As the Story Goes

Odd, isn’t it, how when writing, regardless of what you try to do, words seem to mold together and address current affairs. At least for me I’m finding that it’s true.

I began Ian’s Realm Saga years ago. The Tale of the Four Wizards (now included in Diary of a Conjurer) tells the history of the island of Taikus and was written long before the current political arena. But as I weave what had happened in this fantasy Realm into my new book Fallen Morning, I’m amazed. And saddened. You see, the island of Taikus was once ruled by a strong and loving king…a wizard. (All inhabitants on Taikus are either wizards or sorceresses). The wicked queen Hacatine over-threw King Telamund and made slaves or slaughtered all the men. In Fallen Morning we have a little slave boy, Rolando, who is raised by women, and who knows nothing of his father, his grandfather, or any man for that matter. He is loyal to his queen though, and ventures out to sea with his masters, the queen’s Savant and the ships crew to find the murderer of a certain beloved soldier . (See Layla Born at Night). A squall ends their journey as the ship is destroyed in the storm and poor Rolando is the left on board scrambling for his master’s treasure chest. He barely saves himself and is washed ashore only to find himself in the hands of the enemy– Silvio– an old wizard who knows the island of Taikus all too well.

And to me, that this story seems relevant is sad. As I develop the characters on Taikus I find a resistance among the strong and beautiful women, who themselves are under oppression. The search to find their fathers, their brothers and their husbands becomes an underlying tone of the saga.

I don’t know. For some reason it just seems relevant today…that with all the push for the strong female image someone is being forgotten. The strong and loving man. Maybe I’m wrong. I hope so. I’ve been told my stories are too male-oriented. I won’t change them for a fad. I won’t change them because they say something important. Perhaps they are for a another day. Perhaps the world will turn upside down again.

Or downside up. All I can say is that these stories are here to stay.

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A dream come true

Have you had them? Dreams come true that is?
Remember sitting by the window on a rainy day looking for a rainbow? Or on the front lawn blowing on a dandelion and making a wish?

Did you ever toss a coin into a fountain in hopes for a dream to come true? Blow out candles on a birthday cake and count the years until that awaited day arrives?

They do, you know. Dreams. They do come true. They don’t just magically happen…well maybe some do…but if you work for it and stay focused, those “wish I may and wish I might have the wish I wish tonight” can become a reality.

Ever since I was a little kid I wanted to work with the film industry. I grew up in sunny California. A hop skip and a jump from Hollywood. But mostly I wanted to work for Disney. Even today if someone tells me they used to work for Disney I get a little shudder run up my spine.

I had my first taste of dreams come true with my little one minute film played at the Grauman’s Chinese Theater in Hollywood. I didn’t get to go because my husband was going through chemo at the time. He made it just fine, cancer free now.

In September the short concept film we produced – Ian’s Realm – will be playing in my neighborhood at the Gig Harbor Galaxy Uptown Theater (my favorite theater by the way). I’m floored. It’s not a trailer, it’s a short film so it will last longer than a minute and I will get to sit on those reclining seats and watch it with my friends. Surround sound and everything!

If you have a dream on it’s way to coming true tell us about it. They are special times in our lives.

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An American Celebration!

Our American forefathers blazed a trail of dare and courage. Who would have contested the throne of England in those days?

To my fellow American citizens, celebrate this day with pride. Teach your children the value of responsible freedom because that’s what our country was founded on.

Responsible. Not fanatical, nor self-serving. Not out of rage or absent of thought. Freedom comes with responsibility to do the right and honorable and just thing. It is good to stand up for yourself, for your family and for your nation. But we must always be sure of the stand we’re taking. We must heed wisdom.

“all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security”. -The Declaration of Independence

Enjoy your day!

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Editorial Reviews: They mean a lot to authorsI

Recently excited about the latest editorial review. The thing about editorial reviews is that they are written by people in the industry. Their critique and praise are both helpful and sought after. They gain a place where people will listen and consider.

The following review is written by Anne Hollister

So far Ian’s Realm, the concept film, has been accepted into 4 film festivals but there are many more pending. I will keep you up to date.

