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Posts Tagged ‘Deby Fredericks’

It’s my turn in the spotlight! I hope you’ll drop by, read my interview, and comment so Teri knows her hard work is being noticed.

Here’s the link to Bad Moon Rising.


Have you read one of my books? Then it would be great for you to leave a review! Meanwhile, if you’d like to learn more about me and my work, check out my websiteFacebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.

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What’s Happening? Things are going well at work for once. I feel comfortable the teacher I report to and I’m forming good bonds with the students. It’s a relief after so much tension at my previous school.

What I’m Working On. I’ll bet you can guess. If you said The Tale of the Drakanox, you are right! I’m up to about 98,000 words, which is definitely into novel territory as opposed to novella. I hope for a complete first draft by the end of the year.

What’s Next? October’s going to be busy for me. There’s Bad Moon Rising, a book event run in the month of October by horror author Teri Polen. My feature is The Ice Witch of Fang Marsh and it’s coming up fast. At the end of the month is the SpoCon science fiction convention. It’s nice to be this busy.

Fun and Games. I’m still playing Subnautica, but it’s become a struggle. There are an awful lot of glitches that corrupt my saves so I have to start over. One time I bumped my mini-submarine into a boulder and all the land disappeared! I’m still trying to finish a playthrough, but also looking around for my next game.

We’re coming up to the spooky season around Hallowe’en. Have fun, everybody!


Have you read one of my books? Then it would be great for you to leave a review! Meanwhile, if you’d like to learn more about me and my work, check out my websiteFacebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.

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We’re talking about She-Hulk, the Marvel Comics heroine whose show is streaming on Disney+. There’s been a lot of fan reaction, but I thought I’d add my own thoughts. To avoid spoilers, I won’t be addressing individual episodes so much as themes I’m picking up on.

One of the first fan reactions I heard was the usual tiresome shouting from angry men who can’t stand it when any female character gets a featured role. They said Jennifer was disloyal to Bruce and she disrespected his experience as the Hulk. I have to say, that was not my read on it at all. I felt that the first episode really deepened Bruce’s character. Instead of the miserable wanderer, we see him having a warm family relationship with his younger cousin. Jennifer is like Bruce’s kid sister. They are competitive in a healthy way. I can also imagine them sharing a bond as both being remarkably intelligent. Bruce the physicist and Jennifer the lawyer must have been the odd ones out among their more ordinary families.

Yes, Bruce gave the best advice he could, and no, Jennifer didn’t take it. Wanting to make your own decisions about your life doesn’t seem all that disrespectful to me.

Related to Bruce’s well-meaning advice, there’s a recurring theme of people telling Jennifer who she should be. She loses her job for revealing herself as She-Hulk. She gets a new job and shows up as Jennifer, only to be told she has to appear as She-Hulk when she’s at work. Later she goes to a friend’s wedding as She-Hulk and the friend tells her to be Jennifer again. But when she’s trying to get dates, nobody is interested in Jennifer, they only want to date She-Hulk.

There are a number of other pointed comments about women’s achievements being undercut in the workplace, but for me this is the most trenchant point in the episodes so far. No matter what Jennifer does, someone will pop up and tell her that she should be someone else.

If I have one dissatisfaction with the show, it’s the amount of drunkenness that gets played for laughs. There’s substance abuse in my family, and this touches a nerve. I just can’t laugh at people whose lives are that out of control. Like Jennifer’s identity constantly being challenged, this is something I hope will be fully addressed as the show plays out.

Is it a good show? Yes. Most women will find things that resonate from our own experiences. Most men will learn something (especially if they aren’t screaming while they watch).


Have you read one of my books? Then it would be great for you to leave a review! Meanwhile, if you’d like to learn more about me and my work, check out my websiteFacebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.

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As long as I’m commenting on comic book TV, I might as well talk about She-Hulk. Since buying Marvel, Disney has been steadily adding characters to the Marvel Cinematic Universe and She-Hulk is just the latest.

She-Hulk is another character I remember from reading many of her original issues. Her first series was in the early ’80s and it was very… meh. In this era, Hulk had regressed to a very simple-minded, violent being whose clothes were always torn and his hair was a mess. The tone of his series was heavy and dramatic. In her initial appearances, She-Hulk was very derivative. Her clothes were torn, her hair was a mess, she could hardly talk, and the tone was heavy.

This series was not successful, and it only lasted a few issues. The thought among fans at the time was that Marvel wasn’t really invested in this character, so much as wanting to prevent any other companies from creating a “female Hulk.” For this purpose, a few “meh” issues were sufficient to establish the copyright.

