A quick appreciative ad here: If you’re a manual typewriter enthusiast and are wondering how you can replace the crumbly, rock-hard, squashed feet of a machine you’ve otherwise lovingly cleaned up and restored, I know just the guy who can help you! Steven Dade of California will custom-build rubber feet for any typewriter. He’s reasonable, works very quickly, does a stellar job, and insists the feet fit to your satisfaction before he gets paid. He’s also a great guy to talk typewriters with! Contact him at email@example.com or call (805) 581-6030. I did, and I highly recommend him!
Book Cover Revealed
Saga Press has revealed the cover of my forthcoming book, A Green and Ancient Light, due to hit shelves in mid-June 2016 — just in time for Midsummer’s Eve! Here’s the cover, followed by some thoughts on it from me:
I can’t imagine a cover more perfectly suited to this book. The title refers to the light that filters through the leaves of the forest — a place of timeless enchantment. I love the dark corners reflecting ever-present danger — and the arched, ancient doorway that seems both a part of the light and a part of the forest. It plays with our perspective: what is in front, and what is behind? Along with the ghostly figure of the deer, the archway invites the reader into a world of magic and mystery.
Visit My Facebook Page!
I hope to see you there! https://www.facebook.com/fredericsdurbin
“The Girl Who Writes the Future” is now complete! Illustrated by Emily Fiegenschuh, it appeared in six parts in Cricket Magazine this year. Although I had the privilege of writing this story, the characters and some of the special fantasy objects were created by the magazine’s young readers in the first-of-its-kind crowd-sourced story — a project aptly called “Crowd-Sorcery.” Don’t miss it! By clicking on that link and scrolling down to “Read the Story,” you can read the entire story (and see its illustrations) on Cricket‘s web site!
I also highly recommend Emily Fiegenschuh’s blog — click here. Some of her recent posts have featured sketches she did for the Crowd-Sorcery project (along with her explanatory notes) that do not appear in the published story, so check out this rare look into the artistic development of “The Girl Who Writes the Future”! She has just put up a fascinating post about how she designed the look for the nefarious villain Khaos — read about it here!
Stellar Company: A Review
Here’s a video on YouTube that has left me speechless:
Thank you, Ms. Davis!
AUDIO Dragonfly NOW AVAILABLE!
DRAGONFLY is now also downloadable in audio format from Audible! The unabridged text of this dark fantasy novel is read by Casey Holloway and may be found easily on Amazon (where you can also listen to a brief excerpt). Of course, if you’re new to this page, please don’t miss the print DRAGONFLY (find more information by clicking “WORKS” in the toolbar above).
The incomparable Patty Templeton has conducted an interview with me that is up on the BLACK GATE web site. Please read it here!
THE STAR SHARD: Good Reviews Keep Coming!
Here’s from the latest, by Michelle Villarmia, through NetGalley:
“Frederic S. Durbin’s The Star Shard is a fairy tale among fairy tales. The world is full of fantasy and wonder, perfectly fitting . . . I quickly fell in love with [the main character], despite our age difference. She showed me things that I hadn’t seen in a while. She was fun to get to know . . . I connected with her.
“Durbin builds a magical world, perfect for the imagination of a young child. It’s hard for me to fully express how much awe I was in. The images described were vivid, the world outstanding, and the characters wonderful. . . . It was a nice break away from the worlds of emotional teenage angst.”
The reviews are coming in! Here’s what critics are saying about The Star Shard.
“Durbin has created a world that . . . comes alive with fantastic creatures and a varied cast of supporting characters. Cymbril herself is a strong heroine — loyal, resourceful, and brave. While this story is satisfactorily concluded with surprise revelations and limited loose ends, there is plenty of scope for a follow-up.”
From The Bulletin:
“Evocative imagery, an enthralling world, and a fully realized storyline that does not depend on future installments make this a standout among recent pre-YA fantasies. The charm of old-school fantasy blends with the mechanics of steampunk aboard the Rake, making the massive city feel both menacing in its size and enchanting in its secrets. Cymbril’s longing for freedom is deeply felt, and even as she acknowledges her privileges as one of the more well-kept slaves, her desire to become more than the possession of another person and find a life of her own will resonate with young readers just coming into their independence. Durbin’s quiet, reverent tone does slow some of the more action-driven scenes, but the lush, almost poetic prose is something readers will want to linger over anyway.”
From Asher Knight on NetGalley:
“An engrossing, fascinating tale . . . The Star Shard is a wondrous fantasy read that reminded me why I adore the genre so much and granted me characters I was surprised, but thrilled, to love.
“More, the fantastical world-building is a soft, compelling voice that takes us through and tells of a vivid, magical world, one so thoroughly built, we almost refuse to part with it.”
By way of introduction: I am a writer of fantasy fiction for children and adults, including stories in Cricket Magazine, The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, and Black Gate. My first novel, Dragonfly (Arkham House and Ace Fantasy) is a dark fantasy for adults and for precocious children. For more about Dragonfly: http://www.fredericsdurbin.com/?page_id=1384
Creative Writing Instruction
Attention, classroom teachers and librarians in the Pittsburgh area: I am also an exuberant presenter on creative writing. In addition to readings and book events, I love to deliver interactive programs on writing-related skills ranging from basic mechanics to story-building. Some highlights include:
- Creative writing techniques
- Focus on the joy of reading and writing
- 22 years of teaching experience
- Groups of any size
- Length and content custom-tailored to every classroom or program
Each mini-workshop includes a free packet of additional resources for teachers. To schedule a presentation, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.