This past week we gave the spotlight to The Living Waters, Dan Fitzgerald’s Sword-free Fantasy novel, the first book in The Weirdwater Confluence duology. Our Roadies brought a wide selection of content to this show with their reviews, interviews and more. Now it’s time to bring the show to an end and it’s my pleasure to present you with the encore, including some extra content. Come and learn a bit more about the world of The Living Waters through our Q&A with Dan! And don’t forget to enter the giveaway!
Dan Fitzgerald is the fantasy author of the Maer Cycle trilogy (character-driven low-magic fantasy) and the upcoming Weirdwater Confluence duology (sword-free fantasy with unusual love stories). The Living Waters comes out October 15, 2021 and The Isle of a Thousand Worlds arrives January 15, 2022, bothfrom Shadow Spark Publishing.
He lives in Washington, DC with his wife, twin boys, and two cats. When not writing he might be found doing yoga, gardening, cooking, or listening to French music.
Connect with Dan Fitzgerald
Connect with Shadow Spark Publishing
When two painted-faced nobles take a guided raft trip on a muddy river, they expect to rough it for a few weeks before returning to their life of sheltered ease. But when mysterious swirls start appearing in the water, even their seasoned guides get rattled.
The mystery of the swirls lures them on to seek the mythical wetlands known as the Living Waters. They discover a world beyond their imagining, but stranger still are the worlds they find inside their own minds as they are drawn deep into the troubles of this hidden place.
The Living Waters is a sword-free fantasy novel featuring an ethereal love story, meditation magic, and an ancient book with cryptic marginalia.
Click on the blog name to read their full review or other content!
NOVEMBER 28TH – THE KICKOFF
“I have been a yoga practitioner for a few years now, and though I haven’t done much dedicated meditation practice, there is a lot of meditation in my yoga class, and I’ve found it fascinating and inspiring. The idea of centering the mind, clearing distractions, digging deep and finding the stillness at the heart of the mind’s hurricane, is super appealing to me, and it’s been part of how I depict magic since I started writing fantasy. In the Maer Cycle, you will see hints of this, from Finn’s yoga-inspired bodily control magic to Ujenn and Sasha’s mind magic. But in the Weirdwater Confluence, I’ve taken this idea and really run with it.”
Paul’s Picks – review
“An easy read at just 300 pages and a small cast of characters… like the atmosphere of this book. The rhythm of the days and nights spent manning the oars. This book sneaks up on you and the freshness of the narrative continually made me want to read more.”
Neil the Book Guy – review
“Truly this was a magical tale in a well crafted world that made me want to explore so much more! Not only do I want to spend more time in the Living Waters but I want to explore the cities and cultures that Dan Fitzgerald touched on at all throughout the story. Not to mention I can’t wait to find out what happens next in book 2! If you are looking for something totally unlike anything else you’ve ever read then I would recommend The Living Waters. However, just to warn you, if you are looking for a more fast paced and less contemplative more normal fantasy trope, then this may not be for you.”
@apocketfuloftomes – review + IG spotlight
“I find this book oddly calming. It’s serene and unassuming which is a good thing coz I’ve been too into grimdark lately ?”
Jorie Loves A Story – first impression review
“Fitzgerald is quite the subtle writer – he doesn’t envelope you in the Speculative and Fantastical elements of his story and series straight-away but rather prefers to introduce you to his lead character and to get your bearings within his world.”
@ofproseandspells – review + IG spotlight
“Of course, the characters were well-written. I really like the dynamics. Each had their own motivations, came from different social status, and flaws. Not only the main characters were fleshed-out but the side characters, too. This is one of the books wherein it was easy to connect emotionally to the characters because they just felt so vivid and real.”
@curlytopreads – review + IG spotlight
“This is definitely the kind of fantasy to read if you are looking for a story that goes more in depth about the character and their emotions versus the action and fighting. I really appreciate Dan Fitzgerald’s writing, and how smoothly it weaves the story together. He has a very lyrical way of writing that leaves you with the utter sense of wonder. You can’t help but feel immersed in the world. There’s an aura of mystery throughout and the characters are well fleshed out and naunced.”
