Flanagan, John 1944- (John Anthony Flanagan)
Flanagan, John 1944- (John Anthony Flanagan)
Born 1944, in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia; married; wife's name Leonie; children: Michael.
Home and office—Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.
Writer. Formerly worked in advertising in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, London, England, and Singapore; Seven Network, Sydney, head writer for television series Hey Dad! 1987-94; freelance writer, beginning 1970s.
(With Gary Reilly) The Betty Wilson Secretarial Companion (based on the television series Hey Dad!), Penguin (Ringwood, Victoria, Australia), 1990.
"RANGER'S APPRENTICE" FANTASY NOVELS
The Ruins of Gorlan (also see below), Random House Australia (Milsons Point, New South Wales, Australia), 2004, Philomel (New York, NY), 2005.
The Burning Bridge (also see below), Random House Australia (Milsons Point, New South Wales, Australia), 2005, Philomel (New York, NY), 2006.
The Icebound Land, Random House Australia (Milsons Point, New South Wales, Australia), 2005, Philomel (New York, NY), 2007.
Oakleaf Bearers, Random House Australia (Milsons Point, New South Wales, Australia), 2006.
Ranger's Apprentice: One & Two (contains The Ruins of Gorland and The Burning Bridge), Random House Australia (Milsons Point, New South Wales, Australia), 2006.
The Sorcerer in the North, Random House Australia (Milsons Point, New South Wales, Australia), 2006.
The Siege of Macindaw, Random House Australia (Milsons Point, New South Wales, Australia), 2007.
Author's books have been translated into over a dozen languages.
The "Ranger's Apprentice" novels have been adapted as audiobooks.
Beginning his career in advertising, Australian novelist John Flanagan eventually moved into writing for television, spending eight years as head writer for the popular Australian sitcom Hey Dad! In his spare time, Flanagan also wrote for fun, developing short stories for his growing son, Mike. "He didn't like reading, and so I based the character on him and [he] did the kinds of things Mike did," Flanagan explained to Ron Charles in an interviewer for the Washington Post Book World. Several years later, Flanagan decided that it might be fun to rework these stories into book form; he showed them to his agent, and the "Ranger's Apprentice" series was born. "The book grew and grew and I decided it had better be two books," Flanagan later recalled on the Christ Church, New Zealand Libraries Web site. "It kept growing and growing and ended up being four."
The first volume of the "Ranger's Apprentice" is The Ruins of Gorlan; first published in Australia in 2004, it has since been released in fourteen countries. The novel introduces Will, a teen who anxiously desires to be accepted into Battleschool as an apprentice, but is denied because of his short stature. Instead, he is apprenticed to a mysterious Ranger and taught skills of speed and stealth. In the larger world, the evil Lord Morgorath sends assassins to murder leaders from Will's society. Now Will and his sometime rival/sometime friend
Horace must hone their skills quickly, because their country is becoming a more dangerous place. Reviewing The Ruins of Gorlan for Booklist, Carolyn Phelan wrote that the novel's appeal comes from Flanagan's skill at building a convincing fantasy world. "It's the details of everyday living and the true-to-life emotions of the people that are memorable," Phelan noted. Steven Engelfried, writing in School Library Journal, commented that the author's "descriptions of Ranger craft are fascinating."
As The Burning Bridge opens, Lord Morgorath's army of monstrous wargals gathers. Meanwhile, Will and Horace discover a nearly completed bridge, built by Morgorath's forces as a way to sneak into their kingdom. Aided by disguised noblewoman Evanlyn, the two apprentices must now journey into enemy territory to discover the true extent of Morgoroth's plans. "Will's vivid world will entice fantasy readers who are drawn by the lure of high adventure," wrote Phelan, while a Kirkus Reviews contributor concluded of The Burning Bridge that "it all adds up to a winning formula that should prove out to a long, steady run." wrote
On the Christ Church, New Zealand Libraries Web site Flanagan talked about the satisfaction he gains from writing fantasy fiction. The best part of his job? "Planning the story, watching the meat grow on the bones of the framework, realising that your characters are taking on a life of their own and beginning to determine their own actions and how the story develops. Letting it mull round in your head for days or weeks. Putting it aside for a week and them coming back to find it's grown more detail in your subconscious while you weren't thinking about it. Great stuff. Great fun."
Biographical and Critical Sources
Booklist, June 1, 2005, Carolyn Phelan, review of The Ruins of Gorlan, p. 1796; May 15, 2006, Carolyn Phelan, review of The Burning Bridge, p. 58.
Kirkus Reviews, May 15, 2005, review of The Ruins of Gorlan, p. 588; May 1, 2006, review of The Burning Bridge, p. 458.
School Library Journal, June, 2005, Steven Engelfried, review of The Ruins of Gorlan, p. 158; August, 2006, Beth L. Meister, review of The Burning Bridge, p. 120.
Washington Post Book World, July 23, 2006, Ron Charles, interview with Flanagan, p. 9.
Christ Church, New Zealand Libraries Web site,http://library.christchurch.org.nz/ (April 28, 2007), interview with Flanagan.
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John Flanagan (flăn´əgən), 1865–1952, American sculptor and medalist. In 1932 he designed the George Washington silver quarter. In addition to medals and plaquettes, he produced larger works, including a clock for the Library of Congress and the Bulkeley Memorial, Aetna Life Insurance Building, Hartford, Conn.
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