• Featured Novel: 'The Sail Weaver' by Muffy Morrigan


    In The Sail Weaver, Morrigan blends classic fantasy and sci-fi elements to weave a complex world that would draw readers into its spectacular plot: Set in the future, after the era of Earth's devastation of wars where magic was rediscovered, the saga begins when the Navy meets the Master Weaver of the Guild, Tristan Weaver, to request sails for the largest ship ever attempted. The Navy is working on a plan that could be a threat to human/dragon relations. There are also pirates who are preying on Naval and Civilian ships, and Tristan is caught in their conflicts.


    Interview with Muffy Morrigan



    The dragons in your novel don't sound like the typical savage creatures that they are known to be. Do they have human-like characteristics?

    The aren't the creatures that most people think of when they think "dragon". They are highly intelligent and tend to not mix with humanity, but there are a few special individuals as well as the Dragon Corps, that the dragons accept and value above others. The dragons generally believe the enemy of my enemy is my friend when it comes to humanity as a whole. They are one of the major powers in the universe and watch things very carefully.

    They do have some very human-like characteristics, a sense of humor being one of the main ones. They have a sense of play and mischief that is particularly apparent in Lokey Fenfyr. The dragons are also fiercely loyal, and grieve for the loss of those killed in battle--and you really, really don't want to have one of them angry with you!

    One of the major differences in the dragons of the Sail Weaver is their ability to exist both in space and in an atmosphere, rather like an amphibian. They have the ability to ride the Winds and cruise through the stars at high speeds. It is that ability that makes the Vermin hunt them.

    What's the most challenging part of writing this novel?


    Keeping the worlds in balance and making it all work together. Blending the ideas of the Napoleonic Age of Sail with a future world of technology has been a tricky. I had one reader (who went through it a little fast) who said he loved the world, but he had to pretend it wasn't earth, because we would never return to the disciplines of the Age of Sail without some kind of horrific calamity. I asked him if he missed the part where it said Third World War and Great Second War, which kind of implies a Great First War. He said "oops, I guess I missed that, in that case, all's good." So that balancing act to recreate a real, living world that people can feel a part of while reading the book is a huge challenge, and it's always in the back of my head while I am writing.

    Tell us some themes that you present in your book.

    Themes, that's always a tricky question. There is a definite hero's journey--for many of the characters. There is the idea that good and bad are not always obvious and that loyalty and strength can overcome many things.

    What I really hope people find in this book is a world they want to live in, to experience and go back to visit again. My shelf of favorite books is full of books I have read again and again, because I love the world they exist in so much.

    And what are those books? What makes their worlds marvelous to you?

    First would be the wonderful Aubrey/Maturin books by Patrick O'Brian. From the first page you are transported to the HMS Surprise--or any of the other ships in the series. The characters are truly alive and style is just breathtaking. O'Brian writing is like music. Each note is perfectly chosen for the larger symphony, from the simple passages in the quiet of the deep ocean to the sounds of a huge Naval battle. There is one book, Desolation Island, with a chase between the Leopard (with Aubrey/Maturin on board) and an enemy ship in the huge seas of the antarctic. It is probably one of the most exciting thing I have ever read.

    I love the Earthsea books by Ursula K Le Guin. I read the Tombs of Atuan when I was about 13 the first time, and it was so alive! There was never the sense that I needed to suspend disbelief. Her world is so carefully crafted that you can fall into the books and be in Earthsea and not even consider it's another world.

    Elizabeth Peters Amelia Peabody mysteries are wonderful and havebrought alive the Victorian/Edwardian era in Egypt perfectly. The characters in those books are family and friends. Every time I pick one of the books up it's like going home. I have always wanted to see the Valley of the King, the Nile and the Pyramids--and through Peters, I have been there. The books are so beautifully written that if I woke up on the approach from the workman's village to the Valley of the Kings, I would know where I was, I would know what was there.

    Tolkien is there too. I love the Lord of the Rings. He is one of the truly great creators of a world vision so complete it lives even to this day. His world is so full, particularly that sense of this enormous history that is behind the events of the story. I love that depth, I love discovering the larger world through the eyes of the Hobbits and the others. There is a sense of wonder in The Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit that very few writers ever achieve.

    Sherlock Holmes and his many adventures have a special place in my heart. Arthur Conan-Doyle managed something remarkable with the creation of Holmes. Even through the eyes of his devoted friend and narrator, John Watson, Holmes is not a likeable person. He is blunt, insensitive, dismissive of those that he deems slow, he dislikes almost everyone, and yet we love him as Watson does. We see the breaks in that hard shell now and then and it makes us care. Thestories themselves are not what attracts me, but rather the characters.

    Mary Stewart's Merlin books, The Crystal Cave and The Hollow Hill are so well loved, I have replaced the volumes many times. What draws me to those books is her mix of actual history with magic, historical figures with Merlin, Arthur and the others. Thanks to her, Merlin for my will always be the Merlin she created.

    The Pern novels were some of my first science fiction/fantasy. For me Dragonflight, Dragonquest, The White Dragon and the Harper Hall trilogy are books I have read again and again. The dragons were my first love, but as I've gotten older, the characters, the rest of the world has made me treasure the books even more. Yes, I know there are more Pern books than those I've listed, but for me those are my great loves.

    There are others, I love The Prisoner of Azkaban--I think the Dementors are one of the most terrifying creatures ever created. Mark Twain's Letters from the Earth is full of wit and cynicism that is delightful and thought provoking.
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