So, you've made it this far, have you? It takes dedication to find this page hidden deep within the Tagonist Knights Website.
As a reward, I present to you five new ways to immerse yourself within this novel. Some of it is insightful, other aspects of it is meant to make you laugh and smile. Hopefully, by the time you're done, you'll be eager to explore the book if you haven't already, or take a moment to read through it once again knowing what you do now.
“You have proven to me that in the city of Gnowing, not only is anything possible, but the impossible comes true each day.” – William
Say Hello - The Cast of Knowing Gnowing
“Are you the guy?"
Gnome Map Maker
“I don’t wish to offend dragons by assuming they don’t exist.”
“It’s Gnowing. The unexpected is normal, chaos is to be expected, and the worst thing that could happen is often the most appreciated.” – Paige
“Admitting our ignorance is the first step towards gaining knowledge on our journey towards wisdom.” – Helen
I was working on a novel which involved tiny people within a large humanoid frame much like the movie "Dave" which the humanoid frame was a spaceship controlled by the crew within. I took the idea and was trying something new, but it never worked out. I hit a dead end and I didn't like the concept as a whole.
I had set myself a deadline to get a new book ready in a certain time frame. So, to get caught up, I took an idea I had been playing around with concerning the sequel to Mystical Alliance, a series of short stories involving the town of Gnowing, which I loved.
So, from failure, I jumped on a radically different ide and was up and running. Many of the stories was written in a day. It flowed out of me so quickly. I didn't want to take too much time slowly crafting any one story, in that I wanted rapid dialogue, quick instant playing around with word choices, and to essentially blurt out the first thing that came to mind. What better way to write a story about a city of gnomes then to write like one?
The idea of "are you the guy" came from a running joke involving a chiropractor that I had with a friend of mine. Somehow it had developed into me going from one specialist to another trying to find the right person to fix what was wrong with me. That became the spark of an idea for the running joke of, "Are you the guy?"
This was the first time I attempted an anthology, but I like to constantly push myself into new territory of writing.
Gnowing: A Steampunk City
Inventor At work
I had a rough draft list of ideas when I went into writing the fifteen stories. One being the play which originally was the final chapter. Everyone from previous stories were in the audience. I felt that was unfair to that story to try to be filled up with cameos so ended up changing it. That was fine because I decided I didn't like some of the stories that I originally had.
One story that was eliminated was a group of musicians trying to put on a concert. Each person had a different taste in music, different instrument for that style, chaotic mess of an attempt to create music.
Another story involved a human inventor who ran out of ideas. He had a gnome assistant. A woman who was running a store that sold groceries was in love with him and he rejected her. He was so rude, a kind of redemption arc where he learned his lesson and apologized at the end. It was forced, I didn't like him, and it didn't work out well.
What replaced these? The newspaper story did, which I'm delighted with. The other was the new ending that was a combination of all the other fourteen stories to come before it. It was perfect conclusion.
One story ran a little short, the detective story. That's when I added in Herot meeting with the head of the "police" and creating this homage to Batman. It was a fun wink at a favorite comic book character.
“I am an employee, if you must know, but I have not accomplished a droplet of work since I first got here.” – Gruen
Easter Eggs and Inspiration
Ulysses Ramsey Heer is a joke about him being a map maker: "You are here."
Just how many?
Poe Pew Lushun is a play on the word: Population, reflecting the job he originally had.
The library of Winterveil was first established at the end of the novel, Mystical Alliance.
Leaf's Cat is a less dangerous version of Schrodinger's Cat, which involved poison and the possibility of death.
Ronald is inspired by John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, author of Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit.
Does one exist?
On page 37, Leaf refers to the phrase, “I think, therefore I am.” A philosophical concept first presented by Descartes.
Game of D&D
On page 39, Leaf is referring to what is the concept of the Dungeons and Dragons game.
Much of what Ronald talks about refers to elements of the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings.
Gregory is mentioned often in this book, referring to the gnome from the novel: Mystical Alliance.
