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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Welcome Rebecca Russell

Welcome Rebecca, I suggest my visitors dive in and read this post them leave a comment for Rebecca’s posting. One commenter will be chosen at random to win a FREE ebook or other PRIZE, such as an illustrated calendar, keychain, cover art notepad. You can’t win if you don’t comment. More details available at Rebecca Russell

Rebecca Ryals Russell writes MG and YA Dark Fantasy and Horror while living with her family in a Victorian house on five acres of North Florida countryside. She also runs a Vacation Rental Log House on the property: Florida Black Bear Cabin.
She is a fourth generation Floridian. She was born in Gainesville, grew up in Sunrise, lived in Orlando and Jacksonville before moving outside Lake City to care for ailing parents.
The daughter of an Elementary-school principal and secretary, for fourteen years she taught Middle Grades, preferring English and Creative Writing. She had several students’ works published in anthologies as well as her own poetry, photography and stories. Her main interests are her four children ages 22, 19, 16, 11 and Irish hubby of 35 years. She enjoys spending her time writing, drawing, going to movies, reading, discussing philosophy with her 17-year-old son.
Over the course of the next few years she has several books being published.
Be sure to check out the special interactive Middle Grade Reader website for tons of information about Stardust Warriors as well as the other projects Rebecca has in the works.

14-year old Zarena spends time with a Holy Order of Clerics on their hidden world of Revrum Natura, while she receives training in Martial Arts, Herbology, Astronomy, Weaponry and Mind Control. Destined to become the leader of the Vigorios, child warriors, who will assist the Seraphym in the war against the demon-dragons of Dracwald, Zarena grows up in a hurry. Lonely and homesick, she meets a Mermaid who encourages her to talk about her training. Is this new friend too good to be true? Zarena learns a valuable lesson about trust and betrayal—a lesson that will serve her well as leader of the Vigorios.

For centuries the residents of Solsyl lived in peace and harmony with the planet. Then the dragon-demons arrived, causing the Great Shuddering. Majikals from everywhere scurried to find shelter from the evil while humans hid. Laud regretted his rash decision of exiling the demons on Solsyl and asked one of his advisors, a member of The Conscientia, to protect his people. Jeremiah Holyfield agreed to leave the peaceful world of Revrum Natura for a life of constant strife and fear on the newly renamed planet of Dracwald. But Narciss, ruler of Tartarus and King of the demons, desperately wants what Jeremiah has sworn to protect—a Prophecy of Narciss’s future doom. And Narciss refuses to take no for an answer. But Jeremiah discovers allies along his path and even true love, which he never dreamed possible.
But forever is a long time to protect something without ever letting down one’s guard.

17-year-old Myrna is drawn into the middle of an epic battle between Seraphym and Demons. An average High School student from Florida, struggling with inner demons resulting from an attack when she was 15, she wakes one morning on the Steampunk planet of Dracwald, home of the demon-dragons responsible for her brother’s recent murder as well as many other atrocities in the news. She meets sweet and sensitive Michael, who explains that according to prophecy, Myrna must gather the remaining six Vigorios (teen warriors with special talents) then train with the Majikals on an enchanted island. He accompanies her on the quest, but harbors a secret past that ironically would destroy all the faith she has placed in him. A handsomely roguish Scientist with suspect motives haunts her dreams and makes sudden appearances in unlikely places, while a sensual dragon warrior defends her against her will.
Will love and lust, jealousy, greed, deceit and distrust break the delicate tie that binds these teen warriors called The Vigorios? Can a troupe of teens help the Seraphym finally defeat the massive empire of evil dominated for eons by the demon-dragons of Dracwald?

