AN INTERVIEW WITH D. WALLACE PEACH AND A REVIEW OF HER NEW BOOK, THE NECROMANCER’S DAUGHTER

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Diana Peach is making a stop here in Chapel Hill on her whirlwind book tour of her latest book, The Necromancer’s Daughter. I decided to take her to the Carolina Coffee Shop, located in the heart of downtown, for breakfast, to give her a taste of this college town.

This coffee shop has the proud distinction of being the oldest continually running restaurant in North Carolina, serving Tar Heels for nearly a century.

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After ordering their signature cornflake French toast for both of us along with coffee, I take the opportunity to find out more about her new book.

Noelle: Is there any basis for The Necromancer’s Daughter, which, by the way, I think is fabulous…no kidding!

Diana: The Necromancer’s Daughter is based on Chinese mythology and the story of Kwan-yin, which I shared in a post on my blog. For a while, I considered setting the story in a fantastical setting similar to China or Japan, employing relevant names, customs, clothing, foods, plants, and dragons. It’s a part of the world that fascinates me, and I thought it would be very cool for this story.

Noelle: So is that the book’s basis?

Diana: What I learned very early on is that the old saying “write what you know” applied. Or more accurately, “don’t write what you don’t know at all.” I realized that no amount of research was going to make me sound like I knew what I was talking about, so with the exception of some inconsequential details, I let it go. My fantasy world is simply the world in my head, and I know that one quite well.

Noelle: I do know about research, and it can be overwhelming at times…

Our French toast arrives, and after adding the usual maple syrup, I ask: Tell me about some of the quirks you’ve developed while writing. Do you have any?

Diana: I get up at 4:00 to start writing… every day. Most days, I stay in my flannel snowman pajamas and slippers for the duration. If for some reason I need to weed the garden or go to the post office, I just throw on a sweatshirt and head out.

Noelle: I don’t start at 4 AM, but I do my best writing in my robe and nightgown. What if you have to meet someone, like me, for a formal interaction?

Diana:  You’re right. Sometimes, I actually need to wear grown-up clothes, so I don’t embarrass my family.  If I dress before my coffee fix, while I’m still a zombie, I invariably end up wearing something inside out or backwards. I’ve left the house in this condition on a number of occasions, the little tag on my shirt flapping below my chin.

Noelle: So have you done research for any of your books?

Diana: Since you’re amazing at in-depth research, I thought I’d confess that I’m not. Lol. I research, of course, even for fantasy, but not to the depth required by historical fiction.
I can tell you how much a year-old pig weighs or how to treat an arrow wound or the sequence of human decomposition, but those are quick internet searches, not REAL research.

Noelle: How deeply do you get immersed in your writing?

Diana:  I can tell you, I get fully immersed in the world I’m creating and will mirror my characters’ expressions on my face as I write. My husband can tell exactly what type of scene I’m working on just by looking at me, and he frequently asks me if I’m okay.

Noelle:  How do you feel about your characters? Do they become part of you?

Diana:  I believe that when we create characters, we create real energetic entities who are capable of living beyond our pages and having an impact on the world. They’re the characters we fall in love with and learn from, the ones who change us. Once created, they can’t be uncreated. We set them free to live their lives independently of us, and we never forget them.  In a way, they’re just like “real” people we’ve interacted with but never met. We are all characters crafting our own stories, but if you haven’t met me, how do you know I’m real? And would it matter either way? Hmmm. There’s a premise for a book somewhere in there!

We finish our breakfast, drink two more cups of coffee, and chatter on before I let her go!

Here is my review of The Necromancer’s Daughter.

About the book

A healer and dabbler in the dark arts of life and death, Barus is as gnarled as an ancient tree. Forgotten in the chaos of the dying queen’s chamber, he spirits away her stillborn infant and in a hovel at the meadow’s edge, breathes life into the wisp of the dead child. He names her Aster for the lea’s white flowers. Raised as his daughter, she, too, learns to heal death.

Denied a living heir, the widowed king spies from a distance. But he heeds the claims of the fiery Vicar of the Red Order—in the eyes of the Blessed One, Aster is an abomination, and to embrace the evil of resurrection will doom his rule.

