Half a century ago, Belgian Zoologist Bernard Heuvelmans first codified cryptozoology in his book On the Track of Unknown Animals.

The Centre for Fortean Zoology (CFZ) are still on the track, and have been since 1992. But as if chasing unknown animals wasn't enough, we are involved in education, conservation, and good old-fashioned natural history! We already have three journals, the largest cryptozoological publishing house in the world, CFZtv, and the largest cryptozoological conference in the English-speaking world, but in January 2009 someone suggested that we started a daily online magazine! The CFZ bloggo is a collaborative effort by a coalition of members, friends, and supporters of the CFZ, and covers all the subjects with which we deal, with a smattering of music, high strangeness and surreal humour to make up the mix.

It is edited by CFZ Director Jon Downes, and subbed by the lovely Lizzy Bitakara'mire (formerly Clancy), scourge of improper syntax. The daily newsblog is edited by Corinna Downes, head administratrix of the CFZ, and the indexing is done by Lee Canty and Kathy Imbriani. There is regular news from the CFZ Mystery Cat study group, and regular fortean bird news from 'The Watcher of the Skies'. Regular bloggers include Dr Karl Shuker, Dale Drinnon, Richard Muirhead and Richard Freeman.The CFZ bloggo is updated daily, and there's nothing quite like it anywhere else. Come and join us...

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Thursday, August 28, 2008

I must be a glutton for punishment..

Last night I started my new book. I always enjoy the beginning of a writing project, and I usually enjoy the end - it's just the 100,000 words in the middle which can become tedious.

Once upon a time I used to write a book a year, but in recent years that has fallen by the wayside. Just look at the evidence:

2000 Blackdown Mystery
2001 Only fools and goatsuckers
2002 Monster of the Mere
2004 Monster hunter
2008 Island of Paradise

OK, in the middle I put out Strength through Koi but that was only a piece of fun, and a compilation of previously published articles to boot.

So I have started my new book with good intentions of having it finished by Christmas, and published in the spring. However, that's what I said last time, and the bloody thing still took four years.

So keep your fingers crossed, and don't ask me what it is about cos I'm not telling!


Ben Emlyn-Jones said...

People used to ask me what my books were about before I'd finished them and I'd just say "Something different". Well, I'll look forward to reading it when it's published, Jon. Writing is a lonely profession, but it is exciting, especially like you say, when starting out on a new project. It's just frustrating when it grinds to a halt though! I almost gave up on "Rockall", then trashed nearly all of it and started again.

Ben Emlyn-Jones said...

I don't know if you do requests, Jon, but "The Blackdown Mystery" was one of the most entertaining books I've ever read. Some authors think writing fiction, or semi-fiction, with real people as the characters is immoral, but I disagree. When I was a teenager I used to write fictional stories; some of them were even sci-fi, featuring my friends and school teachers! I'd love to read another fictional story whose protagonists are youself and the other CFZ lads and ladies.

JON DOWNES said...

Well there are touches of it in the post 2000 writings of both Redfern and myself. In `Three Men Seeking Monsters` for example I am portrayed as being so camp that a film producer who read the book thought I was gay, and have you ever wondered how - when I have worn glasses since the age of five - I am supposed to sport a monocle as Redfern claims..

That book was his revenge for the way I lampooned him in `The Blackdown Mystery`, and you will see bits of my revenge in `Island of Paradise`. He may be an oik but he isn't actually `pining for the rotunda`, and he doesn't really end every sentance with "loike"...

Even `Blackdown` was mostly true.. I just jazzed it up a bit. The books since then are completely true, except when I have been able to be funny at Redfern's (or Richard's) expense...

Nick Redfern said...


Yes, Blackdown is a hilarious book; very entertaining! I re-read it about once a year.

JON DOWNES said...


Nick Redfern said...

i can only agree!