I thought that today would be an off day for the Summer 2012 THIEFTAKER Blog Tour, but as it turns out, I have two unexpected stops on today’s agenda.  One is a blog post at the Black Gate Magazine Blog, and the other is an interview with Justin B. at A Bibliophile’s Reverie.

I hope you enjoy both posts, preferably in the comfort of an air conditioned room or coffee house.  Stay cool!

For today’s installment of THIEFTAKER Blog Tour 2012, I am at Unusual Historicals today, with an excerpt from THIEFTAKER.  I’ll be back there again on Sunday, July 1 with an interview AND a chance to win a free copy of the book.  Also, I thought I would mention that THIEFTAKER has made “The Ranting Dragon” list of the 20 most anticipated releases for July.  This isn’t an official part of the Blog Tour, but it’s pretty cool anyway!

The Summer 2012 THIEFTAKER Blog Tour takes me to two blogs today.  One belongs to Lucienne Diver, my terrific agent and a wonderful writer in her own right. I’m talking about characterization, in particular the inspiration for the lovely and dangerous Sephira Pryce from THIEFTAKER.  And we’re giving away a copy of the book, so be sure to stop by! I am also at the blog of friend and author extraordinaire Cie Adams, posting about the joy of writing under a pseudonym.  I hope you’ll check out and enjoy both posts.

Today the Summer 2012 THIEFTAKER Blog Tour makes two stops, one at the blog of the fabulous and debonaire Blake Charlton, where I talk about my journey from academia to fiction writing; and the other at Sideshow Freaks, the blog for Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show, where I discuss the role short fiction has played in my development of the Thieftaker world.  Both blogs allow readers to leave comments, so please stop by, read the posts, and join the conversation.  Many thanks!

The Summer 2012 Blog Tour for THIEFTAKER continues today with my post at http://www.SFNovelists.com, the blog site I share with a group of approximately 100 published authors in fantasy and science fiction.  The post is called “Blending Mystery and Speculative Fiction,” and it is about the ways in which cross-genre works appeal to fans various writing styles.  I hope you enjoy it.  And I hope that you will continue to follow the Blog Tour over the next several weeks.  I will be writing posts on many aspects of writing and marketing at a variety of sites.  The schedule for the tour can be found here.

The D.B. Jackson Summer 2012 THIEFTAKER Blog Tour is now fully underway.  Yesterday I wrote about “What Authors of Historical Fiction Owe to History” at “A Dribble of Ink,” the wonderful blog site of Aidan Moher.  Today the tour continues with a post I’ve written for the blog of my friend Barbara Ashford, a terrific writer with whom I share not only a passion for history, but also personal roots in the New York area.  Barbara writes as both Barbara Ashford and Barbara Campbell, and so my post, which is on blending fantasy with history, can be found here or here.

I hope you enjoy both posts.

Calling Thieftaker (my upcoming novel under the name D.B. Jackson) “fabulous” and “a rousing mix of fantasy and history,” Bitten By Books has given the book 5 Gravestones (out of 5), which, for those who are unfamiliar with the site, is the same as a 5 star review.  The full review can be found here.  And for those who would like to see what others have said about Thieftaker, I have gathered reviews and quotes here for your convenience.

I am walking on air.  Have a good weekend.

"A Spell of Vengeance" by D.B. Jackson (Illustration by Chris McGrath)“A Spell of Vengeance,” the newest Thieftaker short story is now out and available at Tor. com.  Just click here.  There is no charge to read the story.  That’s right:  It’s free!

Here is the introduction to the story that appears at the Tor website:

Ethan Kaille is a thieftaker in Colonial Boston, scratching out a living by restoring stolen property to its rightful owners. But unlike others in his profession, Ethan relies on magical spells as well as his wits to track down thieves. Being a conjurer doesn’t make him popular with the law in Boston, so Ethan is taken aback when the sheriff seeks his help in settling a dispute between a pair of wealthy merchants and a ship’s captain who has threatened their lives. Ethan knows the captain can back up his threats with magic of his own. But there is more to this matter than the merchants have let on, and Ethan soon discovers that what he doesn’t know might actually kill him.

