Guest Post: All about Goblins

Hello everyone,
and thank you for reading my guest post. My name is Mike Phillips and my new
book is Hazard of Shadows. I have
been asked to talk about some of the more interesting characters in the book,
the goblins.
In folklore and
literature, goblins have always been evil creatures. To this day, goblins are
hiding in our closets and under our beds. They are wicked monsters that are no
happier than when they are burning fields or robbing cradles. Living on the
fringes of society as they must to avoid camera phones and governmental
laboratories, goblins lead harsh lives. Once they have been won over, goblins
are the best sort of friends. They may have terrible manners, they may say
awful things, they may smell bad, but we can all be that way sometimes. In the
end, my use of goblins helps us see the best in humanity.
Writing about
goblins was a riot! Goblins live on the fringes of human society. They make
their homes in junk yards, abandoned buildings, sewer systems, and anywhere
else people try to avoid. Once they find a likely spot, the get to work.
Goblins are clever with tools and machinery. They will use and repurpose
anything they can get their hands on, so many of their dwellings look like they
were designed by frat-boys. Not always the best of neighbors, goblins have to
take security seriously. They construct elaborate pitfalls to keep themselves
safe from enemies like collapsing tunnels, pongee pits, and mechanical traps.
Goblins, like
their human counterparts, each have a unique personality. They live in what
they call crews, a sort of family, a lot like college dorm-mates. Each goblin
has a special skill. One might be a bully (a most desirable skill in the goblin
world). Another might be crafty at making traps. Some use sorcery or poison.
Others are good at machinery. Some just eat a lot (another desirable skill).
Goblins, in general, have a loose sense of morality. If it doesn’t hurt another
member of the crew, with the obvious exception of fighting, then it’s usually
okay. Fighting is always acceptable behavior, though if an enemy is around, a
goblin is expected to stop fighting the other crew member and start fighting
the enemy. Common sense rules like that are the cornerstone of goblin society.
That brings us
to the topic of goblin social structure. Goblin society is feudal. They
organize in crews, bound by familial ties or friendship. These associations are
loosely formed, and if a goblin wants to go it alone, no one holds a grudge. A
crew may have two or three leaders at a time. It is not unusual for goblins to
disagree, so sometimes they have no real leader at all. Though they fight with
each other like crazy, but they are deeply loyal in times of trouble and would do
anything for the other members of their crew. No female goblins appear in Hazard of Shadows, but that is a topic
for another time.                    
People have been
asking how to make friends with goblins, so I thought I’d wrap things up by
talking about that. Goblins are monsters, after all. To begin with, don’t look
like a victim. They are predators. If you run they will chase you down. The
secret to making friends with goblins is not to treat them like animals. They
won’t be trained and can’t be suckered. Think of them as that particularly
feisty aunt that always speaks her mind. So if you want to make a goblin your
friend, it’s best to start with an act of kindness. Goblins have hard lives and
even a small act of kindness means a lot to them. In the book, Mitch does a
favor for a goblin without even knowing it. In turn, the goblin rescues Mitch
from a pan dimensional, man-eating dumpster. Friends like that are hard to

Thank you so
much for joining me. I hope you enjoy Hazard
of Shadows
and The World Below.
Please visit me at

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