Tag Archives: Amanda’s Quest

Interview by Kasper Beaumont

I recently had the privilege of being interviewed by Kasper Beaumont, which I really enjoyed. You can read the entire interview at:

Amazon:

http://huntersofreloria.weebly.com/kaspers-ramblings

Fandri's Eventful First Kiss - Kasper & Bailey BeaumnotKasper’s is the author of the Hunters of Reloria series and has just collaborated on a new short story spin off, Fandri’s Eventful First Kiss.

Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/Eventful-First-Kiss-Hunters-Reloria-ebook/dp/B01HIBCWNG

Kasper is also very active in the Fantasy/Science Fiction Network (not friendly to all cellphone settings) where she has hosted the interview.

 

Dare to Dream – Why I Write

2016 NGIB Award Finalist in Fantasy - Amanda's Quest (preliminary copy)

Amanda’s Quest
2016 Finalist in Fantasy
Next Generation Indie Book Awards

I am honored that Amanda’s Quest was recognized in the Fantasy Category. It is a privilege to be included with such impressive past and present authors who submitted books to the competition. To some, competitions are scary; to many, competitions challenge personal confidence. To all, the out come of competitions are uncertain.

In Letters to Juliet,  screenwriters José Rivera and Tim Sullivan set a scene in the middle of a wedding ceremony where Claire, played by Vanessa Redgrave, reads a letter about the possibilities of love.

“’What’ and ‘if’ are two words as none threatening as words can be, but, put them together side-by-side and they have the power to haunt you the rest of your life. What if. What if? What if. ….”

For me, it’s a moving scene empowering the viewers to believe. What? If? I am very honored to be recognized as a finalist. What if I had not submitted Amanda’s Quest for the competition. You never know what the results may be. But, over the last few weeks, I have reflected on why I writing. Its purpose. It meaning.

In Hamlet, Act 1, Scence 3, Polonius says to his son, Laertes:

“This above all: to thine own self be true, …”

I love to write for the readers to enjoy my stories. I loved to tell my children impromptu bedtime stories about forest animals. I loved to design AD&D campaigns with surprises to keep the players guessing, hoping to increase their enjoyment. And I enjoy writing for you.

Please subscribe. You can comment on posts or email me at:

kingdomtorrence@aol.com

 

In the World of Dendür (From the Back of My Mind)

In the World of Dendür, I am writing on the manuscript of book three, The Light of Ak’ron. I am almost finished  with the first draft of chapter three. I would have liked to have been working on chapter five at this point.

The surviving heroes of the Battle of Demeter Plains (Amanda’s Quest) are in the Wilds Mountain Range seeking an on-going threat to the Kingdoms of Torrence and Lithlillia, but nothing is ever as easy as expected. The search party includes men, Elves, centaurs, and one very determined dragon.

I am finding that the characters’ unfocused search makes it harder to write. They know what they are looking for, but not where to look. As the author, the dialog is harder to construct… How would Jerrod react to this situation?  See my last post on how I was caught off-guard by Imelrinn’s history. Oh, and his torn love for Amanda and Rhonda is as confusing as ever.

While the search goes on in the Wilds, King Garrett is entertaining the Lady Mòr and her brother, Lord Ròidh, of Beinn Caladh (the Highlands). The king of Greensland might not be too found of the developing friendship between Torrence and the Highlands, and the implications for his young daughter who is betrothed to King Garrett, but the greater danger is the storm brewing to the north in Haithenbeurn. The followers of Asgard are on the march.

Felicia, Queen of Witches, returns as well. Her desire for the Dragon’s Orb (The Legend of Jerrod) is driving her to become more meddlesome in Jerrod’s and Amanda’s lives, and she is becoming confrontational with Hecatē, Olympian goddess of witchcraft.

It was such a peaceful kingdom.

Send me a note about who your favorite character is and why?

