Complex problems sometimes need simple solutions

SAVANNAH, GA, April 29, 2022 /24-7PressRelease/ — One day I was wondering what my version of Oz, Narnia, or Wonderland would look like. Inspired by these portal-to-a-hidden-world type fantasy novels, I began to write. Several months later in September of 2021, my first book, a middle-grade fantasy-adventure novel titled “Nowonderland,” was born.

I wanted my own villain, a Queen of Hearts type. But I didn’t want him or her to have any real power. I had more competent enemies in mind for later in the book. My protagonist, a twelve-year old named Billy, moves into his late father’s childhood home and gets trapped in Nowonderland. The adventure begins from there. My own son had his fifth or sixth birthday at a bowling alley years ago. They gifted him with an old bowing pin that had been painted silver and had a goofy face drawn on it. This pin sat in his room for years.

Eureka! I thought. I had my villain, “King Pin”. This was months before Judge Pirro famously referred to Trump as a kingpin, (which I thought was hilarious). I gave King Pin, a walking-talking bowling pin, all the Trumpian hallmarks, huge ego, narcissistic personality, affinity for gold, detachment from reality, (he thinks he’s the king of Nowonderland…he’s not), and so on. He can’t walk far without help because of his short legs and tiny feet. I even gave him his own merry band of followers, a bunch of stick-figures drawn and brought to life by King Pin himself. He keeps them in line by threatening to erase them.

King Pin is not a major character in my book. I didn’t want him to be. He is comic relief, but only in chapter three. I do later explain how he came to be in Nowonderland in the first place. But you’ll have to read the rest of the book to find that out.

After Billy meets King Pin and sees all the stuff his stick figure posse must put up with, he offers them a solution. Just step away from King Pin. Stop propping him up. He will fall over and can’t get back up again without help. He won’t be able to erase any of them while rolling around on the ground, so they will no longer have to put up with him. Simple, right?

I know it’s not that easy. I’m aware that there are other things to consider. But maybe…just maybe, the simple solutions are the best.

I think you can teach children almost anything, in an age-appropriate manner, of course. As a new writer and longtime lover of books, I am appalled at the conservative push to ban books that don’t fit their agenda. Just because you don’t understand what CRT is, for example, doesn’t mean it should automatically be banned. Let’s leave the choosing of school books to the educators themselves, shall we?

Be warned, Nowonderland does contain a few subtle over-the-head type jokes for the adults that might be reading it. If you are easily offended by that, and my mockery of Trump, this book is not for you. You probably won’t like the sequel I’m currently writing either.

M. C. Gladd

More about M. C. Gladd and the books that influenced him can be found at

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