If one is looking for Literature, you don't need to go far on deviantART. There is a large community of writers and a plethora of work to peruse. Featuring genres such as fantasy, mystery, horror, and romance, one would be hard-pressed to find an area not covered. However, due to the nature of the site, shorter works tend to get more focus. It's easier to quickly read a poem or a short story, and thus many of the feature articles on dA showcase those works. However, there are many novelists and serial writers among the mix, oftentimes fighting an uphill battle to have their works seen and appreciated.
With that in mind, I have started an article to spotlight some of those artists and their literary-worlds. The works covered in this feature will exclusively be long-form fiction such as novels, trilogies, etc., or fiction serials.
Editor's Note: As an avid fan of the author, Endorell-Taelos takes the reins of this issue as we feature the novel trilogy of Selina Fenech. ~Mirz
Current Stop - AvallThe next stop on our Literary journey is the fantasy world of Avall, created by Selina Fenech (SelinaFenech) and featured in "Memory's Wake."
What better way to find out what a book is about than reading the back cover. Grab the virtual paperback and flip it over to see what Memory's Wake is about...
Lost in a world full of monstrous fairies, a troubled sixteen year old has to find out who she is, and why her memories were stolen, before she is found by those who want her dead.
The ground trembled into a shiver, growing outwards, expanding quickly, up tree trunks, along branches, tickling the leaves at the treetops. A thousand voices whispered. Brilliant. I’m hallucinating.
Of course, the best way to learn about a Literary World is to visit it yourself. Here are some works from Memory's Wake to help whet your appetite.
Memory's Wake - Chapter OneMemory's Wake - Chapter One
I’m falling, she thought.
Rushing air tore at her like claws and her stomach churned. She knew only darkness and the horrible, hateful wind.
She jolted into consciousness as if waking from a nightmare, one so real, so intense, it left her soul shaken. All she remembered from her dream was the noise; a furious rumble like the call of a hungry dragon from a dark fairytale. It turned her insides as much as the sensation of falling. Now awake, she couldn’t understand why she still heard it, why she still felt like she plummeted into hell. Some other sound teased her, unidentifiable, lost in the wind.
“What’s happening? Is someone calling me? Where am I?” Pain rampaged through her and the questions fell away. She thought she might throw up.
A voice reached her. Persistent, hysterical, all static and unclear sounds.
She called out, tearing her throat raw with effort, trying to reach through the gusting void to
Memory's Wake - Chapter TwoEarlier.
Why has it become so hard just to keep my mind on a simple book? Focus, Eloryn ordered herself. Her eyes skimmed over words without absorbing any meaning. She pinched her forehead and flicked back a page, trying to find the last information she’d actually retained from The Principles and History of Infantry Warfare. Alward no doubt had his reasons for making this dull book part of her syllabus but she couldn’t see how it would ever be much use to her, either for her teaching or in practice. If she was learning things she couldn’t share with her own students, she’d prefer to be studying magic.
Learning used to be easy. As a child, Eloryn already knew everything Alward taught the farmers’ children. She went to classes with them anyway, enjoying being with the other students. They stopped coming at age ten, schooled enough for their lives tending fields. She became a teacher herself after that while her own education continued.
Memory's Wake - Chapter ThreeShe had looked at him as if he were some kind of animal. Worse. A monster. The terror in her eyes crushed his heart, as though the rockslide that closed the cave entrance had also fallen on it.
He had waited for her for so long. He ran the moment he heard the noise, that same gusting howl he remembered from his first night in this world, coming from the very same spot. The night he would never forget. Just how long had it been? The years felt longer for being unable to count them, but shorter for his time spent with the fae. So long, lost in that forest, doubting he’d ever see her again, that his memories of her were even real. But here she was, looking just the same. Same age, same hair, same clothes, even the same bruises as the day he had lost her. He no longer doubted.
The dust from the rockslide cleared and the hunting men who had chased the girls still surrounded him. Them and the dragon. It circled above, waiting for something. To give the men their next order? He shifted
Memory Wake's Art
Literary Universes are worlds created out of words on pages, but many authors now expand beyond that. Creating or commissioning art of their characters and settings is a way to help enrich the reading experience for their fans, as well as help inspire the creators themselves. We asked the creator to pick out three of her favorite pieces and tell us why they are so special to her.
1. This illustration from Memory's Wake is a fan favourite, and one of mine as well. It shows the mysterious wildling and his fairy companion who are keeping an eye on Memory. The wildling is my favourite character (second to the main character, Memory), and I really wanted to make him very handsome! He's kind of a cross between Jensen Ackles and Ian Somerhalder. If only we could breed such beauty in real life, MWAHAHAHA.
2. This group portrait isn't from any particular scene in the books, I just really wanted a pretty portrait of all my characters together. It's probably the most detailed illustration I've ever done and I'm still pretty proud of it. It also gives my characters a sense of well needed peace, because I tend to put them through a lot in the story.
3. From the first chapter of book two of the trilogy, one of the characters gets trapped in a fairy ring. You've got to watch out for those!
