By Matt Galanos
Dane Thorburn is a dashing young knight whose harrowing tales of adventures and battles with dragons have readers hooked till the very last page. The Dane Thorburn books are aimed at young adult readers but they have also found a large readership amongst adults.
Matt Galanos, creator of the Dane Thorburn series of novels, is not surprised. “There are many benefits for adults in reading kids’ fantasy fiction adventure books – the main one being mental health,” he said.
“Universally, Dane Thorburn tales appeal to both the young and old because the plot lines are tight and move at a very fast pace. One moment, Dane is sauntering down the castle corridor and the next, he’s off on yet another epic adventure to fend off evil. The storyline moves quickly and holds the reader’s interest.”
Many agree that kids’ fantasy fiction books are good for the mental health of adults.
An age group is just a number
“Just because a book is marketed as a young adult or children’s book, doesn’t mean that adults can’t read it,” Galanos said.
“The Dane Thorburn series of books are testimony to this. I was initially surprised to find out that a large uptake of the readership was in the adult category, but I’ve come to realise that age is just a number. And if a story is good, it’s going to appeal to a wider audience. Whatever their age may be, it’s no excuse to miss out! It doesn’t matter what the target audience is, everyone is welcome to expand their scope of reading and life experiences through fiction.”
Leaving reality behind
“Adults can find books about magic and fantasy as good a read as younger readers because it allows for a certain escapism,” Galanos explained.
“When we read books about magic and fantasy, we suspend our cynicism and disbelief and enter a world where anything could happen. In the real world, we have career ladders to climb, families to feed and bills to pay. To enter into a magical realm is to enter a whole different universe, one so different to ours, that we can’t help but be carried away by the wonder, fantasy and sheer entertainment.
“Basically, when you immerse yourself into a kid’s fantasy fiction adventure book, you leave your troubles at the book cover – and this is a good thing for many people who are under a lot of stress.”
“Another hallmark of children’s books that is appealing to adults is that there are no boundaries. Not even the sky is the limit! As the author, I am not limited to having Dane slay dragons. He can battle any monster I create. I can mesh several monsters into one if I wanted to,” Galanos quipped.
“The stories are full of creative, magical and fantastical situations, characters and environments and this is exciting and appealing – no matter what your age. This type of fantasy fiction helps to unlock creative thinking and get the brain going – which is great for adults who are in need of some inspiration or are struggling to think outside the box.”
“Adults have far more complicated lives than children, and adult fiction mirrors that. In adult fiction books, there are nuances, subplots and subtexts woven together,” Galanos added.
“Children’s fiction is a lot more straightforward. It’s there to entertain you with an unforgettable story that’s also often shorter or simpler than an adult work of fiction.
“If you’re an adult who’s in a reading rut, why not get going again with a children’s book? The comparative ease of it will lend itself to you and you’ll be caught up in the story before you’re aware. Kids fantasy fiction is easy to process and therefore really enjoyable to read. It’s a great stepping stone to other books.”
Lift your mood
“Reading is a simple pleasure that is uplifting for adults. With children’s books, you’re almost surely to come to an ending that’s satisfying and uplifting,” Galanos added.
“The storyline of good versus evil is always rewarding to a reader because it affirms our own beliefs. Despite the hurdles and obstacles, we believe as we read, that characters like Dane Thorburn will overcome the odds and come out triumphant. In a problematic world, it’s a positive way to ease your spirits a little and lift your mood.”
“When readers were first introduced to Harry Potter, he was a mere scrap of a boy. What kept people reading though? We can relate to him and the problems and insecurities he faces,” Galanos said.
“In many young adult and children’s books, adults can similarly find themselves identifying with
the common thread of humanity which is a very strong bond. Dane Thorburn is very similar, he is a young knight facing extraordinary challenges, and readers cheer for him.”
Next instalment of Dane Thorburn series to release next year
“If you’re an adult reader looking for something new to pick up, there are already three books in the series of Dane Thorburn stories.
I recently released the third book, Dane Thorburn and Nature’s Revenge, and everyone loves it. The next one is set for release early next year, which is something for all to look forward to,” Galanos said.
“Even if fantasy isn’t your cup of tea, I’d ask you to give it a go and expand your reading horizons. Just like Dane Thorburn never knows where his next adventure will lead him, you never know where your next book will take you.”
Matt Galanos is an accountant by day and fantasy fiction author by night.
All three of his Dane Thorburn series of books have found a following in Australia and internationally. While ideally suited for the 10 to 15-year-old age group, these stories have captivated a much wider audience including adults of all ages, with their fast-paced storyline and compelling quests. Galanos has plans to expand this series up to seven books, and is currently working on his fourth book, due to be released next year.