Tare Turns 5 Years Old

(Kedran’s Wood collage I made. Some images belong to me, others were found on Pinterest, here.)

Some of you are probably squinting at the title of this post, going: “…Wait, what??”

(Especially since, as those three or so people reading this who have beta-read some of the books would know, Tare’s actual age is so confusing in the story itself that he doesn’t need any more confusingness added on.)

(For anyone who is further confused due to not knowing: Tare is the name of my favorite character I’ve ever written [sorry, all you other characters] and he inhabits the contemporary fantasy series I’m writing.)

Let me set you straight.

No, it’s not actually Tare’s birthday (which is in January).

No, this post is not actually about an adorable Tare when he was a small boy (apologies).

But a week ago, on April 5, 2017, it was in fact the 5-year anniversary of the day I first started writing the book in which I first met Tare, the first book in the Kedran’s Wood series, The Owl of Kedran’s Wood!

Yes indeed, it’s KW1’s book birthday!

Here, have a cupcake to celebrate:

Today’s post is a conglomeration of random things about the series, including the first book, and basically just A CELEBRATION OF ALL THINGS KEDRAN’S-WOOD-ISH!

How it Began

It began with the forging of the great rings…

…Whoops, wrong story. How about this?

In a hole in the ground there lived a Hobbit.

Wait, wrong one again. How about this one:

In an abandoned apartment down a dark alley there lived a Tare?



Anyways, it actually began in early 2012 when I “randomly” started writing what I thought would be a fun standalone novella or short novel called The Owl of Kedran’s Wood. I wanted to try a little modern fantasy story and just… started writing. I knew a few things about the story, but for the most part, I was as in the dark as my main characters, the Chess Club. It was a first for me in many ways. I hadn’t done a lot of “pantsing” stories before, and it was also my first modern story.

I never thought I would write a modern story. Contemporary books were never my thing, and I think it’s because I don’t enjoy the kinds of things that modern books can rarely seem to resist including, like school and its petty backstabbing and bullying and drama (ugh), annoying teen characters who don’t get along and have family life problems, and love-triangles… etc., and just general ick. Many modern books just seemed petty to me and I always enjoyed fantasy worlds instead.

So the idea that I would write a fantasy book in *gasp* modern times? Unheard of!

But it happened.

I started writing a modern fantasy book, and ended up writing it (unintentionally) in direct opposition to all the problems I’d had with other modern fiction. I made it a book that I wouldn’t mind reading myself. On the way, I completely fell in love with this cast of characters — the Chess Club became more than friends, they became MY friends, and Tare became my favorite character I’ve written (so far). It also turned out to be 100K words. So much for “short.” XD

From being a one-time random story I thought I would finish and move on from, it wrapped itself around my heart and turned into a series which, five years later, I’m still working on writing, and foresee being happily involved in scribbling for many more years to come. ^_^

It’s been awhile since I’ve talked about this particular book in the series (since it’s been awhile since I finished it) so, in celebration of its birthday, let me direct you to a handy new summary I wrote for it recently.

The Owl of Kedran’s Wood (Kedran’s Wood, Book 1)
by Deborah O’Carroll

Welcome to the town by Kedran’s Wood

  • Where teenaged best friends (but not, y’know, the angsty kind) don’t need to backstab each other (though they might the recent outbreak of monsters).
  • Where it’s not about life in highschool (because who wants to spend more time there than necessary?) but about life outside it.
  • And where the local chess club (see best friends) does more than just play chess . . .

Meet shy Lavender, rambunctious Baz, fiery Ivy, confident Adrian, and wry Mr. Larch. Oh, and Small Occasion (who is tiny, white, and fluffy, and barks like a tree).

This book is about how they play (badly) at being over-reacting amateur detectives more often than at chess; fight monsters (with some—okay, lots of—help from the resident leather-clad stranger); and still find time for friendships old and new, and small occasions like summer lemonade and puns (yes, that last one is always Baz’s fault).

But mostly it’s about the mysterious young man called Tare (see resident leather-clad stranger), how the Chess Club meets him (though whether that’s a terrific or terrible thing is part of the question—Baz would say both, if only for the puns), and how just at the edge of an ordinary small modern town, lies Kedran’s Wood . . .

And that’s where the pieces are beginning to move for a game that’s far from a friendly match of chess.

