Albert Camus

Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Interview and Excerpt: The Wysard (Waterspell #2) by Deborah J. Lightfoot


After blundering into the last stronghold of magic, Carin discovers that she is right to fear the wizard Verek. He is using her to seal the ruptures in the void, and she may be nothing more to him than an expendable weapon. What will he do with her—or to her—when his world is again secure? Or has he erred in believing that the last bridge has been broken? The quest may not, in fact, be over … and Lord Verek may find himself not quite as willing to dispose of his fiery water-sylph, Carin, as he once believed himself to be.

WATERSPELL Book 1: The Warlock
Drawn into the schemes of an angry wizard, Carin glimpses the place she once called home. It lies upon a shore that seems unreachable. To learn where she belongs and how to get there, the teenage traveler must decipher the words of an alien book, follow the clues in a bewitched poem, conjure a dragon from a pool of magic—and tread carefully around a seductive but volatile, emotionally scarred sorcerer who can’t seem to decide whether to love her or kill her. "Carin and Verek’s well-crafted relationship balances in a tense power struggle … intriguing premise and original characters … Fine fantasy." —KIRKUS

WATERSPELL  Book 3: The Wisewoman
Plague and pestilence have come to Ladrehdin. With their worst fears realized, Carin and Verek set out to put right everything that has gone so badly wrong. On the final leg of their quest, they retrace Carin's journey north from the plains -- accompanied this time by the village wisewoman, Megella. Along the way, Meg dredges up -- from an increasingly unreliable memory -- the oldest of the "old stories," revealing how the actions of the Ancients continue to menace every life on the Wizards' World, and beyond.


1. What a fantasy book should have to be a great one?
Strong, authentic, intriguing characters. An imaginative plot with twists, turns, and surprises, and some ambiguity—things left open to interpretation or left to the reader's imagination. Plus graceful writing—a fluent voice and a style that soars. At its best, the fantasy genre boasts some of the most beautiful and evocative writing out there, and the most memorable characters.

2. Is impossible love an imperative ingredient for the fantasy genre? What brings such love?
Interesting question! Some might label as "impossible" the relationship between the hero and heroine of my Waterspell trilogy (Book 1: The Warlock, Book 2: The Wysard, and Book 3: The Wisewoman—the beginning, middle, and end of a continuous story). But I believe readers who approach Waterspell without preconceptions will realize that love does indeed conquer all. Maybe that's the message in all stories of forbidden passion, from Beauty and the Beast through recent paranormal romances. True love overcomes any obstacle.

3. Why do we like (need) happy endings?
There's trouble enough in the world today! Stories should end with hope, not tragedy.

4. How do you see the perfect fantasy character?
Flawed. A good character has flaws, and those flaws will be deeper, darker, and more damaging than the failings of ordinary people. My idea of a good fantasy hero/heroine is a character who might just as easily be the villain of the story.

5. In this explosion of fantasy/paranormal books, how hard is it to be original?
There are only six plots in the world (so I've heard), and conflict is the root of drama. The writer's job is to bring freshness and imagination to the time-honored craft of storytelling. Originality springs from within. Writers make a mistake, I believe, when they consciously set out to be so "different" that their work ends up bizarre and inaccessible. Far better to tell the story that you have to tell, the story that is yours. Because I don’t want to be subconsciously influenced, I tend not to read many contemporary authors. Mostly I read the classics. My favorites: Jane Eyre. Wuthering Heights. Irish Fairy and Folk Tales. Ursula K. Le Guin's Earthsea books. The science fiction/fantasy of Andre Norton. Anything by Edgar Allan Poe or Nathaniel Hawthorne.

