Thirteen years ago I sat down at the family’s old computer, stared at the blank monitor screen, and thought, “I’d like to write a story.” That story became “Ye Tale it Two, or, How to Unmake a Dragon,” and was my first venture into the world of novels. A tale of two brothers and spiteful fairies, it was a new fairytale, before the craze for rewritten fairy tales had hit the middle grade section. [Side-Note: I enjoy a good rewritten fairytale, some of them are enjoyable and witty. But if I’m going to all the trouble, fun, and work of writing a book, I like to try and make something new!] Naturally, in style, grammar, plot coherency and most of the important writer things, it was pretty abysmal. But I had fun. And I wrote another book. Then another. And now, I have eleven titles on Amazon and at least that many in a half-edited state not ready for public viewing.
This year, I pulled up the first story I had written. Oh, I’ve revisited it before, and it has been severely edited and vastly improved. Some of you probably already know it, as I’ve had it on my website in mobi form as a freebie for signing up for my email. But as I cast an eye over it again, I decided it still really needed help. And an edit just wasn’t going to cut it. If I wanted to make it worthy of a reader’s time, it needed remade.
I unmade “the dragon story,” and remade it into a new tale of old faery and chivalry meeting rollicking fun and adventure. I had a good time with this project. I hope you have a good time reading it. This is my first release of a Middle-Grade book, and I’m hoping to offer more eventually, including more from the annals of Deweot and its faery plagued countryside.
This is also my first time to release an illustrated book. No, I did not do the illustrations; eventually even the kindest reader grows tired of stick figures. I raided many a wonderful site with public domain pictures. It has been surprisingly fun to pepper the tale with knights and mushrooms and tails.
I think what I like best about this story though is the opportunity to visit faery. Well, my own quirky take on it. The world likes to take old things and twist them out of shape into grotesque mirrors of their own pet sins. Personally, since before I could read on my own I’ve loved the old fairytales. And the “new” ones that kept to the old truths. By the time I was twelve I had Howard Pyle’s Wonder Clock and Pepper and Salt practically memorized. By the time I was grown (ok, all you sniggering friends, as grown as I’ll ever be) Spencer and Beowulf delighted me by their beauty.
The world of faery is a place of wonder. It is our world in brighter colors and olden days, mostly outdoors, and with adventures and mythical beasts around every bend. God’s laws don’t change there. They shine out brighter and clearer than we often see them in our everyday lives. Courage, and the consequences of a person’s actions are the backbone of fairytales. There’s no whining about how a person’s upbringing made them do it, or how an unhealthy relationship with a father is really why the dwarf stole the princess. Black and white are marked, what you do matters, and God the law-giver and kind Lord shines over everything with a brilliance peculiar to faery land.
I had fun venturing back into the countryside of danger and beauty. I hope you have fun going along with me.