A Quote Teaser For The Advent of Shadows

So, I have had the idea to do something like this for a while. I would love to do something like this with audio and voices, but I think that’ll come later down the line when and if I ever have a proper audiobook. Until that point, this is a little teaser for The Advent of Shadows, but unlike my previous teaser, which was an extract from the early part of the book, this time I have taken quotes from the book.

They are completely out of context and have no names attached and come from different parts of the book, so you can try and figure out who is saying what, to who, and why in your own mind. I picked some quotes I thought would capture some important elements of the book, but also, tease the tone that the story will be taking.

And… there might be a little more to some of them than that. Aaaand… there are no errors with any of the quotes. To fully understand them, well, I guess you’ll just have to wait until it’s out won’t you?

Just trust me when I say a lot happens in this story, so many surprises and I don’t really want to give away anything more than I already have. So, I think this will be the last tease I provide for a good while. 

No idea when I’ll next be posting on here, but in the meantime, I’ll be enjoying the lockdown in whatever way I can, and hopefully the next you hear of me, it’ll be during brighter days!

Anyway!

That’s all I’ve got to say, and I’m out.

Peace!


 

“This is a sacrifice that must be made for the realization of Mother’s plan.”

“I am concerned she may be taking her Fate too much to heart.”

To me, your very existence was a curse… And yes, I hated you for it.”

“What reason do they have to keep on fighting against us?”

“You’re not so selfish. I know you wouldn’t forsake the whole world for one person.”

It is clear the Umbrisa-Kin have some greater goal. One that the Umbrisa left them with.”

I cannot deny things have taken a turn for the absoulte worst.”

    “∴⊂⇐↵⊗⊕⊆⊇⊆⊄←ℑ↔↵⌉⌋⇔∧∨¬∩∋∉∈≡≠”

“Do not succumb to the madness.”

As you can see, things have gone quite differently this time. Far beyond even my expectations.”

Sever the threads. Sever the threads. Sever the threads.”

Standing around in front of something like that for two-hundred years? Yeah, I’m alright on that one.”

“The Gods must have created it for some purpose! Where else could it have come from?!”

“Daybreak. That’s us. The light that breaks through the dark!”

“A lady and a Lenria dancing? Well, this is certainly one for the history books.”

“How…? How did I create such a monstrosity?”

Any Kin you come across are to be captured if possible and killed if necessary.”

Your makers… still asleep they all are. My makers… awake. Always. Always awake. 

This is the Fate you deserve.”

A Wild Extract Appears (Again)!

Yes, a little under four years later, and another wild extract appears.

This time, it’s an extract from The Advent of Shadows, which is the sequel to my debut novel. 

I’m doing my best to make as much progress on it as I can, and to any and all who have and will read the first entry in the series, thank you very much. I promise you the sequel will blow that one out of the water though. At least, I certainly think it will.

I won’t say much more, but naturally, there will be spoilers for the first book in this chapter. So if you haven’t read the first book, and you’re the type who hates spoilers, I highly recommend you don’t read this. 

For those of you who are curious about what is in store for you, I already posted the synopsis for the sequel earlier, and below is the entirety of chapter three.

Yes, three.

I put the first chapter at the end of book one as a preview for this book. And for readers of the first book, I think chapter three will be a good tease, as it shows my first time writing from the perspective of a character who never got any POV chapters in book one. Also, chapter two would put out too much plot information that I think would be better experienced in the actual book, rather than months before.

I also have some other book two stuff I plan on posting today, but I’ll leave that for later. 

Till then, enjoy.


A PREVIEW OF THE ADVENT OF SHADOWS
(Everything below is subject to change)

Useful

When she was first ordered to be part of this assignment, Meilin hadn’t the slightest idea what to expect. Being commanded by a Senior to join an operation to the mainland was not something she expected to happen anytime soon, and perhaps if not for her decent display of knifework, it may have not ever happened.

But it did, and so here she was.

Meilin bopped across the bridge that led into the large fortress where the squads headed by Senior Rin had just fought.

She gazed around at the landscape. It was not exactly like she had imagined. Actually, it was nothing like she imagined. Her studies led her to believe the mainland was this lush land full of an abundance of life, albeit the Lenria side of her studies ensured to emphasize how this all masked the darker and more broken side of life on these lands. Yet these fields were all brown and dull-looking.

Regardless, Meilin had yet to meet any humans, and so until then she’d reserve full judgment. But there was so much to take in. So much going on every which way she looked. Even the small town that was beside this fortress was remarkable to her.

The way the buildings were all a similar design, all so neatly placed beside one another, and how the road snaked through, outlining a path from the modest town to the grand fortress.

But what really got to her, was the fact this was nothing next to everything else that was out there.

A human city must be a mad sight, is what she thought. Definitely got to see one of those soon!

“Meilin!”

Meilin jumped. She looked up ahead to see a face not unlike her own staring back at her.

“Hurry up,” Meihui snapped. “I don’t have all day to wait on you.” She stood in the massive doorway that led inside the fort, arms folded, and brows dipped.

“Sorry!” Meilin said before hurrying over.

As she entered the fort with her twin, she took in the large walls and the posh-looking furniture that was in some of the rooms. She would have thought that a fortress would have been much plainer, just a lot of stone and steel or something like that.

As she followed Meihui through the Fort, she realized she hadn’t the slightest idea where she was going. So, she asked.