Witty and Sarcastic Bookclub – guest post: Water photography: inspiration for The Living Waters
“Photography was my pandemic hobby, and I discovered a hidden world just a few minutes walk from my doorstep on Capitol Hill, DC. Most of the photos you see here were taken by me within one mile of my house, so within two miles of the US Capitol building. The photos have been retouched using various filters and effects on Instagram, to better capture what my eye saw, which the camera sometimes fails to show.”
“The book is intended for adults or an older age group as there is some content that could be considered a bit sexual in nature though not overbearing or in graphic detail at all. there is also plenty of action throughout the book to keep you entertained and a great adventure in a beautifully set up world filled with great characters, beasts, twists, and tough moral situations.”
“You’ll hear a lot of people describing The Living Waters as “sword-free fantasy,” and it is, but don’t think that means boring. This book is rich, intricate, fresh, and imaginative.”
“Over all, I love Dan’s easy style and the way the chapters flow into one another. The world he has created is diverse and well developed and I am excited to read more of it in the future.”
Welcome back to the Asylum, Dan! Take a seat by the fire, have a glass of beverage of your choice and tell us something interesting that happened to you since we’ve last seen you!
Good to be back, Timy! I’m enjoying a Diet Dr Pepper, as is my wont. The most interesting thing that’s happened since my last visit is returning to teach in person, which has been amazing! A lot of my students really suffered setbacks in the virtual environment, and it’s great to see their smiling faces again. Or rather, I assume they are smiling behind their masks.
What was the most exotic place you’ve visited so far? Did it inspire any of your work? How that experience affected you personally?
The most exotic place I’ve visited might not seem too exotic, being so close to home, but believe me, it was! You may know that the book was inspired by a real-life trip on a log raft on the Mississippi River, which you can read about here. That experience affected me personally in many ways, and I would not be the same person if I’d never set foot on that raft.
The Living Waters is inspired by all of my visits to uninhabited and out of the way places; I love the sense of mystery and oneness with the world I find there. The eponymous wetlands in the book are an homage to all such places in the world, and the marvels that can be found there.
Your MC is locked in an asylum. What did he/she do to end up there?
Sylvan might well be locked up if he told anyone what he saw on the trip. He scientists at the university where he teaches would not believe him, and might think he had become touched. Though as a painted face, he would probably be taken to a posh recovery center, or maybe even to Endula (see below)
Describe an asylum set in the world of your book, The Living Waters!
The rich would have access to places like Endulai, the holy meditation city. There is a reference to someone convalescing there after a bout with mental illness, and she seems to have found solace in the peace of their practice. The techniques are called philosophical medicine, and while not all scientists believe in the oractice, it’s popular among the people.
For the poor, there would be nowhere to go, unless they lived in Rontaia, where the Endulian temple does care for the poor, to the extent they can. Side note: in The Isle of a Thousand Worlds, there are references to he search for alchemical tinctures that could help cure ailments of the mind, which might make the MC a pretty penny…
If you were a character in your book, how would you be described? And what your profession/role would be? How long do you think, you would survive?
I would be described as a teacher or a scholar, both of which are respected professions. I might even be a painted face, though more like Temi than Sylvan—my family never had much money. I think I would do well in this world, and could find work very much like what I do now (I teach French). I would be very interested in learning some of the languages of this world!
If you could launch a release party with your MC(s) present, how that would go down?
I would love to have a party on a log raft with my MCs! I miss the river life, the simplicity of it, just floating, seeing what comes next. We could float down the river and maybe sell a few copies in towns we ran into along the way!
Well then, it was a pleasure to have a chat with you again! Please allow these nice attendants to escort you out. We hope you’ll enjoy your continued stay in the Asylum! Is there anything else you need? *locks door*
Thank you for having me! I will take advantage of this extended stay to explore the universe of my own mind. As Cloti says in her treatise, to find the Thousand Worlds, you must seek within, as without…a Rafflecopter giveaway
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