A novel of “mid-life magic” – by Amy R. Marsh
The Dire Deeds of the Guild of Ornamental Hermits is a fantasy set Hermitville, a fictional intentional community (arts colony and farm) located near the town of Pahoa, in the Puna District of Hawai’i Island. Puna is the island’s “lower east side” and, as the author likes to say, “Pahoa is the Telegraph Avenue* of Hawai’i.”
When winery heiress Ginger Croom dies, Hermitville is threatened by a heinous real estate scheme, as well as an assortment of supernatural baddies.
Loosely inspired by the Borderlands/Bordertown books of authors such as Emma Bull and Terri Windling, Dire Deeds clashes cultures and dimensions in a volcanically active landscape peopled by local families and recent arrivals: “Punatics” (aging hippies, crust punks, surfers, tantrikas, and other counter-culture ex-pats). Elves, Faeries and Shapeshifters fit right in.
And don’t forget the giant salamander…
All the main human characters are ages 45 or over, and the onset of their magical transformation mingles with menopause and mid-life crises. Several of the human characters are trans, gender queer, mutiple gender, or otherwise gender variant. Two characters are people born with intersex variations. Sexual preferences include combinations of gay, lesbian, bisexual, queer, omni-sexual, asexual, and/or kinky and polyamorous.
But the hottest romance in the book? That’s between Babe Bump and Oyster Olson (and Tomma makes three…).
Oh, and did we mention that there are at least twenty-nine genders for elves and faeries of The Realm?
Please check out my blog posts below for more information on the characters, plotting, and other backstory writing details! Learn more about the characters, politics, and magical elements of this book. There are also more chapter excerpts in some of the blog posts. Thank you!
*Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley, CA.