Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Coming Together, Faith, Reflection

The scene in the church is probably one of my all-out favorites in On Black Wings. It comes again out of people's reactions to this terrible event, with the peoples and the religions of the world pulling together for the end of days, and in walks a somewhat clueless black-winged teenaged angel of death trying to figure out her role in the end of the world. Where does she go for answers? It's obvious. Or it should be.

It is a classic scene, straight out of a movie, and she has some of the best lines in the book here.

I could have went deep and intellectual with this scene and contrasted different belief's views on the end of the world, but instead I played it very respectful and almost lighthearted as a group of people of differing beliefs try to help her figure out her role in all this. The entire scene was just a thrill to write, and despite the number of characters involved, it came out pretty well.

Darthaniel was laughing at some of the lines in there, they are blatantly obvious observations but they sound real and like questions the people gathered there would ask her. They are all very maturely played, and when they start identifying the villains one by one straight from books of faith the fun begins. Here's a description of one of them? Did you see him? What did he say? It turns into armchair detectives, and the realizations they have were deeply poignant but presented in a non-preachy and respectful, yet entertaining way.

I went for a more lighthearted approach to religion and politics in this book. I wanted to be respectful and not cast blame, and to also put a positive message on my story for those who hold strong beliefs. There is a very positive message hidden in here, and it is more of a movie-like treatment and handling of the subject than something approaching a serious treatise.

Then again, this is the end of the world, to separate religion from that event would ignore the original material. I didn't want to be like the Hollywood movie that shows the end of the world and does not mention religion once. Religion is important and central to my story, but it is a vehicle for storytelling and not meant to be a message. The message is about growing up, our world, conflict, and the loss of control we all feel. Religion is part of that message too, it has to be, so it is both the vehicle for the story and it also plays a respectful role.

I borrow from the lore, so this part is balance and pays homage to the faiths coming together in a time like this, so it is needed and fun. It also shows a hopeful, peaceful cooperation and understanding I hope all faiths can come to someday. This scene does pay homage to movies like Independence Day and War of the Worlds where people put aside their differences to come together in tragic times.

She also has never been very religious, so it was fun to walk her through some of this, she probably wasn't the right person for the job, but again, there is a reason for that too as we soon discover.

There is a marked contrast here with the diner scene, but both scenes deal with her and a group of people. In the diner, she had no wings, here, she does. In the diner, she was more a victim, here she is more in control and assertive. In the diner, she was a survivor, here she is a defender of the innocent and also someone looking to take action. They are both scenes where she discusses what is happening to her, but in this one she is an active and interested participant in her fate instead of being controlled by the situation.

The church is also the point is also where the rollercoaster begins and goes all the way to the end of the book. It is the highest point of the ride, and it is all a downhill rush from here. Through the words spoken in this scene, she gains understanding for what is happening to her, and she starts forming ideas on how she is going to fight back - if she can.

She makes her mind up that she needs to rescue the fallen angel of death, Azrael, in this scene, and she comes to the realization she can't do it alone - this is a marked change for her, and it shows growth and understanding of her character. Not only is she throwing off the chains of selfishness, she is realizing the world just isn't about her and she needs to reach out. Rescuing Azrael turns out to be one of the worst decisions for her path and transformation as the use of force here done with dark intent, but the motives were good going in. She's trying, she's still failing in some ways, but at least she is trying.

She ends her time in the church looking at herself in the mirror, a metaphorically reflective moment that I wanted her to have. She went there, they helped her as much as they could, and she is alone in her world again. She put herself there, but she decides she can't go this alone, and she is off again, with a little more understanding and control.

Every scene builds, and the people in the church give her another view and better understanding of herself and what is going on. It is an important role, so it is a high point that adds clarity to her life, so I think in that it shows an equal amount of respect for all beliefs in this transformation, and it is a very fun scene.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Death, the Pale Horseman

The character of Death in On Black Wings is a very strange one. I wanted him (or it) to be strange, mysterious, out there, and just plain weird. Death doesn't care about much, taking sides, standing on top of piles of rubble and cackling like a super-villain, or even playing a major role in the story. Death, like death is in real life, ever-present, careless, and a constant. It felt wrong to turn death into some lich-king like force of evil, standing there making threats with a sword, and with bombastic purpose and silly monologue-style speeches.