As the king’s life nears its end, he defies the vicar’s warning and summons the necromancer’s daughter. For his boldness, he falls to an assassin’s blade. Armed with righteousness and iron-clad conviction, the Red Order’s brothers ride into the leas to cleanse the land of evil.

To save her father’s life, Aster travels beyond Verdane’s wall, where her pursuers must stop, into the Forest of Silvern Cats, a wilderness of dragons and barbarian tribes. She must cross this land to reach the Mountains of Blackrock, where her uncle Atrayal rules. There she hopes to persuade him to help place her on the throne of Verdane.

Unprepared for a world rife with danger and unchecked power, a world divided by those who practice magic and those who hunt them, she must choose whether to trust the one man offering her aid, the one man most likely to betray her—the son of the Vicar of the Red Order.

My comments:

This is probably the finest fantasy novel I have ever read, right up there with Lord of the Rings. Where do I begin? Perhaps with the world itself, which is completely imaginative and creative. The author’s ability to create such worlds I’ve mentioned in previous reviews of her other books, but with this one, she has excelled even herself.

Complimenting this skill is the author’s way with words. She writes so beautifully that I often stopped to reread a page, just to enjoy the descriptions.

“…a mellow sun slanted across the meadow, turning the white swale of asters gold. A cool sea wind strayed though the garden and rustled the cherry trees. It clattered on the shutter and stole its way inside, carrying subtle fragrances of brine, chrysanthemums and chimney smoke.”

The story itself is compelling. A tale of good vs evil, with unexpected twists, set in this magical world.

Her characters are vivid: Barus with his broken body and kind heart; Taemus Graeger, Vicar of the Red Order, once a grieving father seeking the necromancer’s help, now a vicious seeker of anyone practicing witchcraft; the white-haired Aster, the still born child of the king, brought to life by Barus and determined to learn how to do this herself; Joreh Gaeger, son of the Vicar and a soldier of the Red Order, who finds himself conflicted by the Order’s holy tenets and his sense of rightness that he should help Aster when she is captured; and Teko, a huge man of the forest brought back to life by Aster.  Each of these main characters display the faults and frailties, generosities and kindnesses, strengths and weaknesses, and conflictions of life that make us human…and so relatable, especially the love between father and daughter. .

Did I mention dragons! Oh, there are dragons! Used in battle by forces of Blackrock, they flew over Aster’s home and she fed one of them apples – one with shades of silver and black marbling its scales – and they establish a bond. The dragons have minds of their own, but certain people can communicate with them and Aster turns out to be one.

I could not put this book down – until my eyelids drooped – and inhaled the story like a gourmet meal. This is, I think, the best of the author’s books on so many levels, and I cannot recommend it highly enough.

The Necromancer’s Daughter Links:

Amazon Global Link http://a-fwd.com/asin=B0B92G7QZX

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-necromancers-daughter-d-wallce-peach/1142003172

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/the-necromancer-s-daughter-1

Apple: https://books.apple.com/us/book/the-necromancers-daughter/id6443278849

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/1160370

About the author:

A long-time reader, best-selling author D. Wallace Peach started writing later in life when years of working in business surrendered to a full-time indulgence in the imaginative world of books. She was instantly hooked.

In addition to fantasy books, Peach’s publishing career includes participation in various anthologies featuring short stories, flash fiction, and poetry. She’s an avid supporter of the arts in her local community, organizing and publishing annual anthologies of Oregon prose, poetry, and photography.

Peach lives in a log cabin amongst the tall evergreens and emerald moss of Oregon’s rainforest with her husband, two owls, a horde of bats, and the occasional family of coyotes.

The author can be found

On twitter: @Dwallacepeach

On her blog: http://mythsofthemirror.com

On her website: dwallacepeachbooks.com

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125 thoughts on “AN INTERVIEW WITH D. WALLACE PEACH AND A REVIEW OF HER NEW BOOK, THE NECROMANCER’S DAUGHTER