“Where are we going, sis?” She spoke the words with enthusiasm.

Meihui glared at her. “Do not talk so loud. It’s not necessary.” She led Meilin through a door and onto an unnervingly dark stairwell. “The only reason you are even here is because you wouldn’t shut up about it. So, the least you can do is shut up now.”

Meilin smirked, holding back the hurt she all too deeply felt. This was how her relationship with Meihui had always been. Despite the fact they were twins, Meihui acted as though she were above Meilin, and it often appeared as if she was embarrassed by the fact they were related, especially in such a blatant manner.

Twin Lenria were a very rare occurrence, but there was no significance to their existence. There was only one other pair of twins in the Order presently, and they were much older than Meilin and Meihui. Historically, there had only been one other pair of Lenrian twins, and they both perished in the civil war.

As such rarities, Meilin often felt it was only right they looked out for each other and enjoy one another’s company as proper blood relatives. Meihui on the other hand, seemed to think such a notion was nonsense. She didn’t view herself as a twin. To her, it wasn’t Meihui & Meilin, it was just Meihui.

Once they reached the bottom of the stairs, Meilin entered what appeared to be a dungeon. It might have been more intimidating if not for all lamps and Lenria present in the room.

High-Archivists, High-Paladins and even some High-Artisans were scouring the space as though investigating something. A couple of them were scrutinizing sheets of paper, whilst others were discussing the structure or observing the massive map on the wall. Two women were inspecting some kind of hole that was in one of the cell walls.

One grey-haired lady hunched over the table glanced up as Meilin and Meihui entered. Her shoulder-length locks rested nicely on her white tunic. For whatever reason, she was not wearing her navy robe, but her brands were on display just as well, and from those Meilin identified her as one of Senior rank, specifically a Senior-Archivist.

“High-Archivist Meihui,” she addressed, raising her right three fingers in salute.

The twins saluted back before the Senior eyed Meilin.

“Is this a family outing?” asked the Senior.

Meilin made a playful face. “Aren’t we all family, Senior?”

“Be quiet,” Meihui murmured.

The Senior didn’t give a proper smile, but there was a little tug of something at the corner of her lips. Meilin was satisfied with that.

“She is merely here to observe, Senior,” Meihui explained.

The Senior seemed to be looking at Meilin’s brands. “She is a Paladin. Should a High-Paladin not be accompanying her?”

“Naturally, Senior. I just–”

“You have a habit of taking things into your own hands, High-Archivist.” The Senior’s tone was harsher now, her eyes a tad more piercing. “Only those of High and Senior ranks are permitted to be down here. Bringing one of your lesser experienced sulira with you was not only foolhardy, but a blatant disregard for proper protocol.”

“Forgive me, Senior. I can escort her back upstairs.”

“No. You have wasted enough time. Paladin, you may see yourself out.”

Meilin looked at Meihui, but of course, Meihui just glared at her, as if it were Meilin’s fault that she was down here. It partially was but it was also partially Meihui’s fault for allowing it.

It’s not like I knew I wasn’t allowed down here.

Meilin just saluted the Senior and her twin before heading back upstairs.

She returned outside and just sat on the grass, uncertain of what exactly she was supposed to be doing. She only wanted to go with Meihui because she was bored, and because she was being nosy. She had a chance to go inside the fort and have a peek around, of course she was going to take it!

Bunch of good that did her. She still ended up being left out in the cold, literally.

Surely there was a purpose for her in all of this. She was friends with the Luxia, the bringer of light and all that good stuff. How was it that still nobody treated her special in some way? In all honestly, nobody really treated anyone particularly special in the Order, that was how the culture was. Still, it would be nice if for once she was a bit more acknowledged.

She never really put much thought into it, but Auria only managed to get down to the mainland because Meilin helped her. Well, it was Meihui’s plan, but Meihui only gave them that plan because Meilin had pleaded for her help to rescue Marria.

But Marria died anyway.

If she hadn’t given Auria that way to the mainland, perhaps that would have never happened. Perhaps Marria would still be living. But maybe then the Umbrisa would still be living too.

Meilin sighed loudly, resting her head on her hand as she watched the setting sun. Night would soon come. Night on the mainland. She’d never seen that before. Maybe it would cheer her up a little. She hoped so.

Meilin just watched the other Lenria who were busy doing things around the outside of the fort and in the nearby town. She saw a few flying back and forth, carrying things to and from the fortress.

She kept her eye on the large doorway to the fort, waiting for Meihui to come back out.

But she could only stave off the boredom for so long. Once she no longer could, she began walking around.

She headed into the little town, looking around for Auria, or even Parax or Senior Rin. But she didn’t see them. She reckoned it would be nice to have some friends to talk to right now, so upon seeing one girl she recognized carrying a bucket of water, Meilin approached her.

The girl was only a Varlet, but Meilin knew her face, and felt comfortable talking to her. She knew the bucket of water was likely to wash the clothes of a Lenria or two, and she remembered how annoying that task was, and how further annoying it was when someone interrupted you when doing it.

“Erm,” she started. “Sorry to bother you. I know you’re busy. I was just wondering if you knew where Auria is?”

The girl frowned. “She’s on the Isles,” she said, as if it were obvious. “She’s sick or something, I heard.”

