The Weaving Word

Weaving together the threads that make up my passion for the written word…as an author, editor, and follower of The Word.

Featured Author: Lee Dunning

Solstice TourEnjoy this month-long tour featuring authors of all fantasy genres.  Maybe among them you will find a new favorite! (Note that I have not read all of these works, and their appearance here is not necessarily a personal endorsement.)

Lee Dunning is today’s featured author from the Magic of Solstice Fantasy Writers’ Tour.

Exiles Redemption CoverHelp us get to know you better!  What do you write, and how do you describe yourself as an author?

I write fantasy—I’ve been hung up on elves since grade school. You can blame my sixth grade teacher, Dixie Gaisford, for introducing me to Tolkien’s work. I never really warmed up to hobbits, but the other worldly elves grabbed hold of my imagination.

As a writer, I’m very character driven. You have folks like Brandon Sanderson who spend quite a lot of time fleshing out a magic system, or Scott Lynch who brings cities to life, and then you have me who obsesses with what motivates people, why they might view a situation in a completely different way than another person.

Of all the characters you’ve created, which one do you wish you could hang out with in real life and why?

I like this question, it really makes me think about my characters beyond what makes them fun to write/read about. For example, W’rath amuses me no end, but the very things that make him interesting would also make him difficult to get along with (especially a human) in the real world. I really like Raven, but she’s probably just a bit too idealistic and naïve to hang out with. Lady Swiftbrook is too uptight. K’hul … yeah, right – next. Uh, Lord Icewind? Probably not, he’s too fragile emotionally. That leaves me with either Chalice Renoir or Foxfire. Both have more in common with me in terms of knowledge and outlook. Renoir might be a bit too intense and duty bound, so I’ll go with Foxfire. He’s one of the few elves in my stories who genuinely likes humans, is down to earth, and mundane enough power-wise that he’s not intimidating. I can see him sitting down and joining my group of friends to play some D&D.

What innermost passion drives your writing, and what do you hope your readers feel or experience when they read your work?

This question might be a bit too deep for me. While I’ve nurtured my stories within me for years, I don’t harbor any expectation I’ll change the world or leave people with jaws hanging open in awe of my insight and wisdom. I write primarily because I love telling stories, and hope to entertain my readers with a flourish of wit and adventure. If folks come away from my stories thinking ‘that was fun!’, then I’m satisfied.

Exile’s Gamble Synopsis

Exiles Gamble Candidate 2 SmallThe demon possessed army of King Oblund has been crushed but at great cost. The people of Teresland, betrayed by their king, face a winter without leadership, manpower or food. The elves, unwilling regents of this devastated human kingdom, struggle with understanding a people foreign and hostile toward them.

Now, the demons which destroyed Second Home have scented the vulnerability of Teresland and set out to draw the elves into more conflict. Conflict which they cannot ignore but are ill-prepared to face. With Lord W’rath trapped within his own mind, comatose, the elves must prepare for battle without his strength.

Raven, restless to prove herself, decides on a reckless plan, one which could either provide the elves with a new weapon, or doom her and W’rath both.

Excerpt from Exile’s Gamble

W’rath laughed and snarled and taunted. He wheeled in a spiral of death, splattering demon entrails, burst eyes and glittering fangs across the gray walls of the castle, painting them in hues of carnage. A bubble of pulsating magic encapsulated him and he teleported free, appearing behind the demon responsible for the spell. Shadow’s Edge separated its spine from its legs, and then its head from its neck. Its head tumbled away, rolling over and over, surprise flashing by with each rotation, the last emotion to mold its features before it died.

A few lesser creatures skittered by the psion. He didn’t pursue. Seconds later blue and white light flared and the stench of things burning tickled at W’rath’s nostrils. He nodded in satisfaction. Lady Swiftbrook did indeed know her way around a proper lightning spell.

He ducked to the side as a sword sliced through the space he’d just occupied. The grey devil snarled in frustration as the psion slipped out of its reach. Two more joined it and W’rath raised his arm. Their blades bounced off of the invisible shield he’d conjured the instant he jumped ahead of the other elves. He gritted his teeth as the power of their blows vibrated up his arm. Time to even the odds.

Kill your companions, W’rath ordered the first devil. Most couldn’t compel a creature to go against their allies, but few could resist the Shadow Elf’s crushing will. Without so much as a shake of its head, the devil disemboweled the fiend next to it. The third devil hissed, and worked its blade to defend against the first devil. W’rath slipped to its side and hamstrung it. His new pet finished it off. Come along and defend me.

It stepped ahead of W’rath, its tail swishing as if it had a mind of its own. Hmmm. “On second thought,” W’rath said, “I mistrust that tail of yours.” He struck, and flicked blood off Shadow’s Edge as he skirted around the devil’s corpse.

He rode the shadows and stepped from a niche before what had once been the double doors leading to the throne room. Corpses clogged the hall. A half dozen elven soldiers lay in heaps, most dismembered in some manner, one completely turned inside out. Empty pieces of armor suggested others, now eaten, or dissolved or reanimated, had met their ends here. Something had shattered the doors leading into the throne room. Shards of wood littered the floor and the dead. More debris probably spread in the room beyond, but W’rath couldn’t tell. A translucent membrane draped over the gaping wound left in the wall when the doors blew apart. It pulsated with malignant life.

“What sort of foul beastie are you?” W’rath muttered.

As if in answer it flowed from the opening to the floor and leaked into the shadows of the fallen warriors. Too late W’rath understood what he faced. Faster than thought his shadow came alive, and oozed up from the floor to wrap itself around him. It didn’t matter how powerful his psionics, W’rath couldn’t teleport free of his own shadow.

With a malevolent chuckle it cut off all light, all warmth—all hope.

Author Biography

Lee 1Not entirely sure why you’re reading this, my books are far more entertaining, but since you’ve bothered to pop over I suppose I ought to have the decency to tell you a little about myself. I’ve done many things over the years, including daring the horrors of IT for over 24 years. At the moment I’m reinventing myself (i.e. retraining) as an accountant. I know, that sounds terribly dull, but it is a profession in demand pretty much everywhere, so I can live where I wish and not have to worry about keeping a roof over my head. Of course, there is more to me than that. I’ve worked with digital art since 2004, and have gotten to the point I am able to occasionally sell said art (sometimes to myself – see my cover). Photoshop is heavily involved in that area as well.

Oh, and yes, I write. It’s nearly a given these days, isn’t it?  As of July 26th, 2014, I am officially a published author, with my book, “Exile’s Redemption” available at Amazon in Kindle and Trade Paperback formats. I’m working on the sequel, and hope to have it out before folks have forgotten what happened in the first book. I live with five cats, four Siamese and one horrified orange tabby. I live in the desert but hope to relocate to the Pacific Northwest after I finish my current studies.


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About weavingword

Allison D. Reid is a Christian Fantasy author with a fondness for Medieval history. Her first published series, the Wind Rider Chronicles, embraces traditional fantasy elements but is also infused with deeper spiritual themes. The first two books in the series, "Journey to Aviad" and "Ancient Voices: Into the Depths" can be found at Amazon and other online book retailers. "Journey to Aviad" is now FREE. Visit to learn more.

2 comments on “Featured Author: Lee Dunning

  1. Gina
    June 1, 2015

    That is one compelling excerpt! I loved meeting these characters.


  2. dkchronicles2013
    June 1, 2015

    Reblogged this on Dragon Knight Chronicles.


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