Death simply doesn't need any of that, death is what it is, and it is a force with so much power it can just observe and manipulate events as it sees fit.

Jessica seems to understand this character a little better as well. When she first encounters Death, it is a strange episode where she is transformed by him. Death does touch her, and tries to change her, but she resists. After the two come to an understanding, she figures out what it wants, and then she goes from being her poorly-dressed, insecure teenaged self into something more in line with what the villainous forces want her to be. After this point, she walks with evil as one of them. She may not realize it at first, but she undergoes a transformation that puts her on the path of darkness.

The clothes make the woman, and the clothes she is given in this scene reflect her image of what an angel of death should look like. The image does come from pop-culture, and this again is intentional. If this is a dream, then the images and transformations she is going to go through reflect the experiences and influences on her life. If a female angel of death is supposed to wear costume-play cheesecake armor in games, comic books, and pop-culture - then that is how she is going to see herself in her reality.

Again, the state she is in is supposed to be almost nightmarish and in a state of semi-conscious thought, influences from the real world slip in and affect the perceptions she has of even herself. Those clothes? Possibly a figment of her imagination.

Possibly.

She calls it somewhat slutty-looking armor, but it grows on her, and she has some funny moments with it later when she asks for a decent pair of pants from one character. It is probably a tragedy she accepts it, but then again popular culture does, so she just goes with the flow. She has bigger things to worry about throughout the book, so her self-image is a bit of lighthearted fun, and there is a reason for it all later on, even if you see the justrification as being only in her mind.

Death stays in the backdrop for most of the book, but the impact of his role in the plot plays a central role in the events that happen. The plot is about death, the entire scheme is about taking over the world through the forces of death, yet Death the character sits back, provides the tools needed, and watches and waits. This is true to the character I wanted, and the role the character of Death plays.

There is a moment in the final act where we wonder which side Death is really on, when something horrible comes out of the earth and we see the immense power Death (possibly) wields. Death seems to be placing its bets with War on that moment, or is he? Is it truly Death's creation? We are left to wonder, and this isn't cleared up on purpose because there is a lot she doesn't understand. Also, I don't feel the need to explain everything, in terrible events like this, there is a lot we don't understand, so this mammoth evil appears, and we are left wondering who and why. It's what I intended, and the pieces need to be put together by the reader.

Though if there's a takeaway here, it is through the character of Death she is transformed into something new, and that mirrors the message throughout the book. It is a force of change in her life, mostly for the worse by setting her down a road of darkness, but it is ultimately a moment that defines her as a heroine.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

War, the Red Horseman

War is the enemy.

I realize I took on a huge task with this one, but in a way, it had to be done. The concept of war is one of the enemies in On Black Wings, and that force is nigh unstoppable. When war makes an entrance, it tears a swath of destruction through the book like nothing we have seen, and it is meant to shock.

It should.

That concept of 'war as the villain' keeps coming back, and I try very hard to stay away from preachy notions, and just stick to a very low-level story about dealing with this as a villainous force. It reminds me of Alvin and Heidi Toffler's book War and Anti-War in a way. War is something itself worthy of being fought against, the things we can do to contain it, the things we can do to move us away from it, and the pursuit of peace, equality, and dignity as anti-war forces.

Of course, I can't take on such a huge subject in a paranormal YA book, but Jessica does manage to find a way to battle this force of darkness by herself using her newfound powers and insights. She comes from an angle of a mother who lost her children and husband to this wicked force of hatred, yet she still believes in peace and understanding. It is her single most admirable trait, her willingness to forgive even the death of her family and believe in a world of peace. This point is one of the central in the book, and it also plays a huge role in why the ending happened the way it did.

