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Posts Tagged ‘high fantasy’

A snippet from Prisoners of the Wailing Tower.

One fun snippet was not enough, so here’s another little taste from Prisoners of the Wailing Tower.

What do you think?


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 web siteFacebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.

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A snippet from Prisoners of the Wailing Tower

Today I’m just sharing a snippet from my forthcoming novella, Prisoners of the Wailing Tower. It’s the fifth in my Minstrels of Skaythe series.

Hope you like 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 web siteFacebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.

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As previously mentioned, I’ve been working on the cover copy for Prisoners of the Wailing Tower. I thought I would share what I’ve come up with.

Alemin only wanted to help an innocent. Instead, he was caught by the dreaded hunter-guards. Now he finds himself flung into the Larder, where the very walls are steeped in nightmares and his fellow inmates are dangerous killer. Worse, the warden has far too many questions about Alemin’s friends, the Minstrels, and their subversive lifestyle.

On the outside, the renegade mage Lorrah receives a vision of her friend’s capture. She’s desperate to save Alemin, but the Larder is a prison for the most vicious criminal mages in all of Skaythe. They say if you aren’t mad when you get there, you soon will be.

Luckily, Lorrah is not alone. She has help from the fierce women warriors of Badger Squad. Yet even their combined forces might not be enough to get Alemin free from Dar-Gothull’s Larder!

Well, what do you think? I’d love to hear about any strengths or weaknesses you spot.


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 web siteFacebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.

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Now that I’ve finished my polishing draft on Prisoners of the Wailing Tower, it’s time for someone other than me to take a look at the manuscript. I have one friend that I’m hoping will do a proofing run. While I wait for that, I get to start on the fun parts of self-publishing.

For a couple of weeks, I’ve been peeking in at Shutterstock for potential covers. I plan to stay with the same artist I’ve already used for the series. Having a consistent look to the covers is important. After saving everything of his that I thought might work, I’ve been slowly deleting pieces. On Sunday I had it down to four, and last night I made the final pick. The piece was large enough for a full cover spread, but I know I can crop it to fit an e-book cover. Later, if I decide to do a print book of the second set of novellas, I’ll have an image ready to go.

The next step will be to create the title itself. With that, I’ll be able to start assembling the cover on Canva. I’ll also do a couple of different sized ads that I can put on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. This is one of the fun and creative parts for me, and I’m looking forward to it. The text won’t be ready for several weeks more, but that’s all right. Starting advance promotions ahead of time is all to the better.

Another exciting thing is that Teri Polen has started her book feature, Bad Moon Rising. My day is October 10th, and I’ll be featuring Dancer in the Grove of Ghosts, second in my Minstrels of Skaythe series.

The slightly sad thing is that Fall Folk Fest, where I’ve been reading my stories for the past few years, has announced the cancellation of their live performances and craft fair. Like SpoCon, this is disappointing but not surprising. I do have the option of putting together a video of myself reading for their virtual concert, but I’m not sure if I really have time or the skills for it.

Anyway, that’s what I’ll be up to for the rest of the week.


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 web siteFacebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.

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What’s Happening? I’ve mentioned that I was involved with SpoCon, the local science fiction convention. Unfortunately, conditions are such that we’ve had to put it off for another year. I’m not surprised at all, but still discouraged about it.

What I’m Working On. With SpoCon off the table, I’m doing a revision on Prisoners of the Wailing Tower. When that’s done, I’ll start the practical process of laying out, cover creation, etc. The Thanksgiving publication date is easily doable.

What’s Next? The final Minstrels of Skaythe novel is starting to take shape. I hope to begin some exploratory scenes before much longer.

Fun and Games. Currently I’m playing an indy game, Sable. My character is a young person on a walkabout type mission to find her purpose in life. It’s very minimalist and low-key, with a lot of climbing and jumping but no combat. I like that In Animal Crossing, my younger kid has their own village. We’ve been visiting each other about once a week, and it’s fun.

October is here already? That means it’s almost time for Hallowe’en decorations!


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 web siteFacebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.

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What’s Happening? The big change at my house is that my older kid has moved out. One of his friends owns a house where my kid will be renting a room. After years of restaurant work that he hated, Kid also found a job he really likes. It’s janitorial, not glamorous, but perfect for a night owl who doesn’t want to deal with people. It’s a big step, and we’re proud of him. Here’s hoping it will last.

What I’m Working On. Being Director of Programming for SpoCon is taking all my creative energy at the moment. I was able to get the schedule posted before school resumed, so mostly now I’m adjusting for the speakers’ requests and also tracking down their photos and bios. With 60% of my community resisting both masks and vaccines, I don’t even know whether to expect that we’ll be able to host our event. Again, here’s hoping!

