headed toward “this wasted land”

This Wasted Land is in sight:


This Wasted Land will be my third published novel (after Dragontamer’s Daughters and Lost Dogs), a young adult dark fantasy work that I currently plan to release through Amazon on October 15 of this year.  What’s it about?

Well, I could tell you that it’s a modern day, gender-swapped version of the ancient Hindu epic poem Ramayana, partially inspired by T.S. Eliot’s masterpiece The Waste Land, (which, of course, means that it is infused with and informed by the Fisher King legend), all permeated by a metaphorical  “soundtrack” of 1980’s hair metal (yeah, really).

But it’s more fun, and much closer to the truth–not to mean easier to get a handle on–to tell you that instead, it’s your typical teenage love story:

Boy meets Girl

Evil Witch takes Boy

Girl goes to get Boy back

More specifically:

Alexandra “Alyx” Williams is a misfit: a 17-year Korean-American high school senior, new to Kent Island, MD, who doesn’t like school (except Art class), doesn’t like her family (except for the uncle she’s staying with), and doesn’t like being told what to do (Anger issues? You could say so).

But Alyx does like motorcycles, vintage hard rock, Vanilla Coke, and her boyfriend Sam, who’s a misfit in his own way.  So when a silver-eyed, shape-shifting witch attacks them and snatches Sam onto a ghostly train, Alyx follows, only to find herself in a nightmare world: an endless gray desert of lost things, places, and people, prowled by monsters never imagined by her—or you.

Struggling to survive, find Sam, and return home, Alyx endures horrors and heartbreak as she learns that the witch is but the slave of the ancient, inhuman being who rules this wasted land—and who craves to take Alyx and Sam for himself.

I first started drafting TWL 30 years ago, when I was in college.  I struggled with it for several years, then dropped it for a long time, picking it up again a couple years ago when I felt like I could finally tell the story properly (along the way, it’s gone through many changes).

You can learn more about TWL here, and I hope you’ll check it out when it’s published this October.  I’m wrapping up work on it, and soon enough, I’ll be back with more about it.  Stay tuned!


Kenton Kilgore writes YA SF/F you’ll feel.  He is the author of 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. He also wrote Dragontamer’s Daughters, (like Little House on the Prairie…with dragons) based on Navajo culture and belief. 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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