Spitmoller1So, I have this thing for documentaries. I love the historical ones and those about possible hidden codes in ancient monuments. I also enjoy nature documentaries and those about space and the evolution of life. There’s a really awesome one where scientists consider what life on other planets might look like, though I don’t remember what it’s called.

One of my favorites is Cosmos. It goes through the evolution of life and posits life on other planets. It talks about Titan having rain and lakes, and it mentions tiny creatures called tardigrades. I thought these were the coolest little critters, not because of what they are or where they live–inside the moisture of moss, lichen, etc.–but because they look a lot like I envision the spitmollers of Grevared. Granted, these little creatures have more legs, but their flat faces and wrinkled appearance are just perfect. I wonder if it would’ve been easier to picture the spitmollers if I’d seen the documentary first. It definitely would’ve made it easier to describe.

Where do you find inspiration for your writing?

Lissa Dobbs



For Those Who Like the Mythology

IMG_20160131_181120_975I’ve done a couple of posts about Aradia and the mythology behind the goddess, though it’s been a while. With Aradia’s Secret coming out this week, I thought it would be a good time to list a few links for those who enjoy studying mythology as much as I do.

These are only a few sources, just something to get your feet wet. There are other sources, though not all of them agree on Aradia’s parentage or even if she was actually worshipped.

Best wishes!


The Internet Sacred Text Archive: I love this site! They’ve got just about any religious and mythological text you could imagine available to read for free. There are also a number of other texts, particularly those written in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. I can spend hours just playing around here.

Aradia’s Birth from Heaven

Ancient Origins


Asing – The Flora and Fauna of Grevared

Asing Vintage BorderAppearance: The Asing is a creature that possesses the traits of several species. It has plant-like attributes, such as roots and leaves, but it also possesses a somewhat reptilian shell and head. There are parts of its body that are covered with fur, and it is believed that the Asing bears and suckles live young. Adults are rooted creatures without mobility.

Habitat: The only known habitat is in the depths of the forests of E’ma Thalas.

Diet: The Asing eats small birds and animals as well as insects. There is some fear that it will also eat humanoid creatures, though this has not been verified.

Threat: The Asing is a stationary being once it reaches adulthood, so its threat level is considered low unless one is within its reach. The young, however, are mobile and will attach themselves to anyone or anything that passes by. They possess small, sharp teeth and produce a poison. They are considered dangerous.

The asing is one of those creatures that came from my love of documentaries. One of my favorites is Blue Planet, which explores ocean life. Seeing some of these creatures, especially those from the deeper area of the sea, spark imagination like nothing else.

Gwennyth Grimsbane runs into an asing when she first leaves Crowrest on her journey. Its one of the first times she realizes what is really bothering her about the journey and Vonner:

We came across the asing on our second morning.

Vicious creatures that would consume any who stepped within their reach, the asing were the most bizarre creatures I’d ever come across in either study or reality. Tall and treelike, with a reptilian head protruding from the base of their trunks, the asing’s roots kept them anchored in place. That didn’t prevent snapping jaws from clamping onto one’s leg, and the young, born live, had no such restrictions on their mobility. It was the young with which we, or, rather, I, came in contact.

It began as a slight sting just above my ankle boot. I looked down, but the robe I wore – I was close to home, after all, and saw no point in donning the warmer trousers I’d packed for later in the journey – prevented me seeing my legs. I dismissed the sting as nothing more than a briar’s prick and continued through the forest. It didn’t take long for fire to pulse through my blood and pound its way into my head. I stopped, the trees spinning around me, and leaned against a broad-leafed tree, one I knew was innocuous.


Lissa Dobbs


Historical Tidbits

E'ma Thalas and the Xaggarene Empire VintageMy new book, Aradia’s Secret, releases this coming weekend, so I thought I’d share a little of the history that leads up to the events of the story. They’re small snippets that will eventually become larger documents.

4201 AOP (As One Plane): Ashcroft Billinghurst becomes emperor of the Xaggarene Empire.  He establishes the University in Sangeron.

4214 AOP: Reverend Tatersdale Mackle becomes bishop of the Arcana Maximus.  He begins a covert operation to rid the Xaggarene Empire of all those with magical abilities.  The Examiners are formed, and the Arcana gains police power.

4215 AOP: Samara Soulton speaks out against the power of Reverend Mackle.  Wizards follow her.  The movement dies when she disappears. No one knows what happened to her.

4217 AOP: Reverend Tatersdale Mackle moves the headquarters of the Arcana Maximus away from the Xaggarene Empire when his childhood friend, Emperor Ashcroft Billingurst, threatens to ban the institution because of the hunt for magical people.  The Arcana loses some of its hold on the Empire, and magical people become more open.  It is at this time that the Shadow Walkers form their guild and organize their people.

4725 AOP: The Arcana Maximus convinces Lazarus Nicodemus, the emperor, that all those with magical ability should be put to death.  Witches and wizards take refuge in E’ma Thalas.  The Shadow Walkers headquarters moves to Corleon. The seat of the Arcana Maximus remains on its island, but its power over the Xaggarene Empire is reestablished. The witches and wizards of the Xaggarene Empire petition king Oberon and are charged with protecting the northern border of E’ma Thalas.  They build Crowrest Keep and establish their community. Ravyn Grimsbane is their leader.




Dajowjut – The Flora and Fauna of Grevared

Dawjawjut2Appearance: The dajowjut stands about seven feet tall when on its hind legs. It is covered with white fur and has long, pointed ears and talons on the ends of its fingers. With a long snout and teeth made for tearing tough flesh, it can walk on all fours or on its hind legs, and it has the intelligence to use basic tools in the search for food. Humanoid is one of its favorite foods.

Food: The dajowjut eats meat and will track a creature for miles. With its ability to use tools, it will lay snares for its prey.

Habitat: The dajowju inhabits the ice sheets of the Shizzuria Wasteland, but it will sometimes wander into the small towns that surround it.

Threat: The dajowjut is a highly dangerous creature and extremely predatory. It will attack without provocation and will track an individual once it has his scent.


The idea for this creature came from the folklore of the yeti and abominable snowman. I actually came up with it while watching Christmas cartoons. I wanted the Shizzuria Wasteland to be an inhabited place full of danger instead of just a sheet of ice covering a chunk of land. This isn’t the only creature that inhabits this area, and not all of them are deadly. Even though the area is frozen, it is possible, for those with the skills and fortitude, to live there and not starve.

One of my characters, Erastus Hallowell, spent a good deal of time living in the Wasteland when he was younger. The landscape and the woman who rescued him both played a large part in Erastus’s development, and I think he became a better person for living in an unforgiving place.

Lissa Dobbs


Little Things

IMG_20160131_181120_975It’s odd how sometimes, when things seem dark, a little thing will happen to make me think that everything will be all right. These things don’t have to be much. They can be as simple as a letter in the mail that tells of good news or a thunderstorm that brings peace. It is those moments that make life worth living; it isn’t always the major events. And one thing I’ve learned over the years is to treasure the odd incident that lifts my spirits and gives me hope for tomorrow.

What are the little joys in your life? What gives you hope?

Best wishes!

Lissa Dobbs