D.L. Gardner’s Ian’s Realm Saga

ABOUT D.L. GARDNER: https://www.gardnersart.com/

Ian’s Realm Saga books 1 – 3

The wide-ranging scale of D.L. Gardner’s Ian’s Realm Saga, encompassing three books, pays tribute to Gardner’s imaginative powers and ambition. Though devotees of epic fantasy will recognize a number of familiar genre elements built into the plot, Gardner succeeds in distinguishing her tale from past offerings in this vein thanks to the emotion she’s able to elicit from readers and the fully realized clarity of her fictional world. She labels the three books as “parts” in this collection – the first, Deception Peak, the second Dragon Shield, and the concluding third part Rubies and Robbers. One of the many strengths of the book lies in the coherence of its construction – Gardner’s aptitude for cinematic grandeur in a literary vein and understanding what makes epic fantasy work is unquestionable.

Some will notice overwrought prose scattered throughout Ian’s Realm Saga, but it isn’t the result of an amateurish approach to writing. Instead, I read these moments as manifestations of Gardner’s passion for the work. She sometimes tries too hard to ratchet up the intensity rather than trusting in her tale, but her wont to do so works in favor at some points. Some will fault her for relying too often on overworked dialogue tags. These are far from fatal flaws however and, moreover, often staples of the genre in the case of the last point regarding dialogue tags. She manages a large cast of characters and imbues an impressive number of them with three dimensional attributes rather than reducing the minor participants into cardboard glorified plot devices.

The narrative spends some time alternating between our modern world and Gardner’s fictional creation. Gardner excels balancing two different landscapes where other writers might fall short. The titular figure Ian is, in my estimation, the most successful character in a book full of such achievements. He fulfills many, if not all, of our expectations for such a work – Ian begins the book grieving, but he evolves and changes throughout the course of the three books and ends the work transformed by his experiences.

She imbues the tale with a real sense of adventure and her aforementioned imaginative powers make fictional landscapes leap out from the text. She shows a sure hand with the story’s action sequences as well. There are many fine examples of her talent with this, but my favorite comes in the final part with the chapter entitled “The Battle of Eastern Ridge”. It is a success due to many factors, but above all others is how her descriptive powers bring the scene into focus for readers. It makes for gripping reading.

The use of artwork throughout the book, including the map before the story begins, brings a welcome added dimension to Ian’s Realm. The digital copy I read is professionally assembled and never a chore to follow. I feel satisfied with the story’s inevitable conclusion and it, once again, demonstrates her innate understanding of what makes epic fantasy work for readers. The genre has abiding appeal, evidenced in recent years by the popularity of such fare like HBO’s Game of Thrones, and any lover of the style will find much to admire and enjoy in D.L. Gardner’s work.

PURCHASE LINK: https://books2read.com/ap/nBvawn/DL-Gardner Anne Hollister

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A Scavenger Hunt!

Welcome to Making Believe, the blog of fantasy author D.L. Gardner! I hope you are enjoying the blog hop scavenger hunt, and that you’ll come back and visit again!
My novel Ian’s Realm Saga is one of the prizes for this contest. It’s three books in one, and tells the tale of a reckless teen who enters a portal to another world, is thrust into a conflict with dragon worshipers — and an epic battle between good and evil… A magical fantasy collection which we are in the process of filming! Take a look at Ian’s Realm film page when you have a chance.

And now for the scavenger  hunt!

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FSF Readers Lounge Presents its first ever Solstice Scavenger Hunt. Running from June 16th to June 29th – 19 authors joined forces to offer readers a chance at $75 cash via PayPal and 19 eBooks as a Grand Prize! 38 secondary prizes (an eBook from one of our participating authors) will be given to randomly chosen participants with the correct answer.

To play for a chance to win you must go to each of the authors sites listed below, collect the “hidden” word(s), unscramble them, and then enter to win! Enter Here

Entering does not enter you into anything! You have the option to choose who to subscribe to and who to follow – the only requirements are 1- you must follow the Facebook page for the Readers Lounge in order to get the winners announcement and -2- use the link to enter the giveaway, but I hope you choose to follow the wonderful authors participating in this hunt!

