(EDITOR’S NOTE: The following article was published Jan 28, 2009. However, we have been notified by some people searching for it that, apparently, some gremlins have broken the link.)
OSWEGO TOWN, NY – An encounter with a legendary wizard set an Oswego Town resident on a 10-year literary journey.
The result was Dee Marie’s YA (Young Adult) novel, Sons of Avalon: Merlin’s Prophecy, a retelling of the traditional legends of Merlin, King Arthur, and Avalon; blending a mixture of historical fact with Arthurian lore, and a smattering of fantasy.
Set in 5th Century Britain, chaos ensues as Rome abandons Britain, leaving native Britons alone to defend their shores from the growing Saxon invasion.
The story spans the mysterious birth of Merlin, climaxing with the conception of Arthur, the legendary future king of Britain.
A young Merlin advises three High Kings to fight through the bedlam, fight for the right to rule, fight to save the future treasure of Britain.
The book was published last year. And, just recently the author was notified she had been recognized for her work.
Each month, book reviewers nominate specific YA books to the Teens Read Too website as worthy of receiving the coveted Gold Star Award for Excellence.
As the site states, “books that are inducted into the Teens Read Too Hall of Fame aren’t books you just read…they are books you read over and over again – because they’re that great!”
The site is geared to the YA reader. Among the previous award winners are such notable YA authors as: Stephenie Meyer, Jodi Picoult, and J.K. Rowling.
“The Teens Read Too site receives thousands of requests for book reviews each year. I felt extremely privileged when, last summer, Sons of Avalon: Merlin’s Prophecy was accepted as being worthy of a review,” the author said.
Earlier this month, she received an email notifying her of the posting of her novel’s book review.
“My fingers were shaking as I opened the website’s link,” she said. “When I saw the 5 out of 5 star rating, I cheered – loudly!”
When she discovered that it had received the Gold Star Award for Excellence, “I wept openly,” she admits.
Then, she called everyone associated with the book (editors, readers, fans, family and friends), “which resulted in more joyful screaming and weeping,” she added.
She cannot remember a time when she wasn’t writing.
In college, she was the only student in class that didn’t moan when the professors passed about the dreaded “blue books” during final examines, she confesses.
Currently, she is at work on an Arthurian based modern-day romantic tale of love and mystery – and the second book in the Sons of Avalon series, a story she’s destined to chronicle.
Her destiny to write Merlin’s tale started more than 10 years ago.
“While deep in slumber one winter’s eve, I felt a gentle tug upon my nightgown, followed by whiskers tickling my ear,” the author recalls.
“Arise, I have a story to tell you,” an ancient voice whispered; upon his breath lingered the sweet scent of apples mixed with pipe tobacco.
Like any rational person would do, she said, “I pulled the covers over my head, rolled over and went back to sleep.”
Yet, Merlin was persistent.
For a solid week, the wizard returned, awaking her in the predawn hours.
“I soon came to the realization that this was not merely a recurring dream, but somehow my bedroom had become a portal to the past,” she admits.
Over the following years, the mystical gateway allowed access to a bevy of wizards, fairies and knights in clanging armor.
“That is how it all started … Merlin’s quest for me to write his story,” she explained. “I am not the writer of his tale, but merely Merlin’s scribe.”
Although originally written for an adult audience, Sons of Avalon has garnered a large YA following.
The first book in the series delves into the teen years of both Merlin and Sir Lot, and their rise to power.
It is important to note, that SOA is not an Arthurian romance, even though the story touches on the first meetings of Arthurian lovers (Merlin and Nimue, Sir Lot and Morgause, and Uther and Igraine). There are also many violent moments, “but then, the Dark Ages was a violent era,” the author added.
Sons of Avalon: Merlin’s Prophecy is available through all online bookstores (Amazon, Boarders, Barnes and Noble), and can also be ordered through all “brick and mortar” bookstores.
“Locally, Debbie Engelke, the owner of Time and Again Books and Tea, has been very supportive. I recently signed two copies (one new and one gently-used) of Sons of Avalon: Merlin’s Prophecy for her bookstore,” she said. “I am not certain if River’s End Bookstore has copies in stock, but I know they can fill requested orders.”
Dee Marie invites anyone interested in her novel to visit the Sons of Avalon website. She also encourages email queries ([email protected]) regarding her novel…or to discuss “All Things Arthurian.”