“Sick?” Meilin repeated with a frown of her own. “How could she be sick? You sure about that?”

The Varlet shrugged. “Just what I heard.”

Meilin could see the girl urgently wanted to press on. “Alright. Well, thanks anyway.”

The girl just nodded and waddled off, forgetting to salute her superior. Or perhaps it was just because both her hands were full. Still, Meilin couldn’t shake the feeling it was a tad rude of the child.

She made her way back near the bridge to the fort. She was certain she was meant to be doing something right now. Everyone else was. Even that varlet. Yet here she was, doing absolutely nothing.

Usually that would be a good thing, a great thing even. But right now, it just made her feel useless.

Just then, she noticed Meihui coming out of the fort and heading towards her.

“Well, what happened?” she asked her. “Anything interesting?”

“What did the Luxia tell you of the dark mirror she found in the mountains?”

Meilin was thrown off by the sudden query. “Err… I-I don’t really remember.”

Meihui sighed. “So useless.”

The words were like a kick to Meilin’s heart, but she firmed it. “Well… I remember a little bit about it.”

Meihui narrowed her eyes. “A little bit being what?”

“How she destroyed it.”

“Everyone knows that.”

“Well… also what she said it felt like. And how the Umbrisa came walking out of it, and that when she destroyed it, the Umbrisa had not been destroyed with it.”

Meihui perked up. “Destroyed with it? What do you mean?”

“I don’t really know. I just know she said that.”

Meihui seemed to be in thought. “I think there is another one of those mirrors. Senior Odile thinks the same.”

Senior Odile? Is that who that woman was?

“If that is true,” Meihui continued. “That will most likely be an issue. I just heard that Auria is in the infirmary back on the Isles and Parax is with her. Whatever is going on with her may also be a problem. So, you’re the only person close enough to her who is nearby. They could simply question Auria, but Senior Odile said it would be best not to do so for the moment, and since I know you may know something, I suggested we simply get your input until it is a suitable time to get the Auria’s.”

Meilin rose her brows. “Wait, so you want me to help?”

“I have told Senior Odile that we need more information,” Meihui explained. “You may have some that nobody else present possesses. That is all.”

Meilin made a smug face. “So… you want me to help?”

Meihui glared at her for a moment before rolling her eyes. Then, with an audible groan, she walked away and back towards the inside of the fort.

Meilin grinned.

Finally, she had something to do. Something only she could help out with. Maybe now she might actually be useful in some way, and maybe she would actually be recognized for it.

Synopsis for The Advent of Shadows

First things first.

It’s my 23rd birthday today. Last year, I revealed my book cover for my debut novel as a gift to the world, despite the fact it’s my birthday. For many years now, I’ve always treated my birthday as a sort of deadline or something to draw attention to things I’ve done or plan on doing, but usually, I do that offline and keep it to myself.

This year, I wanted to follow in the spirit of last year and do some more things in relation to my writing, but since I don’t have a book cover for my next book yet (mostly because I can’t think of what I want it to be), I have decided to post some things related to it instead. Partially as a way to show I am actually working on it, but also for some people who have been curious about the next part of the story. 

So, I will be posting a few things today, before inevitably disappearing from this site for ages again. The first of those things will be the synopsis for the sequel to my debut novel. If you finished The Light Within Tears or looked at the next book’s Goodreads page, you would have seen this already, but for anyone who hasn’t, and also just because I feel like it should be on here, here’s the synopsis for my next book, The Advent of Shadows. 

Subject to change ofc…


A matter of months has passed since the events of The Light Within Tears, and now, the Mistress shall learn of the penultimate tale in this trilogy of tragedy, the tale of The Advent of Shadows.

When news of an unstoppable disease and a new mirror of darkness surfaces, Auria spots an opportunity to redeem herself for her past failures and to fulfill her Fate. But Fate has further challenges for her, and when Auria’s healing powers go out of control, she shall struggle not only to save others from the ever-spreading darkness, but also herself.

Still searching for truth in an ever-darkening world, Parax pursues the title of High-Paladin all the while hiding her true nature from her scrutinizing superiors. When she meets Prince Arlas, the son of the Emperor, a conspiracy against both their societies is uncovered. As an unknown threat strikes from the shadows, Parax realizes that to face this enigmatic enemy, she must enter human society, and it is there she will face the greatest test of her loyalties.

Upon hearing about the possibility of new dark mirrors, Meilin joins her twin sister’s team on a venture to the Eastern continent to investigate a place no previous Lenria has returned from. Meilin just wants to be useful, to have meaning, but what she and her twin shall discover in the East, will spawn revelations that threaten to destroy all meaning as they know it.

My Debut YA Fantasy Novel Is FINALLY Out!

…on Kindle!

As Valentines Day ends, I wanted to take a moment to celebrate my one true love…

…my debut fantasy novel.

This beautiful creation has been part of my life for 5 (almost 6 years) and now, finally, I have decided to let it go.

As of midnight, it will available for everyone in the world to read (you can still pre-order it for the last couple hours of today or just buy it tomorrow). I already know a lot of people don’t read books these days… I don’t blame you.

Who needs books when you got Netflix and video games? But, storytelling is a passion of mine, and books are just one of many ways I hope to tell stories.

So maybe Netflix and video games are in my future, but for now, this is what I have for you.