  • Amanda – female warrior and (ops.. spoiler)
  • Jerrod – miller’s son seeking fame and fortune
  • Drin – holy knight who (ops… another spoiler)
  • Rhonda – half Elven druid princess
  • Imelrinn – ancient Mountain Elve (Elf)
  • Fraum – sage and (ops… have you read TLOJ?)
  • Nathanial – wizard
  • Felicia – witch
  • Lady Lieisa – Elve (Elf) druid priestess and leader of Lithlillia
  • Sasha – large black panther or house cat, depending on the form she chooses to be in

I look forward to hearing from you.

D.M. Stoddard, author of the Kingdom of Torrence series

When Characters Takeover the Plot

In talking with other authors, I often find that some of their favorite stories are about times when their characters takeover the plot.

Full MapI was working on the manuscript for book three, The Light of Ak’ron, this week when I realized that the heroes of Torrence and Lithlillia were about to retrace the steps that most of them took in The Legend of Jerrod.  I spent a couple of days going back through the first book of the Kingdom of Torrence series, recording the timeline. In The Legend of Jerrod, Jerrod and his friends  started their adventures in Torrence, went through Lithlillia after some misadventures in the Black Forest, and then proceeded north to the Fjord of Menduran.

Empowered by my refreshed memory of the timeline, I sat down anxious to write the next scene for book three. I gathered the characters, described the scene, and began the dialog. They had already assumed that the object of interest was is the realm of the Dark Elves. As an author I prepared to lay out the dialog in which they were going to discuss traveling north to Sismen Pass, which they figured was a good starting point for their search. As my fingers began typing out the scene that I had spent more that two days preparing, Imelrinn, an ancient Mountain Elve (Elf), spoke up, “I can show you the way. I fought there once as a young man.

I had too laugh. Authors have to follow the personality of the characters and the logic of the story-line/plot. When I created Imelrinn, part of his history was participating in the Elven-Dwarven Wars centuries before. As he grew older he became the guardian of the princesses of Lithlillia. The Kingdom of Torrence series starts with Imelrinn watching over his third charge, the half-Elven druid princess, Rhonda. In The Light of Ak’ron the friends must seek out a threat to both the kingdoms of Torrence and Lithlillia, among other challenges that arise in the course of events.

 

DM Stoddard Radio Interview Jan 4, 2016 4:00PM PDT

Interview of DM Stoddard, author of Amanda’s Quest
January 4, 2016 from 4:00 to 4:30 pm PDT
KCKQ 1180 AM in Northern Nevada
http://amm.streamon.fm “around the world”
Lerue Book Hound for WebJanice Hermsen, of LeRue Press and talk show host of The Book Hound TM, will be interviewing DM Stoddard, author of Amanda’s Quest, book two of the Kingdom of Torrence series, on January 4th. The show is also available on the Tunein Radio application. For Tunein Radio, search America Matters, The Home of Community Radio.

The interview will include questions about Amanda’s Quest, and other interesting topics posed by Mrs. Hermsen. Please tune in…

Contacts:

  • Your Title Here




Holiday Cheer & the Coming Year

Amandas-Quest-300x200

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Amanda’s Quest was released on December 8, 2015, and has received its first ratings: all 5 stars from Goodreads fans. I hope that you are enjoying your copy too. Amanda’s Quest is doing well on Amazon, which will be the only outlet for the eBook format until March 2016. It is available in paperback through most distribution points. The hard back format should be available in January 2016.

2015-1227 Goodreads Ratings

I have been invited to and confirmed attending an interview on LRP’s Book Hound Radio starting at 4:00 pm on January 4th. I will update this post with information as it becomes available.

I also had a tremendous opportunity this Christmas to send out wishes with a number of other authors from around the world. You can view our video at: Christmas Wishes from Authors Around The World

My Work In Progress (WIP) for 2016 will be The Light of Ak’ron (c), book three of the Kingdom of Torrence series. The title was introduced in Amanda’s Quest by the Master of Bards, Reginald Rhinestone during the annual Bards’ Festival. I hope that Toni Rakestraw will agree to edit book three. Most certainly, I hope to continue my association with Streetlight Graphs for book formatting and cover design.

Thank your for all your interest and support. I am looking forward to a fantastic 2016. And now, off to Toys-R-Us to replace my grandson’s Moosey ….

