So, I entered The Faarian Chronicles: Exile into this sort of big deal kind of award, thinking nothing would come of it, but looky here! I’m stoked!
10/10/16 – 10/31/16
Enter to win a $75 Amazon Gift Card, one of three paperback books, or a bundle of FIVE ebooks (including mine)!
Scroll down for entry ↓
It’s here! It’s UP! Nervous. Excited. Do all authors feel this way?
“A timely, fun sci-fi series with a strong female protagonist. A blast for teens and adults alike.”
– G.G. Silverman, Vegan Teenage Zombie Huntress
You can also see me and get a signed copy in person at Flowers By Lynne in Raymond WA, hear an action-packed reading, ask those burning questions, win books, and other fun on Thursday, 7/28 at 6:30pm! So excited! https://www.facebook.com/events/208596536203694/
INHERITANCE Release! – July 26th in print and digital. Stay tuned for online events!
Flowers By Lynne – Reading, Q&A, and book signing – July 28th, 6:30 pm. Raymond, WA.
South Bend Timberland Regional Library – Reading, Q&A, and book signing – August 20th, 2 pm. South Bend, WA.
Raymond Timberland Regional Library – Reading, Q&A, and book signing – September 17, 2 pm. Raymond, WA.
Chapter 1: Sorry, Not Sorry
Some days, I swear, the whole planet was mad at me.
“Take it back! Take it back!”
I could hear the chant even before I reached the doorway. They had said there would be protesters. I expected a few people waving signs. I didn’t think the entire train station would be full of people who hated me.
I looked at the faces of the Warriors who were forming a barricade for me. Their disdainful expressions said, “What did you expect? This is what you get when you disobey orders and give interviews to slimy reporters.”
Seriously? I grunted disgustedly to myself and hefted my overstuffed duffel higher on my shoulder. Geez, where’d all these protesters come from anyway? I didn’t know what to do besides duck my head and pretend to ignore them, while keeping a lookout from the corner of my eye. A few looked twitchy in that way I was starting to recognize.
The Kindred Warriors and their Ahatu cat partners stretched themselves into two lines, holding back the crowd and making a walkway down the stone steps and across the wide train platform. The Afflicted Rights protesters gave the cats a wide berth, but pressed in close to the Warriors who held their scys out horizontally to the floor, poles extended like a high-tech alloy rope line. Their blades remained folded into the poles.
“Take it back, take it back! No one deserves to die like that!” The stone train station echoed with the protesters’ chants filling the cavernous space. They pressed toward me, against the human-cat barricade, waving their protest signs and shouting in my face. I put my head down and hunched my shoulders against the onslaught of hate coming at me from all sides.
The stone train station had been my underground haven these past few months, with the space, but not the equipment, to practice gymnastics. But now the stone made this an echo chamber of anger, and my haven was ruined.
Micha, my mother’s Ahatu Warrior partner, walked next to me, her giant tiger bulk coming up to my chest and taking up most of the walkway. I gripped my fingers into the fur on her shoulder, a bit harder than she liked. She bonked her head against my side with affection and purred reassurance.
Teague, with my mother gone and her second-in-charge on maternity leave, was the first Warrior on the steps next to me. “Whatever you do, Sunny, leave your scy on your hip,” she said next to my ear. “That’s an order.”
I looked down not even realizing that my hand was on my weapon. On my belt, it looked like a police baton, but it would take only two flicks of a button to extend it to full-length, double-bladed deadliness. I nodded to show I’d heard and started down the steps when something small and hard hit and burst on my cheek, making me stumble and flinch to the side.
I swiped at it with the back of my hand and saw dark red and bits of red cellulose casing. I probed at my cheek and found it sore, but the skin unbroken. I sniffed the back of my hand. Ewww, blood. Someone else’s blood. Gross! I looked around in time to see Teague snatch a protester out of the crowd and pat her down, coming up with an air pellet gun and tucking it into her belt.
Really? This was what I got? I did my best for my mother and my family. I put my brain on the line to testify about the monster who had climbed in my window and attacked me. (Fat lot of good that had done. Months later, Mom was still wrongly imprisoned for a murder she hadn’t committed.) And I gave an interview to show the world the proof that the court wasn’t willing to consider. In return, I got hatred and bloody paintballs from rich, Glass City activists who didn’t know a thing about it. All they knew was that they didn’t like my phrasing in an interview. Well, sorry. Not sorry.
I flicked the bloody cellulose bits off my hand and jerked my chin up and my shoulders back, glaring around at the protesters. I knew there must be a big smear of blood down my cheek, but I refused to wipe at it again.
— Excerpt from The Faarian Chronicles: Inheritance, copyright 2016 Karen Harris Tully. All rights reserved.
I would sooo enter this if my book wasn’t included!
Enter for your chance to win a $115 Amazon card, one of fifteen signed paperbacks (The Faarian Chronicles: Exile is included and it’s in good company!), or eight ebooks!
“Enjoy this time with your little ones, it passes by so fast.”