The Light Within Tears is the first entry in the Fateslayer Saga, a Fantasy series that I hope will be thought-provoking as well as entertaining for those who read it.

If you’re interested in books and Fantasy stories, then this may be for you. If not, mention it to someone who might be interested.

It is only available as an Ebook right now, but soon it will be available in paperback, and MAYBE someday in audio.

To those of you who do end up reading it, I hope you enjoy it. For those of you who ain’t really into books or audiobooks, who knows, maybe it’ll be on your screens one day.

Thank you for reading this wall of text. I greatly appreciate it.

UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B083TCJMMB

US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B083TCJMMB

5 Common Misconceptions About Starting A Fantasy Novel

There are a number of topics I have always wanted to talk about, but just never did for various reasons. This is one of them.

When I was starting my own fantasy story, I had a lot of ideas about what I thought I was supposed to do, and those didn’t always completely align with what I could actually do, or not do.

This video is mostly for anyone who was in a similar position to myself, or those who already know this stuff, but would like to hear another voice reinforcing it so you feel more assured of your decisions.

I want to cover many more topics, some of which may not be to everyone’s tastes, but that’s the way I’m going to run things.

Anyone paying attention to my channel might have noticed I have uploaded some Kingdom Hearts videos, which may seem completely leftfield. Don’t worry, I’ll still have writing content, but I may be coming at things from a bit of a different angle than I was previously.

But to be honest, when haven’t I?

Enjoy the video.


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A Lenria’s Tale – First Chapter

A/N:

This is the first chapter to the prequel story I started back in 2015. This is as far as I ended up writing for it, but I do intend on completing this story at some point in the future.

This ‘chapter’ is quite short because I never actually finished it, but it still ends somewhat decently. 

As I said in my previous post, I have been away for a while but I am coming back in full force. Keep an eye on my YouTube channel, that’s where I’ll be devoting a good amount of my energy, other than working on new stories that I intend to self-publish by the end of the year.

Things might get a bit crazy over the course of this year.

I’ll leave it at that.

Hope you enjoy reading this, and I’ll see you around sooner than the last time I posted about that.  


I

So, here I sit, shrouded in angst. Resentful. Hateful. Vengeful. I am them all and so much more. I am the dark that stalks the light, bound and imprisoned by an eternal fate no weeping could wither. I am many things, but never regretful.

No, because it is now I who shall determine my fate. It is my words that shall spin this story, my hands that paint the picture, my will that tells the tale. A tale of a young girl destined to destroy. A girl spawned to spawn calamity in turn.

And so we begin where the first signs of calamity did, and to do so we shall take a trip down memory lane to a distant place that’s flames have long since extinguished. To the place which I was born, to my home town of Forswin.

As you may have guessed, Forswin was not a particularly well-known or talked about town. The town just about struggled on, held barely stable by its farming industry–if the town was known for anything, it would be that. The population would always remain in the dozens, a small town of people who simply wanted to go about their day without any trouble.

Myths of magical creatures that hid amongst the human populace had spread like wildfire. There were talks of what to do with them, but the problem was no one knew what they looked like, all we knew was they looked like us.

In Forswin, a town where nobody dealt with the supernatural, where myths and legends remained just that, and we lived in peace as the world turned, and the mysteries turned with it. It was as though no world existed outside our own. But that’s what makes what happened perhaps truly humorous.

Several months after the initial rumors had begun spreading, a new claim emerged. People began saying that all the alleged creatures were women. Of course, you know what happened at that point. The men scoffed it off, their egos too fragile, too arrogant to accept such a thing. “It’s just old fisher wives tales,” they’d say.

The world laughed as stories of magical women became commonplace. But not in Forswin. You see, something the town was frequent in doing – though not as well-known for – was their pious witch hunts. The inhabitants to the small town had believed women possessed supernatural ability for decades, but they always believed that something made them immune to it. That being mostly cut off from the world – save for their farming –  also severed all ties to the hellish Void that corrupted it.

I don’t need to tell you how preposterous that is. Anyway, it was not too long after a fire erupted in one of the small homes in the town that minds began to change, reconsidering what may be. And any doubt that lingered in their minds dissipated when they saw the young, black-haired girl leaving the burning house, not a scar or wound to her. And when they saw those glistening devilish red eyes of hers, what were they to think?

“Witch!” they hissed. “Foul demon! Burn her!” They’d rush for their rusted swords, knees wobbling and arms obviously untrained. They’d not seen action for the past century. The townspeople were out of touch with reality. But on that day they came back to it.

Of course, the girl who limped out of the house was me. And of course, I was far too naïve to understand my power. I had indeed burned the house, but there had been no one in it. What exactly was the problem? Sure, they’d have to rebuild it, it’d be costly, but was that any reason to call me a witch? When Madeline Arell somehow burnt her stew every other day was that because she was a witch? When Aran Nock lusted over Sweet Susie, was that because she was using her witchery to seduce him?

Of course, it wasn’t. But I didn’t think about that. I just ran. I ran as far from the town as I could, straight into Forswin Forest.

And that was where they caught me. Where they shot me down, piercing my lower thigh with an arrow. Where I fell, and first learned what pain, bloody, violent pain truly felt like.

As I bled amongst the autumn leaves, screaming in agonizing pain. Oh, oh if only I knew just what would happen to them only moments after.

That is what makes the beginning all the more important. That is what led to this path to darkness.


