September #WIPjoy


I’m participating in another  #WIPjoy hosted by the lovely Bethany Jennings. It will be all about The Sparrow and The Star. (Small Spoilers Warning)

Intro Week

Tell us about your WIP:

The Sparrow and the Star is the sequel to the Cost of Two Hands, a semi-steampunk/dystopian YA fantasy. The Cost of Two Hands (SPOILERS) ends with Sparrow recaptured by the Clowns and Jonah trapped on the Streets in the body of a machine. War blossoms left and right. The Sparrow and the Star picks up right where the Cost of Two Hands ends with Jonah fighting against three Gangs while trying to protect as many children as he can. Adele must find the Preacher to return Jonah’s soul to his body. Sparrow is forced through a Relay and finds herself in Metropolis-by-the-sea and in the desperate clutch of the Guardian of Purity. This story is infused with more hope than the Cost of Two Hands, but ends with, in my opinion, worse cliff-hangers. J

What stage are you at with this project?

I’m about half-way done with the first rough draft. Jonah, Bree, Soul, and others have their part of the story finished. Now, I’m working on the Dragons and Sparrow’s side of the story.

Describe your work in progress with 5 verbs.

Well, now that I’ve thought of 500 adjectives and 200 nouns…battled, fought, drove, fell, and burnt.

Background Week – Settings and Backstories

What emotions do you evoke with your setting?

My first layer of setting is a world experiencing an ice age which evokes a mixture of hopelessness and beauty. The second layer of my settings is the locations of homes. The Streets evoke a sense of brutality and the mean shortness of life, while Greenhome is filled with light, music, laugher, and rough and tumble playfulness.

Share a line with a detail about your protagonist’s past.

Soul stared down at his broken hands. He’d had a month with Jonah. One month. But, what a month it’d been. It was as if Jonah’s soul had waited through all the dark days he lived on the Streets and then burst forth at the moment of salvage. Soul had never seen a child change so much. Yes, Jonah was still a ragged, violent, determined boy, but he’d found hope in using his gifts for others. So radically had he changed that he’d befriended Adele, gained Cid, Ralph, and George’s trust, marked Cry of the Storm, and saved Greenhome from the Clowns. Some month indeed. Soul shook his head and smiled to himself thinking of Jonah facing Cagen in Olive Hall. He’d been so proud at that moment.

What does your antagonist love deeply?

Within this story, I have three antagonist. Two very immediate ones, and one over-arching one that will really come into her own in book 3. The main thing that comes to mind with all three when I think about what they love dearly is themselves. They love themselves. Each expresses this differently: Cagen loves comfort, Pain loves power, and Purity loves her Clowns. But, what it really comes down to is they love themselves.

Which two characters have the most interesting history?

This is a hard question for me to answer because not all my characters are forthcoming about their history. They’re more focused on all the terror I’m bringing to their lives at the moment. That being said, I’d say Soul and Ronan have the most interesting histories. Soul is the master of Greenhome. I have no idea how old he is, or where he gets his powers, but he is very old, and his use of quiet magic is very interesting. Ronan is a character I’ve worked with for many years. I know him in and out, up and down. He has a unique family history that led to him receiving the powers of the SoulDefender of the Material World, also known as the Preacher. From that power, he built a force of men, the Deacons, who help him fight monsters and Guardians who use their powers to hurt others.

Name something experienced with each sense in your WIP.

Touch: the rotting bark of the dying Forest, IceFog tendrils (Not that you’d want to touch those)Smell: oceans, wet wood, rust

Hear: gunfire, explosions, screams

Taste: salty tears, coppery blood

See: the bones of a city making up the Streets, the white rose Hedge of Greenhome, the Burning Place in Metropolis-by-the-sea.

Is any part of the backstory inspired by your own life?

Not really. Adele is sort of representation of someone saved young in life and the struggles they have to see their salvation since they didn’t necessarily have a drastic turning point from visible evil to visible good. That is based on my own experience of growing up in a Christian home and being saved at a young age.

Share a line you love about a setting.

They wove through the diseased trees, down into little gullies formed by creeks, now silent with ice, and up through pines and oaks and pecans, naked and ruined.



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