affectionately referred to as “the idiot box” no longer a distraction, Mike was left to discover the fantastic worlds that only exist in books. When not tending sheep, gardening, building furniture, chopping wood, or just goofing off, Mike spent his time reading.
With all that hard work at home, Mike was always eager to go to school. He excelled as a student and went on to pursue a career in the sciences. Working as a Safety Engineer in the Insurance Industry, Mike soon became bored with the corporate grind. Writing engaged him like nothing else. After a few novels and numerous short stories, he thought getting published would be a pretty neat idea. And so, here it goes…