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A Lenria’s Tale – Prologue

A/N:

I did not expect to be posting this, but here we are. If you recall, a while back I posted up the prologue to my main fantasy series (Fateslayer), and also provided a bit of a synopsis for the first book, ‘The Light Within Tears’.

Well, this is the prologue to a story which I intended to be the prequel to my main series. What’s interesting, is that this piece (and the following piece I will post) were both written back in July 2015, so I had recently turned 18 at the time.

I was reading it recently, and I thought: “You know what, this ain’t half bad. And I haven’t posted on my website in almost a year. I’ll throw this up on there. Why not?”

So, here it is.

Just for clarity’s sake, this story was to be told from the perspective of the first antagonist of my main series, so it’s probably worth mentioning there will be some level of spoilers most likely. Whilst I will not write this story for a little while from now, and it may well be in a different form to what I’m sharing here, I haven’t diverged much from my original idea of it all since 2015 till now. So, I have a feeling some of the content in here will carry over to the final version… whenever that comes out. 

I’ve mostly left it in its original condition, save for some typos and glaring grammar issues which I have tried to sort out. Other than that’s it’s pretty much untouched from back in 2015. 

I suppose if for some reason you want to compare this to my current writing, you should compare this to Lairé or any future piece I put up, as this was one of my strongest pieces back when I wrote it. 

I won’t say much more about it. Bear in mind it’s the opening to a prequel, so it’s written with a specific audience in mind for the most part. Also, I was just practicing writing something familiar to what I was writing at the time, yet different. It was intended to be an adult novel, whereas my main series is YA.

Honestly, These pieces were the result of me trying to imitate a well-known author’s style and voice. I’ll leave you to guess who.

Hope you enjoy it.


Prologue

The sky roared.

The derelict room lit with each passing thunder, illuminating the stony surroundings. The spoiled stone was teeming with overgrown moss, green vines running through the gaps between each block of rock and seeping out onto the cold floor, their tips just about touching the thick pool of gory crimson.

Trailing from the pool was a single line that traced back to a single, gowned figure. Her long, black strands of hair covering her face. Her right hand pressed against her chest, feeling each and every tender throb of her gloomy heart.

A heart as black as the gown she was garbed in. A heart as black as the wild night sky. A heart as black as darkness.

She slouched against the wall, the thick moss prickling her neck. Her gleaming red eyes beheld her left hand. Nothing was in it, but yet everything was in it. The first symbol of success.

She leaned forward, eying her reflection in the crimson pond. She’d hoped to find a body in healthier form. This one was not the most suitable choice. Besides the obvious loss of blood, the fractured bones and inability to move were other, perhaps more mundane issues. It was too tall, too slender, and too… beautiful.

It was not her. And despite how inappropriate and unfitting of her it was, it was a sign that called for joy. A sign of triumph.

She giggled, hearing her new laughter. She spoke, testing words and phrases once accustomed to her old tongue, with this new one. Her voice was too high and too feminine. She sounded more like some courtesan than what she truly was.

What she truly was… what would become of that person? She was someone else now, someone far more astute. For the first time in her deplorable existence, she was the victor.

She struggled to her feet. A soring agony was lined through her upper leg, fading into her stomach. The bleeding had apparently ceased moments before she entered the body. She limped across the cold stone, grains of filth sticking onto her bare feet.

She was different now. She was a new woman with an era-old vengeance. But she was forever the shadow that curled in the mist of night.

She was Inah.

***

The twittering of birds sounded outside the closed windows of the inn. Inah lay in a bed she’d ‘borrowed’ for the night. She’d had no coins, no items to trade. None but one. The innkeeper was bold enough to notice and foolish enough to ask.

Of course, she’d accepted, promising herself to him for the night. In exchange for a warm bed, he could make it warmer. But the only warmth bestowed upon the bed that night was of his blood.

He still lay there, throat slit, milky white eyes wide open. It almost looked as though he was frozen in perpetual, horrified shock. A still image of terror. He’d been helpful at least, he’d helped Inah test out her new body.

Her new face and body granted her attention, and information, her elegant eyes tempting him into submission as he spewed stories about his daughter he’d sent away to live in Graydus, to protect her from the Empire. And many other stories, some of which should have been saved for the grave. The longer arms had been useful also, easing the effort needed to reach for her previously placed knife beneath the pillow.

As she inspected the small room, she began appreciating details, details her old self would not appreciate. The small portrait that hung on the wooden wall, or the condensed window panes, or even the precisely carved wooden door knob. Her mind was not completely her own, that much was apparent now. She’d fix that, that and her dreadful new voice.

But whatever this strange part of her mind was, it was fond of the place. It liked wooden walls, the architecture, and the smell of wetted grass that was swept in with the wind. It liked it all, for all its minor attractions and flaws. So for its sake, she’d keep it.

***

It had been roughly a year now since she’d usurped ownership of the inn. She’d walked in there twelve months ago, pleading for shelter over the counter with nothing but the blood-soaked robes on her back. Now she stood at, and ran, the counter, adorned in a fine, red velvet gown. Apparently, red was the colour to wear these days. The invading Emperor seemed adamant about that.

Roughly four months ago, a blindfolded figure draped almost entirely in red, wearing an excessively long hooded dress, had appeared in her room at the foot of her bed. She had known the figure, it was her old friend, Xiaa.

