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Delaware, United States
Deborah Hawkins, penned Debra Renée Byrd, began writing after a blank book project in elementary school and never stopped, fashioning stories based on her favorite TV shows and movies before creating more original works. She studied at the University of the Arts and Florida State University before settling down and graduating from Temple University. She now resides in her hometown of Dover, DE, where she spends most of her time at work or at church. She loves fantasies, superheroes, is a trekkie and a brown coat. She loves television and lives for Final Fantasy video games, having collected most of them. She has read a myriad of authors, and her favorite authors change whenever she finds a new book that changes her life... "When you can't run, you crawl. When you can't crawl...well, you know the rest." -Tracey, Firefly, "The Message"

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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

What to Expect When You're Expecting

Movie plug!

Go see it!

Not only is it hilarious, but there's nothing not to like about any of the characters. I also liked that we got to see so many different scenarios: a couple who had a one-nighter and got pregnant; a couple who was in a relationship and got pregnant; a married couple trying, a married couple adopting, dads. It had it all! You will laugh the entire 90 minutes except for those 3 minutes where you might cry.

I've never been pregnant (so, God, about that guy we talked about coming my way? Where is he?), but I also like how relatable the movie was. It didn't sugar coat anything. Yes, it's a miracle of life, and yes, I want and will always want babies, but there are gross and uncomfortable things going on there. Also, I stand by my word when I say, my husband (wherever he may be, Jesus) might not get a ticket to the delivery room. Might be just me and the doc in a very dark room. I'd be completely serious if I didn't want to have a water birth.

In conclusion, go see What to Expect When You're Expecting. If my shoddy review didn't woo you, four words.





Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Read these people's blogs.

...Well? DO IT! lol

As I said, I don't want this blog to focus on just me and mine. Here are some blogs I'm following. They have great entries, and my personal favorite creates an amusement park filled with nightmarish writer/editor pet peeves.

"From The Write Angle" by various writers

Revo Boulanger's "Revo Files"

Joyce Alton's "Yesternight's Voyage"


I know that (some) people aren't fans of sequels or prequels, and the chances that these will leave my thumb drive (since my computer is giving up the ghost) are slim. However, I am writing/have written short stories that take place before Save the Queen begins. I also plan to write a story not related to the main stories, but is a story mentioned within the novel. My first beta reader wants very much for me to stretch out the (currently) 107k novel and have a story for each continent. NOT sure that will happen, but I do want to do the following (or have already started the following):

The Crystal War
-This one is really important to why the main story is happening in Save the Queen, but it's not revealed until near the end of the second "book" in the story. Obviously, though, it deals with a war between the Crystal Bearers. In fact, I might post a preview of the scene detailing it. It's not really something that needs to be kept secret. We'll see. I don't necessarily want this whole blog to be about this one story. I want this story to be, at least, novella length.

"On the Hill"
-A short story I'm currently working on, a love story about the hulktroll and hillsprite who helped unite the Sprites and Trollics after centuries of war and animosity.

"Ghuli's Watchmen"
-A short story I finished that chronicles important parts of Cyan and Ghuli's younger years. We get to see Ghuli grow and Cyan become a good watchman under a man they think of as their father.

The Sprite Child's Epic (by Migan the hillsprite)
-I think this was the first one I said I wanted to do and haven't even put a sentence down yet. It's a series of middle-grade children's books that Brodie gives Ghuli to read when she first meets her. It will (clearly) circle adventures of a Sprite child, but it will probably turn into something surreal (since it's a fantasy series inside of a larger fantasy).

Monday, May 14, 2012


I'm not the most logical person to begin with, so when I started this story way back when (2003, almost 10 years ago, yikes), I wrote what came to me how it came to me. There was no stopping to think, "Does this make sense?"

So, when my sister read the very first draft of the 1st part of the book, she pointed out to me that Ghuli tells Laris she's okay, even though he and Cyan, who are supposed to be watching her, left her, and she almost got killed. My sister was probably appalled, even. haha

(Sidenote that's completely off topic: logic would also dictate that when you put soda into a soda machine, if you put in Mountain Dew, don't leave the little picture that says it's Sprite. Same with the Sprite saying Dr. Pepper. The soda machine guy is a jerk.)

