What Is "Otherwhile Tales"?
Otherwhile Tales is ... No, wait, I should start of by saying who I am.
I'm a writer. I've loved writing since I was knee-high to something with knees at head height for a tallish six-year-old boy, and I've earned my living, or what passes for one, as a writer for over fifteen years now. I've worked in radio and TV and on the internet and on video games. But all the while, I've been amassing stories. Otherwhile Tales is a repository for some of those stories and for the building blocks of a new story set in a world whose outlines I first began to perceive a hideously long time ago (the full story can be found here) and which is at last beginning to come into real focus.
By and large, the stories will take the form of fairy tales or folk tales. Some are rather doomy, some should send a shiver down the spine and some will be comic. I'll also be interspersing them with the odd bit of fantasy adventure, partly because we could all do with a bit of fun now and again and partly because that's the sort of story I'm aiming towards.
My old tales will pop up occasionally in The Pasture for Elderly Stories. New tales, and the fragments which may become part of new tales, will appear on the main blog. The blog is also the place where I'll be amassing more details of Otherwhile's history, geography, peoples and legends, as well as occasional piece looking at the business of writing and at myths, fairy stories et al and their place in the real world.
Otherwhile itself is a land intended to provide an easy home to myths and folktales. There are dark forests, high mountains and plenty of out-of-the-way places for the odd and uncanny to lurk, sending ripples of chill rumour down the spines of Otherwhile's people. Those people are good and bad, kind and selfish, smart and stupid, much as people are in any world, if perhaps a little more open to superstition. Technologically, they're stuck in the equivalent of what would be our Middle Ages. Culturally, they live in a world where work is demanding, travel is hard and the odd and uncanny have a habit of happening. Literacy is infrequent. Magic is whatever is unknown or inexplicable; if it truly exists, it is a wild and uncontrollable thing. Religion is complicated, revolving around the figure of The Absented, whose name may indicate the Otherwans tend towards Deism, or may indicate something altogether different.
Most of all Otherwhile is a place I'm fond of. I enjoy visiting it, seeing its sights and meeting its people. I hope you, my (probably notional) reader, will too.