Xiaa was there now, just finishing showing out the last of the customers. It had been a busy night. Inah could still hear the deafening jeers of the drunkards. She was certain most of them had attempted to ask her for some ‘company’, but she gracefully declined.

The truth was, she’d kept the sheets clean for the past year, and bloodstains were awfully difficult to wash out by hand and cloth. There had already been enough prying inquiries regarding the change in management.

Inah had spun some tale – one of lies, of course – about how she’d been the innkeeper’s daughter, but he’d sent her away to live in Graydus. But after it was captured by the Empire, she fled with her husband to return here but lost him whilst on the unforgiving road. She always dissolved into tears at that point, weeping for the sympathy she all too well knew a gorgeous woman received. They’d become too concerned with pandering to her to continue when she gently asked if she could just ‘forget about it’.

Xiaa approached the counter, pulling out a stove and pouring herself a cup of wine.

“Careful,” Inah warned, “There’s not much left.”

Xiaa smirked at her. “Nope. You still sound like a nobleman’s daughter.”

“I can’t help it.” Inah attempted to sound colder, but her voice simply broke. “This maddening voice simply wants to remain this way.”

“It’s fitting of your new look.” Xiaa drank her wine, seemingly examining Inah’s chest. “Perfect, even. There’s no need to change it.”

Inah fastened her gown, folding her arms. “That’s easy for you to say.” She leaned forward, her face a hair’s breadth from Xiaa’s. “But I’m the one who has to live with it.”

Xiaa chuckled, careful not to spittle wine. “So, when are we going to begin?”

Inah pulled back from Xiaa, frowning at the specks of dust that spoilt the floor behind the counter. “Tomorrow.” She walked to the stairs, grabbing the broom that leaned against its wooden railing. “I’ve only waited this long to see if there were any significant drawbacks. Anything that would lead back to this body, or anything that could give us away. But apparently not. We’ve probably got another era before we begin to see any truly threatening signs.”

“And what of Morrigan and Lily?”

“They’ll likely work on fulfilling Celia’s dying wish: creating that damned Order of hers.” Inah began sweeping out the dirt from behind the counter.

“Is that jealousy I hear?” Xiaa teased, her ruby lips curving into a distinct grin on her dark-skinned face.

Inah stopped sweeping, glaring at Xiaa. “Jealousy?” she scoffed. “Jealousy for ultimately winning? I defied Fate itself. I disobeyed my own myth. There is no greater victory. If I was envious of anything, it’d be myself.” Inah continued sweeping the dirt towards the front door.

“Of course,” Xiaa agreed. “Though, I wonder what deceptions they’ll feed the children about you at the dinner table.”

A gust entered as Inah opened the door, brushing the specks of dust out. “They’ll say the worst of me, that’s certain. But I’m not so sure I dislike that. It will make my re-emergence that more terrifying.” She stood in the doorway, the gentle breeze swaying her long shadowy strands. “Although, I can’t help but feel as though I should be telling my own side.”

Xiaa turned back on the stool, confusion pressed into her regal face. “Own side? You mean as in telling your side of the story?”

“Yes,” Inah nodded. “Why? Is that such a bad idea?”

“Well… for what reason?”

“Well, it’s not for the same reason that stories of heroes and heroines are told. Or for the same reason why Celia Ambrosia will be seen in a blinding array of brilliance. Not for the reason it will inspire senseless children to be like me. But because it’s different. Because in my story, there is no hope for the protagonist. Because in my story, there is no light at the end of the tunnel. Because in my story, I win.”

Xiaa stood from the stool, raising her cup. “Very well, Lady Inah. So long as this part-time writing does not detract from our goals.” She downed the wine before placing it on the counter.

“It won’t.” And with that, Inah pulled the door shut.

***

Inah sat at one of the circular tables in the tavern, gazing at the passing clouds outside the window. She held a pen in hand, a stack of paper and a jar of ink placed on the table. She would truly write out her own side of the story.

And why not? She would have two hundred years – an era – to do it. She couldn’t be out doing her all to fight against fate the entire time. No, she would write her side of the story.

Though what she planned to do with it she hadn’t fully thought out. She could always attempt to publish it, though she guessed the process would be long and tedious, and beyond her tolerance. Perhaps she’d simply leave it in a drawer somewhere, never to be seen by the light of day… until one day when it was uncovered by an ambitious scribe, swearing to discover the truth.

That aside, where would she begin? From when she was a child? From when she first met Celia, or perhaps Morrigan, or Lily? Maybe she should start just before the battle with Celia, keep the story short.

No.

No, this was a tale of darkness. A tale of how things that begin in darkness always end in darkness.

And so that was where she would start, at the same place her darkness did.


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Anime List: https://www.kitsu.io/users/NGN (where I get a fair amount of my inspiration)

Lairé (Flash Fiction)

A/N:

This was my entry to a flash fiction competition. It was my first time submitting and even writing a story this short, and I managed to get first place!

This story honestly came from nowhere. I had a completely different idea to begin with, then this just popped into mind. Whatever the reasoning behind its origin, I’m very proud of it.

As it’s currently the freshest thing I’ve written (as in completely original and unrelated to my first novel), I’m excited to see what directions my increased ability might open for me.

Enjoy!  


Lairé

At the sandy shore of a coast, there was a boy who asked a simple question. “Are you a siren?”

