As most of you might already know DOTS (aka Dagger of the Sun) is undergoing some changes. The more time I spend in my fictionalized version of Ancient Greece, the more the world expands – in particular, the Underworld. The Underworld in DOTS is actually a world within a world, and in my version it existed long before Hades claimed it for the dead. And unlike the surface world of mortal Greece, which with the exception of supernatural elements, is mostly true to history – the Underworld is almost 99% a fictionalized landscape. I’m having loads of fun naming places and coming up with groups of people who inhabit the different landscapes of the Underworld.
Best of all, I actually get to stretch my creative muscles a bit and create a map of the Underworld. I actually get to draw! (Or at least I like to call all the chicken scratch I’m throwing on paper “drawing.”)
Of course, not all of the terrain with be revealed in the first book, so I don’t get to draw a complete map…otherwise that would be some major spoilage for book two, but what I do get to include is very detailed.
But I have to say: PLEASE, DON’T EXPECT TOO MUCH from this map – I am NOT an artist and therefore, it’s going to be a very amateurish attempt at drawing a map.
However, despite the fact that it will be a very embarrassing attempt, I will still swallow my pride and share on the blog.
And for those of you still not deterred and unafraid of having your eyes bleed, I do have a very bad rough draft.
To make up for my bad mapping skills, I’ll share a teaser from DOTS. This is a scene that happens way later in the novel, and features Bae and Kael. The gentlemen are discussing Bae’s rigorous training schedule for Delphyne.
Ben Hill, my inspiration for Bae.
“Do you think I’m being too hard on her?” Bae asked.
Kael thought about the still-healing cut that he had seen running down the length of Delphyne’s right arm. The fabric of the bandage she’d hastily wrapped around the wound had been soaked through. He had been ready to drive his fist though Bae’s face last night, but had been halted by the words Delphyne had whispered to him in the flickering candlelight of their bedchamber.
“I’m still alive, aren’t I?” She had shrugged, not without flinching. “And as incredible as this may seem at the moment, I do plan to stay that way.”
“I think it’s good for her,” Bae continued, dunking his hands into a basin full of water. He splashed a handful of the water on his face, using the clear liquid to rub away the dirt and sweat of the day’s training session. “But I figured if you’re itching to slit my throat, you might as well get it over with so we can both move on.”
A river of fire. That’s how Delphyne’s wound had looked the night before. A vermilion streak over sun-kissed skin. This morning it had been the finest white line. It was healing. Fast.
So much faster than before.
“No,” said Kael. “I don’t want to slit your throat for hurting my wife.”
Bae looked at him in surprise.
“I want you to keep training her…until she’s strong enough to slit your throat on her own.”
And there you have it! I had to cut out some parts from the scene – because some things that Kael says are spoilers – but I felt relatively safe uploading this.
Hopefully you enjoyed the little snippet, and now I have to get back to writing! 😀
(aka The Mapmaker)
Personally, I’m looking forward to sleeping on Saturday – university forces me to wake up way to early the rest of the week. 😦
To celebrate the awesomeness of Friday and the end of the week – a very BUSY week at that – I thought I would post a teaser from Dagger of the Sun (DOTS). I like posting teasers, because it forces me to edit my writing, which I don’t always want to do. I am a very lazy person, as most of you probably know after reading a previous post, so getting down to editing something takes a lot of effort for me.
Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE writing! But the first draft is always the best for me – it’s when I get to discover the nuances of the story for the first time. The journey is fresh and new and I want to finish just so I know how everything ends. I like the part of the editing process that allows me to rejuggle the story, but I hate the part about grammer/spelling – mostly because I’m awful at these aspects.
But, now, without further ado – THE TEASER!
Taking advantage of her temporarily stunned state, her captor aimed another kick to her sword hand, crushing her fingers until she was forced to drop her sword. Delphyne felt a hand clamp over her mouth and nose, preventing any hope of breathing.
In less than second, Delphyne knew she would be unconscious and defenseless. Survival instincts kicking in, she aimed her knee high between her captor’s legs – swinging hard enough that it should have brought whoever had manhandled her to their knees in screaming agony.
Only it didn’t.
I always look forward to reader predictions…so go ahead and speculate about what you think is going to happen in the comments!
(aka High on Friday!)
