I hope they are touched by the underlying horror of so many of the children fighting in wars, dying, being kidnapped, starved and freezing, are the unborn from our world getting their chance at life. It’s a subtle theme in the book, but I hope it sits in the back of the readers mind and paints the whole world with a bit of sadness and horror.
I also hope my readers are touched by Jonah’s story and his confidence born out through the mercy and undeserved rescue he experienced. Along with that, I hope my readers appreciate and grow in their own understanding of warriors and the courage and burdens these men bear.
27: Do you sympathize with the antagonist?
Jonah turned his red eyes on me. He didn’t, he couldn’t blink, or even change his facial expression, but I could still feel the weight of that stare.
“Sympathize? With Cagen? Pain? Fear?” He stood up. “They make foolish decisions and children starve. They destroy everything they touch. They send unarmed girls into battle. They force obedience through what hurts or what we’re afraid of. They don’t surrender even when we’ve lost, but keep forcing us to fight. Sympathize with them.” Jonah laughed. “No. No I don’t.”
28: What are you self-conscious about?
“My hair color.” He raps his knuckles on the side of his metal head. “Before Adele put me in here, I had my normal hair color. But in Greenhome that color changes once you fully belong there. I belong in Greenhome more than anywhere else, I just wish my hair would catch up.”
Wrap up Week:
29: How long do you expect to be working on this WIP?
At least a few more years. I just finished writing Book 2, and I’m now editing it for the first round of readers. Once that’s done, I’ll start Book 3. It also has to then be edited and read. While it’s being devoured by my faithful readers, I will do my final edits on Book 1 and 2. Book 1’s ending needs to be fleshed out a bit more.
So, it’s going to be a while before this baby is ready to see the outside world.
“Where I live?” Jonah lifted his red eyes out over the broken Streets. “It might look like I live here.” He flung his metal arms wide to take in all the rubble. “But I don’t. I live in Greenhome.”
“Greenhome?” I asked as if I didn’t know. “Is it like this?” I nudge what might have been a bit of building with my toe.
“This? No. Greenhome is good, and clean, and safe. It’s warm and there’s enough food for everyone. In Greenhome kids, born and unborn, have parents. They teach us to read there and about months. It’s a small town with a white rose Hedge going all the way around it that blooms year around. That’s home. Not this. Not the Streets anymore.”
Catching up: Jonah’s favorite way to relax is riding Cry of the Storm, the Guardian of the Plains. Jonah had never ridden a horse, or even been around them, before he met Cry of the Storm. They become very close through this story.
A line Jonah is proud of: “Not to earn my salvage, but because of my salvage.”
“One thing I’d change in my past?” Jonah repeated my question, incredulous that I would ask such a thing.
“How about not standing up for the weak? How about joining up with Christopher instead of Axe? How about all the maids and crones I abused? How about all the things that made it necessary for Soul to have his hands crushed for me?”
“But then you never would have been salvaged?”
The conundrum was visible on Jonah’s face: his acts had brought him to the point of salvage, and yet because of his salvage he hated them.
“I think I’ll have to ask Soul about that.” Jonah hefted Scarecrow, his hound-head hammer. He rubbed his cheek, as if an old memory lingered there. “If think of it could change one thing, if never let Pain and Fear take me from my mother.”
“Five words?” Jonah scratched the side of his metal face with his metal finger, hasp, hasp, hasp. He paused. “You know I hate that I can’t sigh, or frown, or anything. So, I guess machine would be the first thing to describe me.” Jonah bent his metal head, then shook it. “No. No, it’s not the first thing. The first thing is salvaged. The second is Soul’s Man. Third,” he chuckled, “a fighter.”
Jonah raised his head. “Forth, determined to beat the Clowns, and fifth…” he paused for a long moment, raised his metal hand, bent his segmented metal fingers, “…hopeful.”
I’m most impatient to hear my readers react to the end of Book 2, the introduction of another world, and the salvaging of one particular character.