Long before Dorothy came to Oz, Glinda and the Wizard changed everything.

Posts tagged “Hidden History of Oz

Hidden History of Oz has a Brand New Home

We are setting up a brand new home at www.hiddenhistoryofoz.com, where every adventure begins with a dream.

That URL will be our home for the foreseeable future. Come visit and subscribe to the the Emerald Observer, the newsletter of the Hidden History of Oz and author Tarl Telford.

You can click your heels together three times to skip right to the subscribe page here: Subscribe to the Emerald Observer.


Epistolary Novels – letter by letter

Image of a handwritten note with a pen, representing The Glinda Letters, A Hidden History of Oz story.

An Epistolary Story is one told through letters.

What is an epistolary novel? Simply put, it is a story told through letters. The most well-known (to me) is The Screwtape Letters, written by C.S. Lewis.

The Glinda Letters creates a bridge of history between The Hidden History of Oz stories (specifically The Witch Queens trilogy) and The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, written by L. Frank Baum.

Dive into personal thoughts

Glinda writes to Oscar Diggs while he is in his self-imposed exile in Emerald City. She gives her deepest thoughts to her dear friend in messages that only they will see. There is an honesty conveyed in these letters that does not appear whens he is with other people. She conveys a sense of her own worldview that she simply cannot share with other people, due to her position as the Sorceress Queen of the South. She is responsible for protecting Oz, and that means duty comes first. There is no question that Glinda was fulfill her duty. The questions in her letters reveal a vulnerability that she cannot show to others.

See how they see themselves

The amazing thing about these letters is that Glinda sees the world in a very specific way. She believes in liberty and freedom, just like Oscar, but she does not believe that he can do it simply by being good. She has to gain power and protect him so that he can do what he believes in. Everything depends on her.

Glinda has a stilted view of the world that becomes apparent as you compare her words in private letters to her actions and words to others.

The Glinda Letters fills in the gaps between several stories in The Hidden History of Oz series. It is the backbone of history upon which to hang the sinews of story. It is one perspective drawn over a lifetime of experience waiting for love to open the door and step again into the light.

The Glinda Letters is available now on Amazon, or wherever ebooks are sold. Order your copy today and discover the Hidden History that sets the stage for Baum’s classic stories.


The Glinda Letters – Cover Reveal

The Glinda Letters is nearing the moment of publication. I wanted all of you to be the first to see the new cover design.

HH4-GL_KindleCover_10-14-2015

The Glinda Letters is an epistolary novel composed of letters written by Glinda and sent to the Wizard, Oscar Diggs, while he is in a self-imposed exile in Emerald City.
Glinda writes a letter to the Wizard each year on her birthday, and also when events in Oz deem it necessary. Each letter details significant information that Glinda is learning and that she believes is important for the Wizard to know.
Through these letters, Glinda reveals her true soul to Oscar, bathed in tears, scorched in anger, and tempered with the fine fury of decades of wisdom. She grows from the angry child into the fearless sorceress sworn to protect Oz from all enemies.
All the while, Glinda urges Oscar to come into the light and leave the darkness behind. The throne of Emerald City is his for the taking. With political unrest growing, the urgency in Glinda’s letters grows. Then it subsides as time moves on and the Wonderful Wizard becomes a legend, and then a fairy tale. He has become a story. Then his throne is threatened by another. The Crown Princess is born, and then she disappears mysteriously. Then a powerful young sorceress named Dorothy lands in Oz. After the Wizard escapes his exile and returns to the land of his birth, Glinda waits for his return, so that she can finally have her happy ending.

This book bridges the gap between The Witch Queens trilogy and Baum’s original Oz books, ending shortly before the events of Baum’s fourth Oz novel, Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz (1908).


Mapping the Hidden History of Oz

Map of Oz and surrounding countries. Used as a comparison against the updated map of Oz used in the Hidden History of Oz stories.

“Oz-and-surrounding-countrie” by L. Frank Baum (illustrated by John R. Neill) – Tik-Tok of Oz, first published in the United States in 1914. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

Creating a map is an interesting process. I like to have things accurate, so that I can trust the facts. When it came time to update my map for the Hidden History of Oz stories, I had my work cut out for me. I did a lot of research on the Cartographer’s Guild to understand how good maps work. The Cartographer’s Guild has a great website with a lot of knowledgeable folks providing comments, critiques, and advice for creating accurate maps. I looked at the original map of Oz, and I saw some features that needed more explanation. Let’s take a look.

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A Smashing Good Time – the Wicked Witch of the West

The Wicked Witch of the West Few villains are as iconic as Margaret Hamilton’s Wicked Witch of the West in The Wizard of Oz (MGM, 1939). Is it the green skin, the archetypal witch’s nose, or the wide-brimmed black hat that makes her so memorable? Maybe her screeching voice is what sticks in your memory. The Wicked Witch of the West has had multiple incarnations in the 100+ years since L. Frank Baum first published his novel, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Many additional authors have written about this witch. We will explore the four primary versions of the Wicked Witch of the West. These versions are:

  • The Wicked Witch of the West, from The Wizard of Oz (film, MGM, 1939).
  • Elphaba, from Gregory Maguire’s Wicked: The Life and Times of The Wicked Witch of the West.
    Note: This is the original version of the character made famous in the Broadway musical, Wicked.
  • The Wicked Witch of the West, from L. Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.
  • Ondri-baba, from Tarl Telford’s Hidden History of Oz books.

What makes each of these versions different? Who is the Wicked Witch of the West, anyway? (more…)


Liberty for all

Oscar Diggs, also known as The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, has one primary concern – liberty for all. What is liberty, and why is it so important to him?

Liberty is freedom to act, to choose your own destiny, to make decisions based on what you determine is right. Liberty is the opposite of tyranny.  Liberty frees a man to become what he was born to become. Tyranny takes a man and binds him to what an all-powerful ruler determines that he should become. For Oscar, and for those who truly want to determine their own destiny, the choice is clear. (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…)


Zombies in Oz

A Wheeler, from Disney's movie, Return to Oz.

A Wheeler, from Return to Oz

The ill-fated kickstarter campaign for Ozombie (sponsored by the creators of American McGee’s Alice) notwithstanding, have you ever wondered if there could be zombies in Oz?

I assure you, dear reader, that such a thing can be, but not in the way that you might expect. It requires dark magic, a witch’s blood, and a mechanical construct powered by the magic of the brick roads. Intrigued? (more…)


Teaser: Crown of the Dreamer

The Hidden History of Oz, Book Two: Crown of the Dreamer is nearing completion. It is in the proofreading phase right now. I am very excited to share it with you. Every day brings the manuscript closer and closer to your hands. The story is just about ready to take off and make some magic.

Here is a teaser for the cover in-progress:

Glinda stands in front of the distant Emerald City. The city is under construction. A full moon lights the Emerald City.

I anticipate that it will be available for purchase in September on Amazon, in both paperback and Kindle versions. Other digital formats will soon follow. In the meantime, if you haven’t picked up a copy of The Hidden History of Oz, Book One: The Witch Queens, now would be a great time to dive into the mysterious history of Glinda and Oscar Diggs. You can find the book on both Amazon, and Smashwords.


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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