I hear this advice over and over from people who don’t have young kids. I smile and nod appreciatively. But let’s be honest, some days are not always enjoyable as a stay-at-home mom of two, ages two-and-a-half and two months. Don’t get me wrong, I love my kids more than anything. More than myself, more than writing. I know how lucky I am. How many people are blessed enough to get one miracle, let alone two? So why do I feel like such an effing ingrate some days? And why do my son’s grandparents enjoy simply playing with him more than I do?
Since giving birth to our baby girl two months ago (has it really been two months already?) we’ve had lots of help from both my mom and my parents-in-law. Which is awesome because the change from one kid to two has been a sleep-deprived, temper tantrum-filled shock to my system.
The grandparents have a great time literally chasing our toddler around and never lose patience with the terrible twos, which really have been terrible lately. But all-in-all, he’s an adorable, smart, good little boy (when he’s not refusing naps), so why can’t I have as much fun with him as they do?
I know what you may be thinking, but it’s not that the grandparents sugar him up and hand him back whenever he poops – they don’t. And I don’t think it’s because they’re not with him all the time – at least that’s not entirely it. They come often, a few days at a time, and our son has stayed at their house several times now for entire weekends of hilarity. They just have more fun with him than I do.
Maybe it’s a matter of experience. They raised three active boys while my son is my first. He’d rather be outside in any weather, while I’d prefer to be inside writing – ha! like that’s happening now. But more than that, I think it’s about patience. They have it in spades, while I feel like I have none. I want it all. Now.
I want to be a good mother first, a good person, and a good writer. I want a writing career and I’m working to make it happen. Why else would I be sitting up writing a blog post at 1 a.m. while everyone else is asleep? It’s taken me well into my thirties to figure out what I want from life and I feel behind, like I have to catch up.
The grandparents are retired. They’ve had their careers. Of course they still have goals, but they don’t feel the impatience with themselves the way I feel. They can focus on having fun with their grand kids.
And now there’s my son, awake from a two-year-old’s nightmare – something about wanting his baseball. So, here I go, to practice patience in motherhood. And then writing while nursing, a diaper change, and finally sleep. But first, patience.
It’s not about who wants it the most.
It’s about who works hardest for it.
Go get your dreams!
For my first ever! blog post, I thought I’d start with a little insight into my random brain. In case anyone cares, which they don’t. But hey, it’s my blog and here goes!
People ask me where story ideas come from. Short answer: Everywhere.
Long answer: Everywhere. When I first started writing, I was just writing down my strange, sometimes highly entertaining dreams in a diary – and they seemed to be telling a story. I actually tried looking for that story, thinking it was something I’d heard about, or read and forgotten years ago. But no luck. There were a number of great dreams I didn’t write down because I was so sure they were a story I’d read or seen on TV. They were too good, they couldn’t be coming from my subconscious fully formed like that.
I started stringing together the dreams that I had written down into a story – the story I wanted to read but couldn’t find. And then it became the story I needed to tell. Several of my dreams actually made it into Sunny from Afaar, my working title for my first three novels, which have now become The Faarian Chronicles.
I still dream fully formed scenes sometimes, including characters and settings, and I keep a dream journal at my bedside. But once I got used to writing consistently, ideas started coming during the day, from real life. The news and the world around us is full of strange events and stories, and I just let the imagination flow. Like:
- The decommissioned, supposedly never operational nuclear plant on Highway 12 at Satsop, WA. A hundred stories could take place around those giant cooling towers.
- A woman with the first successful uterus transplant gave birth recently. How long before a man could have a uterus? Or a transgender woman? Would that be cool, just too weird to contemplate, or inevitable in the (maybe distant) future?
- A drunk government employee crashed a drone into the Whitehouse at 3AM. So many possibilities there.
- The local outbreaks of chicken pox and measles due to “educated” people not vaccinating their kids. The first cases of polio surfacing after we thought the disease was dead, for the same reason.
- There are three rival school districts in a fifteen mile radius in my small hometown. Pre-K through 12th grade, they have about 670, 545, and 330 kids respectively. That’s about 1550 kids in the three districts, total. I had 1600 in my high school alone (Vancouver, WA). The reason for three small school districts in such a small area? Tradition and rivalry. Consolidation is a four letter word. No don’t count. Four letters – trust me.
- The rush and pressure to find a cure or vaccine for ebola, leading to possible rushed testing on human subjects.
- The haratchi in Sunny’s world came from DDT use as a farming pesticide years ago and the resulting thin eggshells causing mass bird die off.
And sometimes real world events are so strange and disturbing that they don’t need any imagination or embellishment.
- An NPR story years ago stuck with me about seed corporations in India genetically engineering crops to not produce viable seed. So farmers have to buy it season after season, year after year as the corporation jacks the price as much as possible.
- Monsanto in the US patents their GMO crops so that when seed or pollen blows from one of their farms onto a neighbor farmers fields and takes root or produces a hybrid, contaminating the farmer’s field with the GMO crop, Monsanto sues that neighbor farmer for “stealing” their patented organism. Large corporations make charming villains. And I imagine non-profits can be just as bad.
- A million, trillion others!
The point is, ideas are all around. It’s writing them into a cohesive story that’s hard work!