Readers want to know how the world of Dracwald came into being.
Before I can answer that, you have to understand that for fourteen years I was a Middle School teacher. My favorite subjects were English/Reading and Social Studies. Although it was not a topic covered in the Social Studies books, I always did a section of Geography.
So when I started thinking about a world that Myrna would spend several years on, my love of Geography came into play. For the physical aspect, I took a globe, flattened it and slid the continents together to form Pangaea, the original single continent on Earth. From there I put mountain ranges where they would have naturally formed, deserts on the backside of the mountains because rainfall is less, and so forth. I had a ball placing swamps, and river deltas; forests and barrens. While doing this, the world itself began to grow and become real. I knew what monsters lurked within each forest or habitat. The Majikals revealed their hiding places.
Because the number seven is holy, there are seven Vigorios (teen demon-hunter-warriors), seven Provinces on Dracwald and seven Guardian Seraphym (one per Province). Each Province provides something useful or significant for the world or story. The most interesting Province to create was Impirius. This is where the dragons live. There is a tall ridge of mountains running down the back of Impirius, like the spine of a dragon. The Lucimons Range keeps Impirius separate from the rest of the world. The demons live in the northern portion of these mountains, called Dracolupo. This is where they have established dragon dens. The entire northern section of Impirius is toxic, due to leaching evil from the demons. Not only is it inhabited by monsters, but the land itself has evolved toxically.
Once the physical environment was complete, with mining resources allocated, farming, industry, cities and villages, railways and roads, I was ready to start planning the culture of the population. To keep it simple, I decided on a limited number of cultures: Dragon-demons, Majikals (elves, fae, dwarves, etc), Villagers, City Dwellers. They each received a culture, habitat, history, appearance, language, religion, etc.
The style of dress for the population as a whole is Victorian. Men wear top hats or bowler hats with suits or tuxedoes and walking canes. Women dress in full-length dresses with petticoats, small hoop skirts, hats from very fancy to simple. Our heroes, the Vigorios, couldn’t tramp through forests and swamps dressed like this, however, so they wear military knit clothing, tunics with drawstring pants and boots. Michael is able to cast a glamour over them, so they appear to look like everyone else. Villagers’ dress is more simple; homespun or at least homemade clothing, rough and serviceable.
I wanted the world to be primitive and dangerous. So, Narciss, the head demon, placed a limitation on movement by restricting development of roads, railroads, etc. All shipping by air freight, railroad or ships is done by demons. Humans cannot travel outside their Province. Within cities there are basic roads with Steampunked Hover Tricars for individuals and Skiibusses, huge egg-shaped, glass-enclosed mass transport that travels through the sky. But none of these leave the provinces. Otherwise, people ride bicycles, hover-scoots (scooter motorcycles without wheels), or walk.
The architecture varies by city. In Auriger, where the demons live and work, the city is sooty, dirty, run-down high-rises of apartment dwellings and offices. To go along with the Steampunk feel, lighting is provided by gaslight street lamps, and gas chandeliers or wall-mounted fixtures indoors. The further away from Auriger, the cities become more modern, clean, up-to-Earth standard, but still Steampunked. Self-sufficient villages, similar to Medieval times, are scattered everywhere.
Because the world is basically one giant landmass, shipping by sea is huge. There are several ports, but one major shipping port in Sinnuous with a rail system for spreading out the products to various cities. A lot of ocean means space for sea monsters, sea dragons. This provided a job for one of my characters. He is a Pistrologist; he studies the movement and habits of sea dragons for shipping companies.
Although the Majikals originally lived all over the world, when the dragon-demons arrived it caused the Great Shuddering and the Majikals all fled to an island at the opposite end of the world from Auriger. This island is located in Utgard, a chain of islands surrounding and enclosing a special sea called the Bluquor Sea. This is where the Sea Queen and her court of Merpeople live. On the island, called Caldelub, the Majikals have spread out and formed new settlements. With their majik combined in one location, it created a barrier around the island, preventing evil from entering. There are a few pockets around the world where Majikals manage to live, barely, but they refuse to leave; doing what they can to protect the land from the spreading evil.
There is a lot more I could share about Dracwald and its people, or you could read the book. If any of this intrigued you, then you won’t be disappointed. Odessa is the first of a five (maybe six) novel series called the Seraphym Wars. It is available as an eBook wherever eBooks are sold or here.


Marva Dasef said...

Just started Zarena last night. Excellent. A bit slow getting up to speed, but I can feel the pace quickening as I read. Those Conscientians can be cryptic.

Based on 17% read, I'd already recommend it.

Anonymous said...

Your books sound fascinating, Rebecca! Wishing you great sales!

Im a native Floridian too ---though I live in the Southwest now. But my gr-gr-gr-grandfather was a pirate who settled on Captiva Island and thus our family history began....

Enjoyed the Interview, Sue!

hugs, Kari Thomas,

BarbaraB said...

Hi Rebecca,
I enjoyed reading about Dracwald. And I find your theory of evil leaching from the demons intreguing.
Thanks Sue for hosting Rebecca.

Come to my blog tomorrow to read about a different aspect of Rebecca's life.

Susan Royal said...

Your stories sound very exciting. I'll have to tell my granddaughters (big fantasy readers) about them. And love the covers too.

Sue Perkins said...

Thanks for visiting Rebecca. Lovely to have you here and Dracwald sounds fascinating.

Charlie said...

Hi Rebecca,

I've been minding the signs and see you are building a great world of reading. Love your imagination and your stories.
Great job.
C.K. Volnek

Rebecca Ryals Russell said...

Thank you everyone for visiting and for your lovely comments. I think my favorite part of writing is the world creation. I'm anxious to finish these two series just so I can create a new world to write about.