Books in the Kedran’s Wood Series

and a little bit about them


  • 1 The Owl of Kedran’s Wood — the summer when Tare and the Chess Club meet, featuring cake-baking disasters and the (almost) end of the world (#awkward). Status: draft written.
  • 2 The Secret of Kedran’s Wood — wintry novel, current work in progress, featuring mysterious villains and (possibly) an evil faerie. Status: 1/3 done? Hopefully more?
  • 3 The Shadow of Kedran’s Wood — featuring summer vacation, more about Tare, and of course secret agents. Status: snippets.

Novellas (to write)

  • 1.5 Son of Kedran’s Wood — in which Tare does stuff between 1 &2, + prequel about his past (yay!)
  • 2.5 Mixup at Kedran’s Wood — in which Tare and Adrian accidentally switch minds/bodies (because that won’t be confusing at all…)
  • 3.5 Celebrations at Kedran’s Wood — in which there is a birthday party and a wedding (no, I’m not telling you whose)

Bonus Novel (to write)

  • The Quest of Kedran’s Wood — in which Marie undertakes something NaNo-ish and writes an epic fantasy book starring the chess club and Tare in medieval roles. And reads it aloud to them. (What could possibly go wrong?)

Number of KW words written so far

According to one calculation:

190,780 words

  • (105K book 1 current finished draft)
  • (65K book 2 current + 10K snippets out of order later in book 2)
  • (10K snippets total from book 3, 1.5, 2.5, and bonus)

That averages out to approximately 104 words of Kedran’s Wood writing per day for 5 years. XD (Not counting previous versions or plotting, of course.)


In celebration of my Kedran’s Wood series turning 5 years old, and in an effort to get myself immersed again in the writing of KW2, I’m doing #WIPjoy on Twitter all this month, featuring The Secret of Kedran’s Wood!

For those who don’t know #WIPjoy is to celebrate and answer questions about your work-in-progress (WIP), with a different question for every day of the month.

For those of you who follow me on Twitter, check it out! …For those of you who don’t follow me on Twitter, where have you been?? (Just kidding. 😉 I will excuse you if you don’t have Twitter. XD Ahem.)

It’s been a blast so far!

Tare is an INTJ (surprise)

Yes, I took the MBTI test as Tare (or rather, as Tare IS, not how he would answer, because I’m 99% sure he wouldn’t want a random test knowing things about him so he’d likely be less than truthful in that case) and he came out as INTJ, which is the category most villains and awesome dark people like Mr. Darcy and Batman and Sherlock tend to fit into. Yes, I was monstrously pleased at this. XD It’s creepy how well he fits it, too…

(He’s not shy but he’s definitely not a people person. I love that he’s 80% introverted. XD)

Tare is the only character I’ve taken the test for, since he’s the only one I know well enough.

Some posts about the series

This seemed like a fun time to highlight some favorite posts in the past about the Kedran’s Wood series or (usually) Tare.

And there you have it!

This concludes my reminiscing about this unlikely but beloved series of mine. (Now to just finish writing it and get it published, amIright?? Ahem. That may be far down the road, but it’s an eventual goal. ;))

What most intrigues you about this series, or what was your favorite part of this post? Thank you so much for putting up with me flailing about this stuff (and reading this post), and celebrating with me the 5-year birthday of this series! ^_^

23 thoughts on “Tare Turns 5 Years Old

    From what I’ve read on your blog, Tare sounds like just my type of character. I love the INTJ, sarcastic types. XD He reminds me so much of characters that I’ve written and love. ❤
    I NEED to read these books, Deborah! They sound so amazingly epic!! I sincerely hope you get them published so I can read them and love them and basically be Tare's #1 fan. XD

    Liked by 1 person

      Yep, one of my favorite types of characters as well! (Makes me want to know more about yours too…) You have good taste. 😉
      Awk, thank you SO MUCH! ❤ I hope so too! And… you may need to get in line for that position, my dear. XDDD

      Liked by 1 person

  2. *Sigh* every time I read a post about this series it makes me desperate to read it. Not to rush you or anything, but…

    Oh, who am I kidding? I’m rushing you. 😉

    Seriously, though. They sound awesome! It’s so fun to have a character and/or book and/or series that you love as much as I can tell you love these.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Never worry that you have to write a certain type of story, or that you can’t write something that goes against the grain – after all, Narnia and Middle Earth came into literary being because their authors were sick of not liking the fiction popular in their own time!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Daley! You’re absolutely right about that! 🙂 It’s definitely fun to try writing things that there’s something of a shortage of out there. 😉 (Narnia and Middle-earth are prime examples!) Thanks for reading/commenting! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Huzzah for five years of Tare! Here’s hoping it goes on for many more! (And that it gets published sometime, because that needs to happen SO MUCH. I would buy all the books and then run all the promotions and giveaways and stuff until everyone I know has a copy of the book.)