We have been living in a constant state of war for so long, I wanted to write a book like this. I didn't want to write small about one particular conflict, but I wanted to write about them all metaphorically. Thus, a paranormal end of the world brought about by the scheming of sinister forces, and instigated by the one most aligned with conflict and hatred.

There are other forces at play too, and it is hard to understand their motivations and who's side they are truly on, and they all play a role. Some of the villains say one thing and do another, promising to want to help her, yet turning on her later, and again, this is on purpose. Like the force of war itself, they are metaphors for the social and political entities that are so large and impersonal we feel powerless to control them in times of conflict. Do we trust them? Do we believe in our ideals and beliefs? Jessica goes through those phases, believing what she is told and then not, and then she's back with those same forces again, and then not.

Like the Tofflers' book, there is a message here - war can be beaten. It can never be eliminated, but it can be contained with sacrifice and vigilance. The goal of containing war as a force of destruction is a noble one. War is a natural disaster brought upon by social forces, and we should actively seek to contain and eliminate it. Doing so may mean war itself though, and Jessica realizes there is a time she must confront it directly. She goes through two major events in the book I find fascinating, and they show the two sides of war to her.

One is the rescue of Azrael, showing conflict as an evil force for expediency, self-interest, and gain.

One is when she fights War itself, showing conflict to contain conflict as a noble yet unavoidable and possibly regrettable means to an end.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

She's a Monster

There's a point in On Black Wings when our heroine becomes a monster. That scene, and the one right before it, were two of the most difficult scenes to write in the book, but if you understand them, what happened in those two scenes is what she is fighting.

She turns very dark, and you get a sense she doesn't realize it or can't control it afterwards. She shifts into this monstrous persona, and then quickly justifies it after a short moment of realization. She can't deal with it all that well, so she pushes it away. It comes out again, to be sure, but she doesn't want to acknowledge her wicked side past that point.

She changes, and darkly so. I am left to wonder if she didn't make a conscious effort and willing decision to join with the forces of evil at that point, and she does in some ways, feeling darkness can help her more than the forces of good. She is conflicted out of a feeling of helplessness in the face of incredible power, so she goes along with those who wish to do the world ill - for her own reasons.

It's a metaphor for today, really. People are so powerless in the face of corruption, the loss of jobs, and the loss of control in their lives they sit like ants on a raft in the sea. They go along with the same powers that prey upon them because they feel so helpless - fighting the system would be futile, right? She still understands what is right and what is wrong, and she uses the power she is given by darkness to do right in some small way. She gives up her principles for small victories, and these are ultimately selfish ones at heart.

So she becomes a monster. It is a fascinating shift for her, and one I am not sure she fully understands the consequences of. She is still a fish out of water here, manipulated, and figuring out how to survive in her new reality. Still, she knows something is wrong, and we can just feel the tension, and we know she will bolt away somewhere at the first opportunity.

Yet in this she is selfish, and she is reminded of that by another key character who ends up on the opposite side by the end battle. She can't let go of who she wants to be even then, but something happens to make her see the error of that thinking. She still hates letting go, but she knows what she has to do to make the ultimate sacrifice for the good of the world.

His sacrifice forces her to rethink the whole monster thing quickly, and she makes a snap decision for the side of good. It's a fun moment and it shows her true self again pulling through and taking control of her destiny.

The ending is actually very exciting and twisted, I never expected it to end this way, but it amazed me and took my breath away. It is a change from the beginning of the book, and almost movie-like, but it felt true to her path. Her wings also play a big role in this, almost a transformation for her, and she discovers what it means to take on the mantle of heroism.

She accepts she is a monster, and she uses it not for herself, but selflessly for others.

She has to fight the ultimate evil by the end, and she realizes in that evil lies a weakness. One she discovered by going through what she endured, and through that journey. Her weakness becomes her strength, her monster becomes her power to do good and redeem herself.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Love Story

The question of the central love story in On Black Wings is an interesting one. There's her future-self husband and two others who attract her eye. Of course she feels obligated to her future-husband, but there is a turning point where she breaks with him over a dark and very nasty secret.

It had to happen, I wanted her in emotional free-fall by a certain point and she got there quickly.