What’s Next? When I have a moment to think, I need to do a fresh pass on Prisoners of the Wailing Tower before publishing it around Thanksgiving. At least I don’t have to “here’s hoping” this one. As an indy author, I can make these things happen on my own.

Fun and Games. Currently I’m playing Skyrim. My character is a cat person who’s part of the Thieves Guild. In Animal Crossing, I’m trying to catch 100 fish in a row. Thrill a minute, right?

Here’s hoping you all have a fun Labor Day weekend (if you live in the United States).


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 web siteFacebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.

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That short story, “Hag,” was my summer project. I finished it before going back to school, and I feel really good about that. That means I can start looking ahead to the series finale for Minstrels of Skaythe. Step one of that will be to firm up my continuity from the previous five novellas.

What do I mean by continuity? In writing, it’s basically how you keep track of the details of a story. Everything from the broad plot actions to the details of a character’s appearance are part of the continuity. Most writers keep track of stuff like that so that they don’t make embarrassing mistakes. Growing up as a comic fan, I was always aware of continuity because characters would mention things that happened in previous stories, and we got footnotes telling us what title and issue that took place in. (Which, possibly, was also a bid by the publisher to keep up interest in collecting back issues.)

For myself, I usually did stand-alone novels, where most continuity can be addressed in outlining. Knowing Minstrels of Skaythe would be a series, I’ve been keeping track of continuity in a different way. Some of the things I’ve tried to note for each volume are where the story takes place and who the main antagonist is. If there are important minor characters, I note them down. I try to always have a giant creature of some kind, and that gets written down, too.

Mentions of the other minstrels are also important. The minstrels are a group of mages, each of whom has one volume directed to them, but I still want the readers to know the other ones are out there. I accomplish that by having them say things about each other. Finally, the minstrels are followers of a philosopher-mage named Ar-Thea, and they sometimes quote her wisdom. All of those mentions and quotes go into my continuity document.

I have roughly 2 weeks left before returning to work, so before then I plan to go over my continuity document before then. I think I got in a rush with Renegade of Opshar, and didn’t do those entries. Honestly, that should only take me a few days. I can’t let myself get too lazy!


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 web siteFacebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.

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What’s Happening? I’ve been nursing my garden along through the waves of this summer’s heat. Cucumbers and miniature pumpkins have started coming in, but my beans and tomatoes are sadly lacking. I feel that perhaps the smoke has prevented them getting enough light. We also have had roof work done, which looks great but did not pass inspection. The contractor promises to take care of it. Home improvements are always such a saga, aren’t they?

What I’m Working On. I’m about to start work on the fifth draft of Hag. I thought I would be done with it by now, but what did I know about it? However, the plot is firm and that will allow me to begin tightening, setting the imagery up to fit the theme, and so on. I do hope to be done with it by the end of this month, because that’s when I report back to the school.

What’s Next? In addition to SpoCon’s programming, which is coming together well, I have the next Minstrels of Skaythe novella to get ready for publication. Prisoners of the Wailing Tower is already written. Actually, I was working on it this time last year. Then I realized that for purposes of continuity, The Renegade of Opshar had to come out first. There will still be adjustments, but I plan to have it out for Christmas.

Fun and Games. In Animal Crossing, I made a major achievement. Lilies of the Valley have started growing on my island! This is a sign that I have a “perfect” village, and I’m pretty happy about it. For my other game, I took a rest on Conan Exiles. The building is still fun, but I got stuck in a spot where I lost a lot of gear. By Crom! Anyway, I’m doing a replay of Dragon Age II and having fun with it.

I hope you’re all having fun this summer, and getting your projects written, too.


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 web siteFacebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.

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What’s Happening? Summer break only started for me on June 22nd. Boy do I need it! My husband and I are going to travel over the next week. I need to check in with my 92-year-old dad and give my sister a break for her own family to travel. We’ve just made it through a terrible heat wave, so ironically it will be cooler in L. A. than here in the Inland Northwest.

What I’m Working On. June was taken over by my summer book event, Queen Titania’s Court. Since most of that was scheduled ahead of time, I still found time to complete and publish The Renegade of Opshar, fourth in my Minstrels of Skaythe series. Check out that cover on the sidebar! I can always use a few more reviews, if you catch my drift.

What’s Next? For my summer project, I’m working on a short story about a hag (the folklore kind) who lives in a swamp and everyone knows she is evil but really she is protecting the world from something awful. This hasn’t been an easy go, but I should have a good draft to take with me. Something else to read on my vacation. After I return, I’ll begin the serious work of designing programs for SpoCon, which is coming up in October.

