“Self-Published Authors are Human, too” – Guest Blog by Tes Mekonnen

hand holding happy land book with legs and socks visible in background

Today we have a guest blog from author Tes Mekonnen. Here, Tes shares with us his experiences of self-publishing his book, Happyland: A Modern Fairytale in two parts and how his own experiences influenced the story. You can check out my review of the original book here, download a FREE copy of the new Children’s Edition here, and see our recent Q&A post for your chance to win a signed copy (and other fabulous bookish goodies) of your own. Enjoy!

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Interview with Happyland Author Tesfahiwet Mekonnen

hand holding up black cover of happyland with rainbow bookshelf in background

Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to read and review Happyland: A Modern Fairytale. In doing so, I not only discovered a new favourite read but also got to know the human responsible for it, Tes Mekonnen. Tes is here again today to answer some of my questions, and to launch a rather fabulous new giveaway: your chance to win a signed copy of Happyland, and an original illustration from the book by Anthony Resto.

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Happyland: A Modern Fairytale, by Tes Mekonnen – Book Review

white cover of Happyland book

I jumped at the chance to review Happyland: A Modern Fairytale by Tesfahiwet Mekonnen. Below you’ll find my review of the original version of the book, however I’m delighted to update this post with news of the brand new Children’s Edition, which you can get your hands on here. Keep reading to see how I found it!

“Prince Gobbledygook wears his heart on his head and his headache is akin to a heart attack”.

Prior to reading Tes Mekonnen’s Happyland, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. Modern fairytales are not a new addition to the world of books, however Happyland without a doubt stands on its own as a wonderfully weird read, filled with delightfully quirky concepts and innovative linguistic devices. Not to be confused with the kind of traditional fairy tale that sadly, many young adults may be quick to write off as ‘been there, done that’, the book is a thought-provoking yet humorous read, that will likely satisfy language lovers of a whole range of ages.

On the surface, the story tells of the inexplicably sad Lily Marshmallow, who is discovered by Prince Goobledygook and led henceforth to a promised land of sorts, known to the Prince as Happyland. Sounds pretty stereotypical, prince meets potential princess, they face a significant life event together, and live happily ever after, right? However, the story is far from being a fictional fairy tale. Instead, the characters’ journey tells of Tes Mekonnen’s own story, and his perceptions of modern society. Here’s what he had to say about how his own life experiences infuse into his book:

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