Thank you, Deborah


WATERSPELL Book 2: The Wysard
The Path Between
            The heartbeat couldn’t be hers. She was dead.
            Maddeningly, however, the sound persisted—a strong, steady whump, whump in Carin’s left ear.
            Through the blackness within her mind, half-formed impressions drifted like moonmist. They teased her with sensations to which she struggled to attach meaning. Her body lay sprawled across a surface that was hard enough to bruise her corpse. But her head and one shoulder rested on matter more yielding. Had her drowned remains come to rest on a rocky ledge in a supernatural ocean? Was this a pillow of seaweed cushioning her skull?
            No, a thought whispered from a corner of her torpid brain. Seaweed and rock have no heart beating in them.
            The rhythmic pounding in Carin’s ear hammered at her until a crack opened to admit a sliver of comprehension:
            She lived.
            If the heart-sounds were hers, then she wasn’t dead. If the heart beat in another’s chest and she heard it, then she was not only alive, but also pressing very near some other undead being.
            Her eyes jerked open. They beheld what might have been a rumpled snowdrift bathed in the light of a blood-red sunset.
            She stared.
            Whump, whump in her ear deepened the crack, penetrated to the core of her cold-shocked mind—
            Lucidity flashed through the breach, and abruptly Carin knew: the rumpled whiteness that pressed against her face was Lord Verek’s linen shirt. The reddish tinge on it was no natural light from a setting sun, but the glow from the walls of Verek’s vault of sorcery. The wizard lay on the cavern’s floor of polished stone. Carin lay atop him, her head pillowed on his chest, her ear to his heart, and her slowly focusing eyes inventing wind-drifted snow from the wrinkles of his shirt.
            She gave a violent start, put both hands to the floor, and heaved herself off Verek’s unconscious body—so forcefully that she nearly toppled back into the ensorcelled pool behind her. She teetered on the pool’s rim, waging a brief, desperate struggle for life. To fall again into those glacial depths would kill her. The intense cold had cast her faculties into an abyss that must have no rival but death itself. Without the sorcerer to drag her up from that oblivion, Carin stood no chance of surviving a second dunking.
            And her rescuer was in no condition now to extract her from the unnatural waters of his wizards’ well. Verek lay like a corpse. Carin’s sudden movement hadn’t roused him to consciousness. He appeared as lost in the abyss as she had been.
            She kept her balance. Carin stumbled to safety, treading between Verek’s body and the enchanted pool that imperiled all living flesh, whether mortal or magian. She reached the nearest of the four stone benches that ringed the wizards’ well. Upon that seat carved with the symbol of a fish she collapsed, but she took care to avoid the shape that was cut into the stone.
            The symbol, precisely centered and deeply carved, might be nothing but decoration. Like its fellows on the other benches in the cave—the image of a key chiseled into the seat across the pool from this one, a radiant sun on the bench to Carin’s left, a crescent moon to her right—the fish might be only a token of magical art. Maybe the four symbols were a wizard’s badge of office, as a king’s crown and scepter were emblems of his royal authority.
            Or, Carin thought, maybe there’s magic in every line and curve. The events of her three weeks’ imprisonment in Lord Verek’s house had led her to suspect sorcery in all elements of his domain. She distrusted the blighted woodland outside his manor walls and the shape-shifting books in his library. But here in the cave below the library rose the undoubted wellspring of magic. Power flowed in the waters of the enchanted pool and in the lifeblood of the sorcerer who had submitted himself to it.
©2011 Deborah J. Lightfoot. All rights reserved.

About the author:
Castles in the cornfield provided the setting for Deborah J. Lightfoot’s earliest flights of fancy. On her father’s farm in Texas, she grew up reading tales of adventure and reenacting them behind ramparts of sun-drenched grain. She left the farm to earn a degree in journalism and write award-winning books of history and biography. High on her Bucket List was the desire to try her hand at the genre she most admired. The result is WATERSPELL, a multi-layered fantasy trilogy about a girl and the wizard who suspects her of being so dangerous to his world, he believes he'll have to kill her ... which troubles him, since he's fallen in love with her. Waterspell Book 1: The Warlock; Book 2: The Wysard; and Book 3: The Wisewoman.


Deborah J. Lightfoot said...

Thank you for hosting this stop on my blog tour, and thanks for your beautiful presentation of my Waterspell trilogy! I appreciate you featuring all three books. They are the beginning, middle, and end of a continuous story, so readers really should plan to read Book 1: The Warlock before Book 2: The Wysard.

Great interview questions! You made me think.

Thanks again, and all best wishes,
Deborah J. Lightfoot


Deborah J. Lightfoot said...

And thank you, MC, for liking my Facebook author page at facebook.com/Waterspell. I try to post good writing advice and thoughtful insights about books. Everyone's welcome!

Anonymous said...

sunt superbe, cred ca cel mai mult imi place cartea a treia delfinul ma duce mereu cu gandul la ceva pozitiv si frumos, sper sa nu ma insel, iar bietul delfin sase transforme intr-un mutant ce ataca oamenii, asta ar fi trist ;))
...oricum, felicitari pentru interviu foarte frumos organizat

Deborah J. Lightfoot said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Deborah J. Lightfoot said...

Thank you! I like the covers too. The dolphin on Book 3 is my favorite also. No worries. The dolphin does not turn into a mutant or attack people. It's all good. :-) Thanks for stopping by. Yes, the organization of the interview is quite nice, and the questions are great! Made me think.

(The first translation was not very accurate. I tried again. :-D)

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