Smorgasbord Blog Sitting Special – Who are you? by author Cage Dunn

A warm welcome to a new contributor Cage Dunn, an Australian author who shares thoughts on the life and commitment of a storyteller. Even if at times we may not receive remuneration for our efforts does this mean that we do not have the right to call ourselves a writer, keep putting our books out into the world?

Who are you? by Cage Dunn

Well, I’ve just started on my one and only coffee  for the day, and … just how difficult things can be before that moment. Coffee doesn’t save me, it doesn’t perk me, it doesn’t actually do anything, but the day will not kick into gear without it. I’m not a junky. It’s only one. But it has to be at the right time. This time, or everthing goes off-key for the rest of the day.

And that’s not how I want it to be. It can’t be. I have a job that defines how I see myself, who I am. I need to find inspiration at ‘this’ time every day. It’s my job. An important job.

Not a paying job. Not earning enough to pay tax. But it’s my full-time professional output based on years of experience and learning and continual updating of skills.

What do I do?

I write. My job label is writer, author, fool. It’s what I do.

Is it who I am?

Not a silly question, not a play with semantics, not being pedantic. I write, therefore, am I a writer? What is it that makes a writer?

What are the important things to consider? I read this Advice to a Young Writer (Chuck Wendig), and thought about it. If I’d received that advice at 24, would I have believed it, acted on it? Would I have the courage to put out novel after novel after novel just to feel/fulfil that need to tell stories?

Well, short story long (the bane of reading something by a writer), I did keep going. One was published, almost no sales, disappointing, and then it changed. Fear crept in. No one liked it.

I didn’t keep sending stuff out to the world. I didn’t let anyone else read them (foster-kids don’t count because they owned the stories too) and I didn’t take it seriously. Why not?
It didn’t earn me money. It wouldn’t earn enough to keep the garden alive, let alone the kids and animals.

Who was I then? A variety of labels for the jobs I undertook to provide cash-flow. A carer to kids and animals, a provider of provender and shelter, a sounding board and ironing board and cheque-book, as well as the driver, teacher of skills of same (even without a licence – but don’t tell anyone!), tutor, hugger (based on different rules for each kid), animal trainer, front-man to the world. Lots of other things.

Notice one thing missing?

At that time, I didn’t put the label of writer on my life. I wasn’t then a writer, even though I penned stories, spoke stories, dreamed and scribbled and planned stories.

I didn’t put them out there for the world to see.

And, to me, that’s the single most important thing a writer needs to do. If I were a bard or a nomad or a shaman or any other form of storytelling person, would I keep the words to myself? Would I be allowed to do that?

Not even going to answer it. You know the answer.

And the writer doesn’t have just one story to tell. You can’t be a writer with only one notch on your belt. No one will see the story if there’s only one among millions.

The question remains: Who am I? How do I answer it now:

I am a writer who writes several books each year, publishes them, and then goes on to write another.

Why do I call myself a writer if it doesn’t earn me enough to keep me fed?

Because I love it; I can’t not do it; the obsession doesn’t end with the first story – it gets worse! There are so many more stories that now clamour at my door because they found someone who wants to tell stories! So, in they come, drop their ideas and plans and little twisty bits because they know the words will find a way to the world.

In the words of the Musae, ‘It’s brill, chicken, so tell my story first.’

I am a storyteller, a writer, an author.

Who are you?

©Cage Dunn 2018

About Cage Dunn

Australian author Cage Dunn was born in the scorching desert-like landscape of the West Midlands of Western Australia; lived all over this startling and disparate country; worked at everything from sewerage collection to computer programmer; graduated with a BA (Prof. Writing) and Grad Dip Computing. Met a few people along the way, who all have something to say; all contribute to the knapsack of stories Cage carries around, to draw on when the words are ready to become real. Now it’s time to put all that life experience into writing fiction.Purpose in life: to tell stories, to publish stories, and to ponder … everything. Cage is a storyteller, a dreamer, an imaginer. Some would say Fibber, Fabricator, Teller of Tall Tales. Yep – that’s a storyteller. Writes spec fiction in all its forms. You’ll find Cage in the city of Adelaide, in the sunny window where the ideas flow in with the sun, birds argue about territory, and dogs and people wander at will. Cage writes and writes and weaves and wefts until the story is ready. Enjoy.

About Agoness

The rules of kingship have been lost with lack of care and the passing of time, but when the Prince retaliates against the Daughter of the Holy when she refuses to marry him and ensures she is sentenced to death by pyre for refusing him so publicly, the old ways reawaken, and the people remember and enforce the word of rule. Landis must ensure the Daughter of the Father Holy lives. Not an easy task when she speaks up in the wrong places at the wrong times and says the wrong things to annoy the wrong people. When the laws of the land have languished and staled into cruelty, Landis, RSM, an ordinary soldier, is given the task to ensure the Daughter of the Father Holy, brought forth to renew the Faith of the Scriptures, lives despite the sentence of Death by Pyre. Can he succeed against an arrogant Prince and an evil Queen?

