Yesterday I was honored to be featured as the author of the day on /r/fantasy. My self-introduction is below.
Hi! I’m new to reddit, and am grateful for this opportunity to introduce myself!
I’m Wesley T Allen, and in September of this year I joined the ranks of indie authors with the release of my first novel, In The Land Of The Penny Gnomes.
The book is satirical fantasy, with influences from both Terry Pratchett and Jasper Fforde, and is the first book of The Realmian Adventures. An uncontrollable hoard copyright lawyers are the primary antagonists.
I’ve also finished the first draft for another novel, Welcome To The Valleys, over on my blog at Painfullyhopeful.me. A novel set in a third setting, Parallels, is still running around in my head. But these projects are on hiatus while I work on the Sequel to Penny Gnomes, tentatively titled The Darned Conspiracy.
I was introduced to Fantasy through Dungeons & Dragons. I remember getting my first basic set when I was in fourth or fifth grade and, as I didn’t have friends who wanted to play with me, forcing my poor grandfather to run around dungeons while I inexpertly acted as DM. As with many folks who start out with Basic, I graduated to Expert and then the first edition of Advanced Dungeons & Dragons. Even though I was never able to play a regular game with folks, D&D cemented my love of fantastical imagination. I fell in love with the Dragonlance novels, and devoured David Eddings’ Belgariad during a weekend down the shore with my family. I only read Tolkien when I was in college after being chastised in class by one of my professors, but have come to love the lore of Middle Earth.
Around the same time I was diving into Middle Earth I was also introduced to Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novels – in which Pratchett subverts high fantasy tropes to provoke both laughter and thought. This caught my attention, as the borderline cynical bent of good satire tends to be how I see the world. Our planet is a crazy place – filled with awe and wonder and danger and heartache – but we tend to hide from the immensity of reality by elevating the release of the latest iPhone to “important.” Writing satire helps me process my alternating desire to laugh at, and weep over, the state of humanity. And these desires are distilled into the humor of my writing, which provokes me to think whenever I’m laughing. This is a gift I’d like to pass on to others. I’d also like a new iPhone.
In many ways In The Land Of The Penny Gnomes is a light-hearted romp in a whacky world. But at its core is the idea that imagination isn’t escapist or a waste of energy. Rather, it helps us cut through the haze of what is, and through the distractions we’re not supposed to notice, so we can dream of something better. I hope you’ll consider reading it!
In The Land Of The Penny Gnomes can be found in both paperback and eBook formats on Amazon. eBooks are also available though Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and iBooks. I don’t do DRM so, in theory, any of the eBooks should be able to be read on any device.
If you want to follow me on social media I invite you to check out my blog, or my personal twitter account. I’ve also set up a twitter account for The Realmian Adventures, which is sometimes hijacked by characters from the novel.
Thank you so much, everyone. I’d love to answer any questions you might have.