Writing Words With the Tips of My Toes
Some of you have requested samples of my writing. Since I hate posting rough drafts, and When Stars Die is under contract, I can give you a taste of its sequel though a small part of chapter one. I’ll even through in samples of some dialogue. While this has been looked at and professionally edited, it is, of course, still a proof and not a final copy.
These are just samples and some of them are out of context.
Chapter One Sample
I am a child of The Seven Deadly Sins. Witches, many people believe, are worse than murderers.
Rivulets of blood stream down my back as I think this, splashing red dots on the parquet floor that look like cherry spatter. On my knees, I watch this in a dirty mirror and even count the number of welts I wasn’t able to keep track of during my whipping sessions: fifteen. Perhaps there are more.
One welt for each year of my life.
I touch a welt on my shoulder and wince. Since movement is difficult, the rest sting as well. The flesh is puckered and cracked, sending forth beads of blood that join together and trickle down my side, caressing the ribs sticking through my pale, clammy skin. This will be the last welt I ever receive in my life. I take comfort in knowing I’ll never be beaten again. Or I should take comfort in knowing I’ll never be beaten again.
Tomorrow I’m going to be burned at the stake.
Father comes over and plants soft hands on my shoulders. “I wish you could stay here, but Governor Branch would only let you go if you were exiled from here. Gallows Hill is safe, I promise you.”
Exile. A word meant for criminals.
“If it’s so safe, how come you and he know about it?”
He rests a hand on my cheek, bends down, and looks up at me. “He receives a lot to keep quiet. You don’t think Governor Branch lives as well as he does on tax payer money, do you?”
I take this to mean Governor Branch knows the location of certain safe houses, and he only keeps this information from everyone else in the towndue to money.
My insides boil at the thought that my life is a bargain, something to be bought and sold to the highest bidder. I pull away from him. “I. Don’t. Want. To. Go.”
“Be reasonable. If Governor Branch allowed you to stay here, people wouldn’t be kind to you at all. You know how they are in this village. I can’t protect you forever.”
I close my eyes. “Mother isn’t coming to say good-bye, is she?” I don’t know why I bothered to ask. Father’s eyes make the answer clear. He just can’t bring himself to disappoint me.
“Alice, don’t do this to me.”
“And we’re here,” the driver announces, coming upon an enormous manor that rests on a cliff overlooking rapids.
I shrank against the seat, intimidated by the sheer size of the structure. I’ve never seen a building so enormous in my life. Then again, I’ve never traveled far from Belhame.
From where we are I am able to make out enormous gargoyles on the blackened shingles of the roof that look like they want to come alive, swoop down, and dig their stony teeth into my flesh. There’s a rusty bell on a bell tower behind a peaked roof, one that looks like a signal for funeral services. Thick vines choke the manor, and they cover so much of the building I wonder if the inhabitants inside are able to breathe.
The most frightening décor of Gallows Hill are the stained-glass windows. I have no idea if they are supposed to serve as a warning or not, but they contain pictures of shadowy creatures holding crosses as if to ward me off.
I tug my father’s sleeve. “I don’t want to be here.”
These are just some samples of my writing. Once the release nears for When Stars Die, I will be posting chapter one of it! As per my contract manager’s advice, of course.