It’s that wonderfully time of day when you guys get another Dagger of the Sun teaser. So now without further delay, let me introduce to you Baelock, Kale’s right-hand man and supporting character:
He opened his eyes as his second-in-command, Baelok, came into the room. The man was tall, like any immortal he towered well over the average mortal man, but he was still not as tall as Kale. And though his hair was a jet-black, much like Kale’s own, their eyes were eons apart. Bae’s eyes were a striking green-grey combination, the colour of the sea during a storm – something Kale was certain Bae had never seen, being born and never having left the Underworld in his entire existence thus far. In contrast, Kale’s own eyes were as dark, though most would say darker, than his hair.
Kale could see that Bae had yet to go see his personal attendant, his face sported a light scruff of hair – not unusual for Bae – but his black cloak was dusted with soot and dirt, and underneath it Kale could see that his recently purchased silver armour had not suffered any better, all of which indicated Bae had just arrived from his latest journey to Tartarus.
“I brought along a present Kale,” said Bae in his usual rumbling tone that some women found seductive – that is until they heard Kale speak. “Would you like to guess what it is?”
“If it’s another woman, I will kill you,” muttered Kale.
“I can see you’re in one of your moods.” Kale heard Bae sigh, moving closer to lean his shoulder against the doorway. “Too much time with Hades?”
“Any time spent with Hades is too much.”
“Then you are going to like what I have to show you even more,” Bae’s reply contained more than a hint of mirth.
And that’s a taste of Bae…who is turning out to be a surprise. He a new invention of my imagination – never existed in the original draft – but then a lot of new characters are sprouting up now that I have time to look at what Dagger of the Sun needs to make it a truly complex story. And a great supporting cast is essential!
(aka The Tease)
P.S: Also joined Pinterest.
Once again, just to prove that I’ve been keeping on top of my editting, I’m going to post a short teaser. The new teaser is Apollo’s description from my novel:
Delphyne had been in the hidden glade not far from her home, practising the sword-fighting manoeuvres her Spartan father had recently taught her, when the god had landed in front of her. He’d looked magnificent with his wings, of not feathers but light and flame, as if he’d forced rays of sunlight to take shape at his back. His wind-tousled hair had transitioned between the shades of pure white and the deepest of gold. A laurel wreath snaked around one wrist, while the other was left bare by his sleeveless white tunic.
But it had been his eyes that had started her, more so than even the soft golden glow, the perfection of his face – with it’s high cheekbones, and smooth skin that lacked her father’s scruffy beard – or his incredible height. The pale blue of the winter sky, they were like chips of ice in a torrent of fire. Those eyes had stared at her with an intensity that scared her.
As you can see, my Apollo is blond which is contradictory to what Pierre Grimal writes in The Concise Dictionary of Classical Mythology, where he notes that Apollo was “especially distinguished for his long, curling, black hair” (49). However, as I am the author of this novel, which is a work of fiction and not an biography of Apollo, I decided to take a little – or a lot, depending on how you look at it – creative license. While I like to stick with the facts when it comes to Greece, its environment, foods and clothes, I don’t intend to follow any of the myths too precisely.
Also, I’m fairly certain the original Apollo didn’t have wings, but mine sometimes conjures them when he needs to travel long distances. (He’s too young yet to just appear where he needs to go.) Here’s what I imagine Apollo’s wings to look like:
My current motto is, “I will own this myth!” So that means I’m sticking to a new, original retelling and not just the facts.
Just letting you guys know that I’ve been diligently working on Dagger of the Sun edits with my critique partner, the fabulous Priscilla Shay – I say fabulous because not only does she have to look at my make-your-eyes-burn bad novel drafts, she also has to provide feedback that will make it better – all while working on her own novels, short stories, poems, etc. Check out her second weblog here!
In celebration of my hard work this past week, I’m celebrating with a Lord Kaelus (Kale) teaser from chapter two of my novel. Kale is my anti-hero, who is really more of a villain and Delphyne’s future husband, because somehow I will give these two a happy ending!
Now on to the (unedited) teaser:
Lord Kaelus, High Councillor of the Underworld and Master of the Night Palace, was seated in the large dining hall, sipping his ambrosia. A clear liquid, created specifically for him, that on most days satisfied his more primitive urges. However, on this particular day, Kale had spent far too much in the “esteemed” company of the God of the Underworld.
He felt like killing someone.
And with that I bid you farewell for the day, since I must get back to more edits or the fabulous Priscilla Shay will eat my head.
(aka The Diligent One)
P.S: Here’s an image of the colour of Kale’s midnight cloak, which he inherited from Nyx, the Goddess of Night.