Date Published: March 9, 2021
Publisher: Ink & Magick
As a ward of the Lacklands, Robyn Loxley has lived a privileged life. Even now, in 1942, when another war ravages the world and people on the home front must do without, her adopted family is not affected by the rations and shortages.
That’s not to say she hasn’t been affected by the war personally. As Robyn hits yet another roadblock in her quest to see her best friend Will, trapped in a Japanese-American concentration camp, she stumbles onto the people of Sherwood.
With dark truths revealed about the Lacklands and what really goes on in Midshire, Robyn must answer what justice means to her and what she’s willing to do to exact it.
Robyn and the merry band get an update in this dieselpunk sci-fi adventure.
“The Treason of Robyn Hood has suspense, drama, humor, romance, and action, all jam-packed in a tightly paced novel full of intrigue…I enjoyed it immensely and will highly recommend it to fans of fantasy and adventure. “
“Connoisseurs of urban fantasy and offbeat romance will find this novel both a fun and fulfilling read. The clever characterizations and skillful melding of fantasy, adventure, and romance put a spotlight on sisterly devotion, oddball alliances, social conscience, and the human ability to rise above broken hearts and broken lives. “
—The US Review of Books
D. Lieber has a wanderlust that would make a butterfly envious. When she isn’t planning her next physical adventure, she’s recklessly jumping from one fictional world to another. Her love of reading led her to earn a Bachelor’s in English from Wright State University.
Beyond her skeptic and slightly pessimistic mind, Lieber wants to believe. She has been many places—from Canada to England, France to Italy, Germany to Russia—believing that a better world comes from putting a face on “other.” She is a romantic idealist at heart, always fighting to keep her feet on the ground and her head in the clouds.
Lieber lives in Wisconsin with her husband (John) and cats (Yin and Nox).
Identifying your writing problems is a real struggle. On one hand, you don’t know what you don’t know. And on the other, it’s hard to face our mistakes on the best of days.
But we all want to get better right? We want our manuscripts to be the best they can be.
So, let’s talk about the first problem. Clearing your vision as to what you don’t know is there. There are a few ways, I’ve found that help me.
1. Read. A lot. They always say you shouldn’t compare your work to someone else’s, and I can agree with that to some extent. But you’re going to. It’s just how our brains work. Reading other people’s writing can help you recognize things that work and don’t work in your view. And when you go back to read your own stuff, you’re bound to pick up on some of your shortcomings as well.
2. Give yourself some lead time. This one is hard in today’s publishing industry. Writers are told to produce, produce, produce. Publish, publish, publish. But I’ve found that leaving my finished first draft to sit for a few months does wonders for the end product. When I come back to it, I have fresh eyes. And that makes a world of difference.
3. Get help. This one is also important. Sometimes we are truly blind to our own problems, and we need other people to give us feedback. So, get some betas, hire an editor, read reviews if you have to. But listening to what others have to say can really help me see where I’m falling short.
On to the second: facing your shortcomings. If I’m being honest, this is the most painful. You’ve put a lot of work into this creation. And you’d fight to the death before letting someone tear it to pieces. But if you want to get better, you have to listen. Let’s break it down.
1. Ask someone you can trust. The most important quality in a beta reader or critique partner is that they are trustworthy. You need to be absolutely sure that you believe that they are pulling your work apart because they want it to be better. Because if you can’t trust them on that level, they could just be being a jerk.
2. Make sure they’re honest. It’s also important to find someone who isn’t going to sugar coat things for you. If you want to get better, you need to have a beta who is more worried about making your work better than sparing your feelings.
3. Self-reflect and breathe. It’s going to hurt, a lot, to hear everything you did was “wrong.” You thought it was perfect. And now your work has been torn apart and your heart along with it. Your first instinct is going to be either to give up or push away everything you just heard. Resist that urge. I know it feels overwhelming, but you literally just wrote an entire book. Refining that book is not as difficult as the thing you already did. As to pushing the truth away, well you asked for the help. And these people took time out of their busy lives to offer it. It’s only courteous for you to see if there’s something valuable in what they told you.
And finally, and potentially most importantly, throw out everything I just said. The truth is, there are ways to make your story better. Of course, there are. But the person you need to please most is you. The whole world can tell you you’re wrong. Your betas laughed, your editor cringed, the reviewers railed. But if you know in your heart that you made the right choices, if you did all the above steps and still came out thinking this was the way to go, then do it. It’s your work. It’s your name. You’ll get “better” at your own pace.
