Welcome to the weekend edition of the Cafe Author Book Reading and Interview and my guest this week is prolific fantasy writer D. Wallace Peach. Yesterday I featured her latest release Oathbreaker’s Guild – The Rose Shield Book II and before we get into the interview here is a little more about Diana.
D. Wallace Peach was a kid with books in her blood, though she didn’t know it until the day she opened a book titled The Hobbit. Tolkien … literally changed her life.
Diana loves writing and has the privilege to pursue her passion full time. She’s still exploring the fantasy genre, trying out new points of view, playing with tense, creating optimistic works with light-hearted endings, and delving into the grim and gritty what-ifs of a post-apocalyptic world. She wonders if one day she’ll settle into something more predictable. Probably not. It’s simply an uncharted journey, and she hopes you’ll enjoy the adventure as much as she.
In addition to writing books, Diana’s a volunteer, activist, gardener, animal lover, and grandmother to the Overlord. She lives with her husband, two mutts, and Pinky the cat in a log cabin among the giant firs of Oregon’s Coastal Mountains. She loves to laugh and enjoys the worldwide connections fostered by writing and blogging. There’s never a dull moment in the pursuit of peace.
About the new series – The Rose Shield
The Rose Shield Tetralogy – a blend of science fiction and fantasy.
Welcome to a world of three moons, a sentient landscape, rivers of light, and tier cities that rise from the swamps like otherworld flowers. A planet of waterdragons, where humans are the aliens living among three-fingered natives with spotted skin. Where a half-blood converses with the fog and the goddess plans her final reckoning.
Follow Catling’s journey as she grows from childhood into the deadly force that shapes the future. She is the realm’s shield, an influencer, assassin, healer, mother, and avenger. And all she wants is to go home.
Books I and II are now available with Book III on pre-order for April 12th and Book IV for May 12th 2017.
The latest review for Catling’s Bane – Book I of the serial
Catling’s Bane is a highly enjoyable read by D. Wallace Peach. In chapter one, we’re introduced to the protagonist, Catling, on Hanging Day, and event where the onlookers emotions are manipulated until they react to the display with nothing but joy—even those being hanged don’t express regret. Not long afterward, Catling is sold by her mother to man named Scruff, which seemed terrible on the surface, but Catling learns to love her new home.
But it turns out that Catling can block the artificial emotions being broadcast to the populace, and that makes her extremely dangerous to some, and incredibly valuable to others.
This book has solid, creative world-building, and reminds me of the work of Brandon Sanderson. It’s a high fantasy, set in a world built by colonists, and the speculative elements are logical and consistent, but never take up the story. In the end, they showcase the characters and plot, rather than the latter being a vehicle to convey the magic.
The arc merely comes to an end at the finish, but more story is promised, and in Peach’s capable hands is likely to reach a satisfying conclusion. Should appeal to readers who enjoy Sanderson and McCaffrey. I give it four stars.
Diana has chosen an excerpt from Catling’s Bane for her book reading after the interview.
You can buy and pre-order the Rose Shield Serial via Diana’s author page: https://www.amazon.com/D.-Wallace-Peach/e/B00CLKLXP8
Other books by D.Wallace Peach available through her author page above.
Welcome Diana and lovely to have you here in what must be a very busy time with four books being released over just a couple of months.
Tell us about your chosen genre of books that you write and why?
When I was a kid, my family spent summers in a rustic one-room cabin in Vermont. The place didn’t have running water or electricity but was loaded with used books, most of them science fiction and fantasy, ranging from Tolkien to Asimov. My father purchased them from the local church attic for a nickel each, a bagful at a time. When we weren’t fishing, hiking, and playing board games, we were reading. The genres were natural choices when it came time to write.
What adventures have you had publishing your work?
I started off with a traditional publisher, and I was completely clueless about the entire process. It was a great experience, but after 6 books, I’d learned a few things about the industry, and it became clear to me that I would be happier and more successful as an indie author. Over a year’s time, I cancelled all my contracts and re-released my books. I love being an indie author and have never looked back.
Do you have a favourite quote? What does it means to you as an individual?
I love the J.R.R. Martin quote, “A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one.” To me it speaks to the magic of great books, those that make us cry or fall in love. The ones that change our lives, make us experience the world through new eyes, or teach us something about the human condition. My goal is to live a thousand lives plus. How awesome is that!
You state in your bio that Tolkien and The Hobbit literally changed your life. Can you elaborate on that?
I was NOT a reader as a young kid. Books were boring homework assignments. I preferred watching television and back then we only got 3 channels. When I was about 12, a friend suggested that I read The Hobbit. After much eye-rolling, I grudgingly agreed. Well, I devoured that book and the Lord of the Rings trilogy and had my first serious book hangover. Almost overnight, I became an avid reader. None of my adventure in writing would have happened if I hadn’t cracked that book.
What are the key issues when writing a series to keep the readers coming back for more?
I actually don’t write series, in that I don’t write stand-alone stories tied together by a shared “world.” My multi-book events are more accurately described as serials, one massive mega-story spread over 4 books with only partial conclusions at the end of each. For me, writing a serial isn’t that different from writing a stand-alone book except bigger means more complex.
I write the entire story at once to ensure consistency in storyline and character. There are more characters to keep track of and the main ones will have incremental sub-arcs in addition to overall arcs. Alongside the main plot, there are multiple subplots, and the stakes in the overall story escalate over the entire 1000+ pages (think of each book as a mountain to climb, each one taller than the last). To make sure the whole mountain range works, I lay Dan Wells’ 7-Point Story Structure over each book’s outline and over the entire story as a whole. Needless to say, outlining is essential!
Do you feel that your writing style has changed since you wrote your first novel to the present day and in what way?
Absolutely. Like anything we do, we get better with practice. My personal style hasn’t changed much, but my craft is better. I attribute most of the progress to two factors. The first was participating in an active critique group for 5 years. Line-by-line critiques of my work by other authors provided an intense learning experience. The second is working with an outline. Yes, those outlines. An outline keeps me from wandering off on tangents (and, wow, can I do that!). My writing is much tighter and the pace stronger as a result.
Here is the excerpt from Catling’s Bane that Diana has chosen for her book reading.
Smile lines creased Farrow’s cheeks, and she poked a finger at Catling’s chest. “I used to dream of being an influencer, you know. Not to hang people or rob them. If I could bring pleasure or love with a mere thought, imagine that power. I’d be living a life of riches up there with the high ward and his stringed puppets. But I don’t, do I?”
Catling shook her head, uncertain of the woman’s point.
“Now you, Catling.” The fire in Farrow’s eyes flared. “You have a gift. You have power beyond your imagination, and it’s going to lay a claim on your life. People will pull you apart if they can. They’ll all want to use you, even Gannon. I got extra silver in my pocket, don’t I? So you can drop me in there with the lot. Now, here’s my advice as a woman who knows how the world works. Don’t trust anyone. We’re all influencers one way or another, aren’t we? Make up your own mind, Catling, and mind yourself.”
You can buy Books I and II and pre-order the other Rose Shield Serial books via Diana’s author page: https://www.amazon.com/D.-Wallace-Peach/e/B00CLKLXP8
Thanks again, Sally, for the opportunity!
I am sure that you will have your own questions for Diana and please leave these in the comments section of the post for her to respond to.
Connect to Diana on social Media
Thank you for taking the time to drop in today and it would be great if you could share. Thanks Sally