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Deep in the rural Outback of Australia lurk beasts you've only heard about in legends and tall tales spun around the flames of an open campfire. Bunyips, drop bears, the yara-ma-ya-hoo and, above all, the Great Australian Oogah.
Some say that to see such a beast, one must go beyond the Blue Mountains of New South Wales and venture deep into the bowels of Onyokee rainforest.
But the truth is, you needn't risk your life braving taipan snakes, panthers, crocodiles and debilitating dehydration to see those spectacles whispered about by the Australian Aborigines. For some time ago, Dannon Rivers already did this, and proved the legends true beyond all shadow of a doubt. If you wish to see them for yourself, simply pay a visit to the Australian Zoo of Non-Existent Animals!
Tazonea is a fantasy novel set in Australia featuring elements of Aboriginal folklore, cryptozoology, and modern Australian urban legends. Featuring handrawn illustrations, a unique story and whimsical style inspired by Roald Dahl, Tazonea is a fascinating adventure featuring quirky characters and deep themes.
Most fantasy novels published today are set in a pseudo-European culture. And while the great fairy tales of Hans Christian Andersen, C.S Lewis and J.R.R Tolkien will always hold a special place in my heart, Tazonea is an exploration of a very different part of the world that is no less rich, vibrant or romantic than England, Ireland or Scandinavia.
Dannon Rivers is Ranger #1 at The Australian Zoo of Non-Existent Animals. Every day, he wakes up at exactly 5:30 AM to feed the Oogahs, Tazonea's most famous species of animal.
One day, he's called into the office of Mrs. Grunk, the crabby, no-nonsense chairwoman of Tazonea. Zoo tickets have been selling at an all time low. To increase business, she orders him on an expedition to the Onyokee rainforest in the shadow of the Blue Mountains in pursuit of a species of non-existent animals.
Little does Dannon realize that behind his back, disgruntled ranger Nick agrees to free the Oogahs from their cage. But only on one terrible condition: they must first reveal the location of Udu, mythical cave of Aboriginal legend.
Two weeks pass, and the rangers leave for Onyokee. Mayhem erupts as the Oogahs escape their cages and successfully take over the zoo. As Tazonea faces a global media crisis, Nick ventures into the bowels of Udu, and discovers more than he was prepared for....
Details about the campaign, campaign perks and funding goals will be available with the upcoming launch of Tazonea's Kickstarter!
Assuming the success of our Kickstarter, Tazonea will be released on September 15th, 2016 as a 5.25" x 8.00" paperback book. The physical book will be available on Amazon, and a digital edition will also be available in the Kindle store.
Tazonea features no less than two dozen hand drawn illustrations. Here are some examples by cover artist Colleen!
As children, Camille and Brandon Shutt could never focus on school. So instead, they created a fantasy world of Oogahs and rangers, which was much more interesting (and fun!)
As adults, Brandon chose to major in English with a concentration in Rhetoric, while Camille took up art, and continued to perfect her drawing abilities. They share a mutual love of fantasy, sushi, and good art.
It has been our lifelong dream to share our childhood with others, and Tazonea is the fulfillment of that dream.