Interviewing author Deryn Pittar

deryn-croppedI asked Deryn Pittar, author of this week’s featured new release Lutapolii – White Dragon of the South, to share her thoughts on her writing with us.

 

Deryn, tell us about the first book you had published.
Love’s Bright Star was published by Secret Cravings in 2012. It was a huge thrill and from that experience I learned about the editing process, prior to publication.  They also published the following four books in the Future Movers series; but unfortunately Secret Cravings closed down in 2015. These futuristic romances are being republished over a six weeks’ time span in June/July this year with Junction Publishing. I am reading through them again (yet another editing process) and I’m delighted that I don’t have the desire to change anything. Because they are set in the future, luckily, nothing has dated!

Six years later, with their republishing, I will have had published a total of eight novels, with a ninth one coming out in October. But I have had many short stories and poems published in between times, in a variety of genre.

Was ‘Love’s Bright Star’ the first novel you’d written?
I’d love to be able to say ‘yes’ but in truth it was about the fourth. One of them I rewrote five times and it still sits in my files. (I can’t bear to delete 70 thousand words. I might need a bit of it one day.) I tried to write for Mills and Boon to begin with, but my mind refuses to stick to a formula; this is probably why I often set my stories in the future, where there are no restrictions on my imagination. However, I consider all those original unpublished manuscripts as a learning curve I had to travel, and not one word was a wasted effort.

Do you write today in the same genre as your first published novel?
Sometimes, but I jump about. I’ve written and had published a few contemporary romance novellas and lots of short stories, some sci.fi., some a comment on a serious subject and a few light romances. I tried to write horror (with a friend) and we ended up with a black comedy. I like to put a twist at the end of my short fiction. I’ve also dabbled in haiku and other forms of poetry, plus I love a writing challenge. Often a contest’s premise is a good reason to try another genre.

What authors have  influenced your choice of genre?
Asimov’s science fiction novels gripped my imagination as a teenager, opening up the possibilities available to a writer. Then Anne MacCaffrey came along with her Dragons of Pern series, which introduced dragons instead of robots.

LutapoliiHow long did it take from when you began Lutapolii’s manuscript to launch date?
I wrote Lutapolii – White Dragon of the South quite quickly, over a few months, about two years ago. He grew from a short story, which became chapter one. He took on a personality and had a life plan I simply had to follow. Once told, his story lurked in my files for a year as I searched for a cover, then Junction Publishing said they’d like to take him and they found his picture. I had to change one scene to fit in with his final appearance, but he’s such a magnificent fellow I didn’t mind at all. I’m thrilled with the response to his story. It’s not often you get to read a story written by the dragon himself. It’s written for adults, but it fits just as well into the Young Adult classification. There is a mating scene in it, but that’s all noise, smoke and frightened sea birds. I don’t know how dragons mate and Lutapolii refused to tell me.

What is your latest project – or projects?
I recently co-wrote a novella with Meg Buchanan, about an angel who falls in love with a soldier. It centres on Halloween, her brother’s plans for that night and the soldier’s decision to prevent her being harmed. Angelfire is a quirky love story and was fun to write. I had a short story which became the premise for the story. We shared further plot lines and wrote the scenes we each had ideas for; then shuttled the manuscript back and forth to be read, changed and added to until it all hung together. This will be released in October this year, with promotion beginning in September. Perhaps when Meg has time in her busy publishing schedule we will write a sequel.

I have just finished a novella for a winter anthology submission call for Roane Publishing. I called it Thunder Makes Me Cry and I’m hoping it will get accepted. I wrote it with a winter theme, just for their submission call. Heaven knows what I’ll do with it if they don’t want it. They are releasing another novella of mine, Escorts for Hire….Heartaches Free, in their summer anthology in August.

What question do you always wish an interview would ask you?
You often hear writers moan about ‘writer’s block’ (no ideas) or the editing process and how they hate cutting out words and scenes; and how dreadful it all is. Yet no one actually asks them if they enjoy it!

I‘m asking you now. Do you enjoy being an author?
Yes, I love it. Sometimes I run out of ideas, but I never panic. Eventually something will pop into my mind; a kernel that grows into a scene, which might develop into a novel. I love the craft of tightening a story, getting rid of extra words, paring it down to say as much as possible with as few words as you can. Of being able to give the readers a time, place and setting that will drag them into the story and, best of all, hold them there.

Through writing I’ve met a wide group of people I can correspond with, and share work and ideas with. To know there are like-minded people out there, tapping away, feeding their mind-pictures onto the page is a comfort because writing can be a solitary hobby – if you let it. I don’t.

