Speaking of which, a bit on the origin of Circle of Magic.
Those middle-grade novels started off as paragraphs and pages that Debra and I wrote to each other before we were married while I was in the Navy; she in Philadelphia, me off in the Med on USS Savannah (AOR-4), she in grad school. (On Savannah I was certified as an “Underway Replenishment Specialist” and was rig captain for Rig 2.) Anyway, we wrote these little bits to amuse each other.
Later, after we were married, and after I was sent to Norfolk, VA, to serve on USS Plymouth Rock (LSD-29), Debra (as Lady Malkin Grey, her SCA name) became Chronicler of Atlantia. As such, she put out the kingdom newsletter, the Acorn. She got pregnant, and I was unexpectedly sent around the Horn on a UNITAS cruise. (UNITAS is a joint US/Latin American naval thingie–that was the first time I saw the Panama Canal. It would not be the last.) By great good luck, I got back before her due date, and, since I was now between ships (I was headed for USS Moinester (FF-1097)) and had a lot of time, was able to participate in her birthing. And while she was in active labor with our first daughter, on the way to the hospital, we stopped off at the post office to mail the Acorn, so it would go out on time.
After that she had the moral jump on everyone: “If I could get the Acorn out on time, you can damn well get your event announcements to me on time.”
She got her Mistress of the Pelican for her time as Chronicler.
Which gets us back around to Circle of Magic. Some time later, Debra was about to have twins and we were living in Manchester, NH. So, after giving birth (and these were full-term, full-size twins, mind you), she was sitting up in her hospital bed with a binder with the current manuscript in it, going over it with her red pencil. And a nice nurse walked in and said, “Are you sure you should be doing that, dear?” To which Doyle replied, “Dammit, I have a deadline.”
And here’s a remembrance of Debra from Pippin’s newsletter.