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             18 Mulberry Road

and other stories by

Frank English

Creating 'Magic Parcel'

Twenty-five years ago or so, the idea for a story about a magic parcel sprang up in the midst of a postal dispute. Vital letters and parcels were either going astray or were not being delivered because of an industrial dispute. Wouldn't it be just wonderful if our parcels could reach their destinations magically, without the intervention of other humans? The grain of an idea was born ...

The first draft of around 30,000 words of the story took me literally weeks only to complete, but because of the intrusion of other little things into my life (marriage, birth and death to name but a few), the story was shelved. Marriage to a wonderful wife were the catalysts which rekindled my desire to bring it to kindred imaginations to enjoy.

Unfortunately, within those years the face of publishing had changed beyond all recognition. Many agents and publishers no longer seemed to have the appetite to take a chance on an unknown writer of fantastic fiction rather than produce, in some cases, safe but second-rate stuff from celebrity which was guaranteed to sell if not to entertain or stimulate.

The saviour, I suspect, of many a more worthy manuscript has been the develpoment of strong support for those single-minded authors who want to self-publish, which is by no means a modern concept. Has traditional publishing signed its own death warrant?

Magic Parcel has undergone transformation from those early days, through several drafts, alterations and additions. A further five or six chapters been added to develop the fantasy world that is Omni, and to mark the point at which the main character begins to change and grow up. A second book was added, developing the concept of parallel worlds through Jimmy's further adventures in other lands, and in Omni's antithetical world, Nusquam. The third book in the trilogy was added at the end of August 2012.

The three works, in order, are:

Magic Parcel: The Awakening

Magic Parcel: The Gathering Storm

Magic Parcel: A New Dawn

Magic Parcel: A New Dawn was released at the end of August 2012. You will find that the climax to the series was well worth the wait.

Having said that, the three books in the Magic Parcel series will have been published within 20 months. Is it an understatement, or is that quite good going? During that time too, "18 Mulberry Road", a fantasy adventure for young children, has also been published.