Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Julie Sondra Reads Page One

I've actually never done something like this before in my whole history of YouTube life, but here I go.

This is a recording of me reading the first page of the next book I'm going to write.

It's the pseudo-prologue--I call it Chapter Zero, haha--of Bad Fairy, Book 2. It does not contain spoilers. I'm trying to see if anyone would like to share reactions as to whether they think it sets up a sequel decently by balancing the feeling of an appropriate beginning with the feeling of a character who has history. I would like Book 2 to be able to stand on its own without depending on Book 1, but still resonate well as a continuation of the story begun in Book 1 for those who have read it.

Here it is.

If you would rather simply read the excerpt, please go ahead and check it out below.


Once you’ve hit the bottom, there’s nowhere to go but up.

Such a peculiarly hopeful notion for someone who’d survived the blow I had. Life had taught me nothing but to expect more blows, and yet I seized the optimistic thought and clutched it to my heart. I honestly expected my lot to improve after sinking to such depths. I actually did—na├»vely, and rather comically—believe I had reached the lowest point of my life. In spite of the hatred and disappointment that had turned my idealistic young mind toward sullenness and distrust, I still craved love and I still thought I would find it.

It seems so laughable now. I was so precocious, with such an old soul, and yet these childish expectations danced in my head. They blinded me to inevitable realities that a person like me can never escape.

I remember wanting that love so much. Thinking if only I could get through to my enemies, once and for all, they would understand me and accept me. I thought their rejection could be cured with a breakthrough. I thought it was all a misunderstanding. I thought they hated me because they didn’t know me.

I was about to find out they did know the real me, and hated it all the same.

Poised on the brink of womanhood, I teetered on the edge of a canyon of possibilities, more than convinced I would soar over it when the time came to leap. I’d earned my wings, hadn’t I?

Falling is still possible with wings, even if they’re not broken. I didn’t know that.

I do now.


  1. you have a very poetic way of writing which is lovely. and you put emotion into you reading out your story on the video too which is good to see.

    1. Thanks very much. :) I didn't want to just read it as if it's me reading someone else's words, so I tried to read it the same way I write it--as if I'm talking about something that happened to me.

  2. Ahhhh, I wish I could read the rest. And it does a good job at making me want to read the previous book as well as this one (I have a thing for precocious child MCs :P but I'd want to know what happens in this novel).

    1. Hehee, there is no "rest" at this point so I still have to write it--the book is one page long so far. But yes, the previous one is full of precocious child-ness. This book starts when she's turning 13, so she's still kind of got the precocious child thing going (she's already finished with her education and eligible for adult jobs in her field, but people are kind of like wut?? if she goes to an interview, so).

  3. The biggest problem is I just don't feel this sounds like the voice of a 13-year-old girl.

    Just kidding, sorry sorry I just had to dredge up your memories of that [very astute] reader with [terrific] reading comprehension.

    I loved it. I can only speak from the perspective of someone who read Book 1 about a year ago, but this one page conjured up a lot of memories. Basically, it quickly brought me back to what happened to her in the previous book, most notably the "formal confrontation" (to put it vaguely) she was put through. The word choices sparked memories of lots of things that I might have thought I'd have to flip back and check in order to fully remember. I thought it was really well done.

    It resonates well with this reader of Book 1, that I can say for sure.

    1. Love the joke. Hahahaa.

      Ah yes, of course I also want the book to be a nice immediate DUNK back into the world of Delia for the people who have met her before. I'm glad to hear it invokes the right feels.

  4. At first I was felt it was just ehh.. dramatic teenager sentiment. Then "if only I could get through to my enemies... they hated me because they didn't know me." The sentiment of dealing with perception of self in contrast with the social perception of self, universal struggle, solid hook. Plus it sets up the early dramatic introduction to show the character as while young, idealist, and possibly brash still an overall considerate, introspective, likable character. Flawed, but in ways that are found forgiving with redeeming qualities, the way people typically want to be and be understood. It's a great set up for a character the reader will empathize with and find some stake in what happens to. Great start, be interested how you deal with character and plot development through the rest of the story. Personally maintaining pacing and keeping the elements from confusing the main line were always my issue. Writing's hard..

    1. Thanks for the thoughts. For the record, the protagonist telling the story is not a teenager at the time she's supposed to be writing this, though she is talking about a part of her life when she was about to be entering the teen years. I'm sure it sounds a bit melodramatic without the context, but I don't mind that. I assure you it's far more than "wahh, no one understands me."

      I think your description of her as being idealistic and flawed but likable works well; that was a balance I tried to strike in the first book about her. She's definitely got some flaws, but they become magnified when she's dealing with her frustrations over living in a world that almost literally does not have a place for someone like her because of circumstances beyond her control. So while she has a good heart, sometimes her flaws overtake her.

      The reflective passages like this one pepper the rest of the book, but most of it is told in more traditional storytelling--in the moment rather than looking back at it. I dunno about pacing--that's not really of my strongest points--but the character should be solid, and this one has a somewhat traditional story arc.