Exploring a Flawed Family

Putting together the family that makes up Dahlia’s life is a complicated process. You really can’t help but put pieces of yourself into each character, and as you consider the overall family dynamic, you start to understand where each of them fall into place. Knowing that they had to choose to be in this position is also telling of the parents’ personalities. It’s also taken a toll on their children of course. I didn’t want them to be the typical cookie-cutter families that I usually see. I wanted them to have depth, to have made mistakes, to not be perfect, but always striving to do good. Which is of course what has led them to this point, whether good or bad.

Project: The Seeking

Each Seeking, the magic that protects the town of Carra must be renewed, which means the children of the High Family must go into hiding. Whether it be through disguise or bribe, through trusted friends or perfect hiding places, every child of the Priest family must avoid capture for the full day.

When things go wrong with the renewal, it’s up to seventeen-year-old Dahlia, the middle child of the Priest family, and her girlfriend, Bisa, to escape Carra and find the magical beings responsible for the protection. They must learn who would require such a cruel game to be played every year and if the protection of the Gray People is really worth such a deadly cost. What they will discover is far worse.

THE SEEKING is a YA dark fantasy novel

Current Word Count: 8,053

New Words Written:
10/10 – 1,147

Progress:
A serious talk with Mother that has probably been years in coming, and the realization that things were not always like this. Already Dahlia is learning so much and she has a lot left to discover and learn before this novel is done.

Next Up:
Talks with Dad, a family tradition, and an explanation of the family’s history. Then preparing for the Seeking to begin.

Commentary:
I wrote part of this by hand, but ran into a snag when I couldn’t recall the names of the family members Dahlia was going to be interacting with. I can’t just use placeholders. I’ve tried before, and the placeholder I chose ended up coloring the name I felt was appropriate for the character, so I try to steer away from them now. I did draw out a family tree, but it was on paper and wasn’t handy. #writerproblems

It’s been difficult trying to find time to write this month. I’ve been belatedly participating in Inktober (see my posts on Instagram) because it doesn’t take as much intensive focus like writing does, but it sure did feel good to dig into this story again. Between cleaning up the house for our upcoming Halloween party, meeting up with friends to visit Haunted Houses, and helping family members move, I don’t think it’s going to get easier either! I want to get our Halloween decorations up outside but it’s been raining hard down here in Georgia and the humidity takes your breath away. Still hoping to carve out some time again this week though!

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Finding the Voice and Mood

Life has been crazy lately. Between loads of work to do, unavoidable tragedies taking place, and just a general awful feeling in the world, diving into this book has been an excellent escape for me. Though escape isn’t quite the right word because Dahlia’s story is quite grim. Her problems are ones I can control and solve though. Or, you know, ones she can solve.

Speaking of, Dahlia is quickly fleshing out to become the survivor, lover, diplomat, sister, daughter, prisoner, and rebel that I always hoped she would be. Her voice has been easier to find than many protagonists I’ve written before. I think this story and the environment of Carra really taps into the mood of the world lately, for better or worse.

Project: The Seeking

Each Seeking, the magic that protects the town of Carra must be renewed, which means the children of the High Family must go into hiding. Whether it be through disguise or bribe, through trusted friends or perfect hiding places, every child of the Priest family must avoid capture for the full day.

When things go wrong with the renewal, it’s up to seventeen-year-old Dahlia, the middle child of the Priest family, and her girlfriend, Bisa, to escape Carra and find the magical beings responsible for the protection. They must learn who would require such a cruel game to be played every year and if the protection of the Gray People is really worth such a deadly cost. What they will discover is far worse.

THE SEEKING is a YA dark fantasy novel

Current Word Count: 6,906

New Words Written:
9/22 – 1,213

Progress:
The tension rises as the day comes to a close. Dahlia rescues someone she doesn’t expect. The smell of apple pie is everywhere. And finally, the dinner table is ready.

Next Up:
The High Family, an important discussion, and hope for the future.

