Monday, June 23, 2014

Eleanor by Johnny Worthen Blog Tour

Author: Johnny Worthen
Publisher: Jolly Fish Press
Publication Date: July 1, 2014

It was a gamble for Eleanor to rejoin humanity, but she was driven to it. She’d been too successful forgetting. The last vestiges of her family hung by a thread in her transformed brain and drove her to be reckless. Ten years later, Eleanor hides in plain sight. She is an average girl getting average grades in a small Wyoming town: poor but happy, lonely but loved. Her mother, Tabitha, is there for her and that’s all she’s ever needed. But now her mother is sick and David has returned. The only friend she’d ever had, the only other person who knows her secret, is back. And Eleanor again becomes reckless. Eleanor is a modest girl, unremarkable but extraordinary, young but old, malleable but fixed. She is scared and confused. She is a liar and a thief. Eleanor is not what she appears to be.

Guest Post: The forbidden hobby that lead to Eleanor, The Unseen
When I was growing up I played Dungeons and Dragons. Not to date myself too much, but the game was just in its infancy then and I had to fight with my school to get it approved as part of our middle-school game club.

There was a lot fear and misinformation about the game back then. Parents who didn’t know what the game was about, saw only monsters, devils and ogres and assumed that it was some kind of Satanic ruse meant to enlist their little darlings into some occult coven.

Even then, I knew role playing games like D&D are really just social story-telling, creative, imaginative, historical and cool.

The years have proved me right, but at the time, it was touch and go. Because I had to fight for it, Dungeons and Dragons and role-playing games in general have a special place in my heart. Had the forces that be not cared to try to stop my friends and I from playing, I’d not have spent hours pouring over the books, excitedly visualizing dark dungeons and orcs, noble battles for lost treasures, flying horses, ancient elvish races and spooky monsters.

It was one of these spooky monsters that I studied in my middle grade years that followed me into adulthood and my writing career and ultimately into ELEANOR, THE UNSEEN.

The makers of those early D&D books, the reference ones in particular, did not haphazardly invent foes and challenges; they adapted them from folk tales and myth. They described wonderful beings in exciting detail, introducing them to thirsty creative young minds like mine, giving them the necessary mechanics for game play, combat stats, hit points and the like, but basically offering ready-made characters to be written into our adventures and imaginations. Underneath it all, particularly in the early books, there was often a rich vein of historical legend beneath it all.

When I visualized the paranormal aspect of ELEANOR, THE UNSEEN, and researched Native American legends about the Skinwalker, discovering its cousins in Europe and Asia, I realized I knew much more about it than I thought. I was practically an expert in the legend from my days of Dungeons & Dragons.

I can truly say, and will do so proudly to my middle-school principle, that Dungeons & Dragons helped make me the story-teller I am today. 
About The Author
JOHNNY WORTHEN graduated with a B.A. in English and Master’s in American Studies from the University of Utah. After a series of businesses and adventures, including running his own bakery, Worthen found himself drawn to the only thing he ever wanted to do—write. And write he does. When he’s not pounding on his keyboard or attending writers conferences, Worthen spends his time with his wife and two boys in Sandy, Utah.

1 comment:

  1. Ooh, sounds like a really interesting book! Such a suspenseful blurb.
    And I really like the guest post :) I've never played D&D, but it looks so fun!