Discover the Secrets of an Enchanted World

The Man Behind the Curtain

Fixed Points in Time (an Oz perspective)

Image of the TARDIS landed on the Wicked Witch of the East, on the Yellow Brick Road, with Emerald City nearby. Doctor Who meets Wizard of Oz.

If the TARDIS had landed, instead of Dorothy’s house, would that have been worthy of writing? Would it have become a fixed point in time? (Image courtesy Rampaged Reality, via google image search)

I had a facebook conversation with a friend of mine the other day. He is also an Oz author. We were talking about the Great Book of Records and the role that it plays in our individual stories. Here is what I shared: (more…)

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Designing the future (games of 2020)

An origami dragon, folded out of red paper.

An origami dragon. Courtesy google image search.

While reviewing some of my past creative work today, I came across a game design document I wrote in 2009.

I was still a student, and the contest was a limited-time entry only. With just a few days before the deadline, I brainstormed what I thought would be a fascinating game and digital world. A large part of this document relies on technology that isn’t quite there yet. (Think back to how much less-there the technology was four years ago!)

In designing Paper Planes, a Massive Online Community of digital origami, I combined three things: digital technology just beyond our reach, the infinite creativity of the human mind, and origami, which fascinated me as a child. Consider the artistic landscape – if there were no limitations to digital folding or paper craftsmanship, what could you create? (more…)


Teaser: Crown of the Dreamer back cover

Glinda stands in front of the distant Emerald City. The city is under construction. A full moon lights the Emerald City.The Hidden History of Oz, Book Two: Crown of the Dreamer is complete. It will very shortly be available for sale on Amazon. In the meantime, here is a brief teaser to get your appetite whetted for the continuing adventures of Glinda, Oscar, and the whole Hidden History of Oz cast.  (more…)


Inspired by Oz? Pin here

Red-haired girl representing Glinda, a teenage sorceress in The Hidden History of Oz series.

Glinda the Good, the teenage sorceress in The Hidden History of Oz series

Inspiration comes in many forms. For me, I think in story. A picture is worth a thousand words, true, and the best pictures also evoke a story. Take the picture here, for example. This is Glinda. She looks out to the setting sun, wondering what future will come, for it is her and her alone that holds the destiny of the Land of Oz in her hands.

Oz is a real place, full of wonder and breathtaking beauty. Much of the land is based on real places. There are corners of Oz unexplored in Baum’s books, but why do even the explored corners need to be a mystery? I say we find them and display them. (more…)


A Cover Story – The Witch Queens

WitchQueens_Cover_Kindle_1000x1600

On Wednesday, March 13, 2013, I received some fine compliments on the cover to The Hidden History of Oz, Book One: The Witch Queens. I was a guest on the second hour of Whispers in the Dark (download the podcast, it’s free). Right at the end, several people commented what a great cover the book has. They were talking, I wanted to say thanks, because it is my work, after all, but didn’t get a chance before the live feed ended.

So here is my chance. The cover is good because I put a lot of work into it. Here you’ll get a glimpse inside my thought process as I planned out the cover.

This is the first of many behind-the-scenes posts where I detail my thoughts and process as I built this book from the ground up. Everything, from the front cover image, to the words on the page, to the imprint logo on the spine, was designed by Tarl Telford, me. It was a lot of fun, and I’m proud of the finished product.

Let me pull back the curtain so you can see some of my process…

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New Category: The Man Behind the Curtain

Do you like behind the scenes commentary, concept art, and witty anecdotes from your favorite stories? I do. My shelves are lined with concept art books from movies – from Star Wars, to Pixar’s The Incredibles, to The Dark Crystal. My favorite part of the movies and the stories is all of the imagination that goes in to making it. When the sketches are rough, the final product can be anything – at that moment, the rough sketch is completely powered by imagination.

It is for this purpose that I am introducing a new category to this blog: The Man Behind the Curtain. Of course you understand the reference. The Wizard was controlling the various disguises from behind the curtain. He was revealed as a humbug in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz novel.

Humbug is not my aspiration, rather, I want you to see what I see. Ideas come, sketches are scribbled, and drafts are written. Only at the end does it look inevitable. Of course it was meant to be that way.

So when you see the category: The Man Behind the Curtain, just know that it is a behind the scenes glimpse of my creative process.

What are some of your favorite movies or books to glimpse behind the curtain?


Annotating Oz

Gayelette, the Ruby Sorceress

Gayelette, the Ruby Sorceress The Hidden History of Oz came to life over several years. It didn’t spring fully-formed from my forehead. The concept began when I discovered clues cleverly dropped by L. Frank Baum that told the story of Oz before the Wizard came …

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s take this one step at a time.

Why annotate Oz?

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