It sets up the meetings with the villains of the story quite nicely, and it also highlights the notion that her husband and her children may not even be real. I still get this odd feeling that parts of this story are imagined by her, and quite possibly her entire older life is a projection of her dreams upon her future. That break though with her husband may be the key to this, if she had that love, if it were real, would she do what she did?

After that point, where she loses everything, her heart is wounded, but open. Even she realizes this change come about her, and I agree, it makes her quite a less attractive and romantic character. She's not throwing herself at these new men, but those thoughts are there, partially because she has just had that break in her life, and also because she is realizing her younger self is not her older self - it is merely a path she walked in one future time.

She clings to that version of herself quite strongly though, and she never meets herself in any different form. It is a strange sort of coincidence, she has this idealized view of herself and it is so strong it becomes her future.

The other men she meets are attractive to her, one for his looks, and the other she feels great sympathy for. The romantic side is not laid out, it is hinted at, so it is not a strong motivator here. She is still surviving and getting her temporal balance throughout the book, so to make her go all love-struck over men would have just seemed petty given the circumstances. There is one point in the book she makes a major change in her relationship with her future-husband, and it is a bittersweet moment that forces her to walk a new path in life.

I loved that scene, and it wrapped up a tiny but important thread in the book.

I would have to say the love story in my book isn't as overt as your typical YA novel, where someone falls head over heels for someone else. I know that probably dings me in the love-struck relations YA checkbox, but it isn't the focus of my book. It clearly is on who we want to be versus who we were, and the clash between those two sides of someone. I can't have those two sides muddled by a love story hanging out in the middle, and especially not with a new person.

I know when the Hollywood script-writers get to this I'll be in some studio meeting somewhere and someone will suggest 'hey, let's put another love interest in the movie!' I shall epic facepalm at that moment.

It's not that type of book, really, in a way it's about what how she envisions her 'perfect life' and if that is really so perfect. She's struggling to figure out how she got from seventeen to thirty-four, and the choices she made along the way, good or bad. The love story is in a way with her possible future-husband, and how that is destroyed along with the world and everything else. Early on though she has something going with him, something special and fun, but it's lost. I think part of the tragedy is she eventually accepts it.

So yes, there is a love story here, but it is more a 'struggling with love' sort of story instead of a 'falling in love' story. The things she does, she does for love, and it is mostly selfless love. She sacrifices so much by the end, and it is a redemption for her initial selfish motives. So if that script-writer adds another angst-filled teen love interest for a audience-pleasing love-triangle, I shall then have to say her 'perfect life' involves raising a family, and having a love-triangle thing going on with someone like Edward out of Twilight.

At the same time.

Yes, that epic facepalm is going to hurt while I try to explain this to them. Yes, I know, there is a lot more to say here.

But no, don't make me write a sequel to this, I had not planned on it. I specifically planned against it, so no amount of writer's guilt about stories untold or books left opened will get me to explore that place.

But still....

No, this is what it is, and I am happy leaving it here. I feel you have to have that commitment for some books, to not drag it out or leave things for later. The love story here is the love story, a complete and interesting arc.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

The Diner

The scenes at the diner are fascinating scenes in On Black Wings, and they have this scary horror movie vibe to them. It's an enclosed place, and Jessica can leave at any time, yet she is bound there more by her need for companionship than a physical limitation. Everyone else will die if they step outside, yet she is actually more safe outside than they are. She's held there by a sense of community and belonging, people in search for answers as much as she is, and there is a dynamic to that group and situation that grips my attention.

That irony of her being more safe outside is a key element here, and she likely doesn't even realize it. She is still identifying with normal people more at this point and it shows. Later she discovers more about herself, but this was a fun contrast to her predicament and transformation that is highlighted in this part of the book.

I loved writing this scene, and it is one of those situations I could spend chapters on, but the relentless pace of her story had to move along. Still, it is a key moment in her journey, and also plays a role in the future as well. When I was creating this, I never realized the power this place would have, it felt like a random moment and a window into other people's lives on this terrible day. It gives you as a reader a chance to see what other people are going through, and it brings home the terrible scope and nature of the disaster in the book.