First and Foremost
Mithaecus is a 5th century Greek chef who is credited for created the first ever cookbook
Guillaume Tirel is a famous French chef, which is the name of the restaurant in Gnowing.
Wolfgang Puck is a famous Austrian chef, which the restaurant owner is named after.
What a Krok
On page 44, Krok is a reference to Ray Krok, responsible for the McDonald's Franchise concept.
The clown connected to Krok refers to Ronald McDonald, the mascot for McDonald's.
Harland Sanders is the founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken, which explains the chicken reference.
Make Your Choice
Dan Blocker founded the Pandorasa which is a restaurant chain that features buffet style food selection.
Fun and Games
Nolan Bushnell founded Chuck E. Cheese, thus the name mentioned on page 45.
The first human citizen of Gnowing, Brian, is introduced in the opening of Mystical Alliance.
To Sell a House
Lloyd is named after Frank Lloyd Wright, a famous architect.
Map of the World
The magical map that the wizard shows Lloyd is introduced at the end of Mystical Alliance.
The concept of viewers watching rich people buying homes presented on Page 71 is what happens on the HGTV channel.
Each house Lloyd shows is based off a board game. Teh first is Chutes and Ladders.
The second house that Lloyd shows the wizard is based off the game, Mouse Trap.
The third house is based upon the board game CLUE, with the gnomes playing the parts of the characters involved in the game.
Anne is modeled and named after Anne Sullivan, who was a famous teacher of Helen Keller.
Helen is modeled and named after Helen Keller, who was blind and deaf, taught by Anne.
Samuel is named after Samuel Moore Walton, the founder of the retail store: Walmart.
Gruen is named after Victor Gruen, who is considered the “father” of the concept of the mall shopping experience.
Dig a Hole
Putting items "where the sun doesn't shine" was a joke at the end of first scene in the novel: Mystical Alliance.
On pages 122-123, three "court" references are made. Basketball, Tennis, and "courting" someone for romantic intent.
Order in the Court
The layout of the courtroom is modeled after the television show: Night Court.
Markie is named after Markie Post who played Christine Sullivan who was the defense attorney.
Larro, the prosecuting attorney is named after John Larroquette, who played Dan Fielding.
Moll, the bailiff, is named after Richard Moll who played Nostradamus 'Bull' Shannon.
Burnita is named after Burnita Shelton Matthews who was the first woman appointed to serve on a United States District Court.
On page 132, “…the unfortunate series of…” is a small nod to the book series: A Series of Unfortunate Events.
Humphry appeared in the novel: Mystical Alliance, but was never named until now.
Wells is named after H.G. Wells, the author of the novel: The Time Machine.
At the healing center, the purple disk is the same color as the jewel stone of knowledge from the novel: Mystical Alliance.
Dr. Doseldom is a play on the name Dr. Dolittle, a famous fictional character that could speak to animals.
On page 167, he, she, and ka is a reference to the novel, Lexia’s Legacy and refers to twice again in the Sunfire Chronicles.
On page 172, the seeing eye gnome "Buddy" is named after the first seeing eye dog.
George is named after George Washington, first president of the United States of America.
Robots in Disguise
Optimistic Prime and Mega Trust refer to Optmus Prime and Megatron from the Transformers cartoon series.
Gears of Gertrude
In the novel, Mystical Alliance, Gertrude was originally called "Gears", thus the fan club name.
Plato is named after the Greek philosopher of the same name.
Four six thousand, one hundred and thirty-five is the zip code of where I grew up. 46135.
Not a Knight
The army of Gnowing, Don, is named after Don Quixote, a famous story about a man who thinks he is a knight.
One page 193, the event involving underpants refers to an episode of South Park.
Herot is named after the fictional detective character Hercule Poirot.
Herot's sister, Agatha, is named after the creator of Hercule's character, Agatha Christie.
On pages 200-201, the butcher, the baker, and the candlestick maker are a reference to a 18th century nursery rhyme.
On page 204, the Mystery Wagon refers to the "Mystery Machine" that is the van driven by the Scooby-Doo cast.
