NEWS - 'Aikido - more than a martial art' is now available in a Kindle version and Mushroom Publishing have published my latest book, 'The Keep'. It is a fantasy, but nothing like my previous work - and it's very strange . . .
Welcome. It’s a fair chance that I’m not the Roger Taylor you are looking for - there are a lot of us about. Amongst other things, I’m the world’s worst tennis player and no drummer - just a pretty grim guitar player - classical at that! Still, while you are here, you are welcome. Have a potter round - it’s not a big site and it won't bring on your migraine with the plethora of fonts, colours, pop-ups and flashing what-nots that plague most sites.
On the left are links to information about my books and some of my interests. On the right are links to thoughts I’ve jotted down about various topics. Incidentally, the Shooting link on the left leads to the Aintree Pistol Club’s site at the end of which are further links to articles about politics and shooting which are well worth reading if you have the faintest interest in civil liberties. There are also links to some technical papers about work we did on the penetration of bullets in sand, and backsplash.
Those of you who are unfamiliar with my stories might like to know that though they are categorized as fantasy, they are much more. I took some pains to avoid prophesies, curses, magic artefacts, trolls, elves, dragons, wizards etc. In my opinion Tolkein dealt with these both excellently and definitively and he casts a long shadow over later writers. One of the unfortunate aspects of modern book marketing is that lumping works in ‘genres’ automatically deters many readers. It is difficult to see the point of this peculiarly negative (British?) approach. It would be far better, surely, to encourage as many people as possible to read as broadly as possible. Certainly, I would very much like to see my own books in ‘General Fiction’ as well as ‘Fantasy & Sci-Fi’. Mentioning Tolkein incidentally, here is an unusual piece of memorabilia.
Those of you who are familiar with my stories will know that while from Dream Finder on, each book stands alone, they also contain slightly disguised characters who are wandering the landscape and the plot for various reasons set in train by the events in the four Chronicles of Hawklan. ‘The Return of the Sword’ draws many of these characters back together again. It proved to be quite a challenge.
As for ‘Aikido, more than a martial art’ . . . this is a very unusual book . . . it demanded to be written . . .
And ‘The Keep’ ? This is a much more recent venture. I found it very strange.
The four ‘The Chronicles of Hawklan’ were written between 1984 and 1990. They were followed by ‘Dream Finder’ (1989/90), ‘Farnor’ and ‘Valderen’ - collectively known as ‘Nightfall’ (1991/92), ‘Whistler’ (1993), ‘Ibryen’ (1994), ‘Arash-Felloren’(1996/96), ‘Caddoran’ (1997) and ‘The Return of the Sword’ (1999). They were all published by Headline Book Publishing, and are now available in a range of ebook formats and ‘print on demand’ from Mushroom Publishing. as is ‘The Keep’
I published my aikido book ‘Aikido - more than a martial art’ personally - an interesting, worthwhile and highly unprofitable experience!! It’s had some good comments. For those of you who prefer real books to Kindle versions, there are some copies still available but purchase is by snail mail only - send a cheque for £8.95 to Atlantic Leisure Ltd, 8 Grundy Street, Liverpool L5 9SG
The covers for my twelve Hawklan books were drawn by Mark Harrison. Mark and I have never met, but we got on well via the telephone and between us hatched the diabolical idea of having the covers bear some resemblance to something that might be in the text. I say ‘might’ as the covers were sometimes done when the story was at a very early stage.
Personally, I think they’re great. There’s a link to more of Mark’s work on the left.
The subtle and interesting cover of my aikido book (see above) was done by Design HQ in Meols in the Wirral, sadly they are no longer with us.
The cover to ‘The Keep’ (see above) was done by a fine local artist, Shirley Horton.
Long ago, in a galaxy far far away, browsing through the Radio Times, I came across a play called ‘The Lord of the Rings’ currently being broadcast on the Third Programme. I was intrigued by the title and turned it on even though it could have been something seriously heavy - the Third Programme was far more highbrow and staid than its would-be trendy replacement, Radio Three. Then out came the siege of Gondor, no less - blew my socks off! Blew them far enough off for me to go Parry Books in Liverpool (halfway up Brownlow Hill on the left - remember that?) to purchase a copy. Got lonnng looks off some snooty assistants - ‘Fantasy?!’ - they’d never heard of it - had to look it up in catalogues and order it specially - three expensive hardbacks - 63 shillings for the set (that’s £3.15 in today’s language). They’re a bit battered but I still have them.
This is a postcard from the BBC confirming the broadcast and the date.
Like I said, long ago.