The other day my husband suggested that we go on an adventure together and a million intriguing possibilities raced through my head, until he added… to search for old wood. Not the kind of adventure I had longed for, I offered several good reasons why one of our sons might make a better travel partner before finally agreeing to go. My husband has been renovating his office and looking for some wood for shelves or flooring or something else to “funkify” the space.
Little did I know that this trip would not only net him the wood he was looking for, but also fill my head with dozens of potential future story lines and provide our son with a treasured gift.
Off we went to Vernon, California to discover what turned out to be one of the most fascinating places I’ve been in quite a while – Silverado Salvage & Design. This 16,000 square foot warehouse is just incredible and as I meandered throughout the cavernous structure, I was immediately sucked back in time. Surely this is a rich playground for the inventive mind of any storyteller.
Engulfed in tons of well-organized used wood, sewing machines from the early 1900’s and every kind of old farm tool you can imagine, I soon found a few rusted out machines that I never even knew existed. The farmers of those days must have been incredibly strong or had one sturdy horse at their disposal to be able to actually use this weighty equipment.
Old pieces of furniture, wine presses, doorknobs, windows and more were tucked into every corner of the building. A well-preserved, cloth-covered baby buggy rolled into the entrance and made me wonder what had ever happened to the infant it once lovingly carried. I envisioned a housewife of years gone by painstakingly stitching her children’s clothing on that old treadle driven sewing machine. Where did those aged and intricate iron gates once lead to? Was it a garden, a mansion, a government building? Whose fireplace had the intricately cut wooden corbels once graced and what juicy secrets had they been privy to? Were the children who had long ago played with rusty fire trucks and cars still alive or had their toys outlived them? There was so much to see, so much to feel, and a ton of things to capture the imagination.
Sometime during our walk about I came upon a collection of old wooden shipping crates and was overjoyed. Our youngest sons’ birthday was coming up and he had wanted one of these to use as a coffee table. Reinvigorating this chest would be a great project for father and son. I selected the wooden crate I wanted and asked the knowledgeable shop keeper where it was from originally.
“The metal tab on the front is written in Hungarian, I believe,” was his response.
What? I’m Hungarian. My grandfather immigrated here from Budapest, Hungary as a child. And inside I found an ancient packing slip written totally in Hungarian. This was meant to be – a connection to my family’s past. I would later take the packing slip home, translate it into English and laminate it to remain within the trunk forever. I discovered that the trunk had once carried gas masks which left me a little unsettled and wondering how I really felt about taking it home. Either way, the trunk would soon grace my son’s living room after its lengthy travel here; minus, of course, any gas masks.
This store hosts some of the most creative and imaginative employees ever. I overheard designers talking about how one might revitalize an old sink, a chunk of brass, a stained glass window. Creativity flows within this shop with knowledgeable staff I’d like to take home and just listen to. And a few had rather quirky names that I quickly added to my Little Book O’ Names I carry with me for future insertion into a story or two. I found it inspiring that the owner is such an affable, intelligent man who demonstrates a real passion for revitalizing what others might just throw away.
My husband found some very old wood which, I must confess, looked just like old wood to me. However, after talking with the trained craftsman it was clear that this wood had a lot more living to do. The two men put their heads together and a plan was quickly launched. This wood would soon be reincarnated into shelves and a desktop and my husband could not have been happier.
I now have three problems to confront. Where will I use the unusual names I collected, what story shall I write first and how are we ever going to get the heavy shelving and desktop upstairs and into my husband’s office. Three good problems to have!
If you get a chance, I encourage you to stop by Silverado Salvage & Design and be sure to bring your imagination with you! (4625 East 50th Street in Vernon, California)
The one thing I know, after all my years as an elementary school principal, is that there is magic everywhere and in everyone. While I miss those enchanting moments with kids, I have always wanted to let my imagination run wild as I seek out my own magic and write about it. When I retired, I started to write my first books, a series called The Witches of New Moon Beach and inspiration wasn’t hard to find.
I have lived in Redondo Beach all my life, and New Moon might have more than a passing resemblance to my hometown. Every day I walk on the path that runs along the beach, sometimes with my sisters, but most often with my thoughts as I plot my next book.
I am long married and mom to three great grown kids. When I’m not writing or walking on the beach, you’ll find me sewing, reading or traveling and taking pictures.
Have you read about the witches of New Moon Beach?
Can help from a lavender-eyed sea witch, a few enchanted cupcakes and a touch of New Moon magic really rescue a once famous now washed up artist from himself?More info →
Bailey Devlin believes in fate. . .and luck. . .and fortune telling.More info →
Before Dr. Eric King was with Kyla, he chased Olivia Bennett.More info →
Can an arranged marriage lead to love?More info →