- a fantasy writer who is crazy about greyhounds and sharing her love of reading
Readers, thanks for checking out another Author Spotlight Interview. Let’s give a good, hearty welcome to this week’s guest!
Deborah Jarvis is a college professor and English teacher with a strong background in mythology and a passion for fantasy and science fiction. She has been in love with these genres for a very long time.
While she was born in Massachusetts, she’s lived almost all of the second half of her life in New Hampshire. She finds it to be soothing but misses Massachusetts from time to time. Lucky for her, she’s still nearby enough that she can go south of the border on a whim. The Cape is her home away from home.
Reading and writing have always been her passions and these skills are what she has tried to share with her students. Had a bad day? Read a book. Bullies give you a hard time? Read a book. Dad lost his job? Read a book. Books give us an escape from the world around us and teach us new information along the way. It makes for a more well-rounded, compassionate individual in the end.
At this point, there are three things you should know about her: 1) She loves greyhounds – they are her passion and her babes; 2) She loves teaching. If she can impart her passions for reading and writing to others and get them excited, her heart is full; 3) She is determined to never let anyone tell her she can’t do something because of what they perceive her to be. She doesn’t need to prove that to anyone anymore.
Deb, thanks for agreeing to be here today. Most author spotlight interviews start off with the boring stuff, but I know what readers REALLY want to know.
If you could have any pet (real/fantasy/no-allergies/no worries about feeding it) what would it be?
I’d probably have a horse. I’m wicked allergic IRL, so it would be nice to be able to be around them.
The best part of fantasy: fixing the annoying practicalities!
What do you write? And how did you get started?
I write fantasy, and I have been writing since I was a teenager. I think I just had an idea one day and decided to see where to go with it. I don’t remember as it was about 35 years ago! I really have never stopped, though, and have been doing it ever since!
I’m so glad you kept at it!
What do you like to read?
Anything fantasy, some horror, graphic novels, and other assorted this and that. My dad got me into the books by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child, and those have been a fun escape from day-to-day mundane things too.
What an excellent mix!
Name one commonly accepted piece of writing advice that doesn’t work for you
Can’t do it to save my life unless I’m writing a research paper. Some people plot everything out. That would make me mental in very short time!
I like the high-level outline, but I know that for some writers, outlining takes away the excitement and blocks room for exploration. I’m glad you’ve found what works for you.
Name one commonly accepted piece of writing advice they can pry out of your cold, dead hands
Be frugal with adjectives.
My god, my editor and I have become DEATH on them and on repetitive word choice.
Indeed! So many people see the advice on avoiding adjectives, and thing they need to avoid all of them. Of course not! You just need to make sure to limit them to where they can do the most good.
Shameless Self-Promotion time!
The Keyralithian Chronicles
The Crystal Pawn (#1)
Deirdre Hawes had never thought of her life as extraordinary until one day she met the father she never knew and thus began the adventure of a lifetime. Armed only with the knowledge that she is heir to magical gifts that would allow her to call on the aid of the long-vanished dragons, she finds herself drawn into a web of intrigue and murder where the powers behind the throne are aligning to make sure she doesn’t succeed, no matter the cost. Deirdre soon finds her life in the hands of those she’s been told not to trust, but trust them she must if she is to have any hope of not only completing her quest but surviving to make the journey home.
Together with several loyal friends, she makes her way south. As they travel further, she discovers that not everyone is as they seem and that preconceived notions of what is good and what is evil are often mere simplifications of a much more complex truth. When forces long-allied with the crown begin to show their true intentions, it is up to Deirdre and her companions to figure out a way to evade their traps and make their way below the Southern Mountains and across the desert to the jungle where the dragons are said to reside.
The Ivory Queen (#2)
On the run from the forces attempting to take over the country, Deirdre and her companions must cross the desert and enter the jungle to find a lost tribe of her kinsmen who hold the key to her being able to call the dragons and end the war. Along the way, she also has to master her burgeoning powers and find a way to succeed as the ever-increasing forces ally against her while she races the clock to save what has become her home.
The Shapeshifter Symphonium: Wolves Running (#1)
The secret is out about the shapeshifters of the world, and as they face the wildly disparate reactions from all parts of the globe, the local groups of shapeshifters are trying to adapt to being in the public eye. For some, like Sasha Wellington, the revelation of her status as a wolf shapeshifter is not something she can reveal just yet in her role as a biology teacher at a Boulder, Colorado high school. As a matter of fact, that is probably the last thing she should consider.
Things begin to change when one of her friends from student-teaching days suddenly discovers he is a shapeshifter, and she has to find a way to get him trained so that he will be able to keep her secret. Bringing the younger wolf home to her family’s house for New Year’s, Sasha discovers that there is more to her young protégé than she originally thought and finds herself at a crossroads between the world she has built for herself in Boulder and the life that has always been hers amid the snow-capped mountains of Wyoming.
In order to make these two parts of her life work, she will have to risk not only her livelihood as a teacher but possibly the safety of her family and her friends in order to help achieve the lasting peace all of the shapeshifters desire.