What are you currently reading?
I belong to two book clubs, so often have to read a book that is not of my choice. This doesn’t do me any harm and often leads me to discover new authors. I’ve just read The Song Collector by Natasha Solomons. It is one of the best books I’ve read in a long time, with beautiful language. At page 30, I decided I was reading too fast, so I began again and took my time to savour every page.

Daniel O’Malley has written two fabulous science fiction/fantasy novels: The Rook and Silhouette. I’m waiting for his next novel. I also enjoy Robert Galbraith’s series (JK Rowling) and I’m waiting for Lethal White to be released. I think the lady at the library is tired of me asking if they have it yet.

Thanks, Deryn, for giving us this time. I’ve learned more about you than I knew!

 

“Lutapolii – white dragon of the south”, by Deryn Pittar

LutapoliiA credible fantasy for adult and YA readers, featuring dragons in a new light. Don’t expect knights on a mission. The story’s lead is a dragon on a mission – to live a life of peace and lead his own Flight.

Lutapolii has fled his northern matriarchal flight’s malicious bullying and teasing – even from his mother.

 

Living alone deep in the south, he discovers a haven in which to shelter and feed through the winter as he develops new skills for life on, above, and in the island’s seas.cave_Lutapolii
Strengthened by the island’s environment, he returns home to find he has been declared officially dead.

 

“What absolute madness. He might be officially dead but he wasn’t stupid enough to become really dead. In the winner-takes-all stakes of the mating game, truly dead is what happened to the challengers that lost.”

With nothing to lose, Lutapolii goes about his plan despite being pursued and battled, eventually building a new Flight in the richly resourced southern part of the world. Not easy, given the cold, new creatures, and the ongoing drive of the old matriarch and his mother.

deryn-cropped

Author introduction:
I write futuristic and fantasy fiction, spiced with romance and adventure. This allows my imagination to run free, to create interesting characters caught in unusual circumstances and events. Sometimes I have the pleasure of watching science and technology catch up with my imagination.

I also write Young Adult, short stories and flash fiction; articles on writing and I am published in these genre. I self-published a children’s rhyming book and once won a prize for a short screen script.
I’m a published poet and I endeavour to put my poetry skills into my fiction writing to enhance the word pictures I create.
I live in the Bay of Plenty, New Zealand which lives up to its name. I belong to the Romance Writers of N.Z., Tauranga Writers, and Spec.Fic.NZ (speculative fiction NZ).

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Published in ebook and print by Junction Publishing, Lutapolii is available at Amazon

 

Book Review: The Locksmith, by Barbara Howe

Reviewed this for Booksellers NZ – Reposting my review from their site…

Available in bookshops nationwide.

cv_the_locksmithWho is the Locksmith, and what role does he play in this fantasy tale? You will keep this question in mind as you read through the adventures of Lucinda Guillierre, a young girl living with her stepsister Claire and her stepmother, in the magical world of Frankland, ruled by The Office.

The Office was created in historic times by the Great Coven, which established the four offices of Air, Fire, Earth, and Water, and their leaders. Each Office has a Guild, for the study and training of Witches and Wizards of each element.

Unsettled by her lack of magical progress, she resigns herself to a future as a normal person, but agrees to take her sister Claire to challenge the path to meet the Fire Warlock, to have a wish granted. She takes with her, her only true possessions her father left her —two large books…

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Reviewing ‘Soul of Dust’ by Adam Millard

MILLARD_Soul of Dust
So Jack Bridge tells us, as he pauses a moment in a tearing race after a daemon in the opening chapters of this paranormal, magical, fantasy cum horror story; a great mash-up of genres–which, dammit, works.

Jack tells his story as if we are his companion, well used to his mannerisms and vocabulary (occasionally R13 rated). The conversational, sardonic at times tone makes this book pleasantly readable–even through scenes which are not, exactly, pleasant.

I loved it! Millard’s writing turns Jack into a real person – though he’s not,  with real purpose – as he has: to rid the world of daemons, spooks, sidhes, vamps, wolves… He works alone, from a shabby office, and carries only one ‘weapon’–and an effective one at that, and enjoys using it:

“At times … I really enjoy my job.”

This is an “eyes-wide” and at times a “laugh-out-loud” read…well suited to fans of Urban Fantasy, the Paranormal, Sleuthing, Investigators, Wizards, Demons, or Magic.

“…shooting me a smile that could melt hearts. Not mine, though. Mine was made of stone, my soul nothing more than dust. Maybe one day that would change, but not today.”

Reviewed for
Roane Black on White

ISBN:  1519691815
ISBN13: 9781519691811


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The Human Cure – Tracy Auerbach

If you’re a fan of vampire stories – from Bram Stoker to 9781937546069
Stephanie Myers and beyond– Tracy Auerbach’s take on the mythical horror characters will give you a different viewpoint from any you’ve held till now. Fictional (well, of course), for young adults as well as the more mature reader, the story places a real “twist” on the myths we have heard and read.

