Monday, September 9, 2013

Book Tour: The Wysard by Deborah J. Lightfoot Interview

Young Adult/New Adult Literary Fantasy

Waterspell Book 2 cover.jpg

Date Published:

Book #2 in the Waterspell Series

WATERSPELL Book 1: The Warlock

Drawn into the schemes of an angry wizard, Carin glimpses the place she once called home. It lies upon a shore that seems unreachable. To learn where she belongs and how to get there, the teenage traveler must decipher the words of an alien book, follow the clues in a bewitched poem, conjure a dragon from a pool of magic—and tread carefully around a seductive but volatile, emotionally scarred sorcerer who can’t seem to decide whether to love her or kill her. "Carin and Verek’s well-crafted relationship balances in a tense power struggle … intriguing premise and original characters … Fine fantasy." —KIRKUS

WATERSPELL Book 2: The Wysard
After blundering into the last stronghold of magic, Carin discovers that she is right to fear the wizard Verek. He is using her to seal the ruptures in the void, and she may be nothing more to him than an expendable weapon. What will he do with her—or to her—when his world is again secure? Or has he erred in believing that the last bridge has been broken? The quest may not, in fact, be over … and Lord Verek may find himself not quite as willing to dispose of his fiery water-sylph, Carin, as he once believed himself to be.


1. Where did you get the idea for the novel?

The story has been percolating since I was a teenager or younger. I can't put my finger on any single inspiration. Everything a writer reads, experiences, learns, or enjoys will influence her writing. The Waterspell trilogy grew out of my lifelong, voracious reading habits. I grew up with Alice in Wonderland, Pride and Prejudice, Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, and other classics of English literature. I also love Edgar Allan Poe, Anne McCaffrey, and Andre Norton. Waterspell owes something to every book I've ever read, every place I've ever traveled, and all the time I've spent outdoors communing with nature. It's a sword-and-sorcery tale with a science-fictional twist and unconventional romance. The characters are combinations of real people I have known plus fictional creations I've admired. Heathcliff and Rochester are the literary godfathers of my leading man, Lord Verek. My protagonist, Carin, is a little bit Jane Eyre.

2. Your title. Who came up with it? Did you ever change your title?

I can honestly say the monk Welwyn came up with the series title. He mentions a "water spell" in Book 2: The Wysard. As works-in-progress, all three volumes had different titles. Book 1: The Warlock began as "Elsewhere." Book 2 was "The Water's Edge." Book 3: The Wisewoman started as "Strange Magic" but quickly took its current title from the strong woman who fills a central role in the trilogy's conclusion. Once I had The Wisewoman for the ending book, the beginning and middle books naturally became The Warlock and The Wysard, named for the other characters who play pivotal parts in Carin's quest. Waterspell, by the way, is a continuous story told in three books: the beginning in #1, the middle in #2, and the end in #3. The three volumes really should be read in that order, as a set.

3. Why did you pick this genre? What do you like about it?

This genre picked me, more than the other way 'round. I've been reading fantasy and science fiction since I was a kid. The first book I bought with my own money was Star Man's Son, 2250 A.D. Cover price: 60 cents for the mass-market paperback (long ago, before ebooks). 2250 made me a fan of Andre Norton and started me reading SF and fantasy. It was my gateway drug to adventure! I love the fabulous settings, the exotic characters, and the thought-provoking, oftentimes socially relevant plots of speculative fiction.

4. Since becoming a writer, what's the most exciting thing to ever happen to you?

Connecting with readers—I mean, really connecting—is the best feeling in the world! When a reader tells me she's blown away, she's devoured my book, the story consumed her and wouldn't let her go—that's a high like no other. For me, the great excitement about being a writer is hearing from a reader who loves what I wrote. Next best is the simple satisfaction that comes from doing what I set out to do. A story bubbled up inside, demanding to be told. I committed the tale to paper to the best of my abilities—a job that only took 16 years of my life!

