Local author Wil Radcliffe, who writes young adult fantasy, gains much of his inspiration from his own experiences growing up in northeast Indiana. The scenic forests, lakes and farmland are ingrained into his writing and his own background as an Indiana boy who came up in the midst of our rural surroundings.
He is a graduate of Ball State University’s Telecommunications Department and earned the David Letterman Telecommunications Scholarship based on a script and storyboards featuring his original character, the mad goblin scholar Bugbear.
Like many authors who dream of selling a Danielle Steel-like 800 million books, Radcliffe supplements his income with his day job as the creative specialist at Three Rivers Archery, the world’s largest traditional archery supplier. That vocation has worked out well, as he has incorporated archery into his books. It has also enabled him to establish tie-ins with the development of a line of Noggle Stones youth archery products.
An avid fan of comic books, Radcliffe decided to create a hybrid superhero character for his breakout novel, Noggle Stones. Instead of a bombastic entity with a chiseled physique and endowed with superpowers, he created the lovable goblin Bugbear. Bugbear is short and unimposing, and instead of using brute force, spider webs, flying or lightning bolts, this character utilizes his intellect as his secret weapon.
As happens with many artists, plots and characters develop over a long period of time before they’re actually shared with an audience. Radcliffe says that Bugbear was a product of his imagination from his days as a junior high student in Fremont. Over time, Bugbear and his sub-characters evolved from their original conception into more mainstream series-worthy personalities. Influenced by popular adult fantasy authors like J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis and T.H. White, Radcliffe honed his craft at writing in his genre and also drew for the suspense and drama elements from television shows like Doctor Who, Dark Shadows and The Night Stalker. He also credits Douglas Adams, Terry Pratchett and Monty Python for influencing the humorous aspects of his writing. The books are set in the 1800s, and Radcliffe developed an affinity for that time period as a result of reading about infamous frontier bandit Silas Doty.
Radcliffe’s writings are well thought out, and he has a structured format that carries the plot. “Unity is an important theme in Noggle Stones,” Radcliffe says. “The characters must put aside their differences and learn to work together in order to defeat an ancient, ominous threat which has been reawakened by the uniting of the two worlds. Alliances, apprenticeships and friendships all play an important part in the advancement of the plot as well as the development of the characters.”
Young adult fantasy readers like to identify with the characters by seeing them as well as reading about them, making illustrations an important aspect of the finished product. Originally, Radcliffe shaped the characters by drawing them himself. After deciding to get serious and put out a more professional offering, he made the decision to use professional illustrators. One of the most recognizable contributing artists is Ernie Colo, the primary artist on the Richie Rich comic books for several years.
Noggle Stones Book I – The Goblin’s Apprentice has spawned a sequel, Noggle Stones – The Tragic Empire. As the series celebrates its 10th anniversary, there are both the Noggle Stones Role Playing Game and the Noggle Stones Card Game to add to the fun. The role playing game puts the players in the roles of either mysterious creatures of myth and legend or humble folk of turn-of-the-century America. The Noggle Stones Role Playing Game is available in print and digital download. The Noggle Stones Card Game is a two-player game that pits the Hero Characters against the Shadow Characters in a fun, fast-paced format. You will enjoy the endearing characters Bugbear, Manchester, Maga, Riley and Tudmire as you take a step back in time with the fantastical Noggle Stones Books, Games and licensed Noggle Stones Archery line compliments of our own Fremont, Indiana author, Wil Radcliffe.
Noggle Stones books and games are all available at www.Nogglestones.com, game retailers, comic book stores and, of course, Amazon.
by Patrick Boylen
Sunday, February 26, 2017
Click on the headings below for full calendars
Fort Wayne Women’s Expo — Free spa treatments, fashion shows, shopping, wellness talks and demonstrations, cooking shows and more, 12-4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 26, Allen County War Memorial Coliseum, Fort Wayne, $8, 483-1111
Sunday Night Singles Dance — Open dancing with DJ, cash bar and pot luck carry-in, 6-9 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 26, American Legion Post 47, Fort Wayne, $7, 409-3321
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Blues Jam Hosted byLee Lewis and Friends — Open jam at Checkerz Bar & Grill, Fort Wayne, 6-9 p.m., no cover, 489-0286
Hamilton Tescarollo — Music Faculty Piano Recital at Rhinehart Recital Hall, IPFW, Fort Wayne, 2:30 p.m., $4-$7, 481-6555
Old Crown Brass Band — Brass at Sweetwater Performance Theatre, Fort Wayne, 3 p.m., no cover, 432-8176
Yesterday's Headtrip — Variety at Latch String Bar & Grill, Fort Wayne, 10 p.m., no cover, 483-5526
Karaoke — Variety at Crooner's Karaoke Bar, Fort Wayne, 10 p.m., no cover, 486-1979