The characters too, I love the characters in this scene. They all have their ways of coping and reacting, and not all of them survive to the chapter's end, unfortunately. They are a group of people at the end of their ropes, and some of them do things that would not make sense on any normal day. Still, some of them are strong and hold onto their roles and responsibilities as a way of coping, and that is a sweet and memorable thing. Some of them make very bad choices as a direct reaction of her arrival, and this is a catalyst to move the story on.

And the character introduced at the end of the chapter? I had no idea he would be that important later. Jessica surprised me with her later decisions, and it took the story down a very fun and gripping path at the end. Had she made different choices the story would have been very different, but his arrival and how he sets up the end of the book was just a magical discovery for me. It's fun to let your characters do the driving for you sometimes, and as a writer, going with the flow and making the magic happen.

This is very much my writing style, I love the unpredictable nature of strong characters who drive the narrative. I do not know where they will go, and I let them drive and push things along as things happen and they react. Sometimes they take the initiative and the story changes in major ways. Other characters may not appreciate those moves, and the chess game is on.

Those battles, those fights behind the scenes that you only see parts of, those are the things that fascinate me and keep the situation in the book moving and unpredictable. Of course, the traditional story and narrative pieces must be in place, but it is an extra dynamic level that I love writing in my books.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The End of Her World

The end of the world in On Black Wings can be seen as a metaphor. You could totally flip the story around in your head and say her 34-year old self never existed, the 17-year old heroine is the only real Jessica White, and that end of the world scenario signifies the end of her youth and her progression into adulthood.

All the pieces are there, as are all of the fears. A husband that holds a dark secret, fears she never will truly love her children, losing her children to war, losing her world when her marriage breaks apart, never living up to the expectations of her faith, and dealing with eventual sickness and death for herself.

In short, her older self may just be a fear of hers, and her projections of her thoughts on growing up.

There is a set of concepts and metaphors written into the entire narrative arc in negative space, and I just love this. The things she sees, goes through, and worries about are real, actual concerns - a loss of innocence, a lack of control of events in the world around her, and the helplessness of her basic condition. Even the lack of her ability to control where she is at a single moment in time can be read as a fear she will lose her livelihood, her job, and her world will come crashing apart.

There is very much so a negative space arc in this book you can read the opposite way.

There are people she meets, ones she think she can trust, authority figures, and others who mirror the paranormal figures and the real ones. What happens to her by the paranormal ones can be seen in the actions of the real characters towards her, so you could read her fears are being transferred from the real world to the metaphysical. In this book, the paranormal world is very much real, and there is a scene that takes this to a harrowing apex where they collide.

Yet the world-ending plot is terrifying, and she has to deal with this directly in many scenes. That over-arcing fear of something so innocent becoming so mindlessly and mercilessly destructive is something directly ripped from a nightmare. It is so horrific and almost terrifyingly paranormal it couldn't be real, but it is, and it is merciless and unnerving.

Still, we see the fantastic mirror of reality here, and in an arc of negative space where you could read things differently, it makes for a deeper read. The story still works along a typical paranormal horror level, and there is a fair bit of action-horror-adventure by the end, but those deeper meanings keep coming back and haunting both what she sees and what happens to her in eerily similar ways.

The end of the world in many ways can be read as a metaphor for the end of her youth, and the mistakes she felt she made when she left home. She keeps coming back to those and dealing with them, and they define who she is as a person. In some ways she can't escape them, and in other ways she learns to accept them.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Her Story

One of the things I love about Jessica in my book On Black Wings is her resilience, but also her role as the victim. She reacts as any other person would in the beginning, just wide-eyed and clueless, fearful and confused. She spends a lot of the book just surviving, but in that we discover what makes her strong.

She isn't as principled as your typical Hollywood heroine either, there are points where she sides with the forces of evil again and again. These are beings of such raw power she cannot comprehend them, yet she manages to fight her way through her encounters with them as she tries to figure a way out. Many times, she doesn't even know what 'out' would mean, it is not a simple answer when you and your enemies can be anywhere in time at any place you have been.

