Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Firedancer is Out!

Woohoo! Firedancer, my first published novel (not the first written, but the first to find its way into print) is now out! It's available as an ebook at Amazon, Smashwords, and soon will be downloadable to Barnes and Noble's Nook, Sony and Apple e-readers, and pretty much anywhere else ebooks are available.

It is awfully strange to see your work out in the big world, defenseless to unkind reviewers and the averted eyes of friends who may not have liked it. I do confess to some trepidation, but even if everyone hates it, I daresay it will not detract from the pleasure I derived in writing it. This was a fun book to write because it departed from so many comfort zones for me. It has a female protagonist (I usually write men). It has not a horse or a sword in sight (I like epic fantasy). It uses an other-world setting that is not Earth in any way (I'm a history major. I like grounding my stories somewhere in time). In other words it is different--which is good! If I have to read one more cover blurb about dragons I'll start throwing things. And I don't want to write the same story over and over.

Firedancer is about a woman battling an enemy she knows can never ultimately be defeated, only fought to a standstill. Like evil, the Ancient, the elemental fire at the heart of her world, will always be there. But is the Ancient evil, or merely desperate, a thinking creature confined to a stony prison who desperately wants out? Who has a right to exist the same as all other creatures created by Earth Mother? But how can the Fire Clans--or anyone--make standing room for a creature that must destroy to exist?

Fantasy fiction is often pooh-poohed by the mainstream as fluff, but fantasy just takes the very real issues that face us all and places them in more interesting settings than the mundane everyday world around us. What Jetta learns in the course of her long fight scars her, changes her, makes her reassess everything she thinks she knows--just as good fiction of every type makes the central character think and grow. She is forced to painful choices, the kind that may face us all unexpectedly, because each of us may be thrust without warning into the sort of life or death decisions that define our character. If a car flips over in front of you and starts to burn, do you rush to save the driver, or prudently keep out of danger? Which of three badly hurt people do you work on first? If a crisis hits, where do you focus your energy? Jetta faces such decisions in the context of her responsibility to the village she is tasked to protect.

And as the danger begins to grow intense, so too her personal life grows more complex and vexing, until she finally realizes that the two cannot be separated--answers to everything lie in how she approaches those around her. Isn't that real life in a nutshell?

I hope you'll check out Firedancer's possibilities. Edited by Irene Radford and published by Sky Warrior Books, it is both affordable and available--and a decent read, if I do say so myself. You can preview the first chapter right here and buy the entire book here.

Happy reading!

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