Back to MY troubles with logic, I revised the scene a little so that her watchman come save her from certain death, but even that still didn't make sense, as another critiquer noted: Why'd they leave her in the first place if they're supposed to be watching her?  So my (fingers crossed) last revision, they're with her the entire time and face the certain death alongside her. A good thing about this as well is that readers will get to see who Laris and Cyan are and how they interact with Ghuli right off the bat instead of 3-6 pages later, where I initially had them.

This edit-time around, I will be looking for notes of logic and also reduce "info-dumping" as all the critiquers called it. We don't need to know where everyone came from in the first 10 pages, and at least I know where that information can be slipped in.

Also, readers can't see what I see in my head if I don't describe it clearly, so I have to embrace, if not the most, one of the most annoying notes: "Show, don't tell".

In other news, I have gotten under 108k words now. I had started at about 120k. I think I can get to 107...We'll see.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Save the Queen: The Characters

I fell asleep at my desk, so...this should be a better use of my time in case someone walks by. Below are the main and supporting characters in the order they appear in the story.

Ghulien, also known as Ghuli. 17. Race: Crystal Bearer. 5'3. Slim. Long, thick, curly black hair, hazel eyes. Brown skin. Round crystal in each hand and foot, the source of her power. Timid, but impulsive and spoiled. Her powers are awakened when she meets others with the same powers or when she is in critical danger.

Cyan. 22. Race: Trollic, sub-class Hulk. 7'5. Solid but short by Trollic standards. Blonde hair cropped short, light blue eyes. Fair complexion. Weapon: Cudgel. Ghuli's 1st Lt. Watchman. Hot-tempered, constantly alert and worried. Cyan raised Ghuli from an infant and took charge of her when his commanding officer died.

Laris. 26. Race: Sprite, sub-class Bay. 5'8. Lithe. Mid-length red hair, green eyes and pointed ears (both racially exclusive). Tan complexion. Weapon: Crossbow and lightweight swords. Can heal himself and others. Ghuli's 2nd Lt. Watchman and Cyan's mentor. Quiet, sincere, likes to tell stories. Joined Cyan's mission after the death of Cyan's commanding officer.

Andyrsn. 22. Race: Human. 5'111/2. Cruiserweight. Mid-length, curly brown hair, dark brown eyes. Tan complexion. Weapon: Pistols and dagger. Becomes Ghuli's Junior Grade Lt. Watchman after meeting her. Soft-spoken, sarcastic, but light-hearted. Helps care for his nieces.

Brodie. 19. Race: Human. 5'9. Long and slim. Long, dark brown hair, dark brown eyes. Brown skin. Weapon: Rifle. A scholar who has also earned the rank of 2nd Lt. Watchman. and joins Ghuli. Quick-witted, judgmental, intelligent. Her watchman status conflicts with her family's traditional Scholarship role.

Avalegna, later nicknamed Lenne. 16. Race: Werebeast. 5'0. Petite but wiry. Long, unruly blonde hair, golden eyes and pointed ears (both racially exclusive). Olive skin. A friend of Ghuli's. Fast-speaking, hyper, fierce. Her race is needed to find and activate a Crystalline relic Ghuli learns she must find.

Current Manuscript: Save the Queen

My big fantasy novel that comes complete with a screenplay and soundtrack if you can create one of those image projectors that wire directly from the brain.

While I have sent what I feel is a good synopsis (Thanks again, Revo!) the query can...bite me to say the least. Shall we all rally together, hunt down the guy who decided they were a good idea, and beat him mercilessly? *Pitchfork*

So anyway, Save the Queen is a high fantasy paying homage to a series of video games called Final Fantasy. The title itself is the name of a weapon used in a couple of my favorite games from the series. And yet, it fits.

In a nutshell, the premise:
Ghuli, the Princess of a dead race called Crystal Bearers, has been safely hidden away for most of her life from the iron army that destroyed her home and continues to terrorize the continents. This army, the Contagion, has finally hunted Ghuli down. Its finding her initiates a series of events that in turn awakens in Ghuli the dormant powers of the Crystal Bearers. As she journeys to discover the origins and history of her people, she encounters someone who not only seeks revenge against her for past (or is it future?) wrongs, but who also controls the Contagion. Ghuli's journey becomes a struggle between what she knows and what is real; life and death; her protection and protecting the world.

Insert dramatic music.

It's a moderately dark novel...maybe mildly. I've always balanced on that line. One of those closet goth kids who likes to write about death and blood. Anyhow, that up there is the gist. I suppose my next blog can outline the main and supporting characters of the novel. I might even do it today. Work is slowing down.