One of the recent reviews for the book

iArtichokeu 4.0 out of 5 stars Huge battle! November 17, 2017

Agoness is a story following a military leader named Landis, who is tasked with protecting a religions daughter, named Agoness. Even with the religion now forbidden within the kingdom, Agoness must stay alive, and fend off the loud mouthed evil Queen and her snotty, arrogant son. There are some pretty big battle scenes, lots of strange magic, and chaotic surprises.

This was a read that didn’t shine for me until about half way through. I had quite a difficult time understanding the beginning of the book. I was actually pretty confused. I’m glad I made it to the end though, because it gets exciting. After a few chapters I started to understand a tiny bit more about what was going on, but still lacked understanding when it came to the story. I would say it wasn’t until after chapter seven that I grasped the situation and enjoyed the story more. Speaking of chapters, there are many chapters within this book. I found it interesting seeing each chapter being so short, but the authors made it work somehow.

Descriptions were plentiful, though I felt there was a bit too much at times. I also misunderstood many scenes. I’m not sure if my brain wasn’t awake, or the story didn’t grab my attention in the beginning. I also assumed there was going to be some trigger warnings with the way some scenes were worded, but my assumptions turned out to be false, and no trigger warnings activated. Instead some strange rituals were done, which is a relief. It also would have helped to have the exact age of Agoness. Well, actually the age of Landis would have helped as well.

The battles are what caught my eye, as well as the unexpected baddies. Though I wondered how enemies obtained such chaotic magics, and how magic even came to be in this world. This book showed an exciting display of how battles can keep us entertained. The battles beyond half way through the book were pretty exciting. I felt a sense of chaos and disorder in this Kingdom, and I loved it. I do hope the authors continue on with their fighting scenes in future books, because they sure hit the spot.

I enjoyed how real Landis was. He’s brave yet he clearly has anxieties, worries, and fears that normal humans posses. He is a leader amongst his men, and does a good job at inspiring them. He’s made many sacrifices for his men and the people around him. Agoness is a character I didn’t particularly care for, though her having a divine type personality lacking emotion made it hard to get attached to. Though, it fits her role well. Every other character had unique personalities, and I enjoyed the dialogue.

Despite its slow start and its confusing descriptions at times, I enjoyed its chaotic battles and uniqueness. The villains were extremely hate-worthy, making you hope they get destroyed, which I appreciate when it comes to the baddies. I also loved how the authors kept it real when it came to emotions and dialogue.

Read the reviews and buy the book:

And Amazon UK:

A selection of books also by Cage Dunn

Check out all the books:

Amazon UK:

Follow Cage on Goodreads

Connect to Cage Dunn via his blog:

My thanks to Cage Dunn for sharing this post that most of us who tell stories can relate to. Throughout history storytellers have been revered as they passed on the origins and tales of their people.

We are storytellers and whichever medium we choose to demonstrate that does not matter.



21 thoughts on “Smorgasbord Blog Sitting Special – Who are you? by author Cage Dunn

  1. Pingback: We are storytellers and whichever medium we choose to demonstrate that does not matter | Cage Dunn: Writer, Author, Teller-of-tall-tales

  2. When we did the national census a few years back I was determined that my descendants, in the unlikely event they were looking me up, would see me as something, not nothing. I put myself down as Freelance Writer, but I think I should have just put Writer. When our daughter was getting married I said ‘Don’t forget to put my occupation down as Writer’ – then we all realised only fathers’ occupations are put on the marriage certificate. My son-in-law was just as indignant. This is currently a great bone of contention and I believe it is going to be changed!

    Liked by 2 people

    • This issue is worthy of indignation. In fact, it could be worth a story about change and how they happen – from the bottom up. Mind you, I’m in Adelaide, Australia, the first place in the modern world where women got the right to vote, so we like the idea of pushing the boundaries of … hmmm, how can I say this? patriarchial boundaries, maybe?

      Liked by 2 people

      • Yes indeed, I spent my teen years in Australia; first with a minimum wage, seat belts you name it Australia was first, but a little tardy with putting aborigines on the census! Stir…stir… But in the main, modern Australia, being a new country could start from scratch without all sorts of hidden antiquated rules hidden in dusty rooms…

        Liked by 2 people

      • Oh, don’t worry about the stirring – our pollies definitely need it! And I think some of our earliest pioneers brought some sultry and dusty secrets with them, and thought they were buried, but all ghosts rise eventually … when the time is most inconvenient, of course.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Pingback: Smorgasbord Blog Sitting Special – The Militant Negro™

  4. Pingback: Smorgasbord Blog Sitting Special – Who are you? by author Cage Dunn | Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life

  5. A lovely muse, Cage. I think if we base our ability to call ourselves writers/authors on whether our books pay the rent, most of us wouldn’t qualify. We’d have to come up with another word! 😀 Loving what we do, including all the hard work that goes with it, works for me. Happy Writing!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Thank you to everyone, especially Sally, for the opportunity to do this. The little disasters in my life hit right before, and are continuing to bug me a little, but (as all writers do) the words must be made, and the story told, so the wheelchair is now (barely) fitting under the table, and I am trying to respond as much as possible (and I shall not ever venture into a kitchen again).
    Once again, thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Pingback: Smorgasbord Blog Sitting Round Up – Amazing contributors taking care of the blog in my absence. | Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life

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