Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘The Ice Witch of Fang Marsh’

Your story’s setting is a crucial element, along with character and plot, to keep readers invested. Think about it. All those movie trailers that start out, “In a world…” They’re talking about the setting.

For me, the setting is one of my favorite things. When I’m planning a new work, the setting is almost the first thing I think about. Yet when I’m browsing advice, it’s all about characters, dialogue and plot. Setting is often the last thing mentioned.

What I love about setting is how it combines both physical and emotional elements. The way you describe the physical attributes can imply things to the reader. Past history of the place is a big one for fantasy. The feelings of the character who is viewing the place will illuminate their personality. Writers also can shape how the reader feels about this place.

For instance, my most recent short story, “Hag,” takes place in a swamp full of ruins. Already the reader might have preconceptions about a swamp environment. For instance, they might think swamps are disgusting with all the frogs and quicksand. They might see the ruins as dangerous. A writer could enhance this by covering it with creepy mist, if that’s what they want for the story.

However, the character viewing the swamp might think of it as a safe place. In my novella, The Ice Witch of Fang Marsh, Meven was looking for a place to hide and reconnect with her family roots. Fang Marsh had all sorts of hiding places, and lots of resources she could exploit. I hope that I surprised readers with her perception of the place.

My favorite thing about the swamp in “Hag” was all the collapsed buildings and sunken courtyards I filled it with. These are relics of a drowned empire, and that history is an important part of the plot. From the moment you “see” this place, you know those ruins are important.

Hmmm, seems like swamps are kind of an “ism” for me. Anyhow, I’d be interested in hearing from any of you about the interesting ways you have used a setting in your own work.


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.

Read Full Post »

Here’s another excerpt from The Ice Witch of Fang Marsh. This one features Ozlin, the second viewpoint character. Enjoy!


   “Thief — stop him!”
   Ozlin ducked and darted, weaving between the bystanders. He veered to avoid a snatching hand. The merchant was slow, but his strides were long. A hard fist dug into the tangles of Ozlin’s unkempt hair. He yelped at the pain, kicked and cursed.
   “Let go, you shithole!’
   “Nobody steals from me,” the merchant gloated with grim satisfaction. He started to yank Ozlin back toward the plaza, where the guards were.
   “Pervert! Help!” Ozlin’s voice cracked as he screamed. A few onlookers glanced around, but nobody seemed to came to help him. They were too busy waving and cheering.
   “Shut up, you brat,” growled the merchant.
   Pain tore at Ozlin’s scalp. In an instant, rage replaced his fear. He grabbed the hand that dug into his hair and let the fire roll free. A sizzle, the stink of charring meat. Now it was the merchant who yelled.
   Loose again, Ozlin scrambled away. Sandals slipped on the pavement, and then he was steady. All his thought was to run, run, run!
   “Get back here,” roared the merchant.
   Dead end! It wasn’t Ozlin’s first chase, but somehow he’d come the wrong way. A row of barrels was stacked across the alley. He skidded, looking for a way through, then whirled and tried to race back, but skidded to a halt again. The furious merchant advanced, rubbing at an angry red mark on his wrist.
   “You’ll pay for that, gutter trash,” he rumbled, menacing.
   Ozlin was doomed. They were alone in the alley. Except, one person emerged from the crowd. The woman with the reed hat moved up beside the merchant. For the first time, Ozlin got a good look at her face, the narrow nose and pinched mouth. Cold eyes fixed on him.
   “Can I help?” Her voice was soft and neutral, but with an acid undertone. She knew what he was, just as he recognized her.
   “Mage.” Ozlin couldn’t make the fire go back into his hands, so he made his hands into flaming fists. “Stay away from me!”


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.

Read Full Post »

Today I’m sharing a brief excerpt from my high fantasy novella, The Ice Witch of Fang Marsh. There are two viewpoint characters in the tale. This one is Meven’s. Enjoy!


     The narrow street crossed others at an angle that made it hard for Meven to see where she was going. She kept moving, listening to the people nearby. Surely there had to be a larger street. One that would lead to a gate, and freedom.
   Groaning their complaints, the people around her stopped to let a wagon full of wood rumble by. Meven tensed as a vague spark of magic pricked at her senses. Stinging heat lusted to set something afire. She refused to look around.
     “Nothing to do with you, Meven. Keep your eyes on your own business.”
     The oxen pulling the wagon dropped dung under the wheels. Meven wished she could have stayed on the ship instead of dealing with so many stinking people and animals. Two weeks at sea had been a blessing and a relief. Born on the water but for years exiled to land, she had forgotten so much! The rhythmic dance of the ship on the tide. The musky tang of salt water, the creak of the rigging and slap of waves against the side.
     People started to move around her. Meven made to step with them, but another driver cracked his whip and rushed his wagon into the gap. People around her grumbled with frustration.
     “Typical,” Meven said to no one in particular.
     Long ago, almost thirty years now, she had been a water-child who toddled the deck of her family’s houseboat, Fawn. She had learned to walk and swim at roughly the same time. From one port to another the family roamed mighty Lake Bilseng, up and down and across and around. Sometimes they earned coin by delivering cargo between Nibbuk and Ortach. Mostly they foraged in the mangrove thickets to net enough food for all the mouths aboard. Those had been golden days. Before her magic emerged and capsized her life.
     As a child, Meven hadn’t questioned her parents’ way of life. Now she understood how much they risked, yet also gained, by living on the water. Her recent journey by boat had been mere impulse, the fastest way out of a trap. She hadn’t expected it to become a sojourn through fond memories. Now that she had revisited the sensations of life on the water, Meven didn’t want to give it up. With any luck, she wouldn’t have to.
     Well, not only luck. Planning, scheming, and perhaps a bit of trickery would be involved. Also, relearning a few old skills to keep herself hidden and fed in a mangrove swamp. But first, she had to get out of this wretched town!