Other creative teams picked up the character over the next years, but what really saved the character was the author/artist John Byrne. Byrne was a major talent, and Marvel would let him do anything if he stayed with their company. One of the things Byrne did was revamp She-Hulk.

Basically, he flipped everything. Hulk still couldn’t speak a sentence of more than three words. She-Hulk was articulate and attempted to maintain her legal career. Hulk’s clothes and hair were a mess. She-Hulk was sleek and glamorous. His series was even more angsty than before. Hers was funny, light and confident. In keeping with lots of TV at the time, She-Hulk broke the “third wall” and seemed aware of being a comic book character.

Byrne’s approach worked, and She-Hulk became a huge success. She joined the Fantastic Four and the Avengers (not at the same time, though). Even when her own series ended, she remained an enduring fan favorite. It’s a smart move for Disney/Marvel Cinematic Universe to bring her in. It’s even smarter to follow Byrne’s comedic approach, which is what the fans embraced.

That’s the history. Next time, I’ll talk about the series episodes and fan reaction. But first, if anyone has been watching (I know, there are so many streaming services that you have to choose which you get) I’d love to hear what you think of the show.


Have you read one of my books? Then it would be great for you to leave a review! Meanwhile, if you’d like to learn more about me and my work, check out my websiteFacebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.

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The Sandman series, on Netflix, has been getting a lot of buzz recently. I’m here to tell you, the buzz is deserved.

I remember my husband picking up the Sandman title back in the ’90s, when DC Comics revived one of its oldest characters, the Sandman. Originally a pulp action hero from 1939, the Sandman used a gun that fired sleep gas, and wore a gas mask to avoid breathing the gas himself. The character had surprising longevity, making the transition from pulp to superhero and even helping found the Justice League, but by the ’90s he had been dormant for a long time.

DC aimed to change that, and the editors enlisted a young and hungry British writer named Neil Gaiman to do it. Gaiman’s approach was to blend the trappings of superhero with the supernatural trappings of pulp fiction, and spice it with the scandal and suspense of the old EC horror titles. The result was a strange and striking invention.

Sandman has often been referred to as a horror title, and it’s true the subject matter sometimes gets very dark. I think, though, that the title fits better as urban fantasy, which was becoming increasingly important in the ’90s. The main character, Dream, has been held prisoner by a cult for 100 years, and has to reclaim his place while re-learning a world that has changed during his absence. Gaiman created a whole cosmology of the Endless, beings who represent core human needs and traits. The Endless intersect with lots of other supernatural realms like Hell and with the standard DC Comics universe. Even in the earliest issues, you can see the great fantasist Gaiman would become and how he would change the landscape for both comics and the YA genre.

Is this a good adaptation of the comic? I think so, and not just because Gaiman has been personally involved. The characters and plots seem much the same to me. What’s been updated most is the inclusion of more diverse characters in the casting. The original comics were basically all white. That no longer works for contemporary audiences, and I was glad to see that some important roles were filled with actors of color.

I’ll say no more for fear of spoilers, but if you’ve been wondering whether Sandman is really as good as all that… Yes. You should watch it.


Have you read one of my books? Then it would be great for you to leave a review! Meanwhile, if you’d like to learn more about me and my work, check out my websiteFacebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.

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As the funeral preparations for the late Queen Elizabeth II continue, I’ve pondering the role of royalty in fantasy stories. Last week I wrote about how royal figures feature so prominently in legend and contemporary writing. But there’s another connection with the real world that may not be quite so benign.

The way royalty is depicted in stories can make it seem quite simple. A ruler is chosen by God (or gods) and therefore has divine wisdom. Even if the ruler doesn’t make such claims personally, you can be sure that people around them are making it. Because the ruler is vouched for at this ultimate level, everyone should follow them without question. Sounds easy, right?

Unfortunately, there are always people who want to take this concept from stories and apply it to the real world. So you get small but noisy movements to put aside established laws and make one person an absolute ruler. Worse, there are enough people who will try to twist the laws and make this dark vision a reality. I don’t need to name names here, I know. In America and around the world, the fight goes on to maintain democracy in the face of those who would make a king.

What’s ironic in the adulation for Queen Elizabeth II is that neither she nor her successor, Charles III, actually have the ability to make changes that effect people’s lives. Britain and its Commonwealth are governed by a constitution and elected officials who write the laws. Here in America, the British monarchy is even less able to effect us.

So there’s an element of safety for Americans who admire British royalty. The House of Windsor has that shine, but they can’t touch us.


Have you read one of my books? Then it would be great for you to leave a review! Meanwhile, if you’d like to learn more about me and my work, check out my websiteFacebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.

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Why are people so fascinated with royalty? And how does this relate to the bedrock of modern fantasy? These are the questions I put forth last Saturday. Today I’ll start spinning a few theories.