There is no escape, and she realizes that, and she does her best to cope. I liken it to someone coming down with an acute illness that can only be managed; that evil, that darkness of sickness will always be with you and you can only make things better and hope it doesn't get worse. Jessica's predicament is the same way, there's no escaping her fate and her role in the end of the world, so she tries her best to manage the bad situation she is in to the best of her ability.

Along the way, she discovers herself, and also things about the ones she loves that she wishes she would have never known. There is a dark undercurrent to this story and her character that captivates me, and also a reason why she was chosen for the role she plays by the forces of wickedness. She has this detached acceptance that makes you wonder if the things people say about her really aren't true, so in ways she is far from perfect. There is a darkness that existed inside her that we come to understand, and she wrestles with.

Yet in other ways, those darker parts aren't true, and we still wonder. She shows her kind and generous side many times, and some may think she's trying to make up for her shortcomings as a mother in a future existence. Maybe she's just finding these things out about herself, and we get to see a part of her develop that we had no idea existed.

She shows strength though, and there is a major turn to her outlook in the book. Again, she still deals with her terminal state, but she takes control, makes a plan, and tries to fight her way out of her fate as best she can. Again, evil shows up and puts her back in her place, but she stands up again and again and tries to make up for mistake after mistake. Her persistence is her strength despite failing in everything she does to deal with her fate.

Again, to me it is like the person with the terminal illness, and her victory comes from beating it in her mind despite the setbacks and losses she suffers time after time. She never gives up, and in the end and darkest hour, this is her victory.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Narrative Jumps

Part of the fun of writing On Black Wings was the freedom to blow away my concept of linear time and twist the narrative into a strange, off-putting and unsettling whole. The timeframe of the book is a mirror dropped onto a stone floor, and our heroine travels through each piece not knowing or understanding how or why she is making the jumps. She is taping together pieces as she goes, and she doesn't know where she is going next.

She doesn't even have control of when it happens - at first.

Figuring out the how and the why is part of the fun, but she still suffers from the disjointed and stuttering jumps through time throughout the entire book, some not under her control. She is a victim of them initially, and she fights these side, back, and forward steps throughout the book.

I loved this part of the book and narrative structure. It was really hard to stitch things together at times, and at other times I just had to let go and let our heroine take me through the next step she took. She is literally walking barefoot on the broken glass of the world's end, picking her way across it while discovering what is happening to her.

She deals with two lives, her older self and her younger self, and these two personalities collide during her jumps through time. Her husband, her family, people she meets and others she knows - they interact with both sides of her. I begin to wonder if she really is the older her or the younger projecting herself into those older shoes by the end of the book.

It is fascinating, and in a way, she really is her younger self dealing with the idea of her loving someone and settling down to raise a family. When that part of her is lost, she agonizes with her loss, and it drives her on to become someone new and unique. She still is that person in her future, or the person in her future is still the one in her past, and the two sides of her fight when she has to make decisions.

And decisions she makes.

She's given a choice to save the world or join with the forces of evil; and I found her thinking and actions shocking to say the least, but totally relatable and understandable. She is a character who isn't perfect, can't make the best decisions, but the things she does are the best of what she is capable of, and quite possibly heroic by the book's end. She is the ideal imperfect survivor, an angel of death, and someone who lost everything she knows and loves.

But did she, really?

Sunday, September 21, 2014

New Release: On Black Wings

On sale now in at Amazon is my first independently-published mainstream novel, On Black Wings.

What happens when the world ends and a housewife becomes a teenaged angel of death?

This is a paranormal YA horror novel that breaks a lot of genre conventions but still speaks to a younger audience about life, the state of the world, growing up, leaving home, and having a chance to live your life again.

In some ways it is also has a message for an older audience, what happens when the world and life situation you know is torn away from you in a singular tragic moment, and you struggle against a world you don't know anymore. Would you walk the same path again if your life were different?

