Welcome to TaleBlade Press
Once upon a time, writers wielded incredible power. The simple quill in the hands of a master, forged entire worlds replete with their own history, lore and grand adventures. Inspired by what could be and constrained only by their imagination, tales were seamlessly woven to create awe-inspiring tapestries of leather-bound print. Children and adults alike were propelled into a world every bit as real as the mundane constructs around them.
In this world, our sensations were magnified.
In this world, we could test our courage by standing with heroes against all odds for survival.
In this world, we could rise to heights of remarkable greatness, solve seemingly impenetrable mysteries and truly grasp our destiny.
In this world, hope would often arise fragile but at all times unbroken.
In this world meaning was obtainable, and purpose indelibly understood.
Yet the world of reality fought back.
Alluring landscapes that once held the promise of inspiring and life-changing adventure, now lay forgotten. Children, who once dreamed of a life filled with passion, now wake up each day to a world that provides books every bit as dreary as the modern life we endure. We are bombarded with uninspired tales of agenda driven narratives. We are confronted with literary dross that is propelled to bestseller status by nothing more than powerful marketing systems. The promise that we would one day become kings, queens, warriors and heroes has been met with a harsh and repetitive reminder that the best we can hope for is a momentary distraction.
But these worlds lay waiting still. Untouched by modern life and unharmed by the burdens we bear. Free of drifting political agendas, trends and social expectations.
For those who truly seek them, such tales remain. Beckoning us to escape the didactic banality that is thrust upon us. Alluring us to abandon our problems, and take on challenges instead that will echo throughout the history of whatever fable we fall into. Like jewels among the common stones, these tales are rare, and are perhaps becoming rarer still.
Yet there remains hope that the creative genius’ of awe-inspiring tales will once again dust-off their rejected manuscripts, step out of the shadows, and bravely reintroduce their tales to a weary world. There remains hope that these masters of prose will weather the storm of agenda-driven literary criticism, and stand firm in the face of marketing powerhouses. There remains hope that good stories can once again succeed in a world that centres on good promotion.
It is upon this idea that TaleBlade Press was founded. Forged upon the hope that epic and mesmerising tales will once again be readily available. That new worlds will be carefully crafted. That beautiful stories will once more become classics of the future. And that the long forgotten tales of old will be forever remembered as legendary.
Like characters from a fairy tale
Aside from his unnerving expertise in the rapid and merciless deconstruction of a tale, fable or otherwise hopeful piece of fiction, not much else is known about Arthur.
In silence, he drifts through the doors of the old TaleBlade offices, hanging his coat, scarf and hat upon a rack reserved only for him, and without a word, sits by the hearth within the confines of his private office. Each day he pours over a myriad of carefully bound pages, making copious notes and often frowning at the sight of grammatical errors, predictable narratives and hollow characters.
At the end of each day, Arthur delivers his notes to the staff, pulls his coat, scarf and hat over his old frame and like a wandering apparition, disappears once again into the night. To say that he is good at his job is an understatement. Most of the staff here at TaleBlade would reason that he knows his job because he has been doing it for the last 400 years… It would be funny if some of us didn’t half-believe it was true.
BCR Fegan currently stands at the precipice of his writing career.
Raised on a small hobby farm, only minutes from some of Australia’s greatest beaches, Fegan grew up inspired by the power of nature’s ambience. From the intensity of the frequent summer storms, to the overwhelming serenity of a lonely beach in the early hours of the morning. His ravenous appetite for both reading and writing soon saw him drawing on the transformational influence of this world around him to craft short stories, poems and picture books.
As time wore on, Fegan also found inspiration in the magic and depth of authors and compositors like Hans Christian Anderson, the Brothers Grimm and Charles Perrault. He was mesmerised by the potency of small but beautiful phrases that were carefully carved from the minds of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Alfred Lord Tennyson and Robert Frost. He grew to appreciate the worlds meticulously created by David Eddings, JRR Tolkien and CS Lewis.
Eventually, he began to forge his own complete works. Weaving his own magic, piecing together his own phrases and crafting his own worlds. Agonising over plots that would inspire, characters that would be loved and circumstances that would delight.
In time, his efforts saw a number of children’s books and middle-grade fiction produced. Through the efforts of TaleBlade Press, these works are now being published with that same careful dedication.