Why was everyone she’d met so far so damn pretty! Amnesia or not, Memory knew pretty people lied too. Everyone lies, her heart told her. Wow, learned something new about myself. Turns out I’m a cynic. Surprise.
The second-best way to learn about a literary work is to talk to the creator. Selina Fenech was nice enough to sit down for a Q&A about her series and other works.
Please introduce yourself.
I'm Selina Fenech. I'm primarily a visual artist, and have been self employed doing my creative thing for almost ten years now, painting and selling fantasy art and merch. But I love to tell stories too and finally got to my dream of writing a novel, Memory's Wake. Then the writing bug really had its teeth in me and I haven't been able to stop. The second novel in the Memory's Wake trilogy just came out and I'm already writing the third! And of course, the novels are illustrated with my art as well.
How long have you been writing?
About fifteen years, but with a REALLY long gap in the middle. I wrote a lot of stories when I was a teen, but got distracted with other things (art!) for a while until I got serious about writing again in 2009.
Tell us a little about your novel/series?
It's a strange genre mash up of fantasy (magic, dragons, and fairy creatures), a modern main character, Arthurian mythology, and a pre-industrial revolution semi-Victorian era world. The main character is thrown into this world, Avall, with no memories, but with a very important role in the lives of the other characters in Avall, the politics and ruling of Avall, and the very existence of it. It's a story full of action, angst, and twists.
When/How did you come up with the idea of your novel/series?
Back when I was really into comic books, I started playing with the idea of a series with characters similar to these. It was a more typical "portal fantasy" (nothing to do with GLaDOS), just a modern girl in a standard fantasy world. When I decided to turn the idea into a full length novel, I spent a long time developing a stronger story for the characters, combining all my favourite fantasy things such as fairies, wildlings, and Victorian era style.
Who are your two favorite characters and why? (Yes, I know picking only two is hard.)
Memory, the main character, is my favourite, hands down (sorry other fiction babies!). She's this sarcastic, tough, street kid with the humour of a fourteen year old boy, wrapped around an intensely vulnerable interior.
Will, the wildling, is my second favourite. His story is so tragic and moving, a tale of love and loss and waiting, waiting, waiting. He's so loyal. Also hot. And half naked a lot of the time.
What’s one of the best compliments you’ve gotten on the novel/series?
I feel all warm and glowy EVERY time anyone tells me they enjoyed my book. It's even better when they say they can't wait to read the next book, or those who've read Memory's Wake many times! I also got a lovely sense of validation recently when Memory's Wake won the fantasy category for the Indie Reader Discovery Awards.
What would you estimate the readership of the work has been/is?
In the thousands. It's hard to say. I can see how many people download my book (precisely 17,210!) but there's no way to know how many have read it
Just for fun, if you could pick an actor or actress to pay the lead protagonist and antagonist, who would you choose?
This is a tough question for Memory's Wake. For Memory and Eloryn, the main girls, the actresses would have to be unknowns with a very specific quality. Those who've finished Memory's Wake will know why! Otherwise, I've thought Liam Hemsworth would be a good match for Will (has the eyes and build). Jeremy Sumpter would make a good Roen.
Aside from this novel/series, what are some of the other works you’ve done (if any)?
I've got an ongoing series of young adult paranormal romance novellas (well, the first is out, and more will be eventually!). The Empath Chronicles are based on the concept of people with superpowers they get by absorbing other people's emotions.
What’s your favorite part of the writing process?
The planning stages. I love plotting out the storyline in advance, creating the web the characters will be caught in. I create quite detailed outlines before I start writing the prose so I know exactly what my characters are doing when, and why. Actually writing out the details after that is a lot harder for me.
What are your goals for the series/novel?
I plan to complete the trilogy and finish it there. There are possibilities of spin-offs, but no more on the story arc for these character. Gosh, that sounds really final like they are all going to die... No, I'm not planning anything quite that cruel, I've just got so many other ideas I want to write and explore!
Thanks for having me on Literary Compass! Some people write because they just love to write. Others do it for money, or fame. For me, the biggest joy, the reason I do it, is to share my stories! It makes me happy every single time someone reads my books (and lets me know what they think, I LURV feedback!).
Memory's Wake has its own website here- with lots of art and extras. The first two books in the series are available in ebook and paperback, check the official site for links to your favourite book retailer. If you're thinking of checking Memory's Wake out, its FREE on Amazon Kindle for the 5th-7th June right here. There's also a dA fan group you can find here.
You can view past editions of the series here ---> literarycompass.deviantart.com…
If you would like to recommend a novel or series to be considered for Literary Compass, please drop me a note. A series or novel must have a deviantART base , be fairly established, have supporting art, and offer some 2-3 excerpts/literary pieces for reading. You MAY self-suggest your own work.
Guidelines and FAQ for the series can be found here ---> mirz-alt.deviantart.com/journa…
Commissioned journal CSS and map background created by GillianIvy
Coding modified and formatted by Ravenswd
Art featured in article courtesy of SelinaFenech