    I am not at all surprised that Tare is an INTJ. Also, the novellas sound awesome! (Y’know what you should work on the rest of NaNo? KW2. Or one of the novellas. Or anything Tare, really.)

    Liked by 1 person

  5. AAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THIS POST MAKES ME SO HAPPYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY MY DEAR KW! (Although, I admit, I DID start laughing when I saw that title, trying to imagine Tare as a five year old. SO ADORBZ. xD But yes, adding even MORE confusion to the poor guy’s age may not be good… *snickers*)

    BUT THIS POST. It just brought back allllll the happy KW things and memories and just EVERYTHING. I adore the collages! I keep staring at each pictures, happily thinking of all the people and scenes and things!

    “In an abandoned apartment down a dark alley there lived a Tare.” *DIIIIIES* This is the BEST. Definitely a perfect beginning. XDDD

    I just love how this was supposed to be merely a novella or quicky novel. *giggles* Tare and co. were not letting you go THAT easily! And we’re ALL glad of it! BECAUSE KW MUST LAST FOREVERRRRRR. Or…ya know…longer than a quick standalone. That would not be NEARLY enough KW. *shudders at the thought*

    I love how you wrote it because you didn’t like any contemporaries out there. I totally get that! I so often want to write something when I get annoyed with books or movies because I want to “fix” the things I’m annoyed with. XDDD But really now, I think it’s great that you’re creating practically a NEW genre! We NEED some good, clean, non-angsty contemporaries, and it makes me so happy my Celti is making them. ^_^

    You have nearly 200k words in total for these books? :O THAT IS AWESOME!!!! ALL THE WONDERFUL KW WOOOOORDS.

    GAH. I just love this series so muuuuuuuuch! Every time I think about it I get this happy, fuzzy feeling. These books have honestly become my comfortable, happy place!


    Another happy birthday to KW!!!!!!!!! *allllll the cake and confetti* I can't wait to see all the exciting things to come with this series in the future!

    Liked by 1 person

    • ACK, YOUR COMMENT THOUGH!! <333 (Eheheh, yes, he doesn't need more confusion regarding his age. XD So glad the title amused. ;))

      I'm just so glad you enjoyed it!

      I'm now super tempted to use the "there lived a Tare" line somewhere but I don't think it would work. XD

      Yep, they were definitely not done with me for a quicky 40K or whatever I naively thought I was in for. 😉 ALL THE KW SERIES WRITING INSTEAD.

      I can enjoy some contemporaries, but overall they just tend to be not as fun? And yes, it's fun to "fix" things in writing. XD YASSS a new genre with good clean fun non-angsty contemporaries! 😀 I'm so glad you approve! 😀

      I was kind of in shock at how much I've written, yes. o.o I mean, in a way, I should have more after all this time, but in another way it's a pretty decent number. *shrug*

      OH MY GOODNESS IT GIVES YOU A HAPPY FUZZY FEELING? THIS MAKES MY DAY. ^_^ So so SO excited to know it's become a happy place for you! Just… just… You make my day! ❤

      Thank youuuu! You've been such an encouragement along the way! I can't wait too! THANKS LAURI! ❤ ❤ ❤


  6. Happy Book Birthday! Your book and my book Red Hood share a birth month haha! I came up with mine while being stuck at home during the great Georgian snowpocalypse. XD


    Liked by 1 person

  7. Pingback: Spring Ishness! {2017} | The Road of a Writer

  8. Pingback: Blogoversary (4 Years!) + Giveaway! | The Road of a Writer

  9. Pingback: Tare and the Puppies (or) The Dragon of Kedran’s Wood {A Short Story} | The Road of a Writer

What are your thoughts? I'd love to hear them!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.