Blog Hopping. Who’s your friend?


Welcome to another BlogHop, with #OpenBook, here’s this week’s prompt.


As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?

Another interesting prompt, at first I thought that I wouldn’t join in this week, as I couldn’t really visualise anything, plus I’m in the middle of NaNoWriMo and had already decided that I didn’t have enough time. But, do you know what, as I was walking around the cliffs near my home, I had an idea and a realisation that I could write something appropriate. Not only that, the change from my project would probably do me good. I expect that, as usual, I’ve written something completely different to everyone else on the hop, we’ll just have to wait and see.


So here goes.

The picture that currently defines who I am as a writer is the logo that I designed for my publishing imprint. I called it 4Star Scifi in honour of my wife and three daughters, my four stars. But I want one of the cartoon pictures that I see all around, it’s on my list of jobs.



What about a mascot, a writer that represents the way I like to see my work?

When I was a lot younger, I read everything that Isaac Asimov produced. I particularly remember the original Foundation series; they were what got me into Sci-fi. Considering the fact that the first parts were originally published in the 1940s, they still feel incredibly up to date. For those of you that aren’t familiar, a particular favourite of mine in those stories was a character simply known as The Mule. He was a genetic aberration, born with the ability to read and alter minds. Asimov made him appear both threatening and vulnerable at the same time. Even better, he did it in very few words.

I guess the ability to describe a lot in a line or two was the thing that struck me most, it’s a skill that I try to emulate in my own work. He also flitted between stories, prequels and sequels, expanding the narratives in all directions. I found it great to read a lot novel about something that was only briefly mentioned but sounded exciting. It’s a trait that I seem to have acquired in the way I produce series, going forwards, backwards and even sideways with my characters.

I’m flattered to say that my writing has been compared to Asimov (blush) and, like a Mule I can be pretty stubborn, which is both a good and a bad thing. Asimov is a presence in my life, if it hadn’t been for him, I might never have written anything. As a consequence, I feel a certain affinity to his creations, to characters like The Mule.

I could adopt Asimov; or the Mule for that matter as my mascot without a second thought, although people do say that I look a (very little) bit like Terry Pratchett in my official author picture.


I expect you’re wondering if I claim to have the ability to read minds.

(I knew you were going to ask that… JOKE). It’s slightly off-topic but when has that ever stopped me.

The answer is no, but I can read the minds of my characters, see their lives in my head. I watch what I can only describe as a detailed film of their adventures with added emotional commentary. I wouldn’t claim to be an author, I consider myself more like a reporter, an impartial observer and chronicler.

I often wonder if what I see is really happening, in some parallel dimension. Perhaps all stories are really just factual reports of actual events, situations and lives. Of things which are even now occurring in worlds removed from our own? Maybe we can pierce the veil between worlds and watch as life goes on there. Who knows, there could be a person in some alien life, busily telling his world what I’m up to right now. Maybe they are making a fortune publishing it (or whatever their equivalent is).

And that’s food for thought. As is the fact that my wife claims that there is a presence in my study, she says that she can feel the energy of someone seated at the keyboard when she knows I’m somewhere else.

Who is it? Might it be my avatar? Or am I theirs?

I have no idea.

I’d love to get your comments, please leave them below. While you’re here, why not take a look around? There are some freebies and lots more content, about me, my writing and everything else that I do. You can join my newsletter for a free short story and more news by clicking this link.

I’ll be back on Thursday with another Showcase post, featuring an Indie Author with something to say. Please click the links to see the other great blogs on this hop.

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8 Responses

  1. Stevie Turner

    I’d be interested to see your cartooned self, Richard! I found that cartoon of me on my ‘Media’ section – I have no idea how it got there.

  2. Lela Markham

    LOVED Asimov during my science fiction phase. And I also use my avatar in my Aurorawatcher Publications logo. My publisher is technically the writers’ cooperative Breakwater Harbor Books, but my marketing and all my shorts occur under Aurorawatcher. Took me forever to figure out a logo for that.

    • Richard Dee

      If I hadn’t read Foundation, al the words pouring from my fingers would have never seen the light of day. Or would they have come through someone else? Discuss.

  3. Lela Markham

    I liked Foundation, but I discovered it as my Asimov fixation was waning. I think I was moving onto Heinlein by that time. The I-Robot series really grabbed my attention. I was in Junior High (what we call Middle School now) back then. I read every science fiction book the school had during those two years and then I went to high school and that’s when I discovered Heinlein’s more grown-up books and I kind of never circled back to Asimov. I probably should.

    Zenna Henderson’s People series and Katharine Kerr’s Deverry series were huge influences on my writing. My interest in apocalyptic really comes from a dissatisfaction with what others in the genre produce. Not every writer, of course, but some of them just seem to miss the human aspect of the end of the world as we know it. I wanted to write the book I couldn’t find on Amazon.

    • Richard Dee

      Yes, I get you completely. I said to my wife once, ‘I can’t find anything to read’. Her response, ‘write it yourself’!!!

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