Fun and Games. Currently I’m playing Conan Exiles, a fantasy survival game. The building aspect is fun, but there’s really no narrative arc. I’m also playing solo, which makes some of the battles harder. For the cuteness quotient, with building but no battles, there’s always Animal Crossing. My village has been the same for about a year, so I’m pondering a few revisions to the layout there.


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 web siteFacebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.

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Today we conclude with Berisan, the main character in my most recent e-book, The Renegade of Opshar.

Berisan stepped cautiously from the mouth of a rocky tunnel. He had been working in the overhang beneath Weeping Falls, gathering the plentiful moss, when he felt a sudden, cool breeze. Haunting music and enticing aromas swirled around him, rich with unmistakable currents of magic. Instead of the jumbled rocks where moss grew, he now saw a tunnel — one that had never been there before.

There were many traps in Skaythe. A mage had to be careful. Yet Berisan sensed no malice in the harmonies that called to him. After a moment, he set down his moss basket and ventured through the stony portal. Soon the tunnel opened up, and wonders spread before him. Was it a vast cavern, or a woodland glade? He couldn’t have said, for it was filled with shimmering color and light.

Blinking, he focused on men and women, some dressed in glittering finery and others in plain working clothes. Many were as small as his hand, buzzing on translucent wings. One or two were great and craggy as trees come to life. Moving among them were strange beasts such as Berisan could never have imagined. Furred, winged, horned… And some of the humans were also horned or furred, or strangely light-skinned! Yet most appeared nearly normal, until you sensed the power that each one of them emitted.

Lilting music caught his ear. Half a dozen players made the melodies, stepping in and out as the mood took them. A multitude danced in this great hall, yet there was no sense of crowding and no tension between them. At the far end, a radiant woman sat on a throne of living whitewood. All the magic he sensed circulated around her. She did not try to control its course, but balanced it into perfect serenity.

Of all the wonders, this was the most incredible. Everywhere, Berisan felt the pulse of magic. It was not hidden, as it must be in Skaythe, but joyously accepted. If this was a dream, it was wonderful indeed.


Character Questions

Who is your closest friend? My closest friends are a minstrel troupe. My brother Alemin and I juggle, Tisha dances and Meven gives puppet plays, while Keilos and Lorrah provide the music. Secretly, we are all mages. Once, we were the apprentices of Ar-Thea, a kind and loving mage who trained us to use our magic with compassion instead of rage and malice. She was killed by Dar-Gothull‛s vicious regime. Since then we travel, disguised as minstrels, to resist his brutal reign.

In your homeland, is magic feared or respected? It is both. On the surface, mages are greatly respected. Because of their magic, they are considered natural leaders. Mages have great wealth and political power. But Dar-Gothull‛s way teaches that only the strongest deserve to keep their riches, so there is constant fighting among the mages. The common people suffer as their battles overflow the land. So even as they show outward obedience, they also carry great hatred for their cruel masters.

Author Questions

Fantasy has many genres. How did you choose yours? To be honest, I‛m not sure I even know my genre. I say ‟high fantasy‟ because it deals with political and philosophical movements. At the same time, I‛m constantly questioning the assumptions that underlie fantasy, such as solving all problems through warfare. My work tends to be more personal, involving individuals and close families rather than having an epic scale. So people who think fantasy is all about knights and kings and grand battles may find my stories an odd fit. Still, there doesn‛t seem to be a better fit than ‟high fantasy.‟

Where is your favorite place for writing? I‛m one of those people who writes by habit, at the same time every day. I have an office where all my stuff is, and I spend about two hours in the evenings either directly composing new material or handling e-mails, my blog, and similar chores that support my career.


The Renegade of Opshar

All Berisan wants is a place to hide. The insignificant village of Opshar seems like a perfect haven. Disguised as a beggar, he can lie low and evade the brutal hunter-guards. But Berisan isn‛t the only one with secrets.

Widowed and pregnant, Yamaya struggles to hold the farm she and her husband built, but she can‛t escape her sordid past. In desperation, she hires the one person who hasn‛t taken a side in Opshar‛s murky politics — the beggar, Sand.

Common sense tells Berisan to walk away, but his code as a minstrel compels him to help Yamaya if he can. Soon he faces a decision that challenges every principle he holds. Will he give up the safety of his secrets, or allow another to suffer in his place?

Get it now from Amazon or Books2Read!

About Deby Fredericks

Deby Fredericks has been a writer all her life, but thought of it as just a fun hobby until the late 1990s. She sold her first work, a children’s poem, in 2000. She has six novels in print through two small presses. Her short fiction has appeared in the pages of Andromeda Spaceways, Boys’ Life, and others. Currently she is self-publishing her high fantasy novella series, Minstrels of Skaythe. She also blogs twice a week here at Wyrmflight.


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 web siteFacebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.

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