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July 20, 2012

Friday Fun with Jonathan Gould & Giveaway

Another author has taken up the challenge to provide a little fun for your Friday. Jonathan Gould has lived in Melbourne, Australia all his life, except when he hasn't. He has written comedy sketches for both the theatre and radio, as well as several published children's books for the educational market.

He likes to refer to his stories as dag-lit because they don't easily fit into recognisable genres (dag is
Australian slang for a person who is unfashionable and doesn't follow the crowd - but in an amusing and fun way). You might think of them as comic fantasies, or modern fairytales for the young and the young- at-heart.

Over the years, his writing has been compared to Douglas Adams, Monty Python, A.A. Milne, Lewis
Carroll, the Goons, Dr Seuss and even Enid Blyton (in a good way).

Today, Jonathan is talking about creating characters and not just any old character but creatures! He is also offering three creative people an ebook copy of his book Magnus Opum, see details below.

I was really thrilled when Donna invited me to do a post for Friday Fun. I love Fridays. And I love fun. So what could possibly be better than bringing my two favourite things together.

Of course, then came the tricky bit – I had to sit down and come up with some sort of fun idea. It couldn’t just be any kind of boring old guest post. So I figured, if I’m talking about writing (and that’s the main thing I seem to talk about most times), I should think about the aspects of writing that are really fun. And then it became easy, because I know for sure which part of writing is the most fun.

Coming up with characters.

I love coming up with ideas for new characters. I love figuring out what they look like and sound like, what they do and how they fit into the story. And I especially love coming up with names for them.

My recently released novel, Magnus Opum, is a good case in point. It’s my attempt at an epic fantasy, so it’s big and broad and sweeping. But, as it’s written by me, it also has its strange quirks and these are probably expressed most strongly in the characters. I wanted to get rid of the usual clich├ęd collection of wizards and elves and goblins and come up with my own collection of races, and that’s where I had a lot of fun. Here is a brief overview of some of them:

Kertoobies: the most important race in the story. They’re a bit Hobbit-like (let’s face it, Tolkien is my main reference point when it comes to epic fantasy) although rather than living in holes in the ground, they live in brightly coloured houses called kertottages. They spend a large amount of their time eating their staple diet of pflugberry pies, and (generally) prefer to have nothing to do with journeys and adventures.

Cherines: the most beautiful and wisest race and also the bravest and boldest warriors. They are, however, somewhat vain and spend a large amount of time looking at themselves in the mirror and singing songs about how great they are.

Glurgs: are opposite to the Cherines in every way. They are hideous and brutal and mean and ugly and scary. Also stinky and slimy and totally uncouth. They have extremely dubious personal habits as well, and we won’t even get started on their cooking.

Doosies: are terrible gossips. They have three ears, two in the normal spots and one on the back of their head, so they can hear everything that is said in the vicinity. They also have long, prehensile noses, perfect for sticking into other peoples’ business.

The Blerchherchh: this one is a nasty piece of work. A giant brute who waylays and consumes everyone who passes. However, unlike the Glurgs, his cooking technique cannot be faulted.

That’s just a taster of some of the weird and wonderful races and characters in Magnus Opum. But I’m not going to have all the fun here. Now it’s your turn. I’d love to hear other people’s ideas for characters, or new races in fantasy stories. Tell me what you’d call them, what they look like and what they do. For the three most original and creative ideas, I’m happy to provide a free e-copy of Magnus Opum.
Leave a comment below with your character/creature and way to contact you. Jonathan will choose a winner on Thursday (July 26).

A story about a little person in a very big world.

Magnus Mandalora never thought he would leave the safe confines of the small homely village of Lower Kertoob. He certainly never expected to end up in the middle of a long-running war between the saintly Cherines and the beastly Glurgs. But when circumstance places him in such a dubious position, he finds himself on a rollicking adventure where nothing is quite as it seems.

Magnus Opum is an epic fantasy that's slightly skewed - Tolkien with a twist. From
Find Magnus Opum at Goodreads, Amazon

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  1. Hi Donna,

    It's great to be a part of Friday fun. Here's hoping to see a lot of creative comments.

  2. OH This was great! what a neat post! Definitely fun!

  3. Great post Jonathan. Love the characters in your books and Magnus Opum had such a rich array of wonderful creations.

    Elenchera has some different races along with some of the usual ones such as elves and dwarves.

    I have many anthropmorphic races such as elamorgias, tolderes, valkayans, Cauls and Sargonians.

    I think creating your own is part of the fun and makes the world more personalised and convincing.

  4. Great post,a nd yeah, your list of characters cracked me up! Another must read. :)



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