Thursday, 2 July 2015

Progress Report (And A Snippet!)

The first draft of Smoke Sky is almost done. I've got about 1.5 more chapters to complete this draft and then it will be onto the editing phase. During that time, I'll also be playing with the world a bit more. Adding new places, re-drawing my map, coming up with new locations, etc. I'm excited about it, and I'm certain that once I'm done I'll be able to add a few more tweaks to the first two novels and Obsidian Sky, the finale I plan to start in the next couple weeks.

Since I don't have much else by way of news, I thought I would share a snippet from Smoke Sky. Those of you who read my last 8Sunday post will recognize a piece of this little scene, and anyone who follows me on Facebook will probably have already read this, but I really like this intimate scene and feel like I should share it again...

Some background information: Smoke Sky is a prequel novella where one of the side characters of the Dark Sky series, Gemma, is forced to spy on two grounded sky-pirates to earn her freedom in a world where vampiric monsters rule the sky and take captive anyone they set their sights on. Gemma has just killed her first Hellion– her first anything– and Nash, one of her targets who seems to be falling her, decides to see how she's handling the situation...

“I came to check on you. Tonight was rough, and you seemed a little out of it by the end.”
That was an understatement if I ever heard one. 
I should have pushed Nash away when he sat down next to me. But I didn’t.
“Well, I’m still breathing,” I reminded. “So it could have been worse. What would you have done if I was sleeping?”
Nash considered this for a moment. Then he looked right into my eyes, right into my soul, and said, “Something to take away your nightmares.”
He almost broke me. My whole life, I had wanted someone to say something like that to me. To make me feel cared for. Even loved. Why did I have to hear it from the man I knew I was going to hurt? 
“Well,” I said, my voice more ragged than I would have liked, “don’t think that will be an issue. I doubt I’ll be sleeping a lot tonight.”
Nash studied me for a moment. “It was your first kill.” It wasn’t a question.
I tried to smile. It felt like swallowing something bitter. “That obvious, is it?”
His grin was weak, barely seen from the corner of my eye. I tightened my arms around my knees and all but crushed them to my chest. Nash sat with me, giving me casual glances every minute or two, but never saying anything. He was waiting for me to open up.
It happened sooner than I expected.
“Have you ever…?”
He looked at me. “Killed a Hellion? Or killed in general?”
I nodded.
“Yes to the first. I was just as stunned as you when it happened. As for the second, no… But I came close.”
My head turned. Nash seemed to find his feet much more interesting at that moment.
“A couple times in the Crater. Most of the time we used fists, but sometimes Ryland would want to up the stakes. So he’d toss down a knife.”
Nash’s jaw was set so hard I thought it would break from the tension. He pulled down the left collar of his shirt to reveal an inch long scar at the base of his neck, right where it met his shoulder. It was puckered and thick, stark against his dark skin. I had a sudden, strange urge to touch it and wish I could make it go away.
“Soon as I got this slice, I just saw red,” he pulled his collar up and hid the scar again. He couldn’t do the same for the pain in his eyes. “I lost it. Knocked the knife out of his hand and went at him with everything I had. By the time Ryland stopped me, I’d broken both his arms, one of his legs, and most of his ribs.”
I winced. Nash didn’t seem to notice. “How old were you?” I asked hesitantly.
My chest felt tight. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t horrified by what he’d done– how could anyone not be?– but he had no choice. Someone was trying to kill him. From what he told me about the Crater, it happened more often than not. How else was he supposed to react? The man who attacked Nash was lucky enough to still have his life.
“I’m sorry,” I whispered, though I wasn’t sure why. There was nothing I could do to change his past. Or his future.

One of my favorite parts about featuring this piece on 8Sunday was the reaction I got. I was able to play Evil Writer for a little bit, reading the comments and hinting at what could be to come. So having said that, I'm not going to hint at whether or no Gemma will betray Nash. Though I will say she has a difficult journey ahead of her.

Anyway, that's all for this post. I really hope you enjoyed this snippet and be sure to stayed tuned for more! Cheers!


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