My first thought is going to seem obvious: Tradition. Fantasy is just the latest chapter in a long tradition of storytelling that begins with religious mythology, flows into more general folk stories, and has persisted into the age of professional publishing. If you think about it, some of the most enduring characters from around the world were all royalty.

Half the cast of the Iliad and Odyssey were Greek rulers. King Arthur was royalty. Even Sun Wukong, from Chinese legend, began his career as King of the Monkeys. So it’s traditional for the main characters in many stories to be kings or princes (more rarely queens or princesses). Sometimes the ruler is more of a background character who delegates tasks to other protagonists, but in an awful lot of tales, the king goes out having adventures personally.

Perhaps this is part of humanity’s ancient legacy. Descended from social apes who were led by an “alpha,” we may have a predisposition to look for such leaders in the real world, and in stories. We watch what they do, admire their actions, and share their victories. As humans have granted rulers ever more ceremony and finery, there’s the additional lure of riches and glamor that comes with being royalty.

After centuries of adulation, the concept of royalty has built up a mythic quality. We often see legends like that of King Arthur, where a king is prophesied to begin an era of peace and justice. Fantasy is full of chosen ones, lost heirs, and other characters that embody the mystique of royalty.


Have you read one of my books? Then it would be great for you to leave a review! Meanwhile, if you’d like to learn more about me and my work, check out my websiteFacebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.

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Unless you’ve been living in a cave somewhere, you must have heard that Queen Elizabeth of England has passed away. I find myself puzzled, as always, by how interested people are over here in the United States. This is something I noticed when I was finishing up college, and there was such a furor over the marriage of Prince Charles to Lady Diana. The media was obsessed with their royal marriage, and I felt… disinterested. I mean, I am not British or Canadian, so why does this matter to me?

So now here we go again. Wall-to-wall coverage of Elizabeth’s passing, the ascension of Prince Charles to King Charles, tributes from around the world, and much dramatic speculation about whether Prince Harry will be clawed back into the family so the new king can put himself out there as a “unifier.” (And also a few, mostly overlooked, voices commenting about finally ending colonialism.)

I really don’t know what to think about Americans, with a well established democracy, being so drawn to a non-democratic institution like the British monarchy. However, monarchies are well entrenched in the fantasy genre, so this is something I will be pondering about in coming posts.

First, though, I’m interested in what you think. Why are people so fascinated by royalty?


Have you read one of my books? Then it would be great for you to leave a review! Meanwhile, if you’d like to learn more about me and my work, check out my websiteFacebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.

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For several years now, I’ve been participating in Fall Folk Festival. This is an annual celebration of international music, dance and arts by the diverse community around Spokane. For my part, of course, I read from my children’s fiction (the Lucy D. Ford byline) and try to sell a few books through the festival store.

After a two-year hiatus, Fall Folk Festival is back — and they’re bumping up my part of it. The local public radio station does a live broadcast during the event, and this year I’m invited to read from my work on the air.

Am I excited? Naw, it’s all casual… Oh, who am I kidding? I’m super excited and can’t want to iron out all the details. Most of you who read this blog are too far distant to attend in person. However, the station will probably have a streaming setup, so you will be able to hear me read if you so choose.

Watch this space for more details!


Have you read one of my books? Then it would be great for you to leave a review! Meanwhile, if you’d like to learn more about me and my work, check out my websiteFacebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.

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What’s Happening? The school year has officially begun, and my schedule is in disarray. I’ll get a handle on it soon, I’m sure. The other thing is, we’ve been lucky with the wildfire smoke, but now it’s arrived in force. That will be a challenge to my schedule if I’m not able to ride my bike to work as I had hoped.

What I’m Working On. The Tale of the Drakanox, of course! Sometimes it feels like I’ll never finish. That’s the thing with not having a firm plot. I’m not sure what’s going on — but in a good way, if that makes sense. It will look like everything is falling apart at once, that’s all I know.

What’s Next? I think I mentioned writing a short story, “Mistress Henbane,” earlier in the spring. A follow-up is nibbling at my mind. I’m also looking forward to a busy October, with Bad Moon Rising, a book event run in the month of October by horror author Teri Polen, and the SpoCon science fiction convention.

Fun and Games. I’m still playing Subnautica. I finished the first play through and am replaying at a higher difficulty. As part of the game I built a sweet undersea base, and that has been fun. As mentioned above, SpoCon is coming, and I’m preparing an Animal Crossing treasure hunt for that.

The summer never lasts long enough. I hope all is well for you as we move into the final third of 2022.


Have you read one of my books? Then it would be great for you to leave a review! Meanwhile, if you’d like to learn more about me and my work, check out my websiteFacebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.

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