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Posts Tagged ‘high fantasy’

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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Coming June 20, 2021

Amid all the excitement of Queen Titania’s Court, I have also stealthily completed the editing and setups for my latest e-book, The Renegade of Opshar! It is the fourth of my Minstrels of Skaythe series, featuring honorable mages who attempt to survive in a world where sorcery runs amok.


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?

Pre-Order it now from Amazon or Books2Read!


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’s right, I finished the third draft of Renegade of Opshar. It still needs minor tweaking, but I’m happy with how it came out.

Of course, the next steps are many. I need to get it off for proofreading. I need to stop dithering and choose the cover art. Then I will make the title images, and put them all together. Next will be setups for the e-book, through Bowker and Amazon and Draft2Digital. Even with all that, it looks like I will be able to make it to a June 1st release. Huzzah!

While I’m working on those things, I also have a lot to do on Queen Titania’s Court. Gathering everyone’s introductions, and their questions, and their cover images. Making decisions about which author appears when, and getting to work on actual posts.

So, I’m going to be a busy bee for the next couple of weeks. But it will be a lot of fun.


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 site, Facebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.

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Every once in a while, you run into those things online, where someone is declaring that a Famous Author has been “cancelled” by overzealous <choose your faction> who don’t understand that things were different in The Past. And we’re told that we can’t judge the art of Yesteryear by today’s standards. There’s more, but I’m sure you all recognize this kind of rhetoric.

I saw one recently (you probably guessed) and it got me thinking. How are contemporary people to judge the artists of the past? It is truly possible to separate the odious views of a creator — for instance Wagner, whose anti-Semitism is well documented — from their beloved artistic works?

CAN we separate the artist from the art, and if we can, SHOULD we?

I can only speak of my own experience, which is that my written works are deeply personal. They embody my thoughts and philosophy, and often question the way things are in society. If my books are a statement to the world, I cannot consider them separate from the rest of me.

Maybe it’s different for other writers and artists, who are more connected to traditional publishing. There are deadlines to meet and trends to chase, and they may quickly produce work to suit different markets. So for them, they may not be trying to make a statement in the same way.

I would suggest, though, that the words they write still spring from somewhere within them. And if there’s something in those words that deserves to be questioned, it’s kind of a cheap dodge to claim that the art is somehow separate from the artist’s identity.

That’s just my thought. I’d be interested in hearing what any of you think about this.


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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Thanks so much to everyone who commented on my title conundrum. I really do like The Renegade of Weeping Falls. However, the next novella is called already Prisoners of the Wailing Tower. Having Weeping Falls and Wailing Tower right beside each other is bugging me. I guess I could find a different title for Wailing Tower, but that title has been set for over a year. Changing it would also bug me. So I am going with The Renegade of Opshar.

That second draft is complete now, and off to the beta readers. If they don’t raise major issues, I may just make the cutoff for publication by June 1st! Spring releases are dicey, I know, but it would be perfect to feature Renegade as part of Queen Titania’s Court in June. Besides which, I never seem to get big numbers, so what’s the difference?

If I choose that, I’ll need to get busy with sales copy, finding the right cover, and other setups. Which is actually the more fun part of the process.

Speaking of Queen Titania’s Court, I’m starting to put my schedule together for that. There’s still room for more friends, though! Go ahead and e-mail me if you’re interested, cat09tales -at- hotmail -dot- com.


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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My revisions are going well (cross your fingers) and I’m within shouting distance of a completed second draft. A couple of lesser character names are still nagging at me, but I’ll get them fixed, never fear.

One major decision left is the updated title. I’m playing with a couple of possibilities. All of the Minstrels of Skaythe novellas have had longer titles: The Tower in the Mist, Dancer in the Grove of Ghosts, The Ice Witch of Fang Marsh. So I’m looking for something that will match that same rhythm and sense of place.

Some of the possibilities are:

A) The Renegade of Opshar. Opshar being the small village Berisan lives near.

B) The Renegade of Weeping Falls. Weeping Falls being a landmark near Yamaya’s farm.

C) The Renegade of Dolarus Falls. This is an alternate name for the said landmark.

This is where I ask you, my expert audience, which option you think works best. Let me know in the comments!


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? At work, the issues around my negative review are more or less resolved. But as I reflect on my experience with this particular school, I recall that my district went through a wholesale reshuffling two years ago, and I was involuntarily transferred to this building at this time. If I had interviewed through the regular process, they might not have selected me. So as I continue doing my best there, I am also watching the job boards for new opportunities.

What I’m Working On. Despite the above mentioned stress and drama, second draft revisions are proceeding on The Renegade of Opshar. I know what themes I need to deepen, where I need to explain more clearly, and so forth. So, it’s going!

What’s Next? I’m in the planning process for Queen Titania’s Court, looking forward to that start of that in June. But there still is room for more friends. Do e-mail me if you’re interested! CAT09tales -at- hotmail -dot- com.

Fun and Games. Animal Crossing has been a haven from the stress at work. I’m also revisiting one of my favorite games ever, Dragon Age Origins. The developers have announced the next game for 2022, and I’m laying out a new sequence to bring me into that. Even after several playthroughs, I still find complexity in the writing, especially in the dialogue wheels. Depending on what dialogue you choose, characters will give different replies. It gives me a new level of respect for game writers.


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 The Renegade Count (or whatever I end up calling it) it’s time to take a break. The weather is supposed to be in the 70s here, perfect weather to be out in my garden. I have a few transplants to get in, and more than a few weeds to get out. I’m also taking in a webinar about soil care, because if you don’t have good soil, your flowers and vegies will only struggle.

While my hands are busy, I’ll be thinking about the new names and titles I need. Some of them might sound strangely botanical. Nobody will notice that, right?


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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I’m still doing a bit of work on the very end of The Renegade Count, just making sure everything fits together the way it should. While I do that, I’m also starting the first step of my revisions, which is to name or re-name a few people and places.

Names are a detail that I pay a lot of attention to. The sound of them, and how they fit together, is an important part of my world building. I want them all to sound like they come from the same place and time. Although I try to come up with a list of good names before I start the first draft, and pick from that list when I encounter a new character, there are always a few I get stuck on.

For this novella, I’m re-naming a couple of characters whose names are too similar and might cause confusion for readers. There are also a few, very minor, characters who I didn’t anticipate needing names. No big deal, I’ll just play with sound combinations until I get them how I want them.

The major problem that I have it with the title. The Renegade Count was supposed to be about Berisan accidentally being appointed “count” of an obscure village. Since the people are expecting military-style magic to defend them, and Berisan is a pacifist, I thought that would be an interesting conflict. As it worked out, though, Yamaya’s character arc took up a lot more of the story. The village didn’t draft Berisan as their protector in the way I had anticipated.

This leaves me the choice of completely re-writing the plot to force my original intention on it — you writers out there know this hardly ever produces a better story — or coming up with a new title. Guess which one I’m choosing?

So the work goes on… or begins, depending on where you count from!


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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