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Author Debey Sklenar
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Once upon a time, fantasy became reality.
Once upon a time, fantasy became reality.

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"Love and Absinth", the novella, is out in ebook format. Do my fairy tales contain allegory? Of course they do! You can read about it in the blog post "Love, Absinth and Allegory" at http://debeysklenar.wordpress.com/2013/12/20/love-absinth-and-allegory/
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Love, Absinth and Allegory
     With the release of Love and Absinth, I thought I might talk a little about the allegorical elements I’ve tossed into my tales. Warning, though, if you’ve not read Love and Absinth, and think you might like to, the following post may be a little bit of a spoiler. And if you’ve already read Knue who Slew the Dragon, you may have noticed that a few characters had very allegorical sounding names. The same is true in Love and Absinth.
     But let’s back up. Just what is allegory? I like Richard Nordquist‘s definition of allegory because it does not necessarily assign a moral connotation to the allegorical meaning in a work. It simply states that allegory is “the rhetorical strategy of extending a metaphor through an entire narrative so that objects, persons, and actions in the text are equated with meanings that lie outside the text.”
     And, I do have to admit that I have always been intrigued with the use of allegory, especially in the way in which it has been used in the medieval morality play, Everyman. Although, there are several very major differences between morality plays and my own fairy tales.
     For one, the main character in a morality play usually represents humanity as a whole, while supporting characters represent good and evil. This firm focus on good and evil is another characteristic of morality plays which is not present in my own allegorical fairy tales.
      In my fairy tales, the protagonists themselves are often allegorical right alongside many of the supporting characters. They are what they are; I do not assign “good” and “evil” to my characters. However, they do represent what their names reflect. Since I am excited about the publication of Love and Absinth, let’s take the two title characters as prime examples.
     Love. Love is an emotion, but in the fairy tale of Love and Absinth, Love is also a main character, fully representing the emotion of love and all that that can entail. Absinth also. Absinthe with an “e” is a very potent liqueur with a very bitter flavor, but in the fairy tale, Absinth is a protagonist representing that same sour harshness. Both are very strong and come from seemingly opposite sides of the spectrum.
     Can they coexist? In the fairy tale of Love and Absinth, the characters of Love and Absinth are forced to coexist. The use of a symbol (which I will not go into here) binds them together in the form of a ring. The story gives us a genial look at what happens as they try to reverse the circumstances, while the allegory forces us to contemplate what it will take for opposites to exist together in peace.
     Through the use of allegory, I am able to address the question of how different or alike love and absinthe may be, while at the same time telling a simple story on the surface. If you enjoy fairy tales, you can read Love and Absinth for the tale without having to worry about any deeper meaning. But if you, like me, enjoy digging beneath the surface, the use of allegory provides material to ponder.
     And while Love and Absinth uses allegory perhaps the most blatantly in this trilogy of fairy tales, it is by no means the only one to do so. I will not examine the other characters in Knue who Slew the Dragon or Sycorax and the Sorcerer, but you are free to find them and analyze what purpose they serve. It’s not that difficult, really. Which is another thing I love about allegory!
       *Love and Absinth is now available on Amazon’s Kindle format. For those of you who do not own a Kindle, Amazon provides a free Kindle App for tablets, computers and smartphones. Otherwise, I do plan on publishing all three tales in this series to other formats in 2014 as well.
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The Timeline in "Knue who Slew the Dragon"

I am extremely pleased to announce the release of Knue who Slew the Dragon on Amazon’s Kindle platform. And with its release, I thought I might tell you a little about the concepts behind the story—or actually, the three stories that make up this fairy tale fantasy trilogy. I will also do my best not to spoil the tales for anyone.

First, why Kindle? The answer—because of the relative simplicity with which a literary work can be offered to the public. Kindle and other e-readers have exploded in popularity in the recent past, with Kindle still leading the pack, although others are quickly catching up. In addition, since this trilogy of tales does not fit neatly into a literary genre or category, it kindly allows the opportunity to present my work without the confines of such categories.

So, just how does it differ? My aim in writing these intertwining fairy tales was to delve deeper into some very complex concepts that at first glance seem quite fantastical, not at all reality based. What better way to present bizarre perceptions than in a fairy tale format. I mean, no one expects a realistic world in fairy tales, do they? I, for one, hope not.

Hence, my fairy tales are written in a format similar to that found in classic fairy tales. And, to read them on the surface, they appear to tell a typical fairy tale story, complete from beginning to end. And, honestly, if that is what you seek, great. There is nothing wrong with reading each of the three fairy tales that comprise this trilogy—Knue who Slew the Dragon, Love and Absinth, and Sycorax and the Sorcerer—simply as a straightforward fairy tale. I hope anyone that does so enjoys them thoroughly.

However, when read as a set, there are some ideas I wanted to explore. If you are the type that likes to read a work first and analyze it later, and you plan on reading this fairy tale trilogy, you may want to stop reading here. Otherwise, let me tell you about these concepts.

First, consider the concept of time. How do you think about time? Most people think of time as linear, and we end up with words like “timeline”. But what if time were not really a line? And what if time actually passed in different ways for different people? What if that “timeline” was actually a “timecircle”, intersecting with other “timeboxes” and “timetriangles” at various points? What if the time frame reference in which I lived my life was different from that of someone else?

Now, combine this new approach to time with what we think of as reality. I mean, what is reality, really? And could reality actually deviate for each individual? Could it change? In passing, I heard of a philosophical theory stating that people, when they remember something, every time they call up that memory, alter it slightly in their minds. What if they weren’t remembering it in a different way, but actually changing the way things were and are?

I have always been intrigued with the concept of appearance versus reality. What if it were not so much that events might appear a certain way in certain situations, which covered the reality with the appearance, but that reality itself could actually be altogether different depending upon which individual part you played in an event. Your reality could collide with someone else’s, and yet, could both realities be real?

Let’s go back to Knue. The story contained in Knue who Slew the Dragon contains its own reality set within its own time frame. It is complete. If a person were to read Love and Absinth, they would find that minor characters from Knue have become the protagonists (while the protagonists in Knue are now minor characters in Love and Absinth) and, likewise, that some scenes found in Knue who Slew the Dragon are also found in Love and Absinth.  However, it is impossible to overlay the timelines of the two, for the overlapping scenes intentionally occur at different points along the line. Also the point of view of each character gives a completely different spin as to the reality of what is going on. What is reality? And which timeline is correct? Further, if a person then reads and adds the tale of Sycorax and the Sorcerer on top of the mix, things only become more convoluted. So again, what is reality? And which timeline is the correct one?

What if they all are?

Now you’re ready to read this trilogy of fairy tales! Or, like I stated earlier, just enjoy them for the stories they contain!

*And for those of you without Kindles, Amazon provides a free Kindle App for tablets, computers and smartphones. Otherwise, I do plan to publish this fairy tale fantasy trilogy in other e-reader formats in 2014.
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