Thursday, 16 January 2014

My Poor, Neglected People: An Apology and a Teaser

(Little note: I love the artistic flare of Jennifer Freitag's beautiful blog posts, so I am taking a cue from her and including gorgeous Pinterest pics to make you drool.)

So, I have shamefully neglected this blog for the past few months. I missed its Blogoversary, as well as interacting with all my fellow bloggers. There are a lot of reasons why I haven't been around as much, the most benign one being schoolwork. Second year of university is no joke. Others are intensely personal, and I simply ask for all of you to keep me in your prayers. And I apologize for neglecting you all so long! 

Onward to more pleasant things! I hope to get into a more regular blogging rhythm again at some point. Most of my posts will likely be on weekends, when I have time. You may see reviews of books I have to read for school more than leisure books--it's the nature of the beast.

From Pinterest
As a bit of an update, writing-wise, I have started re-outlining Rebel's Daughter, which I believe I posted a teaser for many months ago. Well, things have changed drastically for the better this time around. There is a LOT of research I will have to do for this book about, mainly, how to bring down a government in a revolution, how to meld Victorian-age London with the era of the 1920s, etc. 




Also, ZEPPELINS.

From Pinterest
Yes, zeppelins. Me fellow Canadian Kenneth Oppel wrote this amazing series that stars flying machines, and ever since I read them they have claimed my heart and soul. As well, I started reading a Japanese steampunk novel over the break that had them, and my little heart nearly burst. The Legend of Korra, with its 1920s feel, has also driven my urge to incorporate them. So I guess this book will have a slight steampunk feel to it, though it is not strictly steampunk, because it's not Victorian England, it's a world derived from our world, but with magical creatures and such.

I don't think I've shared much about this story other than it's based off the Russian Revolution, but the reason why I'm so excited about this story is that my protagonist is actually the villain.

Wait, WHAT? You're probably thinking that, right?

But my mentor, Anne Elisabeth Stengl, said something that I believe is such a great way of approaching characters: every character sees themselves as the hero or heroine of their own story. My main character, Anya, believes she's doing what's right. But her methods are all wrong, and that is where the conflict lies. She is not the typical storybook female knight who saves the day, or the princess. She is the face of a historical person that has me fascinated: the revolutionary. 

Being from Canada, I don't have the same history of revolution in my past. I tend to be doubtful and pessimistic of them, and this book is an exploration of those feelings as well as the feelings of those whose beliefs differ so much from mine. When is a revolution wrong? When is it right? What happens when it all spins out of control?

I am considering doing a bit of a character meet-and-greet to both inspire myself as well as gain some of your insights. Would you guys be interested in that? You'll be able to meet some of the people strolling around inside my head. ;)

For now, I will leave you with a short summary and slight teaser:

REBEL'S DAUGHTER

She is many things. Rebel's child. Rising revolutionary. Firebird. Phoenix. Villain. Hero. The key to the monarchy's very destruction. But the only thing more deadly than a revolution is a traitor to its cause. Because even a Firebird can fall--and when she does, everything will burn.

This scene occurs when my two pro/an/tagonists, Anya and Ilya, are on a flying machine (eekk!), crossing the ocean from one country to return to their homeland, Russak, where under its seemingly-peaceful surface, rebellion is simmering... They are discussing the likelihood of the revolution they're planning actually succeeding.

***

“How do you know we can do it?” she asked. “Our fathers failed, and they were brilliant men.”

Strands of dark hair whipped across his cheeks as he reached for her hand. “Because it’s our destiny,” he said, grasping her fingers tightly. “Because we have to.”

Sliding her hand from his, she folded her arms across the railing and leaned out as far as she dared. Below, the murky midnight-blue surface of the channel rippled with streaks of pink and orange, two worlds colliding in the hands of the dawn. She thought of the creatures lurking beneath that wall—monsters that would not think before ripping her to shreds should she fall into their domain.

“There are too many things that could go wrong,” she murmured.

“And so many that could go right,” he said.

“You’re such an optimist.”

He grinned. “Perhaps, but I find myself more attracted to pessimists.”

“Aren’t you smooth. Should I be falling at your feet?”

“What about falling into my arms?” He nudged her shoulder with his, laughing as she wrinkled her nose. They both fell silent as the sun rose higher, spreading its burning blaze across the horizon. It looked like a Firebird stretching her wings, and Anya closed her eyes at the reminder of her mother and all the folktales of her homeland. The wind rustled her threadbare clothes and slapped against her face. She felt Ilya shift beside her, his weight moving from one foot to the other.

The silence between them was blissful—there was no need to speak, no need to fill the space. No need to do anything but mourn all she had lost—and prepare herself for all she would gain. As her thoughts slid away from Kat, Khotkin, and Mrs. Perkins, a rare grin stretched her lips. It was time for Russak to rise; it was time for her country—against all odds, through any pain—to become a home.

***

Who are these other characters--Kat, Khotkin, and Mrs Perkins? You may find out in the coming weeks...let me know if you guys would be interested in meeting the characters!

I hope you all are doing well! <3 font="">

--Beka