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The World Below

by Mike Phillips

Hello and thank you for joining us today. I was asked to talk a little about the world I’ve created in my new book, The World Below. One of the more unique and interesting parts of the book are the goblins. Writing about goblins was a lot of fun, and so I thought I’d share with you a little about what makes a goblin tick.

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 like collapsing tunnels, pongee pits, and mechanical traps to keep themselves safe from enemies.

The structure of 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 The World Below, but this mystery will be investigated further in the Chronicles of the Goblin King: Book Three.

Like their human counterparts, each goblin has 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.

People have been asking how to make friends with goblins. They are monsters, after all. First of all, 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 Hardy does a favor for a goblin without even knowing it. In turn, the goblin rescues Mitch from a pan dimensional, man-eating garbage dumpster. Friends like that are hard to find!

Thanks again for joining us today. I hope you like The World Below. Please visit me at mikephillipsfantasy.com. Take care, Mike Phillips

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