Part 1 of ?
Over the last few weeks, I’ve been working on my next novel, a modern-day fantasy/horror piece with the working title of In Lonely Lands, and I’ll share with you some of my progress in this and future blog posts.
When I start on a book, one of the first things I develop is the characters. I’ve written several pages of notes for each of the major ones, jotting down ideas, doing online research, discarding some concepts, adding new ones, etc. I’ll have more about them later, and some details might change, but for now, there’s:
- Alyx, a Korean-American girl of 17. The protagonist of In Lonely Lands, Alyx is estranged from most of her family and has recently come to live at her uncle’s house on Kent Island. Foul-mouthed, rebellious, fond of vintage hard rock and motorcycles, Alyx just wants to get through her senior year and leave, perhaps going to New York to pursue her passion for drawing. Her life changes when she meets…
- Sam Patterson, a 17-year old senior at Kent Island High School. An honor-roll student heavily into theater and Magic: The Gathering, Sam has mild cerebral palsy. As part of his therapy, he does horseback riding at Fairmore Farm in Kent County. Leaving the farm one evening, he and Alyx encounter…
- “Oth’s Woman,” a white-haired, silver-eyed sorceress of unearthly power and ability. She brings Alyx and Sam to Lonelylands, a cold desert waste littered with the flotsam and jetsam of a thousand other worlds, stalked by monsters from the grisliest nightmares, and ruled by…
- Oth, a being from the deep dark among the stars. The Beothuk of Newfoundland were not the first to serve him, but it was through them that the Norse under Leif Eriksson encountered him in the 11th Century and gave him the name he still carries. Oth sends his servants–the greatest of whom is the silver-eyed witch–out into the adjacent worlds to bring him back bloody tribute.
There’s more–much more–which I’ll share with you as I fully flesh it out. I’m engineering the monsters from the ground up, so to speak: my goal is to make them not at all like what you’re used to from movies, TV, and other books, and yet absolutely terrifying.
If you’re a fan of hard rock from bygone times, I think you’ll enjoy the numerous references throughout the book–the current title for Chapter 1 is “You Could Be Mine.”
Literary influences on In Lonely Lands include:
- The ancient Hindu epic The Ramayana
- T.S. Eliot’s masterpiece The Waste Land
- The Little Prince, the beloved children’s classic by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
- Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness
- Danse Macabre, Stephen King’s brilliant non-fiction analysis of horror
Come back soon for more!
Kenton Kilgore is forging a new direction in young adult science-fiction and fantasy. He is the author of Dragontamer’s Daughters, based on Navajo culture and belief.
Kenton also wrote Lost Dogs, the story of a German Shepherd and a Beagle-mix who survive the end of the human world, only to find that their struggles have just begun. With Patrick Eibel, he created Our Wild Place, a children’s book about the joy to be found in exploring Nature.
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