Today’s guest post is by Dallas Sutherland, author of “The Thinking”, a MG Fantasy novel. Welcome! I’ll leave the word to the author now.
When I set out to write The Landland Chronicles I wanted to include a few things from Celtic mythology. This Guest Post will focus on some of these. I also want to mention some of the underpinning literary concepts that have been used throughout the story. I will provide a brief explanation of these, and also point to some links if you are interested in reading further.
There are many variations on the origin of Ogam Script, or Ogham (pronounced O em). From a mythological point of view, and one that I like, it was an alphabet thought to be used by the ancient Druidic Celts. There are about 25 letters in the alphabet and these were used to pass on ancient wisdom and knowledge. The letters was usually inscribed onto a wooden staff carried by Shaman/poets. A series of lines, or cuts, were made on the edges of stones and pieces of wood. There were several of these Ogam alphabets; the most widely known was one where each letter related to a sacred tree. Others related to people, places and objects. Ogam was also used to mark boundaries of property, whereby letters were carved into stones.
Variations of Ogham Script can be found in Ireland, Wales, England, and Scotland.Other sources report that Ogham was the invention of Oghma the legendary champion of the early Irish race of the Tuatha De Danann. Much later sources report that Ogham originated in fourth-century Ireland and Britain and that it was primarily derived from the Latin alphabet, and also from Nordic runes.
Whatever the case might be, I like to think that it is a magical alphabet that might pop up again and again in fantasy stories.
In the first book, The Greying, Teah meets Fand The Faery Elder. She sets healing in motion for Teah and uses a form of Druidic healing to ignite Teah’s Cauldron of Warmth. Of course, I’ve used some artistic licence here, but the main thrust of the healing is one the Druids used in days long ago.
Faeries & Celtic Myth
Myths can provide a sound platform for the fantasy quest. For thousands of years they have given us action, intrigue, and psychological depth. And none more particular than those found within Celtic mythology with its dark forces, magic, impending battles, quest, and inner searching.
‘The popular fantasy genre rings loud with echoes of the sights and fights
already thousands of years old in the Celtic mythology: impossibly brilliant
heroes – for Cuchulainn read Conan the Barbarian – fighting evil forces in
the shape of ogres, or huge armies, or dragons or vile witches and wizards –
and, psychologically, the dark forces and fear within us all.’
(Frank Delaney 1991 Legends of the Celts)
You can read more about Celtic myth and the Fair Folk here.
Metafiction is when the story begins to reflect upon itself; where the reader becomes aware that the writing is telling much more than it normally would. Click here if you are interested in reading more about the metafictional underpinnings of The Landland Chronicles.
A pastiche is something that emulates what has gone before. Essentially, The Landland Chronicles is a pastiche of the fantasy genre: all that has gone before. Click here to read more.
Parody is a term which means to poke fun at. Yes, you can say The Landland Chronicles is a parody in the sense that it not only emulates all that has gone before, but it also attempts at tongue-in-cheek humour. The astute reader will recognise that all of the right fantasy tropes have been used. You can read more about parody here.
The Biggo has invented a new literary term ‘Reverse-Antonomasia’. You can find many uses of this term within the series. Click here to read more.
Click here to enter The Biggo’s promotional giveaway. You can win a copy of Book Two: The Thinking, plus posters.
About the Book
Author: Dallas Sutherland
Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy
LANDLAND BECOMES ITS OWN SAVIOUR …
The Greying snakes across Bigriver towards Landland … all the lands are in turmoil. Meah combines her power of thinking with the magical Book of Colours, and joins the Bigriverland army to fight the horrid Firbog. Faith, Hope, and Charity, the white many-headed-winged-thing, returns. Auntie Beryl has become the evil Queen Berilbog– she must be stopped. Many-headed-winged-things soar high over battle-fields, three-humped-beasts-of-war go on the rampage, and, from out of the mists of the greying, slithering Homunculi goad them on.
Meah’s magical plans are not what Landland needs– Firbog hordes swarm across a dried up Bigriver into Landland, cutting their way through The Scented Forest, all the way up to the tip of Mount Beacon.
Chaos reigns supreme, Landland writes its own story … but the story is all wrong. Meah looks for a way to escape. Will she find her father, The Biggo, again? Can they win their way home– should they leave Landland and all their friends in the clutches of Auntie Beryl, the Grey Lady?
Over the last twenty-five years, the Author has exhibited a creative bent across a range of industries including graphic design, fine arts, and trompe l’oeil murals. He has lectured in fine arts and studied Art History, Literature, Adult Education, and Creative Writing. Works include play scripts and short stories. The Greying is his first published novella, with further books planned as part of the fantasy series. He draws inspiration from myth, legend, and fairy tales.
He lives on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia with his partner Kerri, and daughter Ruby.
Kindle ebook: Kindle eBook
Book One (Print) (40% Discount code: JFFFB85D)
Book Two (Print) (40% Discount code: JFFFB85D)