Know the Novel: Tare 3 (NaNo 2020)

Um . . . hi, guys! Long time no chat! A lack of internet and a general insanely-busy time has distracted me from blogging for the last few months.

But today I want to join in on the fabulous Christine Smith’s Know the Novel writer linkup to talk about my writing plans for November/NaNo! (How is that so soon?? SEND HELP.)

So. I’m writing the third book in my modern fantasy Kedran’s Wood series, so that I can hang out with Tare (my fave) and the Chess Club and have a hopefully chill/fun November for once!


1. What first sparked the idea for this novel?

Wow, it’s been so long . . . Well, I guess since it’s book 3, it would be because of starting a random modern fantasy back in April 2012 . . . which then had more spinoff ideas. I don’t remember the original spark for this one off hand, but origianaly it was going to be the sequel to book one, to be the adventures the Chess Club and Tare had the next summer, after The Owl of Kedran’s Wood. But then a snowy Christmas short story crept between them, eventually becoming a massive novel (145K words; please send help), so book three this one became! But the idea of the Chess Club and Tare on vacation has long been a fun one for me, and various things from the first two books and other Tare backstory stuff are leading up to this book. I’m excited. ^_^

2. Share a blurb (or just an overall summary if you’d prefer)!

(I’ve had this cover foreverrr. Maybe someday I’ll update it or come up with a new title, but it works for now. XD)

The Shadow of Kedran’s Wood (Kedran’s Wood, #3)

Road trip from Kedran’s Wood!

All the Chess Club wants is a fun vacation at the cabin Robin found them for the summer. All Tare wants is — well, probably for the Chess Club to stay out of trouble. (Saving teens, as well as the world all the time, gets exhausting.)

They find more than they bargained for with agents, a sinister secret lurking in the pine woods, a new side to Tare’s past, and of course McAllistair Mansion — which, let’s face it, is cooler than a cabin.

A storm is coming for the Chess Club and Tare.

So much for a quiet vacation . . .

3. Where does the story take place? What are some of your favorite aspects about the setting?

Still set in a vague/undisclosed part of modern-day America, but this time since the Chess Club road tripped away from their hometown, I have some new settings to play with. Pine woods and a cabin and a cool mansion and . . . other . . . things. I’m excited because, while I adore Kedran’s Wood itself, this gives me some new settings/dynamics I can play with — and Tare has an unexpected connection to this place too, so I’m going to have loads of fun with that! *cackles*

4. Tell us about your protagonist(s).

Meet the cast!

  • Tare20 years old – black hair – Enigmatic monster-fighting, black-leather-wearing guy and also my favorite character I’ve ever written

Chess Club

  • Lavender17 – blonde – Shy, softhearted, heart of the Chess Club
  • Baz17 – brown hair – Happy-go-lucky, fun-loving prankster and pun king
  • Ivy18 – red hair – Feisty, no-nonsense, go-get-’em Chess Club member
  • Adrian19 – blond hair – Easy-going, laid back guy, very protective of the Chess Club
  • Mr. Larch32 – brown hair – head of the Chess Club, dry and reserved, voice of reason
  • Robin Larch26 – light hair – Mr. Larch’s sister, enthusiastic, planning The Perfect Vacation

New Players

  • Arielle Everglade20 – long black hair – Appeared briefly in book 2, now shows up mysteriously (spoilers, sweetie)
  • Roderick Hendricks29 – dark brown hair – British, lawyer, basically an awkward penguin, lives at McAllistair Mansion, permanently anxious about Tare (not that we can blame anyone for being anxious about Tare)

5. Who (or what) is the antagonist?

Um. Spoilers? But there mayyy be a group and it mayyy be connected with villains of earlier book(s) and there is also a return of a side antagonist-ish or two . . . it’s complicated.

6. What excites you the most about this novel?

That it’s a new book with Tare and the Chess Club! I finished a novella with them last December, and while I’ve fiddled with things since, I haven’t actively been writing a KW book in ages (a.k.a. all this year!) and I’m excited to start this one. Also, I mean, it’s going to be a blast with Chess Club vacation and new characters and Tare being done with everything and yeah. 😀

7. Is this going to be a series? standalone? something else?

Well, it’s in a series . . . book 3 of 3! :O Sort of . . . I currently have an “official” trilogy of novels in the series, but also (either written or planned) 4 short stories, 2 novellas, a sort-of-for-fun alternate-ish novel that doesn’t really count, and a spinoff novel that also spins off of some other books I have. Not to mention sometimes my short story ideas turn into novels, and I have ideas for new adventures occasionally . . . (So there’s 10 . . . or, well, 11 . . . currently. But kind of just 3. XD I’ve drafted 2 novels, 2 short stories, and a novella so far.) BUT I still think of these three being the main books, so in that sense I’m starting on the last “official” (currently) Tare and Chess Club book. But I’m so excited because I felt like I’d never get this far! XD

8. Are you plotting? pantsing? plansting?

Hooopefully plotting? I haven’t done a lot yet but I do like to have an idea of how things will go. I have tons of it in my head already, and some basic notes/lists/snippets. I always mean to plot more for NaNo than I usually get around to, resulting in some flailing around, and with Tare and co. you never know when something might dash out of outline plans, so . . . call it a mix?

