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, December 4, 2016
Click on the headings below for full calendars
Christmas in the Castle — Tours of historic Brookside, the former Bass mansion decorated for the holidays, 12-5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 4; 4-6 p.m. Monday, Dec. 5 and 12-5 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 6, Brookside, University of Saint Francis, Fort Wayne, $3-$7, 399-8050
Fantasy of Lights — Drive-thru Christmas lighting displays, 6-9 p.m. daily thru Thursday, Dec. 8; 6-10 p.m. Friday-Saturday, Dec. 9-10; 6-9 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, Dec. 11-15; 6-10 p.m. Friday-Saturday, Dec. 16-17; 6-9 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, Dec. 18-22; 6-10 p.m. Friday-Saturday, Dec. 23-24; 6-9 p.m. Sunday-Wednesday, Dec. 25-29; 6-10 p.m. Friday-Saturday, Dec. 30-31, Franke Park, Fort Wayne, $5-$10 per carload, $10-$15 per 15-passenger van, $25-$30 per bus or trolley, 755-1900
Festival of Gingerbread — Gingerbread creations made by preschoolers through professional baking artists on display, 12-5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 4 (story telling by United Way’s Real Men Read, 1-3 p.m.); 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Thursday, Dec. 5-8; 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Friday-Saturday, Dec. 9-10 and 12-5 p.m Sunday, Dec. 11, History Center, Fort Wayne, $4-$6, 426-2882
Great Train Show — Model train exhibition, vendors, train rides and more, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 4, Allen County War Memorial Coliseum, Fort Wayne, $9-$10, 483-1111
Las Posadas — Performance depicting Mary and Joseph’s journey to find lodging, 5:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 4, Pope John Paul II Center, University of Saint Francis, Fort Wayne, free, 399-8050
Lighting of the Lake — Candle lighting vigil of Mirror Lake, 6 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 4, Mirror Lake, University of Saint Francis, Fort Wayne, free, $10 luminaries, 399-8050
A Living Nativity — Live nativity reenacting the first Christmas with petting zoo (petting zoo open 5-5:45 p.m.), 6 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 4, amphitheatre, University of Saint Francis, Fort Wayne, free, 399-8050
Click header for complete On the Road calendar
Blues Jam Hosted byLee Lewis and Friends — Open jam at Checkerz Bar & Grill, Fort Wayne, 6-9 p.m., no cover, 489-0286
IPFW Student Brass Quintet — Brass at Rhinehart Recital Hall, IPFW, Fort Wayne, 7:30 p.m., $4-$7, 481-6555
Smooth Edge 2 — A Capella Christmas at Allen County Public, Fort Wayne, 2-4 p.m., free, 421-1200
Yesterday's Headtrip — Variety at Latch String Bar & Grill, Fort Wayne, 9 p.m.-1 a.m., no cover, 483-5526
Club Paradise — Classic City Karaoke w/Bryan Lee, 9 p.m., 833-7082 , no cover
Wrigley Field Bar & Grill — Karaoke, 10 p.m., 485-1038 , no cover
Wrigley Field Bar & Grill — Three Rivers Karaoke, 10 p.m.-2 a.m., 485-1038 , no cover
It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play — Recreation of Frank Capra’s holiday classic as a 1940s radio program, 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 4; 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 10; 6 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 11; 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 17; 6 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 18, First Presbyterian Theater, Fort Wayne, $12-$20, 426-7421 ext. 121
The Light in the Piazza — Three Rivers Music Theatre musical production, 2 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 4; 8 p.m., Friday, 9; 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 10; and 2 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 11, Parkview Physicians Group Arts Lab, Auer Center for Arts and Culture, Fort Wayne, $18-$25, 422-4226
The Nutcracker — Fort Wayne Ballet performance of Tchaikovsky’s classic ballet, 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 4; 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 6 and Friday, Dec. 9; 2:30 & 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 10; 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 11, Arts United Center, Fort Wayne, $17-$49, 422-4226
Six Characters in Search of an Author — IPFW Department of Theatre’s adaptation of Luigi Prandello’s meta-theatrical masterpiece, 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 4; 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, Dec. 8-10, Studio Theatre, IPFW, $5-$16 thru IPFW box office 481-6555
Movies times are currently unavailable
Alexandra Hall — Whimsical painting, giclee print and ink drawings, Tuesday-Sunday thru Dec. 31, Foellinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory, Fort Wayne, $3-$5 (2 and under, free), 427-6440
Decatur Sculpture Tour — 31 original sculptures and 15 permanent exhibits on display, walking tour maps available, thru April 1, Decatur, free, 724-2605
Crop It Like It’s Hot — Works from seniors graduating from IPFW’s Department of Visual Communications and Design, Thursday-Sunday thru Dec. 30 , Wunderkammer Company, Fort Wayne, 417-8846
Festival of Wreaths — Holiday exhibition of Christmas wreathes, daily thru Dec. 30, Creative Arts Council, Bluffton, 824-5222.
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
Holiday Pop-Up Gallery — Works from 12 local artists, Wednesday-Sunday thru Dec. 31 , The Art Farm, Spencerville, 238-4755
John Baeder Takes Wing on a Higher Road — Hyper-realist art from one of the 20th century’s most important artists, Tuesday-Sunday thru Jan 22 , Fort Wayne Museum of Art, $6-$8 (members, free), 422-6467
Nature’s Thread — Works by Nancy Fritz and Lizabeth Yager, daily thru Jan. 16, 2017, The Gallery at Pranayoga School, Fort Wayne, 423-9642
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
Regional Art Educators’ Exhibition — Works from educators in secondary school art education, daily thru Dec. 8, Visual Arts Gallery, IPFW, Fort Wayne, 481-6977
Robert Kipniss: The Whispering Light — Recent painted and printed works by American artist, Tuesday-Sunday thru Jan. 22, Fort Wayne Museum of Art, $5-$7 (members, free), 422-6467
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