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.

Read Full Post »

Cover to The Ice Witch of Fang Marsh
The Ice Witch of Fang Marsh

Meven paused at the top of a staircase, stunned by the glittering kaleidoscope of people and creatures before her. Music swirled in visible clouds above a huge assembly that danced with varying degrees of grace or enthusiasm. Meven’s sarong of pale green swamp linen seemed inadequate compared to the other revelers’ gaudy attire. Natural pearls gleamed against her brown arms and neck as she raised hand to check that her jet black hair was still contained in its tall bun.

A scornful snort drew her attention downward. “Why did we have to come here?” Ozlin, her mageling, wore a short sarong of similar fabric. An arc of pale scars crossed his dark-skinned chest. His thicket of black curls was held back by a simple headband.

“The world is wide,” she said. “You must learn to work with all sorts of people.”

The boy slouched irritably. As Meven slowly descended the steps, she looked around for something that might catch his interest. Across from the steps, a magnificent window was open to admit a stream of fireflies and tiny sprites. An elfin man, all in green, spoke seriously to a large, gray-skinned person. Another man, in a dark blue uniform, stood alone with a glass in his hand. He appeared to be watching the throng with wary fascination. Meanwhile, a gentleman in a fine black cloak lined in scarlet, bowed low before the queen of all fairies. Surely any one of them would have fascinating stories to share.

Then Meven spotted the one sure attraction. “Oz, look at all the food.”

Ozlin’s eyes brightened. Table after table was laid out with lavish fruits, meats, cheeses, pastries, and all sorts of drinks. Nearby, a young girl with silver hair and an ornate ball gown was reaching down to pet a large puppy. A ragged rabbit hovered just above her shoulder.

“Go say hello,” Meven urged, then chuckled. Her mageling had already darted off toward the feast. She hoped he wouldn’t get into too much trouble.

As for herself, Meven headed toward the reception line, so that she too could pay honor to her hostess. This was going to be a night to remember.


The Ice Witch of Fang Marsh

Meven is a renegade, hunted by the cruel regime of master mage Dar-Gothull. Her desperate desire is to lose herself in the treacherous Fang Marsh. Only there can she live the life she wants, in freedom and safety. To reach the marsh, Meven must sneak through the town of Eshur, where her old enemy, the wicked Countess Ar-Torix, commands dozens of spies and guards. It should be no problem!

What Meven doesn’t know is that she’s already being tracked. Ozlin was thrown out because of his emerging magic. Now he’s starving on the streets of Eshur. Caught stealing, he’s about to be imprisoned in the brutal temple school.

Until Meven recognizes his power and intervenes. Suddenly she has a new, desperate desire — to save this mageling boy, and maybe save herself as well.


The Author

Deby Fredericks has been a writer all her life, but thought of it as just a fun hobby until the late 1990s. Her first professional sale, a children’s poem, was in 2000. Since then she has published six novels through two small presses, and seen her work appear in magazines such as Boys’ Life and Cricket Magazine. Currently she is self-publishing a series of high fantasy novellas, Minstrels of Skaythe. Find out more at her web site, www.debyfredericks.com.

Read Full Post »

Cover to The Ice Witch of Fang Marsh
The Ice Witch of Fang Marsh

Yes, it’s the “book birthday” for The Ice Witch of Fang Marsh. Usually my pre-orders don’t release on a blog day, but this time I got lucky. So this is where I beg — uh, ask nicely for all of you to help me spread the news.

If you know anyone who’s being ordered to stay home and just doesn’t know what to do with themself any more…

If you know anyone who’s interested in fresh takes on fantasy…

If you know anyone who just loves to read…

Then please tell them about my book!

Thanks, you’re all so amazing!


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.

Read Full Post »

Cover to The Ice Witch of Fang Marsh

This Friday is the official release! The Ice Witch of Fang Marsh will be available for your reading pleasure on May 15th. There’s even an advance review on Goodreads this time!


Meven is a renegade, hunted by the cruel regime of master mage Dar-Gothull. Her desperate desire is to lose herself in the treacherous Fang Marsh. Only there can she live the life she wants, in freedom and safety. To reach the marsh, Meven must sneak through the town of Eshur, where her old enemy, the wicked Countess Ar-Torix, commands dozens of spies and guards. It should be no problem!

