Wednesday 15 June 2016

Interview with B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree Diana Wicker

I’d like to welcome B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree Diana Wicker to A Bookaholic Swede to talk with me about her story, Legacy of Mist and ShadowDiana is an indie author living in the balmy climate of the US south with her family, two dogs, one cat, and a cantankerous rabbit. She enjoys reading, sewing (clothing, costuming, and experimental toy-making), being “studio mom” for her children’s dance school, and RPG games. (She grew up with the old school paper/pencil style of gaming, but has transitioned happily to the highly interactive world of video games.) And, as if she had more time to spare, she has recently invested in Asian ball jointed dolls to customize into characters from Feyron.

The idea for Feyron started with a map, a place for her daughter to tell stories and live out storytelling role-playing adventures with her friends. The lore grew around the map, for every world needs lore if you are going to “live” there. The idea for a series, Tales from Feyron, grew out of the lore, for if you’re going to invent a world, you may as well play there too. The stories are continuing to grow through the various historical ages of Feyron and have just started to ripple outwards to the Worlds Beyond touched by magic. Legacy of Mist and Shadow is the first tale to venture to one of those worlds and has been awarded the BRAG Medallion by Indie BRAG.

Diana, can you tell me how you discover indieBRAG?

A wonderful writer that I met on my journey, Willa Jemhart, won an IndieBRAG for a book that I had beta read. I decided to submit my works. I’m ever so excited that one made the grade. :)

Can you tell me what Legacy of Mist and Shadow is about?

Old relics and have stories of their own. Sometimes they contain adventures waiting to be sparked and journeys bursting to begin.

The Box of Melodies was left with Clan Caris by Lady Oyisha, daughter of the mists, for care and keeping. A series of visions revealing the last desperate moments of a forgotten clan - the loss of their gateway to Feyron and the escape of a lone traveler holding the box - spurs a handful of adventuresome youth on a trek through the Lesser Forest where they inadvertently cause a ripple through the mists with unintended consequences.

A few of the youth find themselves on an unexpected journey to a World Beyond, lost in mist and shadow, where misunderstanding and suspicion lead to danger and darkness. Forgotten histories are discovered, clan secrets are revealed, and old alliances are remembered as the families of the lost seek to discover where the youth have been drawn by the memories within the Mists of Time.

Can you tell me more about Lady Oyisha, daughter of the mists? She sounds like a very interesting character.

How about I offer you her beginning tale?

Keepers of the Sacred Paths

Standing in the realm of mists, Lady Kali called out to the ever changing swirls of grey, "Lend your comfort to those that understand existence beyond self, that they might not fear the unknown beyond the darkness."
The mists answered her in a soft, whispery voice, "I have no comfort to lend for I am unknowable to the likes of those who live within the realm known as time, be they of Feyron, or of the other worlds. Their moment is but a twinkling that fades before I even take notice.”
But you are known to me, Samanya the Unknowable, and your mists hold the remembrances of all. Bring them here when their twinkling fades, and let them remember their joys. Their time is short enough that they should not spend it in fear.” Little wisps of light began to gather about her in the mists, and Lady Kali held out her hands as a few softly floated above her palms. “Give them a guiding light in their darkness, that all may find comfort, for if we do not lead them, surely others will.”
The mists swirled for a time, first growing cold and dark, then growing warm and light before the echoing voice returned. “It shall be as you say for the clans of Faie. When their twinkling fades, they shall pass from the Realm of Light into their remembrances in the mists. But for the rest, those of the Worlds Beyond who find the light of understanding in the darkness, those who come to fear the unknown, they have no magic to call them back to the light of Feyron. They will have to discover for themselves the Sacred Path that flows through the ether to the safe haven of remembrances.”
The mists gathered in a blanket of grey about Lady Kali, and when they retreated a new form had joined her.  Standing bravely against the darkness of the unknown the form smiled, "I am sphynx, daughter of the mists and Keeper of the Sacred Path, and I shall watch over those whose time has come that they might find what lies beyond without fear.  I am beautiful of face that my smile might light the way.  Soft of voice that my words might comfort.  Fleet of foot that I may race to their sides.  And strong of wing that I may carry them home.  My sisters and I will stand outside of time and tend to them all, be they child of Faie or those twinkling moments who have gained understanding of the sacred."
So shall it be, child of the mists. Your sisters shall serve all worlds for all time, lest they forever be afraid of the unknown that lies within the darkness,” Lady Kali agreed. “Guide them all along the Sacred Path to the Realm of Mists beyond the Light as their sparks begin to fade.”
The mists parted, rolling away leaving a landscape bathed in eternal twilight, a grey sandy beach and vast lake of dark waters spread wide before them, all enclosed within a seemingly unending dark cavern. “So be it then. Just as with the clans of the Faie, for each World Beyond a haven shall be made within the mists for those sacred twinklings, that they may not pass to the Darkness beyond,” the voice echoed through the cavern, and then all was still.
The first sphynx remained on the beach with Lady Kali who smiled as she touched the young guardian-child’s shoulder, “I know the place for you daughter of the mists.” Swirling around them, the mists swallowed them once more.
The air within the Great Gateway began to ripple and swirl, filling with grey mist. Lady Kali stepped from the mists as Lord Grypos landed in the grass before her. The mists continued to swirl as the soft blue light of the gateway dimmed and the mists finally receded, leaving behind a beautiful young woman with long golden ringlets of hair about her gentle face. Her skin was covered in a soft downy fur of pale cream, her body slowly blending from that of a woman to that of a winged lioness.
Lord Grypos,” Lady Kali crooned as she stroked his soft mane, “I bring one who would teach the children with you, daughter of the mists, Keeper of the Sacred Path.”
What is your name, daughter of the mists?” he purred as he watched her look about his garden.
I am a daughter of the mists and nothing more,” she replied softly.
Then I name you Oyisha, for you offer your wisdom to the children and share the task of teaching them with me. Come to the Sacred Pool and meet those who wait.” They walked together to the Sacred Pool. She watched the little serpents swim for a time and then sighed softly. “Know this Keeper of Knowledge, when the children pass into the realm of time, many may no longer perceive me until their twinkling begins to fade, for within the path of time, I fade back into mist.”
Then we shall impress upon them your importance now, as they learn their gifts, so that when they become the scholars of the clans of Faie, none will forget you.”
Standing with one hand pressed against the side of the Great Gateway, Lady Kali smiled softly as she nodded. Slowly stepping back into the soft light, she was gone.

