So today begins the next round of blog touring for Olde School! It’s mostly reviews, which means I’ll be walking around all week breathing into a paper bag, but also some Q&A, and I’ll probably do some fun stuff here. After all, I still need to re-cap imaginarium (and I’m sure Clyde wants his say), and share some pictures of the actual Paddlelump Costume that I may have lost my mind and made and worn while wandering downtown Louisville. Because, you know, why not?
Anywho, if you’d like the follow the tour schedule, you can find it here, and if you’d like a quick crash course on Olde School from the blurb and links to guest posts and some free shorts involving everyone’s favorite sorta evil pseudo-bird, you can find all that here.
Olde School (and The Kingdom City Chronicles in general) is a whole lotta love for me, and a lot of labor. It’s also not the easiest thing in the world to describe because there are so many things mixed together that it runs the risk of people making assumptions or being turned off within the first five seconds of conversation. I mean, how do you succinctly describe a fairy tale/folklore based society that’s modernized to develop it’s own brand of conveniences and pop culture, a world that should embrace the typical fantasy conventions, but also easily wrecks them…a world where Lovecraft type beings are put through a magic filter (that no one believes in anymore because con artists and politicians are just as likely to get you).
And then how do you inevitably answer the question of Why? Why put all that together? Why even bother trying to make all that make sense? Why bother with a million subgenres and tropes and themes that are at risk of burning out their popularity, anyway?
Because I like them? Because I can? Because I have this horrible, burning need to entertain myself and see what happens?
Truth be told, this book started as a short that was somewhat gimmicky – more of a plot-reliant piece where I was trying to reverse the roles of troll and princess and throw in some modern tech and see what happens. And then…the characters really grew on me. And the world began spiraling into something bigger and better…and I realized I was taking it completely seriously. And why not? Why can’t there be some subversion of old tropes and cliches, why can’t there be some darkness with the light, why can’t there be real-world problems with the magical?
And of course it’s me who’s writing it, so there’s a lot of humor, too. At the end of the day, if I could make things like a giant sub-par prince battle in a diner thanks to an online dating site happen…I was totally going to do it because it made me laugh. Don’t get me wrong. I love folktales.I love fairy tales. I can and probably will talk about how seriously I take them, and yet…I think it’s totally okay to laugh at tradition somewhat, to change things up and throw in some curve balls…and to use those curve balls to really look at how tradition and convention and assumptions are working for a made-up world that’s struggling to be progressive.
Plus, I kinda like getting in the headspace of nice guy trolls, kick-ass waitresses with more issues than some magazines, and weird ancient entities with sexy voices who are also tiny animals. And it might just be slightly fun to annoy my publisher and editor by submitting a manuscript under the Genre Classification: All of Them. A lot of this book was me writing what I wanted to read and really paying tribute to a lot of the quirky things I grew up with, so I’m hoping that those like me can get behind it and embrace it for what it is: a lot of fun, maybe something slightly insightful, something a bit different, and a great big new world to play in. I really hope people give this book a shot and talk it up – and for those who have read it, I’d love to hear what your favorite parts are!
Book One of The Kingdom City Chronicles
Cross-Genre: Fantasy, Fairy/Folktale, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy, Horror
Kingdom City has moved into the modern era. Run by a lord mayor and city council (though still under the influence of the High King of The Land), it proudly embraces a blend of progress and tradition. Trolls, ogres, and other Folk walk the streets with humans, but are more likely to be entrepreneurs than cause trouble. Princesses still want to be rescued, but they now frequent online dating services to encourage lords, royals, and politicians to win their favor. The old stories are around, but everyone knows they’re just fodder for the next movie franchise. Everyone knows there’s no such thing as magic. It’s all old superstition and harmless tradition.
Bookish, timid, and more likely to carry a laptop than a weapon, Paddlelump Stonemonger is quickly coming to wish he’d never put a toll bridge over Crescent Ravine. While his success has brought him lots of gold, it’s also brought him unwanted attention from the Lord Mayor. Adding to his frustration, Padd’s oldest friends give him a hard time when his new maid seems inept at best and conniving at worst. When a shepherd warns Paddlelump of strange noises coming from Thadd Forest, he doesn’t think much of it. Unfortunately for him, the history of his land goes back further than anyone can imagine. Before long he’ll realize that he should have paid attention to the old tales and carried a club.
Darkness threatens to overwhelm not only Paddlelump, but the entire realm. With a little luck, a strange bird, a feisty waitress, and some sturdy friends, maybe, just maybe, Padd will survive to eat another meal at Trip Trap’s diner. It’s enough to make the troll want to crawl under his bridge, if he can manage to keep it out of the clutches of greedy politicians