The illustration from the story was done by the wonderful Chris McGrath, the same artist who did the jacket art for Thieftaker.

I hope you will check out the story, and, of course, I hope you enjoy it!

Spellcrossed, by Barbara AshfordToday, I welcome to my blogsite Barbara Ashford, one of my friends from the SFNovelists online group.  Barbara has a new book out his month.  Spellcrossed is the second novel in her Crossroads Theater series.  She and I have found that we have far more in common than we ever imagined, including a love of historical research and a passion for writing fantasy.  Please welcome her.

On the surface, David and I don’t seem to have a lot in common. He lives in Tennessee. I live outside New York City. He listens to jazz and bluegrass. I sing show tunes. He writes epic fantasy. I write…well, people are still trying to decide exactly how to categorize Spellcast and Spellcrossed. They have fantasy, mystery, a paranormal romance. They’re about people trying to find their paths in life. The families we’re given and the families we find. The bonds of community. And musical theatre.

Yes, I’m a double dose of geekiness – a lover of musical theatre and fantasy. Writing the Crossroads Theatre series allowed me to play in both worlds and draw on my years as an actress to create a fantasy set in a magical summer stock theatre.

To my surprise, another of my passions came into play while writing Spellcast: a passion for history that David and I share.

Spellcast and Spellcrossed are structured like a musical with an overture, a finale, and entr’actes separating the three acts. While the main narrative belongs to Maggie Graham, a young woman trying to get her life in order, the entr’actes showcase Rowan Mackenzie, the theatre director with uncanny powers and a mysterious past.

Originally, I wanted to use snippets from Rowan’s autobiographical musical as the entr’actes in Spellcast. I got so excited about the idea that instead of just writing the snippets, I started writing the show itself.

Since it took place over the course of a century, I quickly realized I needed to do some research on American history in general and Vermont history in particular. How did farming change during the nineteenth century? What financial upheavals would have impelled the characters to leave the family farm? To sell the timber rights to their land? What songs were popular during the American Revolution? The Civil War? Which Vermont regiments fought at Gettysburg? When was the first edition of the McGuffey Reader published? What books would this farm family read? Which ones would give Rowan a view of the world beyond the few acres to which he was bound by a curse?

I spent happy hours discovering the answers and working that information into the scenes that would chart Rowan’s emotional growth. I built his first friendships, his first grudging steps into the rural Vermont community. I laid the foundations for what would eventually become the Crossroads Theatre. And I wrote the entire show in three days.

It was a wild and exhilarating ride. By the end, I had a one-act musical that could stand on its own. But when I used one of those scenes as the first entr’acte in Spellcast, my editor and I agreed that the shift from narrative to play script was just too jarring. So I fell back on the convention of journal entries to give readers insight into Rowan’s past and his feelings for Maggie.

Disappointing? A little. But I don’t consider it wasted time. Whether or not the play is ever published or performed, writing By Iron Bound helped me dig deeper into Rowan’s character and the events that shaped his life. It recharged my creativity to write in a different art form. And it gave me the opportunity to combine all of my loves in one project. Hard to beat that.

One final piece of history. After I sent this post to David, we discovered that we have something else in common: he grew up in the same Westchester County town that I lived in during the early years of my marriage. Truth is stranger than fiction.

Thanks for playing host today, David. Now turn on some music and write!

Visit www.barbara-ashford.com to learn more about the world of the Crossroads Theatre and find out how to win a free copy of Spellcast or Spellcrossed.

Today’s post can be found at http://magicalwords.net, the group blog on the business and craft of writing fantasy that I maintain with fellow authors Faith Hunter, Misty Massey, A.J. Hartley, C.E. Murphy, and Kalayna Price, among others. The post is called “THIEFTAKER Promo Kickoff and a Contest Giveaway,” and it’s about how I came to write THIEFTAKER. And it also includes a chance to win a Thieftaker t-shirt! All you need to do is preorder THIEFTAKER, which you really ought to do anyway…. I hope you enjoy it.