Monarchy, religion, culture and love collide in ancient China’s warring society. All come to rest upon the shoulders of Aster, a gentle soul content in her life. At the start of this tale, her dead infant body is stolen from her mother, the Queen of Verdane. Aster is brought back to life by Barus. Barus becomes her father, the only one she knows & loves.
Resa – Why &/or how did you come up withe the name Aster?
Peach – That’s an easy one. She’s so pale that she reminded Barus of the white asters that grew in the meadows around his home. I imagined that when in bloom the flowers almost looked like snow.
Resa – I just have to ask, ” When did you discover the idea of “necromancy” … that it could bring people back to life?
Peach – Great question! Necromancy is (or was) a real thing, and the earliest records date back to the 3rd century, AD. Christian priests and scholars were some of the first to record attempts to “reanimate dead people or foretell the future by communicating with them.” So, it’s been around a long time, and I’m willing to swear that the desire to communicate with the dead continues today. Ouija Boards are a modern example, and some people make a very good living channeling departed souls.
Peach – In modern fantasy, most necromancers are evil and scary, involved in black magic and creating monsters. My mother didn’t want to read the book because she thought it was about cannibals. Lol. It’s a stereotype that I flipped on its head with Barus and Aster.
Resa – Did you make up the ritual? The mixing of herbs… the incanting…. the bleeding? Or did you read about it somewhere? Are there aster flowers in the potion?
Fortunately, she has the help of Joreh, then Teko. Oh, and I love all the hair on the men. Okay, not so much the beards, but all that long hair be it snarled, in a ponytail, braid or grey. I confess I have a huge crush on Teko.
Resa – There is a black & silver Dragon, who has bonded with Aster. It seems like a simple bonding, until the final legs of the journey to claim her birthright. What gave you the idea to use dragons?
Peach – In the Chinese legend of Kwan-Yin, the Goddess of Mercy, there’s a dragon. She encounters it on the road while carrying water, and she isn’t afraid. The dragon admires her goodness and kindness and gives her a gift of a well so she won’t have to carry water anymore. Just the mention of a dragon was enough for me to include them in the retelling of her story. ❤
Resa – On her journey, Aster encounters “Nightlings”. Are these like fire flies? Or are they little birds? I’d read a small portion of the book when they were encountered. In my mind I saw them as a sort of flashlight, leading Aster through darkness.
Resa – I have a question about Aster’s raiment once she has reached Blackrock. Aster is cleaned up and dressed in rose, cream and violet silk with a blue sash sleeveless blue robe/w dragons on the hem. Her hair is in a tall knot. This description is not as brightly colourful as the citizens are dressed. Am I correct in summing up that her outfit in Blackrock is a less richly hued than the one she wears at the Gates of Whitehall?
A long-time reader, best-selling author D. Wallace Peach started writing later in life after the kids were grown and a move left her with hours to fill. Years of working in business surrendered to a full-time indulgence in the imaginative world of books, and when she started writing, 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.
You can buy D. Wallace Peach’s books on:
All pics of street art taken by Resa – 2019 – 2022
This is one fabulous story!
Dragon (manipulated) – from a mural by Allan Bender John Nobrega & Stacey Kinder
All other street artists unknown