It is a rare thing indeed to come across an individual that is so genuine, so motivated and so excited about ‘all things books’. Ariella possesses an almost indefatigable energy in her work and retains an optimism that perfectly balances the solemn atmosphere set by Arthur Raven.
Ariella grew up in Romania (in Transylvania no less, in a small village near the Carpathian Mountains). The forbidden daughter of a local Priest, the details surrounding her birth and the identity of her father have remained a mystery for her entire life. At the age of eight, she left her home and travelled with her mother through a number of countries before arriving on the golden shores of Australia.
Ariella’s mother subsequently fought hard to keep a roof over their heads and food on the table. Unfortunately this meant that she was often absent in Ariella’s life. Ariella jokes that these circumstances weren’t bad because it instead meant that she was raised by some of the world’s greatest authors. It was indeed the hope, excitement, romance and adventure in the books that she was constantly reading that showed her what the world could be, rather than what it had become.
Her passion for inspiring tales eventually led her to explore the world of publishing in her adult life, and as fate would have it to the door of TaleBlade Press.
“He didn’t like books in which dull, cranky writers describe humdrum events in the very humdrum lives of humdrum people. Reality gave him enough of that kind of thing, why should he read about it? Besides, he couldn’t stand it when a writer tried to convince him of something. And these humdrum books, it seemed to him, were always trying to do just that. Bastian liked books that were exciting or funny, or that made him dream. Books where made-up characters had marvellous adventures, books that made him imagine all sorts of things. Because one thing he was good at, possibly the only thing, was imagining things so clearly that he almost saw and heard them”.
Michael Ende, The Neverending Story
Aramus approached TaleBlade with some impressive references. As he was a collector of antiquarian and rare books, we were convinced that he would have some valuable insights and were keen to hear from his uniquely qualified perspective. He did not disappoint. Quickly establishing himself as a valuable member within the TaleBlade team, Aramus has not only provided internal advice but has penned some insightful articles.
Aramus has a unique ability to explain literary and publishing concepts articulately and with a fine attention to detail. We look forward to his continuing contribution to TaleBlade Press.
Vera is a bit of a gun when it comes to providing book reviews and even useful resources for authors. A self-described country girl, she pulls no punches when it comes to giving her opinion on a topic – and there is no topic she is more passionate about than books. It would not be unusual for Vera to have up to ten books on the go and with such wide-ranging literary interests, she is a most welcome member of our team.
Claudia lives by the mantra, ‘ever underestimated’. Although small in stature and softly spoken, it is evident that this ambition permeates her very core. Our first meeting with Claudia left us with two impressions. Firstly, she is very prim and proper, with a peculiar accent that betrays her Australian citizenship. Secondly, she has what could only be described as incredibly fierce eyes. A window perhaps into her intense ambition that sits beneath the surface.
Claudia’s motivation for joining the TaleBlade team stems from her love of great books, with a penchant for the classics. As someone who often directs conversation to books and draws literary parallels to her personal circumstances, putting pen to paper was a natural to her very ordered life. She looks forward to starting conversations and on occasion, to kindling the fires of controversy.
Nathaniel approached TaleBlade Press after the release of our first publication. Intrigued by our unique placement in the publishing world, he cautiously offered his services on one condition – under no circumstances would we reveal his true identity. Of course we readily accepted as we, in fact, had no idea who this ‘Clark Kent of Scandinavia’ truly was anyway.
As it turned out, our literary superman was actually a prolific ghost-writer for some very well-known publications. When we asked him what attracted him most to ghost-writing, he indicated that it was the freedom without public expectation, anonymity without insignificance and the vicarious accolades without the requirement of ceremony. Truly Nathaniel is a writer’s writer. Perhaps though an endangered breed in our modern society. One who is content to sit within the shadows while making a world of difference to those of us who operate in the light.
“Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.”
Neil Gaiman, Coraline
TaleBlade Press exists to develop artisanal authors into masters of storytelling through: Resources; Reviews; and Representation.
TaleBlade Press is an artisanal Publishing House. This means that we offer a unique approach to our clients and seek to offer additional tools to our fellow artisan authors.
TaleBlade Press is simply about bringing back adventure, mystery and intrigue. It is about celebrating the power of a perfectly crafted phrase. It is about books that connect with us so deeply, that we smell the food, hear the wind and feel the pain. It is about discovering incredible tales that stay with us long after we have put down the book.