What Meven doesn’t know is that she’s already being tracked. Ozlin was thrown out because of his emerging magic. Now he’s starving on the streets of Eshur. Caught stealing, he’s about to be imprisoned in the brutal temple school.

Until Meven recognizes his power and intervenes. Suddenly she has a new, desperate desire — to save this mageling boy, and maybe save herself as well.

Pre-Order from Amazon or in alternate formats through Draft 2 Digital!


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.

Read Full Post »

Happy May, everybody. I must confess that spring is my favorite time of year. Everything is getting green and seeds are sprouting in the garden. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve seen pictures of my flowers. I’m even making inroads on the dandelions in my lawn. That’s thanks to the way I’m reshaping my schedule. It’s been a month and a half since I was ordered to stay home, so there’s no more excuse to act like I’m still confused.

Basically, I try to alternate my activities and keep myself alert. First thing in the morning, I take care of dishes and other chores. Then I get online, check work e-mail and sign into Teams. If my supervisor has any tasks for me, that’s where I’ll find them. Between 10 and 11, I go outside and do yard work. (The aforementioned dandelion patrol.) Around noon, I stop for lunch and play video games. Then at 1 pm it’s back online for a Zoom meeting. After the meeting, I do my first batch of writing for the day. That ends between 3 and 4, when I have more time for video games. If it’s my turn to cook, I get dinner handled. Then back upstairs for more writing until about 9.

Currently, I’m back to work on Prisoners of the Wailing Tower. Part of the reason I stopped was because I felt like I was on the wrong track. This is normal, since I don’t work with outlines. While I focused on the self-publishing part for Ice Witch, I kept mulling that over. I figured out where I went wrong and things are re-arranged. My normal goal has been to write 1 page a day (500 words, since I draft my stories single-spaced). With 2 sessions, that pushes me to 1,000 words a day.

Other ongoing projects are the pre-publicity for Ice Witch and inviting more people to join in on Queen Titania’s Court. The response has been fairly lack-luster, I must sadly admit. Maybe I’ll fill the extra spots with characters from my other books. Why not! Another project is Writers Read Writers, spear-headed by author Alma Alexander. A group of us are reading each other’s stories, and Alma is putting it out as a podcast. It should be fun, and of course I’ll let you know when my own story goes up.

At the moment, my video games are Animal Crossing and Control. Animal Crossing has saved my sanity during the pandemic, let me tell you. Control is a new one to me. It’s a fairly tense game with weird sound effects and alien monsters lurking in an apparently-abandoned office building. So far I’m really enjoying it, but I am glad I waited. I needed to be less tense before I started playing a tense game.

So that’s it! I hope you’re all holding your ground and staying safe.


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.

Read Full Post »

The main work is done on The Ice Witch of Fang Marsh. I know, I’ve been harping on that. I have until May 11th to make any last tweaks to the text, but I feel pretty good about it, honestly.

Currently, my job is to set up images on web sites, so a few people will actually SEE this book. There’s my own web site, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and so on. Unfortunately, I’m having some frustration with Dropbox. It keeps telling me it can’t upload my cover shot to Instagram. Doesn’t say why, just that it can’t. Dropbox also won’t download the image to my photo gallery, where I could send it directly to Instagram.

Ah, the joys of a writer’s life!


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.

Read Full Post »

Cover to The Ice Witch of Fang Marsh
Pre-Order now!

Yes, you heard right! The Ice Witch of Fang Marsh is now available for pre-order, with an official release date of May 15th.


Meven is a renegade, hunted by the cruel regime of master mage Dar-Gothull. Her desperate desire is to lose herself in the treacherous Fang Marsh. Only there can she live the life she wants, in freedom and safety. To reach the marsh, Meven must sneak through the town of Eshur, where her old enemy, the wicked Countess Ar-Torix, commands dozens of spies and guards. It should be no problem!

What Meven doesn’t know is that she’s already being tracked. Ozlin was thrown out because of his emerging magic. Now he’s starving on the streets of Eshur. Caught stealing, he’s about to be imprisoned in the brutal temple school.

Until Meven recognizes his power and intervenes. Suddenly she has a new, desperate desire — to save this mageling boy, and maybe save herself as well.

Pre-Order from Amazon or in alternate formats through Draft 2 Digital!


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.

Read Full Post »

Thank you to everyone who commented on the cover layout for The Ice Witch of Fang Marsh. I’m still working on that tricky title color, but I know I’ll get it done soon. One other very small quibble is that the illustration clearly shows palm trees. Do you think anyone will notice that there are no palm trees in the story?

In addition to that, I’ve spend the past few days in a close read-through of the text. I fixed a few typos that I suspect my grammar-check put in. The final version cut about 20 words from the 35,000 so it’s time to call that good. I will absolutely, positively, NOT go back in to add any palm trees!

My next step will be to format the novella as an e-book. I have that process down fairly well. After that, I begin the actual publishing. Assigning the ISBNs through Bowker. Uploading text, deciding what my tags should be, and so on. Those of you who self-publish know how picky it all can be.

But in the end, you’ll all get to read this novella that I’ve been hinting and fussing about for almost a year!


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.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »