Monday, 20 February 2017

Nanda the Naughty Gnome

Welcome to the shadowy and not-so-shadowy space behind Sally's books. If you're not familiar with this blog, scroll down to see what it's all about.

Nanda the Naughty Gnome (Post 51)

Nanda the Naughty Gnome (2009) is the third book in the Little Horrors series, following 2008's Flax, the Feral Fairy Post 6 and Mal, the Mischievous Mermaid, Post 42, Gnomes are probably not quite as well-known as fairies and mermaids, but they're not obscure. Flax, the feral fairy, was dismayed to find herself in a pink-dominated Academy of Sweetness run by Miss Kisses...until she found her natural place at the Hags' Abademy of Badness. Mal the mischievous mermaid crashed a talent quest and accidentally caused a tsunami. Both had a strong image of the way they wanted to be; Flax with her rat-heeled boots and Mal with her vision of herself as a star. Nanda Gemdibbler, the gnome, has an equally strong image of herself. She is a bit of a misfit among the dour gnomes, being taller and having curly hair and bigger wings. Unlike Flax, she is convinced she is really a good fairy and will never be happy until she can attend Miss Kisses' Academy. She sets out to do good deeds such as house-sitting for a fairy and befriending a human, but does her penchant for pink make her good?

With Nanda, I was having fun with role reversal, and, more seriously, with the desire to fit in and the desire to be the self one perceives one can be. The mantra "you can be and do anything you want" seems a horribly dangerous one to me, and one that sets up far too many people for disappointment and discontent. Nanda's activities in befriending Eva Believa, a self-perceived neglected child do bring a positive result however, even if it isn't what Nanda was hoping for. On her adventures, Nanda is accompanied by one of the critter-fae, just like Flax and Mal. In Nanda's case it is the fox-fae, who is every bit as grouchy and self-serving as the dog-fae and the gull-fae, but who still contrives to have a soft spot for Nanda.

For some reason, I visualised Nanda as being ever-so-slightly Dutch-looking in her costume. For the second (and last) time, I actually dressed up as one of my--or rather, Tiff's- characters, to give the illustrator a starting point. You can see one of the reference photos here... and underneath it, the illustrator's response.
Nanda the Naughty Gnome is available here and at other places about the net.

About the Blog

Sally is Sally Odgers; author, manuscript assessor, editor, anthologist and reader. (Sally is me, by the way, and I am lots of other things too, but these are the relevant ones for now.)

The goal for 2017 is to write a post a day profiling the background behind one of my books; how it came to be written, what it's about, and any things of note that happened along the way. If you're an author, an aspiring author, a reader or just someone who enjoys windows into worlds, you might find this fun. This preamble will be pasted to the top of each post, so feel free to skip it in future.

The books are not in any special order, but will be assigned approximate dates, and pictures, where they exist.


  1. Very interesting will be back to check again.. thank you

  2. Thank YOU for the comment. So many people don't and it's a puzzle to know how to interpret the stats.


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