$75 Cash via PayPal

eBooks up for prizes:

A Bit of Magic
Azimuth
Bonded
Curse Breaker: Enchanted
Dragon Blood
Elven Jewel
Forever People
Ian’s Realm Saga
Schrodinger’s Cat
Shadow’s Hand
Sleepless Flame
Tattoos
The Fox and The Hunter
The Glass Gargoyle
The Hand of Atua
This Cursed Flame
Witch’s Moonstone Locket
Wolves’ Gambit

Make sure to visit all the sites to gather all your words! Happing Hunting!

Rennie St. James
Maria Andreas
Selina J. Eckert
Linn Tesli
Marsha A Moore
Kasper Beaumont
PJ MacLayne
D.L. Gardner
Katie Cherry
Dora Blume
Odin Oxthorn
Charity Bradford
Eileen Schuh
Noelle Nichols
Alison Lyke
Mae Baum
Melinda Kucsera
Stacy Overby
Cheryllynn Dyess

the
____________

Rafflecopter link:

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It’s here!

It’s here. I cannot tell you how wonderful Jeff Stillwell has done with the character of Dylan. His performance actually brought tears to my eyes! If you have ever known someone with special abilities, you will love this story. I wrote it in honor of all the wonderful people I had the privilege of serving when I drove ACCESS for Kitsap Transit. Dylan is a combination of many of the personalities I met, and his story is not uncommon. Yes he has magic, but the magic is his treasure, that which makes him special, and which he learns to develop as he ought. Thank you Jeff for doing a wonderful job narrating this tale. The screenplay adaption is running the film festival circuit and has won 2 Best Screenplays awards already. Please check it out!

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Honor, Courage, Integrity

Through the years I have had relations with different members of various historical and reenactment groups. Had I known about such societies when I was younger, and the great advantage of being associated with them, I would have pursued the opportunity diligently.

I cannot praise these people and their organizataions enough. Just this weekend I had the privilege of being a merchant at an SCA Faire. What a wonderful, kind and caring group of people!

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I believe that the three virtues I titled this blog: Honor, Courage, and Integrity are not something that simply shows up in your life. I believe these virtues come from long hours of development much as one would develop muscle tone through exercise. There’s a line I wrote for Aren in Ian’s Realm a few years back. “Integrity isn’t something you do. Integrity is who you are.”

Sadly I am only an outsider looking in. What I see takes my breath away. I see people studying history. I see them taking cultures and daily life hundreds of years ago and relearning lost arts. I see them not only learning how our ancestors lived, but the heart of what once was.

Our souls develop when we work with our hands, and not just work with them but create objects with love and care and tenderness. Have you ever been in awe at buildings that were created hundreds of years ago? Were you ever amazed at the clothing women wore in the 16th and 17th century when they not only sewed their clothing by hand, but raised the sheep, spun the wool, and wove the material to make them, and then added lace and hundreds of buttons and fine woven gold threads, and patterns we rely on machines to create today? Have you ever wondered about the hammered steel or leather armor that men wore to protect themselves, gathering from raw resources.

Image result for antique hand carved staircase

How about the beautiful tents that people used? How sufficient they were. How unworthy my little modern day pop up tent is compared to the tents that these people construct with their hands. Do you ever wonder about the process. The meditation and creative energy necessary to build something like that?

Society for Creative Anachronism is a society that demands that its people do the research, find the roots of what they do and remake what once was. Oh that I had started years ago to join them.

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You see, it’s not just about the art. That in itself is honorable, but there’s more. What mankind has lost is the art of pouring oneself into not just his survival, but his survival with a high quality of life – Not a vegetable relying on a machine to feed and clothe it which is nothing more than a shallow existence generating all sorts of mental and physical problems.

I give these people all my respect. They find the worth in touching the elements, in living life to its fullest. In using every thread and every hour to its utmost potential. And from this wholesome way of life come some of the deepest, sincere, courageous and honorable people I have ever met.

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