It’s been well over a year since I wound up the Galaxy 666 Podcast, but I wanted to add this post script. I completed the podcast while living in Japan, and now I’ve moved onto Germany. This summer, my family and I had a chance to get back to England and Cornwall (we used to live in Cornwall), and I had the great fortune of being able to meet Lionel and Patricia Fanthorpe at their home in Wales.
Their home is a quite modest and comfortable row-house along one of the neighborhood streets of Cardiff. It was raining lightly, and they showed me into the parlour where we spent a pleasant hour talking about writing, story and some of the work that Lionel and Patricia have recently been working on.
The parlor was filled with pictures of their daughters and many statues of frogs given to them by their friends from around the world. The frogs are meaningful as L&P have been working on a book that takes place in a frog world at a location called “the pond.” It is currently being illustrated and should be coming out in the near future. As a result, people have taken to sending them many a frog (as you can see in this picture). I don’t recall the title, but it will be published on their actual names so it is one to keep on the look out for.
Another work they have in the planning stages is based on the life of Joan of Arc. It is a historical fiction (a “fact-tion” as Lionel calls it) where research they have gathered is tied together with their own literary creations and story to tell of, perhaps, how Jeanne d’Arc escaped the fires of Vieux-Marché in Rouen. Lionel and Patricia have done a lot of traveling and research into all sorts of mysterious tales and have released a string of books (see “The World’s Greatest Unsolved Mysteries”) taking advantage of Lionel’s great skill in telling a good tale, so this yarn appears to be right up their alley.
We also spent a fair amount of time discussing their Derl Wothor trilogy which has recently been re-released in a Kindle version. Derl Wothor (an anagram of “other world”–these MENSA people just can’t resist) is a world L&P populated with three larger than life characters, the Black Lion, the Golden Tiger and Zotala the priest. Each of the main character’s represent an separate aspect of a person’s nature; the Black Lion is the need to be in control–to conquer life, the Golden Dragon is the need to enjoy life and live in the moment, and Zotala is the need for one’s life to matter and to be of service to others.
It was a great visit for me and a highlight of my trip. It was good to simply talk about writing and character and to see that L&P are far from stopping with more exciting stories on the way. I am also glad I had the chance to thank him in person for all the fun of the Badger Years, and I greatly appreciate his gift to me of a copy of Debbie Cross’s work, Down the Badger Hole–a book that any fan of Galaxy 666 should have a copy of.
23 July 2016