5. What book are you currently reading or what was the last book you read?

I'm reading Blue Highways by William Least Heat Moon. The book was a bestseller in the 1980s, and I'm finally getting around to it. It combines two of my favorite things: travel and beautiful writing. "Magpies, looking like crows dressed for a costume party, swooped from fencepost to post"—I've seen magpies on the wing, and that is exactly the right way to describe them. Also memorable is the author's mention of "adapting to the cosmos"—a perfect phrase for where I find myself these days. It's good that I waited for this book. I connect with it now in ways I could not have done, 30 years back. I highly recommend Blue Highways to anyone who is on a journey.

6. What is your writing process?

I'm a binge writer. When I'm in the zone I'll pound the keyboard for hours, never coming up for air. Parts of Waterspell were written while I lived in the tropics in an open house on a high mountain lake. I'd work late into the night while all around me fell silent except for the splash of the waves and the occasional hoot of an owl. In the garden were night-blooming flowers, and their perfumes wafted in through the screen doors. An unearthly experience. Magical! Binge writing is not recommended—virtually all of the how-to books say to be disciplined enough to write every day, if only for an hour or so. But I like large chunks of time that are free of distractions and obligations. The unhurried pace of the tropics gave me what I needed.

7. At a book signing, do you just sign your name or do you write a note? How do you come up with stuff to say? 

I sign Waterspell Book 1: The Warlock with, "May your days be filled with magic." The other books of the trilogy get a quick "Magic—Part 2" and "Magic—Part 3" above my signature. Obviously I'm not great at coming up with stuff to say! But most readers buy the ebook editions, sparing me from having to think too hard. :-)

8. What is something people would be surprised to know about you?

I had an out-of-body experience. It was wonderful—a feeling of floating up through the ceiling. I gradually came to rest on the roof, and even in my "disembodied" state I could feel the sun and the warmth of the shingles. I'd love to experience it again, that free-floating sensation of weightlessness. It was sublime.

9. How do you react to a bad review?

I'm grateful to any reader who takes the trouble to write and post an honest review. They've given me the gift of their time and attention.

10. How did you celebrate the sale of your first book?
I sang! I danced! I stomped and shouted! Then I told everyone I knew, and of course I expected them all to buy a copy! :-)

Thank you, Alisia, for great interview questions and for hosting me on your blog. I've enjoyed this stop on my book tour.

Deborah J Lightfoot with Wisewoman 2013_sm.JPG.jpg

Deborah J. Lightfoot

Castles in the cornfield provided the setting for Deborah J. Lightfoot’s earliest flights of fancy. On her father’s farm in Texas, she grew up reading tales of adventure and reenacting them behind ramparts of sun-drenched grain. She left the farm to earn a degree in journalism and write award-winning books of history and biography. High on her Bucket List was the desire to try her hand at the genre she most admired. The result is WATERSPELL, a multi-layered fantasy trilogy about a girl and the wizard who suspects her of being so dangerous to his world, he believes he'll have to kill her ... which troubles him, since he's fallen in love with her. Waterspell Book 1: The Warlock; Book 2: The Wysard; and Book 3: The Wisewoman.


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Kindle Editions $2.99 each

Book 1: The Warlock
Book 2: The Wysard
Book 3: The Wisewoman

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Book 1: The Warlock
Book 2: The Wysard
Book 3: The Wisewoman

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Book 1: The Warlock
Book 2: The Wysard
Book 3: The Wisewoman

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Deborah J. Lightfoot Books


Book 1: The Warlock $16.95
Book 2: The Wysard $17.95
Book 3: The Wisewoman $15.00

Barnes & Noble

Book 1: The Warlock $16.95
Book 2: The Wysard $17.95
Book 3: The Wisewoman $15.00

1 comment:

  1. Thanks, Alisia, for the interview and for hosting a stop on my blog tour. I hope you'll read the Waterspell trilogy, as time allows. :-)

    Best wishes,