And at the edge of a shallow sea, there was a girl who gave a simple answer. “No.”

“What are you then?”

The girl frowned before gesturing to her scaled tail. “A mermaid, of course.”

The boy mirrored her expression. “What’s the difference?”

With hands on hips, the girl eyed him wearily. “Sirens are not born.” And then suddenly, she tugged on his shirt and pulled him close for a kiss, before swimming off into the morning sun.

The boy spent the rest of that day thinking only about the gracious dips and dives of the majestic creature. So, of course, like any enamoured youth, he ran back to the same spot the following day. She was there again, still singing her sweet songs.

This time, he asked her name.

“Lairé,” she told him.

Thus, began the first of many shared mornings for the following decade.

They each told stories of their side of the world, his of land and hers of sea. They laughed at the foolish misconceptions that one thought of the other. They sung together… or at least, Lairé sung. And after Lairé taught the boy how to swim, they sometimes swam together.

And of course, they aged together.

It was only a matter of weeks after his eighteenth birthday when the letter came. As the boy turned man held the paper in his hand, he cursed his fate.

He went to the coast on that morning. He knew what he had to say, but lacked the strength to. Lairé swam over in that mesmerising way she always did, humming a smooth tune that gently swept across the sea.

At first, Lairé’s eyes were bright, but then they dimmed. “You’re going to war.”

“What gave it away?”

“I have felt the change in the currents for a long time. I’ve always known this day would come.”

“I’m sorry.”

“You could come with me,” she says, hopeful. “There is a small island not far from here. Nobody lives there, but you could. I could bring you food from the sea, and supplies from downed ships. We could be–”

“No.” He had spent many hours pondering the possibilities. He even knew of better, more sensible ones than she suggested. But the choice was made. “I have to go, Lairé. Not for king and country, but for my family. If I leave to be with you, I will forever hate myself.”

Lairé gave only a somber look as she said, “Come back to me.”

With all the honesty of his heart, the man said, “I will.”

From then on, Lairé waited for many moons.

She waited.

And waited.

And waited.

As the world slowly changed, so did she. Something within her grew cold and weary. There was a wave of something resentful, a steady increase of ire. Her once-sweet songs became bitter things soaked in spite and vile, and her soft hums became harsh whispers.

On one cold and quiet night, she came across a shipwreck. She dived beneath, scouring for whatever treasures she may find. Most of the crew had perished. Except one.

His face had changed just as hers had. It was clear he was now a man of many battles, not all fought with weapons of war. But beneath that, was that same boy.

Lairé brought him as close to their shore as she could. She held his limp body close to her chest, his gentle breaths a final blessing.

Her kind possessed only one power, one she had forever considered a curse. But tonight, on this first and final night they would share together, she was thankful for it.

Lairé closed her eyes and placed her hand on his forehead. She removed any trace of her existence from his memory. She took these memories not out of anger, but out of her last piece of love.

This was Lairé’s final gift. A chance for him to continue living without the pain of remembrance.

She whispered in his ear. “Sirens are not born.”  She then kissed him one last time. “Because they are made.” She pushed the man she once loved into the sea, letting the currents bring him ashore.

Lairé took one last look at him before swimming away across the moonlit ocean, leaving him to a life of lost memories, as she lived on with forlorn melodies.


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Anime List: https://hummingbird.me/users/NGN (where I get a fair amount of my inspiration)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Things Going Forward

It’s only been a little over a month since we came into the new year and I laid out my resolutions for 2018, and already I’m backtracking.

That’s not a bad thing in this case though, there’s actually a very good reason for it. In fact, I reckon things will get a lot better as a result of these changes.

Now, before I said I’d continue my podcast, I even went so far as to tweet saying I would release the episode (that was a matter of weeks ago and I’ve since deleted that tweet lmao). However, as you might be able to guess, I’ve decided I’m not going to bother with the podcast further as of right now.

Why?

Because I remembered who I am and what I actually want.

I have strengths in areas of writing that are far better suited to a certain style of content. Whilst I’m quite a good talker, I don’t think a podcast is really for me. I’m glad I tried it out as it’s something I always wanted to do, and I fully intend to return to that format (with my original podcast idea, hopefully).

So, if not podcasts, then what will I be doing?

Let’s split this into three sections: my website, my YouTube, and other social media.


Website

I’ll use my website primarily to showcase my writing from now on, and I won’t be posting much of anything else on here, other than links to videos that I deem relevant (such as milestones).

So, in terms of written content on this page, it’s going to be exclusively stories from myself for the most part. Short stories, extracts, anything like that.

I may also write posts that expand on topics addressed in my videos, should I feel they don’t fully cover what I want to get across.


YouTube

This is perhaps the most interesting part, and where most of the change is happening.

YouTube is ma boi! I’ve been using it since 2009 to make videos (vastly different to the ones I make now ofc), and it’s my favorite thing on the Internet to be honest, even if it has taken some odd turns over the years.

As I said earlier, I’m good at talking, and I don’t feel like I’ve ever fully taken advantage of that ability, nor my understanding of everything else to do with video content.

A couple hours ago, I posted a video called “Why You Should Start Writing RIGHT NOW“, which marks the start of my channel’s new direction.

