Gayest Excerpt Ever

Well, sorta, haha…

Here’s a snippet from the third book, where Ion gains sight of something he never even knew could be seen. It’s definitely a spoiler alert, so don’t read ahead if you’re not down for that sort of thang. But for those of you who are….ENJOY! And don’t forget to get your copy here! And add my Facebook and twitter!

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Chapter Twenty-Three

The Thunder Lord

Mearic and I clung to the window of his chamber, our eyes fixed on the army in the distance.

Sol was so eerily quiet I could almost hear the rash of bumps rising on my arms and neck. The front line of the army was a row of ants on the desert hill beyond the gates. They were too far for me to make any of them out, but my ears were buzzing now more than ever. And I knew where the buzzing was coming from. Among those soldiers was Lillian…Theo…my sister. What were they going to do if we faced one another? What was I going to do?

My chest tightened at the thought. Triplets save me.

In the middle of the front lines, I could make out some of the soldiers shuffling about, parting as a large object was rolled forward. A small glimmer of light twinkled off its rounded edges. Metal.

“Come,” I told Mearic, eyes still fixed on the glimmer. “We must join your father.”

I’m not sure why, but I grabbed Mearic’s hand without even a thought, rushing us to the lift. It was only when the platform shifted and rushed upward that I realized I still had his hand in mine. I looked down at our interlaced fingers—as he’d been doing—and quickly pulled away.

“Uh, sorry,” I said, warmth rising in my cheeks.

Silence fell, and then I felt his hand slip back into mine. I looked at him, and slowly, that smile that reminded me so much of my mother’s parted his lips. His kind of…pretty lips. In that moment, with the wind in our ears, and our eyes locked, we said so much to each other. I told him of how he reminded me of my mother and her gentle, caring nature. I told him that he’d been the only person to make me laugh in over a year. I told him of my plans. And I told him that I’d protect him at all costs.

I tightened my other hand into a fist. At all costs.

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Rough Draft Complete!

IT HAS BEEN DONE! The rough draft for the second book in the Sky Guardian Chronicles has been completed!

It shall be entitled The Iron-Jawed Boy and the Hand of the Moon, and at this pace, it shall be released early 2014 😀

I’m so excited with the direction this story has gone. It’s going a bit darker, where confusion and uncertainty plague IOn’s thoughts on the daily. He’s going to really start questioning where his life is going and who his allies and enemies are. The lines, he discovers, are not so clear-cut.

The next month or so is going to go by rather quickly. Going to be starting the revisions for the first draft on Monday, I believe, and possibly finish by the end of October. Wish me luck!

Thundercats, HO!

Wrote 2500 words today!

Boom.

I’m getting better and better at writing rough drafts, you know, just letting the words flow instead of getting hung up on all the little things. I just keep telling myself “Stop. Noooo, stop. Seriously stop. Omg, Nik -_- FREAKIN’ STOP ALREADY!” so I don’t obsess as much. It works! Sort of.

Anyways, I’ve decided this book is going to span the month of July, which is only a month after the dreaded night of the CVEs in book one. Ion’s going to be encountering a number of things that challenge his ideas of who exactly the Illyrians are. I’m sort of aiming for an abstract view on authority–like, don’t always be so sure. Question everything, I guess you’d say.

I’ve also decided there’s going to be a lot of this:

And this:

Oh, and this:

And definitely some of THIS:

So you have been warned!

Girls in Boy Books

I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately, and the more I go over my first book (and the plans for my upcoming books) I’m quite proud of my female characters.

When I was writing The Iron-Jawed Boy, I was well-aware of the fact that because my book was centered around a 10 year old boy that the book would then be considered a “Boy Book”, but I reject that notion quite vehemently (spelling?). I chose to surround Ion with lots of strong female characters–be it older or younger–because I think it’s important that the book not just be a “boy with another male friend goes on all the adventures and what not” story. Girls are just as brave, just as strong, just as intelligent (most would argue more intelligent) and I wanted young readers who dove into the book to pick up on those themes.

Moreover, the female characters I do provide I make a point of not allowing to lean on the crutches of boys. It’s such an annoying thing (whether in reality or in a book or in a movie), watching some girl constantly rely on the boy for ideas or strength or something ridiculous like that. Not that it’s out of the question, but I thought it vital to attempt a protest of the Disney Princess Syndrome, commonly referred to as Ugh, Why She So Annoying? Disease. Yes, you have to include the queshollienition mark.

I guess my concern over boys learning early that girls are awesome comes from my upbringing. I was raised with two pretty cool older sisters, whom I looked up to for almost everything. To me, there was no one stronger than those two, and I still feel that way. Though don’t tell them that. Here’s one graduating. Also in the picture, you will notice  the beautiful gelled “bowl cut” I was given. You might also notice, I rocked the shit out of that haircut.

In conclusion, if one day my series was picked up by a large audience, I only hope I could empower a generation of girls, just as I plan on empowering a generation of boys. No, I did not plan on that sentence sounding as epic as it did 😉