Nicole is named after Nicole Jaffe who did the voice of Velma on the original Scooby-Doo television show.
Indira is named after Indira Stefanianna who did the voice of Daphne on the original Scooby-Doo TV series.
Frank is named after Frank Welker who did the voice of Fred on the original Scooby-Doo television show.
Casey gets his name from Casey Kasem who did the voice of Shaggy on the Scooby-Doo TV show.
Don is named after Don Messick who did the voice of Scooby-Doo on the original show.
The phrase “…brought to you by the letter…” is from a children's program, Sesame Street.
“Old man Spears” is named after Ken Spears, one of the co-creators of the original Scooby-Doo television series.
The scene between Tivel and Herot is a series of Batman references.
Franklin and Dixon
Franklin W. Dixon is a pseudo name which a long list of ghost writers wrote a series of books called the "Hardy Boys".
Nancy Drew is a series of books written by various ghost writers under the pseudo name Carolyn Keene leading to Carolyn Drew.
The Game is Afoot!
On page 217, a man named Doyle refers to Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of Sherlock Holmes.
The monk detective refers to Adrian Monk from the television series "Monk", whose wife was killed in a car explosion.
The “brass falcon” is a reference to Sam Spade and the 1941 film, The Maltese Falcon
Read All About It
Walter is named after Walter Winchell, a famous journalist during the 30s, 40s, and 50s.
Randolph, is named after William Randolph Hearst, known for creating the largest newspaper chain and media company.
Gutenburg is a reference to Johannas Gutenburg, the inventor of the mechanical movable-type printing press.
Uncle Gogh is a reference to the Dutch artist, Vincent van Gogh.
Amelia is named after Amelia Earhart, an airplane pilot who was the first female to fly across the Atlantic oceon by herself.
Davis is named after Jim Davis, creator of Garfield
Thom is named after Thom Huge who voiced John Arbuckle in several cartoons.
Fat Orange Cat
Lorenzo is named after Lorenzo Music, who did the voice of Garfield the cat.
Lucille is named after Lucille “Lucy” Van Pelt, a character from the Peanuts comic strips series.
On page 249, the object mentioned is a sundial.
Holly's Day, which is on the 25th day of the 5th month, May 25th, is the anniversary of Tagonist Knights Publishing.
Her special day is a combination of a series of traditional American holidays including Christmas and Halloween.
The twelve gnomes that Chrono is in love with have names that refer to the twelve months.
Chrono means time, an ideal name, but also a reference to the game: Chrono Trigger.
The two stage entrances are named after the book. G for Gnowing and K for Knowing.
Where Art Thou?
Sampson is named after a character in Romeo and Juliet.
Titania is named after the queen of the fairies from the play: A Midnight Summer’s Dream
Andre is named after and greatly inspired by André René Roussimoff, a French wrestler famous for his size and strength.
And now... My Favorite.
Throughout the novel, the gnomes are looking for "the guy". Honestly, didn't know who "the guy" was going to be at the end, especially after Hunter found "the guy" he was after in the opening scene during the play. So... How to end it? The storyteller.... His physical description just so happens to fit a certain author... The writer of this novel.
Reginald is named after the fictional character, Reginald Barkley, from Star Trek: The Next Generation.
To Be or Not To Be
The playwright is named after William Shakespeare.
The play pays homage to key events in the novel which this is a sequel to: Mystical Alliance.
Paige is named after Paige O'Hara, the voice actress of Belle from Disney’s cartoon movie: Beauty and the Beast
In Chapter 15, the toys in the meals refers to McDonald's Happy Meals.
Anne’s husband, Ole, is named after Ole Kirk Kristiansen, a Danish carpenter who created the Lego Group, AKA LEGO.
The toy blocks refers to LEGO, my favorite toy as a kid, originally made out of wood.
One page 292, Ronald is referring to a scene from Lord of the Rings, which involved fireworks.
A man named Harry, introduced on page 298 refers to Harry Stone from Night Court, played by Harry Anderson.
"The G in Gnome is silent as is the K in know, is because a moment of silence is necessary for one to learn something new.” - Helen