Explore the prequel stories to The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

Welcome to Oz

Discover why L. Frank Baum was only half-correct when he devised "a modern fairy tale...where the heartaches and nightmares are left out."

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Wickedness in Oz

Picture of Dr. Doofenshmirtz as the Wicked Warlock, from Phineas and Ferb, episode

Dr. Doofenshmirtz as the Wicked Warlock

Oz is a world more innocent and wondrous than the world we currently live in. The original author of Oz, L. Frank Baum, wanted to create a modern fairy tale, where the heartaches and nightmares are left out. This creates a whimsical world where good is the order of the day and the adversaries are either misguided or wicked.

So what, exactly, does it mean to be wicked? Read the rest of this page »

Dorothy’s first trip to Oz

If you are interested in a day-by-day view of Dorothy’s first trip to Oz (found in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz novel), click over to Dorothy’s Timeline.

You can also find it in the menu above: About > Timeline > Dorothy’s Timeline.

Cabbages and Cyclones: The untold story behind Dorothy’s story

Image of a cabbage.

How do cabbages verify the hidden history behind Dorothy’s trip to Oz? If the author thinks it is important enough to put into the novel, it must be significant, right? Of course. As I did some research, I discovered some very interesting historical facts that bear out L. Frank Baum’s classic story, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.

Dorothy’s journey perfectly matches with the mentions of cabbages in the original text. Follow along, and we’ll explore the facts together after the jump.

Read the rest of this page »

Sneak Preview, Book Three: Emerald Spectacles

Emerald Spectacles, image courtesy oz.wikia.com.

In the recent republishing of Book Two: Crown of the Dreamer, a sneak preview was included. This is presented here on this blog for your reading pleasure. Spoilers after the jump. Don’t jump if you don’t want to be excited for the upcoming continuation of the epic prequel story, The Hidden History of Oz, Book Three: Crown of the Dreamer. Really, this is the last warning. There are a few spoilers if you haven’t read Book Two yet.

Read the rest of this page »

Update to published novels

With the recent republishing of Books One and Two in The Hidden History of Oz series, I want to share a few things that have been added to each title.

Each book contains an Appendix, which contains several important pieces of information for the dedicated reader.

  • The Characters (referred to as The Players, a nod to Shakespeare). I have received comments on this addition. When a reader can’t keep all of the characters straight in her head, it is helpful to have a reference list.
  • Timeline. There is a lot of history referenced in each story. The timeline section details the events that happened and those referred to in the context of the novel.
  • Maps (where applicable). I like epic fantasy novels that include maps. It gives me a sense of wonder at the fantasy world.
  • Locations. There are some new places mentioned and visited in the context of each story. Just like the character list, having a list of the locations helps the reader remember. Plus, it will help when the inevitable wiki appears.
  • Sneak Preview. Including a glimpse at the next story does two things: One, it lets the reader know that there is another story coming, and Two, it creates a teaser for the reader to look forward to the next story. (This is very helpful in the case of cliffhangers, as I have learned.)
  • Guide for Parents. What makes my stories different? I claim that they are good for ages 10 and up. How does the parent know what is in the book, and if he or she wants their child reading this story? What can the parent talk about with the child? (This would work for reading groups also.) The Guide for Parents is also available on this website, for on-screen viewing or as a downloadable PDF. See the menu bar above.

Then there are the standard pages with the Author Bio, On the Web, Other Books by Author, but those are pretty standard in published novels anymore.

This Appendix is a labor of love from me, the author, to you, the reader. I want to show you that each story means something special in the greater world. I’m not going to give you the moral of the story, or tell you what to believe, but I am giving you the facts, and you can dream as you may.

Enjoy.

Some Great Site Updates – September 2014

Cover for The Witch Queens

I have some great site updates to share with you. As you will notice in the sidebar, there are two new covers for the published novels. I think they look much better.

If you navigate through the buttons on the menu bar, you’ll see some new entries. There is a Media Kit for each published book, including author bio, author interview, reviews, and more.

Now, for the piece that I am most pleased with. With each book there is a Guide for Parents.

As the Hidden History novels are intended for ages 10 and up, I felt it was important to provide a guide for the parents so that they are aware of what is in the novel.

Lions, and tigers, and bears…or at least tigers and bears (Kalidah)

Illustration of Kalidahs.

Kalidahs, illustrated by W.W. Denslow, in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz novel.

The Kalidah is the most ferocious and feared predator in the Land of Oz. We first read about Kalidahs in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz novel. The Kalidah has the head of a tiger, the front paws and body of a bear, and the rear legs of a tiger. But what would a Kalidah look like in real life? How would the features of these two fearsome predators look? Read the rest of this page »

Who needs heroes? (I do)

Picture from Prince Caspian

In previous posts, we discussed villains and heroes. Now we come to a more personal question. Who needs heroes?

This question drives my writing and my explorations into character.

I am flawed. I struggle. I move forward a little bit, and then I fall. I get tired. It’s hard to get up and continue. What do I need to go on? Pretty much, I just need a hero to look to. Read the rest of this page »

What makes a Hero?

 

Aslan, from The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe

Aslan, from The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe

A hero is someone that inspires hope. A hero stands in contrast to a villain, who inspires hopelessness. Villains are explored in a previous post.

Based on this simple definition, the hero type can be broken down into several categories. This post contains short videos that I believe demonstrate the aspects of heroism that I look for in my characters.

There are many real-life examples of heroes. This post is limited to fictional heroes and heroic qualities that I find inspiring.

Everyday hero

These everyday heroes may not change the world, but they can change your world.

Consider Kermit the Frog in The Muppet Movie (1978). Read the rest of this page »

What makes a villain?

Alien xenomorph vs. Darth Vader

Alien vs. Darth Vader. Image courtesy TheForce.net discussion boards.

A good villain is the embodiment of that which makes you feel helpless. 
With that in mind, three types of villains emerge:

Inhuman forces of nature

Shadows and hordes

Inhuman forces of nature that run rampant are always scary. A few examples include: Read the rest of this page »

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