Get to Know The Fantasy Reader Tag

Hello all! Today we’ve just got a quick book tag (does anyone even do these anymore? I’m so out of the loop) because we’re in the first few days of NaNoWriMo, which is always a bit of a slog, especially if you’re a slow writer like me. Anyway, this tag has been sitting in my drafts folder for months and months at this point, so I think it’s well and truly time that I posted it.

(Also, please let me know if you’re the creator of this tag! I stole it from somewhere and my sieve brain forgot where, I’m so sorry).

What Is Your Fantasy Origin Story (the first fantasy you read)

My mum loves fantasy, so most of my earliest reading memories involve fantasy. Probably the very first books I read (or were read to me) were The Chronicles of Narnia. Obviously I loved these and I was hooked from then on, I really didn’t stand a chance, fantasy was literally introduced to me in the womb.

After Narnia, I think was next introduced to The Magician’s Daughter, a self-published Australian fantasy trilogy, How To Train Your Dragon, The Little White Horse, and Emily Rodda’s books, including Rowan of Rin, The Key To Rondo, and of course the Deltora Quest series, the staple of every Aussie kid’s reading life. When I was in my preteens, I started on the Warrior Cats series, Rick Riordan, Lloyd Alexander, Stephen Lawrence, Tolkien, and C.S. Lewis’s adult fantasies.

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Know The Novel: The Changeling and the Wolf

Can you believe that next month is NaNoWriMo? I’ve been doing Inktober all month so I’m not sure my brain is quite ready to kick into gear and think about a completely different challenge just yet.

But, nevertheless, I’m here to introduce (or…uh reintroduce ) my NaNoWriMo novel for 2022. I’m going to be participating in the Know The Novel linkup, which is now five years old. Absolutely wild, I remember doing it for the very first time, so that makes me feel very old now. Anyway, let’s move on!

Introducing…

If you’re a dedicated reader of my blog, you may recognise this novel as my project from NaNoWriMo 2020, known then as “The Darkest Night”. Because yes, for the first time I am actually working on an established novel rather than a brand new first draft!

However, I’ve obviously developed this draft quite a lot since I pantsed it back in 2020, with absolutely no outline or anything. So I’m taking a second crack at this story to work on it some more and hopefully get a complete second draft (that has a more coherent plot line, fingers crossed).

Anyway, if you want to check out my original Know The Novel post for The Darkest Night you can find that here, and if you want to check out Christine Smith, who created this link up, you can do it here.

Let’s get into it!

What first sparked the idea for this novel?

The first inkling (pun intended) of this story came from listening to a YouTuber (I can’t remember who it was, so sorry about that) talk about and read excerpts from Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings sequel, which he called “The New Shadow”. Unfortunately, Tolkien found the story bitter and depressing (fair enough) and abandoned it 13 pages in.

The story revolves around the land of Gondor, over a 100 years after the downfall of Sauron. Aragorn is dead, and his son now rules. But men have forgotten the true evil of the time when the Lord of the Rings ruled and have grown complacent, which disturbs the main character, Borlas.

Essentially, Borlas and a much younger man, Saelon, get into an argument about the true nature of evil, and Saelon mentions that a cult dedicated to the worship of orcs (and I suppose Sauron or Morgoth by extension) is now rising. Borlas immediately concludes that Saelon is part of this cult, which offends Saelon. Saelon invites Borlas to come to a clandestine meeting that night. Borlas is one of the very last people left who can remember life before the Great Peace, as it’s known, and he believes he would be able to recognise the scent of evil, so he agrees to come.

When he arrives at his home after his argument with Saelon, Borlas steps into his house and is immediately greeted by a “dead silence”, and he smells the old Evil “and recognised it for what it was”.

And there it ends.

Obviously that was not good enough for me, so I decided to finish it.

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Mid Year Book Freakout Tag 2022

Hello! It is, in fact, time for the annual Mid Year Freakout, because how is it already July???

Anyway, this tag hardly needs an introduction and I know you all want to hear about my fabulous reads, so lets get into it!

Best book you’ve read so far in 2022

I can never just choose one, so here’s a few of the great books I’ve read this far!

QAnon and On: Van Badham. This is a nonfiction book about the rise of internet-based conspiracies such as Pizzagate and Gamergate (which both sound stupid, but were actually quite serious) and how these small conspiracies finally snowballed into the damaging QAnon cult. It’s exceptionally well written and it really explains the psychology behind cults, conspiracies and how the internet makes these more accessible than ever. I personally think it should be required reading for anyone who uses the internet.

Behave: Robert Sapolsky. This fascinating book really delves into the behaviour and psychology of humans and animals, and I really enjoyed it. Despite it’s dense subject matter, the book was really well written and most parts were easy to understand for the layman like me. It helped a lot with my own dog training knowledge, but also a more general knowledge of people and how we work.

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The Bookish Blog Tag

Hello all! Today I wanted to just do a fun post, and I haven’t done a tag in a while, so I thought we’d do the tag all the cool kids seem to be doing, aka The Bookish Blog Tag. There’s not much to say about this one, except that I have no idea who created it (if you know, let me know and I’ll add credit!) and no one tagged me, I’m just a pirate and stole it. I also won’t tag anyone, if you want to do it, you can steal it.

All right, these are some fun questions, let’s go!

What are 1-3 of your favourite books of all time?

After years and years of anguish, not knowing what my favourite books were…I finally decided on my top three books a few years back.

The Lord of the Rings: Look, I’m pretty sure LOTR is just the perfect book. The characters are perfect, the story is perfect, the setting is something beyond perfect, and the writing is meandering and beautiful. I just love it so much, and it’s my comfort read, the book I keep going back to time and time again.

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