Our main character, Jessica White, is a 34-year old housewife witnessing the end of the world at her doorstep, and suddenly she is thrust into her 17-year old body and is made a witness to the event. The same disaster which tears her older life apart she now watches, and she journeys out into the storm of ash and death to find an answer why. Bit-by-bit, she is torn down as she wanders the hellish dying world, and things start happening to her she cannot explain.

She starts moving through time, jumping back and forth in the event and through worlds, and she cannot explain why nor control any of it. Something is happening to her, something strange and powerful, and she has little ability to control the power. She is lost, afraid, and trying to survive.

Zombie-like undead ghouls under the command of wicked forces capture her, and when she escapes, she discovers a large pair of black feathered wings now on her back. She becomes the biblical Angel of Death, one who sends souls into the afterlife, and this is her journey to discover why and who did this to her.

War and religion are a central theme of the book, and the book deals with directly with the apocalypse. It is really a survivor-style book, one girl's war against the forces of destruction trying to bring about the end of the world. She is brought into evil's plan, and she questions her own sanity as she succumbs to the wicked machinations of evil.

While war and religion are themes, they are not overly preachy or overt messages, acting more like backdrops for the central drama and action. It is not a book pushing a point of view, but it more asks the question, what do these forces do to us as people? Can we become the implements of the apocalypse ourselves through our actions and thoughts?

Her fight is to discover not only who she is, but echoes of who she was keep haunting her on her path. Will she walk the same path as her life would have went? Can she? Who are the ones trying to bring about the end of the world? She walks through a hellish, disjointed landscape of places and times, and she fights to keep her sanity and walk a path forward to an escape.

But is an escape really the way out? Or is the only way to survive to sacrifice yourself and save the world? Can she when she can't even control which world she is in?

At its heart, the book is deeply psychological, breaking her life down as she comes to terms with the younger self she hated. It is also a story of how someone changes, and how the people they know change. there is also a story here about war itself, how one becomes a pawn of hatred and discord, and there is a message about war and what it does to us as a people of this world. The forces behind war pull strings, and there comes a point where even they cannot control the beast they unleashed upon the world.

Can she?

On Black Wings, available now on Amazon, and you can borrow and read the entire book for free as a part of the Kindle Unlimited program.

Writing

Writing.

It's something I love doing, and I want this to be my life. It already is in a way, I help new authors in other genres, I review daily, and I help get the word out on books that would never see any publicity. It's giving back, paying forward, and lifting up without asking anything in return.

I like to help others discover themselves, to break people out of ruts they may feel stuck in, or let them discover new things about themselves by giving things a try. In the things I share and do, I hope to give others that spark of inspiration and let them discover the writer within themselves.

There is so much to write, to express, to discover. It would take infinite lifetimes to explore. In some ways, it is one our last unexplored frontiers, and it shall forever be.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Advance Review Copies Available

If you are a writer or someone I know and are interested in receiving an advance review copy and contributing a review to the "On Black Wings" store page, please contact Darthaniel Black for more information. I will keep this offer up for a couple weeks while we seed some reviews. Thank you for your support and helping getting the word out.

I must admit, it feels strange to be the one asking for a review crew after all my years publicizing up-and-coming writers books and providing honest critical reviews for them. I appreciate the effort, and your support means a lot to me.

Plus, it's a fun book!

If you are a member of the Kindle Unlimited program, you can read the entire book for free, and downloading this way us helps us too! Thank you all again for everything, my fans are the ones I do this for every day.

Preview: On Black Wings

Welcome to my official mainstream novel site that I will keep you updated on my books and other projects.

Today is a big day, since my first major novel, "On Black Wings" has been submitted to Amazon for approval. This is a YA Paranormal Horror novel that I just loved writing, and it really has a lot of meaning to me.

This is the cover reveal, and this is the home for all my projects outside of the work I do over on other sites.

Thank you for being fans, and I love all the support and excitement around this project. I am forever in your debt, and I do a lot of what I do for new writers.

I shall get more into the book when it releases, and do a preview and retrospective here. Until then, it's a great day to be happy, relax, and enjoy the moment another book enters the store.