Exploring the Fantasy Realm

Magic in Stories for Children and Young Adults

Non-Fiction - Writing/Publishing
34 Pages
Reviewed on 10/24/2016
Buy on Amazon

Author Biography

Simon’s first novel for middle grade readers, The Alchemist’s Portrait, was published in 2003 followed by The Sorcerer’s Letterbox in 2004, The Clone Conspiracy in 2005, The Emerald Curse in 2006, The Heretic’s Tomb in 2007, The Doomsday Mask in 2009, The Time Camera in 2011, The Sphere of Septimus in 2014, Flashback in 2015, and Future Imperfect in 2016. Simon is also the author of The Children’s Writer’s Guide, a contributing author to The Complete Guide to Writing Science Fiction Volume One, and has written many non-fiction books.

Simon offers a wide variety of presentations, workshops and author in residence programs for schools and libraries, covering such topics as the writing process, editing and revision, where ideas come from and how writers turn them into stories, character development, historical fiction and historical research, story structure, the publishing world and more. He also offers virtual author visits by video using Skype. He works as a creative writing instructor for students throughout the year and at summer camps each July and August, is an instructor for adults with the University of Calgary, Mount Royal University, and Chinook Learning Services, and offers a variety of online workshops for both children and adults.

Simon is a regular presenter at conferences and festivals, and served as a juror for the Governor General’s Literary Awards for Children’s Literature, the Saskatchewan Book Awards, the Parsec Awards and the Sunburst Awards for Canadian Literature of the Fantastic. He is the founder of Children’s Authors and Illustrators on Facebook, and served as the Assistant Regional Advisor for SCBWI Western Canada.

Simon offers a number of services for writers, including manuscript evaluation, editing, writing workshops and coaching, plus copywriting services for the business community. Full details can be found at his website www.simon-rose.com. You may also visit his blog, his channel on YouTube, follow him on Twitter, or become a fan on Facebook.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Carla Trueheart for Readers' Favorite

Exploring the Fantasy Realm: Magic in Stories for Children and Young Adults is small in size, but packs in a lot of information about writing in the fantasy genre. Included in the book are examples from fantasy books, including fairy tales, children’s stories, and YA novels. Author Simon Rose highlights topics such as common themes in fantasy, some tools of the trade in the fantasy novel, the role of the child or hero, and the unique universes created by fantasy novelists. The reader will also find information on the antagonist or evil characters in fantasy novels, the role of the wizard or witch, and will learn about specific languages used in the genre to make a new and different world come to life in readers’ minds. Many favorite books are discussed and used as examples and reference, including Harry Potter.

There were quite a few subjects discussed in Exploring the Fantasy Realm, and while I enjoyed all of the explored elements, a few stood out as interesting. In particular, I enjoyed the topic Tools of the Trade, as author Simon Rose pointed out elements such as magic wands, time travel devices (magic versus machine), and spell books. Also of note was the topic of symbolism and themes, with a focus on why these are important for the reader and writer in fantasy genres. This is not a writing guide, but more of an overview of the elements of fantasy writing. I would recommend it to those interested in learning more about writing in the fantasy genre, however, as it does provide information that is useful in the writing process.