Clinging to hope on the front lines of battle, these heroes vow to persevere as fires rise and shadows fall before them. New heroes (and heroines!) will arise to conquer faraway lands and defeat the forces of evil threatening to destroy their world.
Alliances will be forged.
Kingdoms will meet their demise.
Betrayal will haunt their steps.
And their wrath will be felt.
But these gallant protagonists will complete their quests, even when they struggle to find a guiding light to pull them through the darkness.
Experience the riveting clashing of swords and duels of magic throughout these page-turning tales of dragons, mages, mythical creatures, crooked conjurers and treacherous villains. Follow each compelling character as they are forced to choose between fulfilling their personal desires and altering the fate of their world to realise a destiny they oftentimes didn’t decide for themselves.
Featured story: The Wrong Bitch by Stephanie Barr.
The Wrong Bitch is an expansion of a story previously told in The Paths We Choose, which was told from her familiar, Shah’s, viewpoint in the anthology Legacy. This is from Elia’s viewpoint as someone trained, against the mores of her tribe of arcane archers, in their magical arts. When she escaped to find happiness, they followed, destroyed (nearly) everything she loved and left her blinded, unable to use her skills. At least, they thought she couldn’t.
A bite of… Stephanie Barr
How much of what you write could be classed as therapy?
All of it? I’m frustrated by some social ill I don’t have the power to correct: I write it (in a way that provides me satisfaction). Some personal tragedy befalls me: I write something that makes me laugh. I worry about something I can’t fix: I find a solution with writing. Someone charming wanders into my life: I include those mannerisms in a delightful side character so I can enjoy them any time. Someone with characteristics that anger or frustrate me wanders into my life: I write them into a character who gets a taste of karma.
Writing is my ultimate therapy. Anything’s possible even if that isn’t true in real life.
Is it important to include all shades of belief and sexual orientation in a book?
I don’t think it’s essential to do so, but it’s a good idea to include diversity, in whatever kind you have in your world, as frequently as possible. I do think it’s essential not to attack that diversity. I don’t do races=evil ever in my books. I have among the protagonists in my many book: demons, dragons, shifters, humans, POC, LGBQT folks—including a delightful troop of drag queens I’d love to know in real life, disabled people, cats, ghosts, a vampire (cat!), aliens, and even zombie (kitties!).
Belief is a different beastie, however. Belief is, at least to a point, a matter of choice, which makes it a separate question for me than race or sexual orientation. Extremists in belief show up in my books but are less likely to be protagonists. Less extreme beliefs of varying degree and type can show up in my protagonists, but, as a general rule, I don’t touch much on recognisable belief systems current in today’s society. I like people to have any belief they like unless they use it as a cudgel to mistreat others. Most of my characters might have some particular belief, but it doesn’t push them to do bad things. And, if it does, they are likely headed for a reformation or are the villain.
What time of day do you write best?
I am not a morning person. And I work during most days so my best and most likely time to write is in the last few hours before I go to bed, so maybe 7-10pm most nights. I do better if a have a sprint partner.
Although Stephanie is a slave to three children and a slew of cats, she actually leads a double life as a part time novelist and full time rocket scientist. People everywhere have learned to watch out for fear of becoming part of her stories. Beware! You might be next! You can find Stephanie on her website, on Facebook, her FB fan group and her blog, subscribe to her newsletter or follow her on Twitter.