Three Rivers Karaoke w/Rob — at Wrigley Field Bar & Grill, Fort Wayne, 10 p.m., no cover, 485-1038
Memphis — Fort Wayne Civic Theatre production featuring music from the underground dance clubs of 1950s Memphis, Tennessee, 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 26, Arts United Center, Fort Wayne, $17-$29, 424-5220
Picasso at the Lapin Agile — Steve Martin’s absurdist comedy involving a conversation between Albert Einstein and Pablo Picasso in a Parisian cafe in 1904, 2 p.m Sunday, Feb. 26, USF Performing Arts Center, Fort Wayne, $10-$12, 422-4226
William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet — all for One productions’ immersive-theater adaptation of the Shakespeare tragedy, 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 26, PPG ArtsLab, Auer Center for Arts & Culture, Fort Wayne, $11-20, 422-4226
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2017 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards — Award-winning works from northern Indiana and northwest Ohio middle and high school students, Tuesday-Sunday thru April 9, Fort Wayne Museum of Art, $5-$7 (members, free), 422-6467
Afros: A Celebration of African Hair by Michael July — Contemporary photography exhibit by Brooklyn author/photographer, daily thru April 14, D’Agostino Art Gallery, Indiana Tech, Fort Wayne, 399-8626
Decatur Sculpture Tour — 31 original sculptures and 15 permanent exhibits on display, walking tour maps available, thru April 1, Decatur, free, 724-2605
Fort Wayne Artist Guild February Exhibitions — Works by Darlene Selzer Miller at Aldersgate United Methodist Church, Alice Siefert at Allen County Retinal Surgeons, John Kelty at Citizens Square (2nd and 3rd floors), Curtis Rose at The Einhaus Group for Women’s Health, Dick Heffelfinger at Heritage of Fort Wayne, Carolyn Stachera at Ophthalmology Consultants (Southwest), Linda Binek at Ophthalmology Consultants (North), Doni Adam at Rehabilitation Hospital of Fort Wayne, Anita Trick at ResCare Inc. Adult Day Service and Town House Retirement, Karen Harvey at Visiting Nurse Hospice and Brenda Baeumier and Randy Roberts at Will Jewelers, thru Feb. 28, fortwayneartistguild.org.
Fort Wayne, American Monologue — A new body of Fort Wayne-based works by Oakland, California-based artist Brett Armory, Tuesday-Sunday thru Feb. 26, Fort Wayne Museum of Art, $5-$7 (members, free), 422-6467
Generations: A View of Who Was Who — Works by Romare Bearden, Kara Walker, Alma Thomas, Jacob Lawrence and other African-American artists, Tuesday-Sunday thru April 9, Fort Wayne Museum of Art, $5-$7 (members, free), 422-6467
Glass: A Medium in Art and Automobiles — Dale Chihuly blown glass and fiberglass auto, daily thru Sept. 8, Auburn, $7.50-$12.50, 925-1444
IPFW Continuing Studies Professional Photography Graduate Exhibit — Photographs from 2017 graduates, Friday-Sunday thru March 5, Garrett Museum of Art, Garrett, 704-5400
A Mary Poppins Garden Party — Child-oriented garden exhibit, Tuesday-Sunday thru April 1, Foellinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory, Fort Wayne, $3-$5 (2 and under, free), 427-6440
Outdoor Sculpture Invitational — Fifteen outdoor sculptures from regional artists, daily thru April 30, School of Creative Arts campus, University of Saint Francis North Campus, Fort Wayne, 399-7999
Patricia Biesen: Pastels, Ink Drawing & Acrylic — Works from Chicago-based artist recently relocated to Fort Wayne, Tuesday-Sunday thru Feb. 29, Foellinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory, Fort Wayne, $3-$5 (2 and under, free), 427-6440
RAW. Untamed. Unashamed. Visions of Freedom. — Abstract romanticist works in acrylics and epoxy from Kristy Jahn, Fridays and Saturday-Thursday by appointment, Feb. 25-March 25 (opening reception 6-9 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 25), The Gallery at Pranayoga, Fort Wayne, 423-9642
Semantic Sequences — Exhibition of letterpress prints by Stephanie Carpenter, assistant director of the Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum in Two Rivers, Wisconsin, Tuesday-Sunday thru March 24, Artlink Contemporary Art Gallery, Fort Wayne, 424-7195
Triangulations — Etchings and giclee prints, daily thru Feb. 28, Old Crown Coffee Roasters, Fort Wayne, 797-9821
Artlink Educational Programs — Art classes offered by Artlink Contemporary Art Gallery, dates and times vary, Artlink, Fort Wayne, fees vary, 424-7195
Fort Wayne Dance Collective Workshops — Workshops and classes for movement, dance, yoga and more offered by Fort Wayne Dance Collective, dates and times vary, Fort Wayne Dance Collective, Fort Wayne, fees vary, 424-6574
IPFW Community Arts Academy— Art, dance, music and theater classes for grades pre-K through 12 offered by IPFW College of Visual and Performing Arts, fees vary, 481-6977, www.ipfw.edu/caa
Sweetwater Academy of Music — Private lessons for a variety of instruments available from professional instructors, ongoing weekly lessons, Sweetwater Sound, Fort Wayne, call for pricing, 432-8176, academy.sweetwater.com
Tincture Trivia — Trivia night for teams of 4 or 6 people, 7-9 p.m. Tuesdays, Nick’s Martini & Wine Bar, Fort Wayne, free, 482-6425
Watercolor Instruction — Artist Tom De Somer of De Somer Fine Art Studio offers watercolor painting instruction 6:30-8:30 p.m. the first four Thursdays of each month, Indiana Wesleyan University, Fort Wayne, $144/four-week course, 805-328-8336, www.desomerart.com/classes