Tarl Telford


Tarl N. Telford (1976- ) is a novelist, poet, playwright, screenwriter, and technical writer. Born the eldest of nine children, Tarl quickly found his place on the bookshelf next to the encyclopedias. After devouring the reference books, he moved on to science fiction, fantasy, westerns, weird fiction, and comics. Then he found more reference books on American history, psychology, game theory, ancient history, and many more.
Tarl annotated The Wonderful Wizard of Oz novel as part of an interactive app project. His research led to the creation of The Hidden History of Oz, a prequel series set in Oz fifty years before Dorothy. He has written multiple screenplays and stories that include magic, mythology, and the power of dreams. All of these elements are explored in the Hidden History novels.
Tarl is the author of 18 screenplays, two novels, several stage plays, and a few short stories. He is working on several additional novels and stories set in The Hidden History of Oz. He dreams big in a small town in Texas with his red-haired wife.

Smashwords Interview

How did you get your start writing?
I knew at twelve years old that I wanted to write books. I loved the Forgotten Realms fantasy novels. It was a big world full of possibility. I crafted my own stories to take place in that world. As time went on, my ideas shifted, and I wanted to make movies, comic books, and write screenplays. Adult life brought responsibilities, but I kept dreaming, and I kept writing in my free time.
Then I got a job as a technical writer. That is when things really changed for me. Writing for a living wasn’t just a dream anymore. The process of technical writing requires taking information created by others and putting it into a format that is understandable and clear to the target audience.
The discipline and understanding required for successful technical writing helped me to distill the stories I had created and craft a story out of them. Once I had a good story, I wrote the book. I enjoy the process of writing, designing, and formatting, which makes all-in-one solutions like CreateSpace (for print on demand services) and Smashwords a good fit for me.
Who are some of your favorite authors?
I grew up reading Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, Louis L’Amour, Piers Anthony, Alan Dean Foster, Anne McCaffrey, Madeleine L’Engle, and so many more. All of those authors were quite prolific, so there were plenty of books to read. As I got older, I got into the Star Wars Expanded Universe books. Those showed me that there were many more stories that could be built into a story universe. All of these stories helped me to get to the point where I could expand Oz into a greater world.
Read more of this interview.

Where to find Tarl Telford online

Where to buy in print


Crown of the Dreamer (The Hidden History of Oz, Book Two)
Series: The Hidden History of Oz, Book Two. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 134,040. Language: English. Published: September 11, 2013. Category: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Fantasy
The second book in The Hidden History of Oz series. This darkly imaginative story intertwines the troubled first steps of the Wizard’s descent into madness, and the heroic and devious exploits of the two women - Glinda and the Wicked Witch of the East, Kalinya - trying to save him from himself, illustrating that every hero is defined by their own shadow.
The Witch Queens (The Hidden History of Oz, Book One)
Series: The Hidden History of Oz, Book One. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 108,130. Language: English. Published: January 13, 2013. Category: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic
In this prequel to The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, a young sorceress, Glinda, steps out of her sheltered life into a world of bitter enemies and loyal friends, unwanted destinies and impossible choices. Experience the heartache of opportunities lost, and the thrill of exciting new adventures; the whimsy and wonder of growing up in the Land of Oz, where magic rules and every freedom comes with a price.
Ghosts of Serpentariis and Other Somnificient Musings
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 7,160. Language: English. Published: May 8, 2010. Category: Fiction » Anthologies » Poetry - single author
Ghosts of Serpentariis and Other Somnificient Musings draws the reader into an imaginative symphony of poetic dreaming vistas. The title poem follows a foolhardy dreamer daring the depths of deepest imagination. On this journey he unlocks secrets, both light and dark, and fights to redeem his mortal soul. Additional poems explore the neverending battle between light and dark within the human mind.

Tarl Telford’s tag cloud

Smashwords book reviews by Tarl Telford

  • Two Pockets on June 24, 2010

    Two Pockets is a story of Miriam, a Hasidic Jewish girl who learns to be a carpenter. In the process of learning the construction business, she meets some good people who do not share her faith. Most of the adherents to her faith mentioned in the story are meant serve as contrast to Miriam's free spirit. The exploration of the Jewish characters in the story made Miriam's willful "decent" into the Gentile world look positively angelic. Though her father rants and raves about her choice of occupation and her associates, he ends up with more pressing worries. Being of a strict faith myself, I enjoyed this story right up to the very end, where the main character willfully rebels even further, and, in this reviewer's opinion, betrays her faith. The story is well written. The characters are easy to understand. The peppering of Yiddish throughout gives a distinct flavor to the piece. For many, the ending will probably be vindicated. For myself, I enjoyed the piece up to penultimate page. While my disappointment in the character is real, I also recognize that this is the mark of a good writer - I cared about what the character did. I would read this author again. Three stars for reasons explained above.