 

 

Amanda’s Quest Cover

Amanda's Quest Cover

Amanda’s Quest

By D.M. Stoddard

Cover illustration by D.M. Stoddard & Streetlight Graphics

Cover layout by Streetlight Graphics

 

 

Back Cover

Leaving her friends behind to ascend Mount Thoradan, Amanda journeys alone towards the northern realm to “recover” the legendary Horn of Valhalla and bring it to the Guild of the Crimson Pommel. With less than a year remaining she races through the barbaric lands of the followers of Odin to complete her blood-debt, promised as payment for healing the half-Elven druid princess. Only the completion of her debt will save her and her friends, but Amanda’s quest holds challenges beyond her comprehension. As events escalate, wizards, druids, knights, and warriors become entangled in deadly conflicts and two dragons become bitter enemies.

Inside Dust Cover (hard cover only)

– Front  Flap

On the created world of Dendür, the reader will travel across the continent of Ak’ron through lands where Zeus and Odin are followed and a new religion, the Order of One, confronts the old ways. In the troubled kingdoms of men and Elves, magic is limited out of fear and dragons are thought to be a thing of the past. Events are unfolding that will bring change to the kingdoms of Ak’ron. The prophecy foresees the coming of a second hero. It is a time of heroes and great deeds.

– Back Flap

The reader will meet a legendary bard who spins a magical tale of Amanda’s struggles into his song. He sings of individual battles and armies’ wars, filled with the cold of steel and the power of magic. Wizards cast spells and druids draw power from nature as warriors wield heavy blades, but nothing is as it seems. The ballad recounts deadly conflicts between men, Elves, and dragons. It is a song of love and desire, survival and betrayal, heroism and enlightenment.

Amanda’s Quest, Chapter 1 ©

By D.M. Stoddard

New Beginning

Amanda stood at the bow of the ship, her long blonde hair blowing freely in the wind, her feet solidly planted on the deck as it rose and fell beneath her, and her hands grasping the rail as the water of the winter sea sprayed up into the air each time the bow dove into the next wave. Her journey had begun….

Download an excerpt from Chapter 1 for free.

Blog – Amanda’s Quest Chapter 1 Excerpt

 

Creating a World

Full Map
Map from The Legend of Jerrod: History & Arms

I love creating worlds. I think I first fell in love with fantasy maps when I saw J.R.R. Tolkien’s map of Middle Earth. After studying architecture for two years, I had years of practice mapping worlds and underground adventures as a Dungeon Master (DM) playing Dungeons & Dragons (D&D).  I am also an artist. When I couldn’t find an affordable illustrator for the cover of The Legend of Jerrod, I painted the Sword of Trisdale myself; I used watercolors.

Sword Photo
Jerrod finds the Sword of Trisdale in the skeletal hand of a fallen knight.
Parents sometimes frown on D&D, but I found it expanded my imagination and creativity. With a good DM it is like playing a part in a dramatic play that somehow lost the script. Actors are left to wing in as they are tormented by, I mean guided by a director. Most of the time it is a good experience, but it can get a little dark as most things can.
Given time and a few tricks, anyone can draw a fantasy map. When I don’t have an idea of what a world should look like, sometimes I just close my eyes and squiggle several shapes on a blank piece of paper. Other times I begin with a more finite idea of what I want contents to look like. One consideration is the water-to-land ratio you may want, but it is not always important. Sometimes, I just limit my designs to a single content. I stay away from color maps because they are harder to reproduce and, if you are putting them in a book, more costly.
After you have your continents down, start adding rivers and lakes. Hills and mountains will often parallel your rivers. If it is easier, put the mountains in first. There are a number of examples of how to draw these landmarks, including lines, circles and upside down “V”s.  In my case, I added shading. Remember, in nature things are seldom completely straight, so have fun with it. You can be a simple or elaborate as you want. Just remember, like creative writing, have fun.

Look for new maps of the continent of Ak’ron in Amanda’s Quest, anticipated to be released in the fall of 2015.