9. Name a few unique elements about this story.

Um. Mansion + secret agents (ish) + modern fantasy + British penguin lawyer (he’s not actually a penguin but he’s basically an awkward penguin, more or less) + Tare Doing Things + Chess Club shenanigans + road trip + camping + Tare backstory info (bwahaha) + I’m also planning a cameo of a character from one of my non-KW books. 😀 I don’t know how unique any of that is, but I’m looking forward to it!

10. Share some fun “extras” of the story (a song or full playlist, some aesthetics, a collage, a Pinterest board, a map you’ve made, a special theme you’re going to incorporate, ANYTHING you want to share!).

I’m drawing a blank on this since I don’t have a playlist yet (oh, help) and haven’t really made any fun things . . . Sooo, here, have my ancient KW series Pinterest board which I haven’t messed with in ages but should have some inspiration stuff for all the books, including this one!

Talk to me! ^_^

And there we are! Do join in on the linkup if you’re writing anything for NaNo, or just, you know, writing! (Find me on NaNo here!) And let me know what you think of this? I know I’ve been very absent from blogging, sorry! *hides face* I’m looking forward to hopefully starting writing this in November, and I wish you luck if you’re writing as well! Thanks for reading! ^_^

20 thoughts on “Know the Novel: Tare 3 (NaNo 2020)

  1. HUZZAH FOR RETURNING TO TARE’S STORIES, WHOOOOOOOOOOO! This sounds like a fabulous book, and I hope I get ot hear more about it! Also hoping you get better wifi soon. We just got real wifi after three years without it, so there is hope! (Side note — has your family looked at getting a mobile hotspot? It’s not ideal — it can be *really slow* sometimes, since you’re basically running stuff off data and you usually have a limited amount of high-speed connection — but it works well enough unless you have to do a lot of video stuff.)

    Also, I think being anxious about Tare is usually the right call, even if he can take care of himself in many circumstances. And “anxious pengiun” is an excellent description. I feel like that fits me sometimes, LOL.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Aaaahh, thank you so much!! Your comment makes my day. 😀 I’m sure you will hear more about it as I flail around trying to write it. XD

      I hope so too! Yay, that’s awesome! I have thought a bit about that . . . thanks for mentioning it! We’ll have to see what happens.

      SO ACCURATE. Tare is super competent but that doesn’t stop all of us worrying about him. XD You’d make an excellent anxious penguin! 😀

      Thanks for reading, friend!


  2. Oh, wow, Deborah!!! This sounds amazing!!! 😀 I already love the characters and especially the British penguin lawyer, he sounds adorable! <333

    Everything about this is just wow! And that cover! So cool! And that blurb, that blurb, THAT. BLURB! Utter epicness! I want to read it so badly! *grabby hands*

    I am drooling over that awesome pinterest board! Such awesomeness! ^_^

    I hope writing goes well for you!

    I also joined the linkup if you want to read about mine. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person


    The idea of the Chess Club going on vacation WITH TARE is just…AWK. THERE ARE NO WORDS. I can only imagine the shenanigans that are going to go down! That whole blurb makes me SO. EXCITED! And that’s going to be so much fun having new locations to play with! (And for the Chess Club to snoop about. *grins*) You can NEVER go wrong with cool mansions! (Also, Roderick the awkward penguinnnnn! YASSSS.)

    I’m so curious which non-KW character is going to make a cameo! Oh my goodness. That’s gonna be amazing WHOEVER it is because ALL the Celti characters are spectacular!!!


    Thank you for joining the linkup! Reading about this book was basically the highlight of my day!!! Because TARE AND CO. ARE BAAACK! *twirls*

    Liked by 1 person

    • Aaahhh, your comment, Lauri!! *hugs it forever* Thank you SO much for all the enthusiasm! I’m just so happy that Tare and the Chess Club and their shenanigans make you so happy. XD I can’t wait! (Awkward penguin and new locations and all. Also, THANK YOU, because the way you worded something made me realize something that was missing in my plans, so you’re already helping improve this story just with your enthusiasm!)

      Bwahaha. *secret cackles of secretness because of cameo*

      Aaahh, thank YOU for starting the linkup! I had such a blast! Your comment is the highlight of MY day! And yesss, I’m so excited Tare and co. are back! THANK YOU AND GOOD LUCK ON YOUR NANO AAAHH!


  4. “British penguin lawyer” What a hilarious description!!! I love it!

    This sounds like such an interesting story! I can’t wait to hear more!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Aghhhhhhh. This looks. So. FUN. The Chess Club (and Tare!) sounds like such a great group of shenanigan-prone, loveable characters! The whole concept of taking an established gang on vacation is just delightful. Best of luck and I can’t wait to hear how the writing goes!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This all sounds amazing. I haven’t read much of modern fantasy, so that’s all very exciting to me.
    Also, I understand writing about characters you love so much. In my current WIP, I am using characters that I have written about before, but in a very different setting.
    And I love that you have connections to other books of yours! I just love connections and references. It makes the story all so much more deeper in my opinion.

    Liked by 1 person

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