March 11, 2019


        I will once again be participating in the April A to Z Blog Challenge this year, and it’s time for the Theme Revelation.  *Cue the fanfare*  For 2019 I will be featuring fantastical creatures from my upcoming bestiary, On the Virtues of Beasts of the Realms of Imagination.  I’ve featured lots of these wonderful animals before, plus lots of other alphabetical mythical creatures, too.  On the one hand, it would be no fun merely to copy previous posts, but on the other, I want to make sure interested readers get the maximum alphabetical creature goodness,  so this year’s A-Z posts will be heavy on the links.  If you want to get the full content for each letter, you will have to click through to additional posts.  Of course I hope to entice you by including lots of new content, as well.
        So, what exactly is a bestiary, and what is my book all about?  From the explanation in the book:  Especially popular around the twelfth century, bestiaries were best-sellers of Medieval Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East.  Bestiaries are, of course, collections of beasts, but the medieval ones that the word "bestiary" usually implies include not only natural history, but also all sorts of symbolism, moral lessons, and what we now believe to be sheer fairy tale.

        My take on it for this project is a beast for every letter of the alphabet (plus half the letters ended up with two), which are all fantastical creatures from mythologies and folklore all around the world.  Each animal is illustrated with an original relief block print, a description and a little vignette or story, and a moral lesson.  The whole thing is written in a deliberately old-fashioned style, but with stories and morals that I hope will resonate with modern readers.  It’s a bit quirky and doesn’t necessarily fit into any easy marketing category — it’s a picture book but it’s not really for children; it’s fantasy, but not really a story; it's an alphabetized collection of mythical creatures, but not really an encyclopedia or reference work; it’s got moralizing, but it’s not really a sermon, or a religious book, or self-help… — but nevertheless I hope it will catch your fancy!
        “Okay,” you say, “Nice Theme Reveal, but I can’t help but notice that the banner above says ‘March 18’, and this happens to be March 11.”  My, aren’t you observant!  I hope you read all my other posts so carefully.  Yes, I am officially Revealing my Theme early because, as always, I’m tweaking the official schedule the better to suit my own blogging habits.  Once again I’ll be starting the challenge early, and this year the hard-working and innovative A-Z Challenge Team have announced that there will not be a separate daily list for each letter.  That means that if you’re coming from the Challenge you’ll be using the Master List, and that means that for every day except Y and Z you will find the wrong letter when you land here.  I’ll provide yet more links to help you find your way, and I trust you can roll with it.  So, welcome back to the A to Z Challenge.  Enjoy!

[Picture: draft cover design for On the Virtues of Beasts of the Realms of Imagination, by AEGN, 2019.]


Jessi said...

I am so excited!!! I can't wait for you to teach us about the many beast throughout our world. And even more about the ones off of it as well.

Amelia said...

What an interesting theme! And you've already started! Can't wait to get started reading!

A Tarkabarka Hölgy said...

I love a good bestiary! And I'm happy I'm not the only "Mythology and Folklore" on the list :) This will be fun!

The Multicolored Diary

Stuart Nager said...

Nice theme. It sounds like it will go well with The Multicolored Diary's entries. I'll be reading

Kristin said...

I always look forward to your A-Z!

Anne E.G. Nydam said...

Thanks, everyone. I hope you enjoy!