One immortal vampire creates a haven for his descendants–multiple generations with whom he has a mystical connection. In an underground village their “food” is provided–the villagers held as livestock. But one of his offspring is different.

Within each of the first few chapters, Ms Auerbach introduces us to one of the major characters, in which we learn their foibles and some of the connections between them. So far, so usual.

But then the author belts us with emotive scenes of fear, greed, power and powerlessness, and a gradually building romance, as she builds the tale to its climactic ending, via sacrifice and self-sacrifice.

She presents a whole new outlook on the vampire lifestyle, (dropping in the occasional reference to vampire life as seen on tv/vcr)). These vampires are distinctive – created not in the way of which we’re accustomed to reading. And then there’s one who likes to make sure he leaves his kill site neat and clean!

If Auerbach’s goal was to present a softer side of the vampire “life”, she has succeeded, in a delightfully entertaining way.

Published by 48fourteen as an eBook, and print.

ISBN-13: 9781937546069
USBN-10: 1-937546-06-3

Available from…

Amazon Logo_CutDown_d404ba24 Amazon

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A Taste of Gold, by Deryn Pittar


A Taste of Gold Cover by Sour Cherry Designs
In this cross-over of genre for the author, she has introduced two characters –  twins Levi and Jason, whose skills give them a mental telepathic communication link, and a sensing of precious minerals—gems or metals.
As college age scholars of geology, they are in New Zealand to explore the Coromandel area for its old gold stores. Meeting – unintentionally – two most unsavoury characters, each in different but linked circumstances, initiates a stream of events of excitement, fear, thrills and chills. Criminals both, working together, are thwarted by the boys’ skills. When their booty is turned in to the police by the twins, the criminals determine to find the twins and learn how they managed to find their stashed booty.
While out of town and of the reach of the criminals, they follow the sounds of something precious calling to them, and find an underground chamber with a deep lake spreading across its floor. With the cave piled around with gemstones and gold in the rough, the boys are ecstatic – until the hoard’s guardian arises from the lakes’ depths – a Tāniwha, for whom the chamber is home and the hoard is treasure.
He allows the boys a few of the gemstones – which talk together and to him – to ensure he will learn if they tell anyone of his cave and contents. Those three gems are to become life-savers for Levi in yet another encounter with the two crooks who kidnap him and lock him in a country shed.
What they want him for, how he escapes, how the boys face the local police who have been seeking them, how Levi overcomes his shyness and timidity … you will be riveted to the book to read.
An Evernight Teen publication, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-77130-667-6
Available now from Evernight Teens: bit.ly/19ncFza
And from Amazon: http://amzn.to/IQeT3k   

Comments about this entry, the author, or the book are welcome.
When you’ve read A Taste of Gold, come back and Rate the Book (not this post, please).
Thank you!

MISPLACED – by Lee MURRAY


Puzzle—how can your mother walk off on an errand and never be seen or heard of again? 
How can you, as a young teenager in your final secondary school year, focus on the expectations to get back into the usual cycle of school and friends? How do you cope with the turmoil in the neighbourhood, with police popping in and out regularly,  and your mother’s Missing Person poster plastered everywhere?
By taking each day one at a time, facing stress, argument, feelings  of futility. By accepting help from unexpected quarters, of unexpected kind, welcome or not.  
Add to the mix of the mash-up – your father, Phil,  shows himself as being totally at odds of what you thought your father was. Not just a car dealer, but also someone who would have ruined the marriage and family even without your mother, Tiffany, going missing.
It takes time, good friends, a wise school counsellor, principal and coach, and desparate attempts to follow up on clues that aren’t clues… 
Could you successsfully cope? Would you come out of it as a changed person? 
Adam shows us how he coped, struggled, and came through, in this gripping tale of any child’s nightmare. In the more-than capable hands of Lee Murray, we see Adam’s turmoil both from the outside and from his inner self. I especiallly enjoyed Murray’s natural way of bring the modern adolescents’ comfortable use of Instant Messaging into the novel as another channel for communication between Adam and his friends.

A damned good read for any teen, boy or girl – with my whole-hearted recommendation.
ISBN (print) 978-0-473-26600-4
ISBN (epub) 978-0-473-26601-1
ISBN (mobi) 978-0-473-26608-0
Published by Leapy Sheep Books of Tauranga
©Lee Murray, 2013
http://www.leemurray.info
Reviewer’s note: Buy links will be added later.

Do Comment about this entry or about the author, or the book. If you have read the book itself, then Rate the Book (not this post, please). Thank you