It is with great pleasure we welcome
Diane back for the SBTS. This week she will be telling us about her newest
If you missed her first visit, please
Read on my friends.
Lady Diane McGyver fell in love with the fantasy genre when at the age of
13 an awesome Dungeon Master introduced her to Dungeons & Dragons. From
there, she landed in the world created by Terry Brooks, then journeyed into the
realms crafted by Mercedes Lackey. By the age of 16, she was truly lost to
magical lands and dreamt of one day living in one or two.
Her future goal is to write fantasy stories until she’s 100 years old.
She’s already made plans to retire–at an early age–to write by the sea where
she spent her childhood. There, she will live in a peel tower or a stone
cottage and raise chickens, commune with trees and find adventure.
Title: Dragons in the Dungeon
Synopsis: Ryan McCormac is addicted to playing Mediaeval Dungeon
Adventures with friends every Friday night. He’s so consumed with the
role-playing game that he wishes he could find a spell to transport him into
that world where he could create his own campaign. One day, his wish comes
true. But his friends aren’t there, and the world is nothing like he thought it
would be. Every day he fears for
his life. The people are soulless, the landscape is colourless and the magic is
nowhere to be found. The only way home is to find another like him and
five years, he’s finally found someone from his world. Now he just has to get
her to the wizard who can perform the spell. Simple right? Except she’s a
gatherer and before he reaches the wizard, she’s gathered several friends who
plan to save her.
If you played Dungeons and Dragons in the 1980s, you’ve got this. You know the feeling of joining friends on a quest, choosing your race, be it dwarf or elf, your profession, possibly fighter or thief, gathering your gear and exploring endless dungeons. This story is a tribute to those days when life was good, music was better and days were endless.
The Story Behind the Story: When I was 13 years old, an amazing
Dungeon Master introduced me to the role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons.
While I had dabbled in fantasy worlds before this and had dreamt of magic,
fairies and dragons, D&D was the beginning of fully understanding and immersing
myself in such fantastic places.
idea behind Dragons in the Dungeon developed when I was a teen and playing
Dungeons and Dragons. My daydreams were filled with the possibility of finding
a spell and being transported into that fantasy world I ventured into with my
friends every Friday night.
my friends and I discussed the possibility of living in that realm, I could see
they were joking, not taking it seriously, whereas I was giving real consideration
about actually doing it.
a little silly about genuinely thinking about entering the fantasy world, I
never voiced my honest opinion, and I never wrote a story about the possibility
because I feared my friends would learn just how crazy I was. Like most young
writers, that fear of readers thinking I was all that I wrote about limited my
forward 30 years, and now I don’t give a second thought to if readers think I’m
crazy. In 2022, the idea for a story focused on a player of the game finding a
spell and being transported into the fantasy realm came to me in dream. It was
time to write it, and write I did.
started May 7, 2022, and completed the first draft on August 5, 2022. My goal
was 100,000 words, but it ended at 154,122 words.
I may never find that spell to transport me into a magnificent fantasy world,
complete with dungeons and dragons, it doesn’t stop me from dreaming and
looking for one.
Diana's Website: Go HERE.
A couple of questions before you go, Diane:
Scribbler: What is the perfect setting for you when you write your stories?
write my stories directly onto the computer. I took typing for three years in
high school, so I’m able to type quickly and blindly. This means I can close my
eyes, visualize a scene and write it. Adding to this, I like to be in a quiet
space, familiar music playing quietly in the background and a cup of tea on my
Scribbler: What’s your favorite and least favorite part of publishing?
Diane: My favourite part of publishing is designing the cover. My least favourite part is the technical side of designing the interior, ensuring everything lines up and is accepted by the publishing platform, which for me is Amazon.
An Excerpt from Dragons in the Dungeon:
Cormac steered his horse along the
street and took the third lane on the right. It was lined with two-storey
shops. The standard for most of this land. Businesses on the bottom; living
quarters on the top. It was all so typical. The structures were the same just
like the new subdivisions being built where he came from. Every house had the
same design. So what if they were different colours. Walk in one, he walked in
them all. There was nothing architecturally interesting about any of them.
Nothing magical. Nothing special. That monotony was repeated here.
“A music shop,” said Nimble. “Let’s
visit it later.”
“Yes,” said Loggie. “I would love
“A magic wand shop?” Her voice rose.
“Incredible. Lucinda’s Enchanted Wands. Let’s go there, too! We’ll see what
they have besides wands.”
Cormac stared at the shop. He’d
never seen a magic wand shop. He hadn’t even seen a magic shop. A wooden sign with an image of a caldron, a cat and stars
swayed in the breeze above the door. The edges of the large picture window had
been painted with lines swirling around the moon, the sun and stars. Beneath
the darkening sky and through the drizzle, the deep greens, browns and purple
gave a magical feel to the place. He wondered if they really sold magical
wands or if they were like the witches’ shops at home, a place of high
expectations and no return. They sold trinkets to decorate a room but held no
“Now that’s a sanctuary.”
He turned to Loggie’s voice and
followed his line of sight. The impressive stone
structure was a mini castle complete with a turret for a bell tower. The
three-storey structure was only about 75 feet wide, and the elaborate
entranceway took up half of it. Carved stone statues of knights stood guard on
either side of the doorway. The wooden doors leading into the sanctuary were
each six feet wide and 14 feet tall. Wide black iron hinges secured the doors,
and a ring as large as a basketball hung on one of the doors and encircled a
dragon’s head with its mouth open wide. No one stood outside or sat on the
stone bench resting near the doorway. It looked vacant, abandoned, but the
single light flickering in the round blue window above the entrance indicated
otherwise. Below it, carved into the stone, read NORN SANCTUARY. He’d never
seen anything like it in this realm nor his home realm.
“We need to go there, too,”
“We don’t need sanctuary,” he said.
“Yet we’ll go anyways. It calls to
those it wishes to see. And I hear it whispering to me.”
He swung around. Her expression was
one of awe, as if she’d seen the most magnificent sight in her life, and that
what she most desired rested behind those doors. Granted, the sanctuary was a
great looking building, but it didn’t entice him to enter. “We should stay out
She frowned. “Do you fear living?”
“If that is where you focus your
energy, you will never live. In essence, you’ve already died inside.”
He turned back around. What did she
know? Every morning, she was reborn; her history, all of it, good and bad,
erased from her memory. She saw this world with new eyes daily. She felt the
same every day as he had when he’d first arrived: inspired, hopeful,
fascinated. Reduced to hunting and grovelling for survival forced him to see
how silly he had been to believe in an enchanted fantasy world. If there was a
hell on Earth, this was it.
note that Diane will be participating in the GMRD Book Fair to be held in
Riverview, NB, on July 27th, 2024
Thank you for being our guest this week, Diane. Your novel sounds appealing and I’m looking forward to reading it. We wish you continued success with your writing.
a GREAT BIG thank you to all our visitors
us what’s on your mind in the comment box below.