  1. Wow.. What an absolutely splendid post!
    I’ve been so excited about this book that I was nervous it may not live up to expectation (sorry, Diana!) But now I’m thinking this might just blow me away.
    Thank you for sharing, Noelle!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Thank you so much for the fun interview, Noelle, and the for coffee and French toast in downtown Chapel Hill, a place I hadn’t visited before. I love the way you set up the interview. I was right there, having a conversation with you. Next best thing to real life. And thank you for the beautiful review. That really warmed my heart. I’m so glad you enjoyed the characters and the story. I couldn’t be more grateful and I’m delighted to spend the day (or two) here with you. Hugs.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Ooh, breakfast looks awesome! I could not get up at 4am every day! (Though I did rise at 5am daily for 13 years, lols. Now I’m in rebellion mode 😂) I do my best writing later in the day, and am most creative when I’m trying to get to sleep. Great post, Noelle and Diana. I loved The Necromancer’s Daughter! Wishing you every success, Diana. Thanks for sharing, Noelle. Have a wonderful week 💕🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  4. What an excellent review, Noelle–congratulations, Diana! I like so much about the interview, but what really stopped me was your comment about how your husband could tell exactly what type of scene you were working on by looking at you–and often asked if you were okay. I guess after all the books you’ve written, he’s used to this!

    Liked by 3 people

  5. I am right there with you, Noelle… Diana’s fantasy books rank up there with Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings. I love fantasy and she knows how to spin a tale filled with magic. This was a lovely interview. I enjoyed. Now, I want pancakes! LOL! 😆

    Liked by 3 people

  6. 4:00 AM? Oh, Diana, you must have super human strength to be awake at that hour, LOL. And I fully understand about mirroring your character’s facial features as you write. I’ve been caught doing the same thing!

    This was a fun interview, and I enjoyed being there with you and Noelle as you enjoyed breakfast. Congratulations on another fabulous review.

    Noelle, I am right there with you on Diana’s beautiful prose and storytelling ability. It’s what hooked me on her books from the start, and each new release just gets better and better. She puts many traditionally published fantasy authors to shame!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Thanks, Mae. My preferred writing time is why I’m never up past 8:00 at night. Lol. And so funny that you make faces too. I can’t help myself. Thanks for checking out Noelle’s review, and for the lovely endorsement of the book. I so appreciate it. Have a fabulous day. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  8. This is a wonderful review and interview! Our alarm starts going off at 4:15 every morning. I enjoy being up early before everyone else. 😀 I’m so glad to see Diana’s book here, and I can attest to how great it is!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. What a fabulous interview and review. I would have never guessed that you didn’t do a ton of research for this book, Diana. Your knowledge of crystals and herbs is vast (or at least it is in the book.) Great stop on this tour! I hope the book is selling well! Thank you, Noelle for hosting!

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Ha ha. I’m naturally interested in herbs, Jan, so researching that doesn’t feel like research. Learning about sailing tall ships was the most extensive of my projects, but generally, I just make stuff up! Thanks for swinging by Noelle’s, my friend. Have fun with your tour!

    Liked by 2 people

  11. This interview was brilliant (over CORNFLAKE french toast, nothing less! Please teach the UK how to french toast!), I found it very interesting that Diana chose to not write what she didn’t know at all, and used that to decide on the setting for the book. Your review was really captivating. I haven’t read much fantasy since falling head over heels for Lord of the Rings – nothing has ever compared, really, but the premise of The Necromancer’s Daughter, as well as my own knowledge of how brilliantly Diana writes, has me adding this book to my amazon basket 😀

    Liked by 3 people

  12. Wow!! Congratulations to Diana on the incredible review! From all the reviews on the blog tour, I’d say the book is award-worthy.

    I LOVE Diana’s discussion of her characters and how she feels about them. I feel the same way about mine.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. What a fun interview Noelle and Diana. I’ve been on this tour of Diana’s for nearly a month and every post has been entertaining. And lol girls, I know well about the getting dressed in the morning sometimes – once we get involved on the computer, my pj’s sometimes become the day’s attire until shower time, lol. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Greetings, Ka. This was my first visit to Chapel Hill, and what a treat to be taken out for breakfast. 🙂 Noelle’s been a wonderful host, and I’ve loved visiting with everyone here. Thanks for the lovely comments on the interview. I’m always fascinated by the research that goes into many genres of fiction, but I don’t have the patience. It’s why I write fantasy. It’s so much easier to just make stuff up! Lol. Have a beautiful day, my friend. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I also love research (but I don’t write much historical fiction), and I love and relate to what you said about characters. Really enjoyed this post, your novel, and the tour, Diana. Best wishes.

    Thanks for hosting, Noelle.

    Liked by 1 person

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