I’ve decided to do NaNoWriMo again this year. I did it once before, in 2010, when I wrote what became the Samhain Publishing novel “God of Fyre Mountain” (Guardians of Light Book 6). Since “Moonwitched” is all but finished—and it WON the 2014 Utah RWA Heart of the West contest, BTW—and destined to hopefully become Book 7, the final installment of the Guardians of Light series, it’s a good time to start a new project.
Now, I know I said last time “never again.” 50K words in a month is HARD, especially when you’re not a full-time writer but a working mom, with a full-time day job with a schedule that’s all over the place. Last time it was torture—I’m a plotter, and I edit as I go. Ergo, I’m a slooowww writer. It’s much easier for my “pantser” friends, who actually enjoy going tearing off into the mists of a blank page and discovering what’s out there to put down. (Strange, foreign creatures, “pantsers.” How do they DO that?) I HAVE to have a road-map—then if I get stuck I can just work on a different part of the story, knowing it’ll all come together in the end…
But this is a good exercise—a way to jump start into my next series. Calling it “Daughters of the Guardians” and it’s precisely that. Book 1 is “Braeca,” who was Finora’s daughter in “Lycan Tides.” Half-selkie, half-human weather witch—able to sense changes and the coming of storms. To refresh your memory, as well as my own, here’s a snippet from “Lycan Tides,” of a little girl who I decided way back then I couldn’t wait to see how she turned out when she was all grown up!
Anuk went down the hall and unbolted the door. As she slipped into the room, a lamp crashed into her hip. She stared in astonishment at the small girl wielding it like a club. The room pulsed with fear, and yet the little savage dared fight, standing betwixt Anuk and the tiny boy cowering in the corner.
“Back off, beastie!” The little girl drew back for another blow.
“Ow! Drek! Stop it.” Anuk grabbed the lamp and twisted it out of the child’s grasp. She received a kick in the knee in exchange. Admiration warred with amusement. “I’m not going to hurt you.” To seem less threatening, she sat on the floor. “What’s your name?”
“What’s yours?” the little girl challenged.
The little boy sniffled. “I want Mama!”
A twinge of sympathy stirred. They were so small, so helpless…
What was she thinking? They were sworn to Cilaniestra. Their mother was gone. ’Twas up to her to win them over to their new life. But it all felt…wrong.
What was the matter with her?
“Are you hungry?” she asked.
The little girl shook her head, but her brother bit his lip and nodded. His big seal-brown eyes were wide and glittered with tears yet to streak down his chubby pink cheeks. An insane urge to cuddle him, comfort him, washed over her. He gave her a suspicious, somewhat awed look.
“You’re a dwagon?” he asked. “Like Twystan said?”
Anuk blinked. “Trystan told you about dragons?”
“And you can see me?” That meant he could see what was, in truth, and not just appearance. So no one could try to sneak up on him, pretending to be one thing whilst hiding another.
He nodded again.
“Why are we here?” his elder sister demanded, arms crossed.
“You’ve been chosen by the goddess Cilaniestra for a very special job, because of your gifts,” Anuk replied. “You’re to stay with us now.”
“Where’s Mama?” the little boy asked.
“Ssh. Your mama’s been returned to the sea. That’s where she belongs. She’s been made to understand this is the way things are supposed to be. I’m your new teacher and I’ll take care of you now.”
“I want Mama!” the boy wailed.
His sister went over to him to wrap her arms around him. “Where’s Trystan?”
“Can we see him?”
“In time.” After his compliance had been…assured…Trystan could be her greatest help in
getting the children settled in their new life. “What’s your name, child?”
“Braeca. This is Ioain.”
“Lycan Tides” was very successful, and hopefully “Braeca” will prove to be a worthy successor. Braeca has grown into a warrior/scout, a defender of her people. When a displaced band of dark elves comes looking to conquer a new homeland, she stands ready to fight them off. But the leader of the attackers, Prince Flyn, is more than he appears, and he was definitely not expecting anyone like her…
It’s all plotted out—shape-shifters, dark elves, magic and murder, mysterious caves, a basilisk, and a battle or three. Now to just shut my inner editor up, stay offline and keep writing for 30-days! Wish me luck!