I want to make videos in scenery that doesn’t fit the typical “writing advice” landscape. I always have. But for some reason, perhaps because of my book, some lingering insecurities, or the British weather, I rarely did anything of the sort, and even when I have, I’ve yet to be fully satisfied with it.

To this date, I can say I’ve not made a video on my channel thus far that makes me go: “Yeah, that was a banger.”

Not one.

I’m satisfied with them enough to post them, especially because they’re authentic. But I’ve always known what I want my videos to look like, what I want my channel to look like, and I’ve yet to achieve it.

That is why from here on, my videos will be focusing very strongly on the mindset of being a writer.

Rather than try to pump out content all the time, I’m going to try and make videos I feel are actually meaningful and helpful, whilst keeping them as concise and to the point as possible.

That doesn’t mean they won’t ever be 20mins+. Some of the videos I want to make I can tell will be bigger topics that will take a bit of time to fully explain. However, the videos shouldn’t be longer than necessary, and I’ll cut as much fluff as needed to make certain of that.

Could I not just talk about the mindsets and philosophies for writers in podcast format?

Sure.

But I don’t want to.

I prefer video. I like the dynamic background, the sounds and scenery. I don’t want to sit with books behind me or in a quiet room. I can see how some of my future videos would be shot in such a way, but I don’t want that to be the standard.

Here are some examples of video ideas I have for the future:

“Should you be a writer?”
“Why writing takes you so long”
“You’re allowed to be wrong”
“Avoid romanticism”

Those ones are pretty standard, here’s a few to tease how deep I’m willing to go.

How athletics can teach you to write fantasy novels”
Should writers be modest?”
“Writer vs Storyteller”

And many, many more.

(Those titles don’t even capture the half of it, to be honest).


Other Social Media

I don’t plan on doing anything special with these things. Expect the odd tweet on Twitter here and there (I don’t really care for it), and perhaps a post or two on Facebook.

To be honest, most of those things just exist so I look more professional, and to give me a couple pretty logos on my pages.

It may sound like I’m being lax, but the previous section should tell you I’m doing anything but.


The Moral of The Blog Post

As with most things I do, I want to be different.

I want to catch your attention with something unfamiliar, lure you in by your curiosity, and then sooth you with comforting words of familiarity, before shell-shocking you with ideas that may ignore convention.

I’m not here to be like every other writer, or to do things the way they’ve been done a thousand times before.

It’s time I remember that, and it’s time I show all of you that too.


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Anime List: https://hummingbird.me/users/NGN (where I get a fair amount of my inspiration)

 

The Aspiring Goddess

A/N:

I cannot tell you anything about this short story, except this: it’s related to my flagship series. Perhaps one day you’ll appreciate it in a new way, perhaps not. Either way, you should be able to appreciate it on it’s own.


“If I were a Goddess,” Child One begins, “I would make everyone think like me.”

Child Two laughs at this. “Like you?” she teases. “That would be boring. Nobody would ever smile.” Her legs dangle off the edge of the cliff, she swings them back and forth and pays no mind to the waves that come crashing beneath them.

Child One never smiles because there is nothing to smile at. Smiling is illogical. “That is why I must become a Goddess,” she says. “Because people allow senseless things like boredom to get in the way of what you all claim to desire.”

“And what do we claim to desire then?” Child Two challenges.

Child One spares no second with her response. “World peace. You all say you want it, but you are not willing to give up the only thing that stops you from getting it. Illogical.”

Child Two stops swinging her legs, cocks her head, and frowns. “We should give up all our emotions if we want peace?” She shakes her head. “That does not make sense.”

“It makes perfect sense,” Child One says speedily. “You, like all others, are too emotional, too illogical, too human, to understand. You think loving someone to the point of wanting to sacrifice yourself is logical? You think hating someone based on ignorance, rather than personal experience, is logical?”

“Hold on,” Child Two makes a forestalling gesture. “Who said ignorance is logical?”

“You all live it,” Child One says unfeelingly. “Maybe you have not yet. But the moment your family is in danger, the moment you are in danger, you will cease to care for anything or anybody beyond your inner circle… if even them. Your emotions will take control, and even if others can help you, even if the situation is not as dire as you believe, you will not care. You will shut all others out, just because of your fear. Fear bred from ignorance.”

The children sit in silence as time turns for many moments. Child One inspects the sky. A veil of red-velvet was beginning to be laid overhead by the Goddess’ hands. Child One knew that would soon be her hands, and soon, she would determine the colour of the sky.

Finally, Child Two spoke again. “How will we ever appreciate a peaceful world without emotions like happiness and joy? And how do you even plan on becoming a Goddess anyway?”

Child One looked out over the sunset-struck sea. “You do not need to appreciate peace,” she began. “You need only live it. To your second question: I will kill Her. I will kill the Goddess, and take everything from her.”

Child Two laughs again.

“What?” Child One asks.

“Didn’t you notice?” Child Two’s smirk becomes a grin. “You’re smiling.”

Child One feels her face, feeling the curve of her lips, the curve that forms smiles. “Yes,” she says, feeling no cheer or surprise. “I am.”


Other things you can follow me on:
Website: https://nextgennovelist.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nextgennovelist/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/NextGenNovelist
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/nextgennovelist/
Snapchat: https://www.snapchat.com/add/novelicity
Anime List: https://hummingbird.me/users/NGN (where I get a fair amount of my inspiration)