Today’s guest, Deedee Davies, hails from Plymouth, UK where she resides with her partner, ten spiders and four snakes. Already, I’m ready to read the works of anyone who has pet spiders. Not so sure about the snakes, though. 😉
When I asked her to write about what inspired her book, Fortune’s Thief, it “instantly sent me into a tizzy!”
Deedee: This book has been something of a labour of love. I started it back in 2005, wrote about half the story in a month or so, and then got distracted by artwork for seven years. I returned to it in 2012, finished it, then spent a good amount of time editing and trying to find representation. As such, it’s actually hard to pin down any specific pieces of inspiration that sit behind the characters, plot or settings.
However, one element of inspiration I do remember is the concept of a spirit bound within a blade, which is one of the main story arcs in this novel, and it carries on into the sequel I’m currently writing. Back in 2003, I was writing and posting on a site called ‘Fanstory.com’, which is a place for writers to showcase their stories and get feedback. They often used to hold writing competitions, and sometimes these were based on images, where they challenged you to write something specific associated with the picture. One such competition image was of a sword-wielding warrior battling a two-headed dragon, and the challenge was to write about ‘at least two of the characters in the picture’.
This is where Deedee’s stubborn streak kicked in.
‘They’re expecting me to give the dragon two personalities, one for each head’, I thought. Well, I do try not to be predictable, so I looked around the image for anything else that could possibly be a character, and spotted the sword. Perfect, I thought, I’ll just make the sword into a character and they can stick their predictable two-headed, dual-personality dragon where the sun don’t shine. My stubborn streak does occasionally work in my favour. Anyway, I ran out of time to write the story, and ended up with just a single page of ideas, which ended up being dumped in a ‘random writing ideas’ folder while I got on with other projects.
As I was writing this piece up, I went back to my initial notes from 2003 out of curiosity and pulled out the initial concept. I kind of wish I’d followed it more closely when I was writing the book now!
When warriors die in vain, or are murdered or have unfinished business in life, they are unable to find rest and walk the shadow lands between life and death for all eternity. But out of the ancient east came the Spiritsmiths, a solemn race with knowledge of a rare and arcane rite. They are able to imbue weapons of war with disembodied vengeful spirits. These spirits are bound to the blade until their quest for vengeance is complete. Only then can they be laid to rest.
So I eventually ended up working this concept in with a bunch of other ideas I had at the time: a man who had been away from his friends for a long time being pulled back into their life of wild adventure; a mystical stone that allowed its owner to control their own destiny, and out came Fortune’s Thief.
Here’s a summary of Fortune’s Thief:
When Tal Sarokan deserts from a mercenary band to look for a better life, little does he know that his departure will bring an end to his friends’ supernatural good fortune.
Al Salazar, the charismatic leader of the mercenaries, has stolen a stone from the Well of Fate and is using it to control his destiny, and that of his band, the Sarandani. When the mercenaries start dying, Al Salazar must somehow find Tal and convince him to return – by any means necessary. Meanwhile, the Keeper of the Well has set plans in motion to force Al Salazar to return the fate-stone through the subtle manipulation of his enemies. In time, Al Salazar learns that controlling one’s own destiny comes at a price, and that every man’s luck runs out in the end.
Fortune’s Thief is not yet published, but you can find Deedee’s published short stories in several anthologies:
The End Was Not the End: http://www.amazon.com/The-End-Was-Not-Post-Apocalyptic/dp/1937929078
Perfect Flaw: http://www.amazon.com/Perfect-Flaw-ebook/dp/B00BWTKXZK
More about Deedee:
She is a short story author and novelist interested mainly in the fantasy, horror and science-fiction genres. She has had five short stories published to date in publications from Seventh Star Press, Horrified Press and EMBY Press. Deedee is also a cover artist, with around thirty published book covers under her belt.
Deedee’s Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B00P20L9IK
Social Networking Links
Deedee is also on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3232352.Deedee_Davies
Thanks, Deedee, it was a pleasure. If I ever come to the UK to visit, bring out the spiders, but put the snakes in their cages!