Who Am I?
Now there’s a question I loathe. I think it should all be about the stories, not the part-time gentleman who has the sheer luck of having a storymaking engine in his head that occasionally needs to borrow his fingers to let the tales out.
However, I’ve found people like to put a shape to the creative entity, so here goes:
I was born in Sussex, UK and have lived there ever since. I had a solitary childhood that enhanced a precocious, voracious reading habit. My local libraries became havens while truanting, helping the reading habit burgeon.
What is customarily referred to as a ‘broken home’ happened in my early teens. It took me off the ‘straight and narrow’, and I’ve never gone back. (Another damaged kid becoming a rocker: finding both prop and shelter in the attitude, simplicity, and underlying desperate romance of rock ‘n’ roll. It’s still the only place my soul feels truly comfortable.)
In the subsequent decades I’ve worked at levels from loading bay to boardroom, visited every continent except Antarctica, and spent a while navigating the rigours of unemployment – plus the subsequent borderline poverty. I’ve discovered and corrected several unpleasant things about myself, and made some poor life choices – fortunately I’ve managed to survive the worst of them.
All of the foregoing means I’ve picked up a few tricks and many stories along the way. Everything – good, bad, and crazy – that happened before January 2011 is what allows me to create the worlds I tell stories of and from.
My first reading loves were science fantasy and magic: the blending of ancient and future. I’ve read a huge number of books, but the science fantasy of Andre Norton, the science fiction of Robert Heinlein, and the cynical dystopias of Mick Farren provide what I consider my foundations.
The first stories I wrote happened in my last year of school (with topics that didn’t go down well). A few years later that evolved into writing RPG scenarios, and thence into bardic storytelling (telling stories from memory alone, usually at pagan campfires).
I started retaining my scribblings around 1987, building up a reserve of notes, ideas, and fragments that I’m still working through and from in places. The bardic storytelling commenced around 1996. Many people said nice things about the tales I told, and repeatedly encouraged me to write. Life got in the way, as it often does, and I carried on telling tales and scribbling fragments down with no real plan to write books.
After some significant lifestyle changes (consequences from some of those poor life choices), it was in late 2010 I discovered the flash fiction format, and had my first flash fiction story accepted by 365 Tomorrows. In 2011 I became a staff writer for them, and published my first books. In 2012 I released more books, along with what is very likely the smallest complete role-playing system in the world, Gallant.
In 2013 I became a UK registered publisher (Lizards of the Host Publishing) and I haven’t stopped writing or publishing since.
As I update this in January 2023, I’ve published 1 game, 36 original books, and 14 omnibus editions. 12 of my earlier books (9 originals and 3 omnibuses) are out of print. I’ve written 7 more books that will be published in 2023, 2024, 2025, and 2026 (on top of releasing my annual anthologies of flash and short sci-fi). I have 4 games and 34 books in progress (keep an eye on the Forthcoming Attractions page to see what’s coming). I’m still a staff writer for 365 Tomorrows (to browse my stories over there, click here).
Hi. My name’s Julian (nickname Jae). I’d be honoured if you’d care to join me for a tale or two.
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I don’t write stories all the time. I maintain an irregular blog, along with providing content and articles for various other places, as well as running several websites.
My blog is The Silent Judge.
Pagan musings can be found at The Wandering Pagan.
Monthly philosophical quotes and observations are added to Sword Sayings.
My image gallery/blog is Slow Missiles.
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Updates, commentary, faith, memes, and black humour, plus links to my stories and books as they come out are a feature of the public side of my Facebook. There’s also a page for Lizards of the Host where I do promos and suchlike.
With the effective demise of Twitter, I’ve moved across to Bluesky. I don’t have much over there yet, but I’m @rafellin.bsky.social if you’re looking.
Appearances & Interviews
You can always find me at the Wyntercon convention in Eastbourne. The next is Wyntercon X on Saturday 14th & Sunday 15th October 2023.
I’m also a supporter of my local convention, Worthing Wormhole. The next should be in Summer/Autumn 2023.
The Lizards of the Host Facebook page will have details of any upcoming appearances and events.
In 2019 I was delighted to be asked by the arts and education charity Wyntercon to do an article for their site about OpenDyslexic, a dedicated font that helps dyslexics. I still produce OpenDyslexic editions of all my Amazon paperbacks, and of the Gallant Role-Playing System.
During 2015-2018 I spent a while working with Hi-Def Ninja, one of the premier entertainment and collectables sites. These are the articles I did –