Commentary:
The story took a turn I didn’t expect it to, and I let it lead me wherever it wanted. I got inspiration on what could happen with a particular person and ran with it. I had more fun describing High House than I expected too. Carra seems so peaceful at first glance. I also had to start writing down family trees because this is a small town and family relationships can be complex. I’ll probably plan to include them as an appendix.

Love in Dark Places

It’s been a busy few days, and my wordcount really shows it. It’s been tough to concentrate on writing with so many things going on in the world lately. However last night I forced myself to be positive and to dive into writing this morning. Thankfully I think it paid off!

Project: The Seeking

Each Seeking, the magic that protects the city of Carra must be renewed, which means the children of the High Family must go into hiding. Whether it be through disguise or bribe, through trusted friends or perfect hiding places, every child of the Priest family must avoid capture for the full day.

When things go wrong with the renewal, it’s up to seventeen-year-old Dahlia, the middle child of the Priest family, and her girlfriend, Bisa, to escape Carra and find the magical beings responsible for the protection. They must learn who would require such a cruel game to be played every year and if the protection of the Gray People is really worth such a deadly cost. What they will discover is far worse.

THE SEEKING is a YA dark fantasy novel

Current Word Count: 5,693

New Words Written:
9/13 – 704
9/18 – 241
9/21 – 1,446

Progress:
A frightening introduction to the Gray People, disturbed dreams, and a bit of backstory for Bisa. Really dug into their relationship more and provided a counter to the very dark tone this book will soon be taking. Dahlia made plans, but time will tell how good those plans are.

Next Up:
Moving through a raucous crowd and meeting for a final family dinner before the Seeking begins. Of course there will be family drama.

Commentary:
It was tough to get the motivation to really jump into this story for the past few days, but once I got into the world again, the words just flew. This book also has more romance than I’ve usually included in a novel and I hope I’m doing this adorable couple justice. Next will be working on more buildup before the Seeking finally begins and Dahlia’s plans get put to the test!

Writing During Irma

Tropical storm Irma came through Georgia pretty hard today, and since I live south of Atlanta, we took the brunt of it this morning. That said, people are still reporting tons of trees down, power outages, and one tractor trailer that got lifted up from a wind gust in Atlanta today. Once the storm died down some, I sat down with some tea, a kitty or two, and my laptop and dove into a new YA horror novel I’m working on.

Project: The Seeking

Each Seeking, the magic that protects the city of Carra must be renewed, which means the children of the High Family must go into hiding. Whether it be through disguise or bribe, through trusted friends or perfect hiding places, every child of the Priest family must avoid capture for the full day.

When things go wrong with the renewal, it’s up to seventeen-year-old Dahlia, the middle child of the Priest family, and her girlfriend, Bisa, to escape Carra and find the magical beings responsible for the protection. They must learn who would require such a cruel game to be played every year and if the protection of the Gray People is really worth such a deadly cost. What they will discover is far worse.

THE SEEKING is a YA dark fantasy novel

Current Word Count: 3,302

New Words Written: 769

Progress:
Finished up a vicious intimidation tactic, fleshed out some history, and had to deal with pig blood. On the side I’m working on finishing character profiles, setting profiles, and working out the full backstory for the world. The setting is falling into place and I’m enjoying how this is going so far!

Next Up:
Reuniting with a loved one followed by creepy dreams.

Commentary:
It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these writing progress posts, mostly because the writing progress image generator went down for weeks and I got out of the habit of it. However I noticed these posts really motivated me to continue and let people know what kind of stories were in the pipeline. I’m planning to post these far more often

 

Kanta Can Be Beautiful

The first of my maps have been revealed for The She-Wolf of Kanta (April 17, 2018) and it’s so beautiful! Radiant Crown Publishing has truly outdone themselves with the quality of these maps and I’m so excited to be able to share them with you!

Here’s just a short snippet of what it looks like. Click to see the full history and map!

The History of Kanta:

Kanta used to be a small city with big hopes and dreams. The people pushed back the wilderness and claimed the land for their own, creating a haven amid the old forest…

See the full map and history of Kanta!