A surprising number of teenagers in 2019 (some them, no doubt, encouraged by hit films like Bohemian Rhapsody and Rocketman) are fans of 70’s and 80’s rock. So, too, is Alyx, the Feisty Teenage Heroine of This Wasted Land, my latest young adult dark fantasy novel.
To go along with that, I set up the table of contents for TWL as a “playlist,” and named each chapter after a hard rock song. Each relates to their chapter in some way, whether it evokes the mood, mirrors events, reiterates themes, or simply inspired it. You can find posts about other songs on the playlist here.
Track 5 is “No One Like You,” from the German band Scorpions, off their 1982 album Blackout. It’s a favorite of mine because in addition to the wailing guitars, it’s a very passionate song, about someone being far away from the one they love, and missing them very much.
Girl, there are really no words strong enough
To describe all my longing for love
I don’t want my feelings restrained
Oh babe, I just need you like never before
I just imagine you’d come through this door
You’d take all my sorrow away
In the fifth chapter of This Wasted Land, Alyx dreams about Sam held prisoner and tormented by the witch Freydis (she also has an encounter with Pimmi, the protagonist of my upcoming novel Stray Cats).
Just like the singer and his girl, Alyx is very much missing Sam, and starting to blame herself:
I shouldn’t have come.
I should have waited, stayed by the bike until the cops got there. Then I could have told them what had happened, and I could have come with them when they stopped the train and found Sam. And then we could have gone home. If I had done that, I wouldn’t be wherever I am. I wouldn’t be hurt and lost and alone. I wouldn’t be wondering where to go, how to find him.
But Alyx doesn’t have long to ruminate, because she faces a number of challenges in this chapter (one of them quite horrific), and is confronted by a vision of something impossible. More about that next time.
Kenton Kilgore writes killer SF/F for young adults and adults who are still young. In his latest novel, This Wasted Land, high-school senior Alyx Williams learns that witches are real when one attacks her and her boyfriend Sam, dragging him off to a nightmare world where Alyx must go to get him back.
Kenton is the author of Lost Dogs, the story of the end of the world as seen, heard–and smelled–by a dog. He also wrote Dragontamer’s Daughters, like Little House on the Prairie…with dragons! With Patrick Eibel, he created Our Wild Place, a children’s book about the joy to be found in exploring Nature. Kenton also published Hand-Selling Books to help authors better their sales.
Don’t miss the latest! Sign up for my mailing list, and you’ll know about blog posts, sneak peeks, upcoming releases, sales, special offers, and more as soon as they appear. I will honor your privacy and never spam you or sell your information. And you can, of course, unsubscribe any time.