Ill-fated: destined to fail or have bad luck.
“The stars have aligned to make my life grim and loathsome…” fourteen year old Leila Edgewick stands on the brink of disaster, balancing the fate of Bainland and her father’s legacy against a vague, ill-fated prophecy. A meaningless number, a luckless red moon, and worst of all– a star that falls south– send Leila on a quest she does not expect to survive.
Simultaneously, an unknown boy wakes up in the sunken hull of a decrepit cargo ship. Captured and mind-locked, the boy– dubbed “Sam” by the ship’s crew– must escape the infamous Bonesplitter and the dark schemes of one Captain Erastacus Oren.
All the while, Leila journeys out of Bainland. Crossing the wall for the first time in her life, she finds a world where magic meets machine. Aeroskiffs, daguerreotypes, and automatons merge with the ‘earthdolven’ magic of the South, leaving her to question what is sorcery and what is science?
When Leila and Sam’s paths cross, fate ties them together, sending them deep into the Ramble in search of the Wasteland Witches. Plagued by Sam’s erratic memory and Leila’s dubious rational, they must outwit the Southland drudge hunters, and take on the dangers of the Ramble: sandwolves, bloodswamps, and the Kartivause – terrifying night creatures from the Shadowland.
Their friendship develops quickly, but as Leila’s quest unravels, Sam’s past is pieced together– and when Sam’s identity is finally revealed, Leila must face up to a bloody family history that could rip their friendship apart…
So what inspired this book?
Oh so many things… Imaginative worlds like Middle Earth, Narnia, Hogworts, and Ringworld, movies such as The Princess Bride, Stardust, andThe Hogfather. My new loves as well, which include D.M. Cornish’s world within The Foundling’s Tale series, A Game of Thrones, and all things steampunk.
I love writers who invent words that sound like what they are, or bring back lost, archaic words with a twist. While writing Ill-fated, I kept a journal of words I just liked the sound of, and then paired them up with other words to create names for things like types of trees, flowers, potions, or places. I few of my favorite invented words and names were: Idlerile, moonbloom, wolfwood, the Wasteland Witches, the Iron Spine,and The Bonesplitter. I also dug up old archaic words like earth-dolven (from the earth), slubberdegullion (a slob or drunkard), sooterkins (sweetheart), and ugsome (it is just as it sounds - super gross!).
Finding a way to introduce the words without slowing down the plot with a definition was difficult, but I did my best to put them into a context where their definition could easily be deduced without an explanation. This has already been proven to be true for some readers and… not so true for others.
So what am I doing now?
Currently I am working on getting my fantasy, middle reader trilogy, Sticks, Stones, and Dragon Bones, ready for print (just editing and finishing up illustrations at this point). Also, I am writing the companion novel to Ill-fated, but I have no title as of yet.
IMPORTANT! The Kindle ed. of Ill-fated will be free on Amazon from Oct. 12 to Oct. 16! Just follow this link to get your free book:http://www.amazon.com/Ill-