I find it intriguing to read about imaginary worlds. Can you tell me more about Feyron and the world beyond?

I would be pleased and delighted!

The Realm of Feyron has always been. It is the origin of all things magical, the axis point where

all the worlds meet. The Temple of Pyli sits at the heart of the Lands of Light high atop the snow colored mesa on the center of the White Isle. Within it lies the font of Sacred Fire, the beacon to the clans of Faie from the Worlds Beyond, lighting their way home again. The scholars watch over the gateways in the Temple and keep the lore in the desert archives, an eye always cast across the Lands of Light; the Mist Shrouded Forest, the Crystal Mountains, the Fertile Plains, and the Expanding Desert.

Most of the Faie only think of the Lands of Light when referring to Feyron, but the scholars will remind you that there are indeed other realms which share Feyron with the Light. The Realm of Mists waits beyond the obsidian wall, even though you can neither see it from land nor sky. This is where the sparks of life return to the Beyond when the time comes. If one could journey through this realm to its very edge, they would find shadows lurking, mingling with the very Mists of time in a hazy borderland where sparks linger during sleep in a land of dreams. Past that you should never look, for the Darkness is always waiting to be called upon.

As to the Worlds Beyond, simply look to your night sky. Where ever you see a twinkling light, you see a moment in time. The Mists of Time, the River of Life, these things are of Feyron, and where ever they touch, something is sure to follow. All worlds touched by life have sparks which return to the Beyond. All worlds touched by the Guardians of Light were granted gateways home to Feyron, for magic needs to be renewed lest the memory of it fade away.

The book takes place during The Age of Awakenings, can you tell me more about this time period?

Feyron, like many cultures, divides its past into historical ages. The Age of Awakenings is the current historical age in Feyron. It falls after the Age of Fading, the time when magic began to dim, and begins in book one when the Dreamweaver sets out to find the missing Guardians of magic. If time moved through the seasons, Awakenings would be Feyron entering a new spring.

This is book 3 in a series, can you read this book without having read the previous books?

I believe book 3 could be read alone if the reader does not mind jumping feet first into a new world and just going along for the ride of the story. If you want more world building and character introductions, I recommend starting from the beginning. :)

Are there more books planned, or is this the last book in this series?

I do hope to have more stories from Feyron, and I do have a list of plot items and reader requests for this specific series. Currently I have tales of lore short stories that I hope to release this year as well as the background story for this specific World Beyond in process.

Have you any favorite fantasy authors?

Tolkien, C.S. Lewis (Narnia), Robert Asprin (Myth series), J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter), Thieves’ World series (many wonderful authors in there), AL Butcher, Mia Darien

How did you come up with the title for your book?

Story titles rarely come to me until after a book is finished. I have to read the whole story straight through, beginning until end, to find the theme that calls to me. My title comes from that.

Who designed your book cover?

Mia Darien -

We are delighted that Magdalena has chosen to interview Diana Wicker who is the author of, Legacy of Mist and Shadow, our medallion honoree at indieBRAG. To be awarded a B.R.A.G. Medallion ®, a book must receive unanimous approval by a group of our readers. It is a daunting hurdle and it serves to reaffirm that a book such as, Legacy of Mist and Shadow, merits the investment of a reader’s time and money.

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