For the passionate storytellers that walk among us, TaleBlade has carefully distilled the abundance of services generally available, into three potent areas that we think characterise the most useful author services:
Resources – For the writer who yearns to perfect their craft or understand the subtleties of artisan publishing.
Reviews – For the published or soon-to-be-published author seeking the caring but critical eye of the prudent reviewer.
Representation – For the dedicated few who have committed themselves to the lifetime pursuit of storytelling-mastery.
Whatever services you seek, you can be assured that we at TaleBlade Press are determined to provide comprehensive, authentic and highly professional assistance. We are artisans first, and understand the importance of crafting a comprehensive and beautiful book strategy.
What makes a good story?
For some, it’s the grammatical construct of personality-driven paragraphs seeking to highlight contemporary values of a specific sub-culture. For others, it might be the sheer quantity of adjectives used to describe a scene before the reluctant eventuality of moving the storyline forward. Here at TaleBlade Press, we try to measure the quality of a story by its entertainment and excitement value to those members of society who make the most sincere critics. Members who aren’t generally interested in pushing an agenda, selling an idea or making a name – Children.
C.S Lewis once wrote ‘a children’s story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children’s story in the slightest.’ We think the reverse is also true. At the end of the day, a good story is a good story!
It is for this reason that our focus remains on books that inspire children, middle-graders and teenagers. Of course this is in no way meant to invalidate the value of books written for other age-groups. It is perhaps a reflection of our changing desires as we grow up, to seek out books that assist our understanding of the systems around us, or satisfy our much more sensible curiosities. However we still believe that for most of us, the memorable tales that we reflect upon in the quiet moments of our life – or that we gleefully return to when sharing a story with others – remain the beautiful fairy tales and inspiring narratives we read in our younger days. These are the true legends of the literary world.
Our emphasis on children’s, middle-grade and teen fiction is reflected in the books we accept for reviewing, and our resources carry this thread within them as well. It is also reflected in our collection of published works which can be perused here.
“A children’s story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children’s story in the slightest.”
“Anyone who says they have only one life to live must not know how to read a book.”
The world of publishing is an exciting one. Its landscapes strewn with aspiring writers, shifting portals of opportunity and rumours of inspiring tales from distant lands.
Like miners, publishers must sift through common stone to find the rare gems – and be prepared to recognise them for the precious stones they are while they yet remain uncut and unpolished. Like explorers, publishers must be prepared to search far and wide for masters of their arts who have more interest in writing than in marketing. And like warriors, publishers must be prepared at any time for the battles of changing laws, changing processes and yes, even powerful enemies.
TaleBlade News and Reviews is in many ways a snapshot of this strange but enticing world. Containing reviews of rare gems, introductions of new masters and news – good and bad – on events that impact authors, books and the fragile structures supporting them.
For those interested in this world, you can delve into our News and Reviews section here.
For every piece of fiction written, an equally intriguing story rests silently beneath its pages. It is the tale of an author’s life, his dreams, struggles and victories. It is the tale within the tale. The mystery within the shadows of the book. It is the question that looks beyond the horizons of the narrative itself and asks ‘why should I read this book at all?’
Book publications in all their forms will often seek to explore the realm that exists beyond the simple entertainment value of a good book. These writers have become the gatekeepers of public exposure and the voice of public acceptance – judging a book by its cover, its contents and by the craftsman wielding the quill.
And so it is. Authors today must learn to pen another type of story – their own. With as much intrigue, passion and mystery as the characters they’ve designed for their latest adventure. For like in the world of imagination, there is only one type of story that will hold the interest of avid reader and journalist alike – a good one. It is for this reason that a simple yet comprehensive media page has been designed.
So for all who seek to go deeper, our media page can be found here.
“If you have never spent whole afternoons with burning ears and rumpled hair, forgetting the world around you over a book, forgetting cold and hunger- If you have never read secretly under the bedclothes with a flashlight, because your father or mother or some other well-meaning person has switched off the lamp on the plausible ground that it was time to sleep because you had to get up so early- If you have never wept bitter tears because a wonderful story has come to an end and you must take your leave of the characters with whom you have shared so many adventures, whom you have loved and admired, for whom you have hoped and feared, and without whose company life seems empty and meaningless- If such things have not been part of your own experience, you probably won’t understand what Bastian did next.”
Michael Ende, The Neverending Story