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Arts Playlist: Debra Renee Byrd’s ‘Fractured Princess’

A cancer survivor from Dover is promoting the latest edition of her young adult fantasy series.

“Fractured Princess” is the first novel from Debra Renee Byrd’s  "The Shattered Chronicles.” It was first released in 2019 and now the second edition is available.

In this week’s Arts Playlist, Byrd reflects on her journey writing the novel and her battle with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.

The first edition of“Fractured Princess”was released in 2019, sharing the story of Jonnie, the last princess of the Crystal Bearers. Now, the second edition is available.

Byrd explains what got her interested in this genre of writing.

“I’ve always leaned a little bit towards speculative stories, which are your fantasy and science fiction stories," said Byrd. "And fantasy was just something that I could focus on creatively; I could think of new methodologies, I could create different races and people and just scenarios that spoke to me in an escapist sort of view.”  

The 37-year-old Byrd had just finished the second edition of “Fractured Princess” when she was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma in late 2019.

“A lot of people - they usually hear about non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. And Hodgkin’s is a rarer form of lymphoma. It usually hits people in my age range (37); so 20 to 30-year-olds, but a lot of younger and older people do get it, but you do see it mostly in my age range,” said Byrd. 

After being diagnosed in October 2019, Byrd trekked to Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philly for chemo treatments, which ended just as the coronavirus pandemic was ramping up in spring 2020. She’s now in remission.


The "Fractured Princess" is being released under the SFF/For the Culture imprint of Wahida Clark Presents Publishing, the largest Black and independent publishing company in the United States.


Delaware Public Media' s arts coverage is made possible, in part, by support from the Delaware Division of the Arts, a state agency dedicated to nurturing and supporting the arts in Delaware, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts.


Kelli Steele has over 30 years of experience covering news in Delaware, Baltimore, Winchester, Virginia, Phoenix, Arizona and San Diego, California.