I was doing some research for my work in progress, The Warriors, the first book in The Sanctum Series, and came across this note from Jools in The Prophecy and it really kind of smacked me in the gut and sums up why the character I so loved to hate became one of my favorites.
I suppose her evolution into a total badass is why I allowed her to live on and do her thing in The Warriors, because up until the middle of book III, I was just itching to kill her, like my fingers burned with death whenever I worked on her chapters. And then she did some things and some other things and a whole lot of other things and I found myself falling a little in love with her.
Once she wrote this note, I was all kinds of sold.
Ryker, we swore to never do this, but I cannot bear to go into what I fear will be my last battle without memorializing my love for you. You are the light to my darkness, the softness to my sharp edge, the better to my worse. You have loved me when doing so was impossible, have healed my deepest wounds, and cared for my despairing soul. Without you, I would have succumbed. Should I never again see your beautiful face, hear your low voice, feel your gentle touch, I will thank the gods for deeming something in me worthy of you. Your laughter will carry me through these darkest of days, your kiss will forever warm my soul. I love you madly, Morrison, and am yours. Always.
Maybe I’m a total sap, but I kind of love that.
I woke up this morning to find a gem of review of Book III: THE PROPHECY written by fantasy author Lori Hendricks. I didn’t even know she was reading my book so finding this review was all kinds of extra.
I couldn’t reblog it from her blog, so I jpeg’ed it, because I’m special like that.
Check it out.
1. I can’t stand turquoise jewelry. There is nothing you can do with turquoise to make me want it anywhere on my body, near my being. Even the prettiest little thing will make me feel very “ugh. barf. make it go away.” #justsaying
2. My birthday celebration was epic. I won’t relay the details but suffice to say I’m 99.9% certain your birthday was NOTHING like mine. Trust me on this.
3. Is there anything more fun than pinning hot guys on Pinterest? Oh yeah, pinning David Gandy, the hottest of hot guys. And pinning hot girls is right up there. Which is all just a way of saying I love to waste time ogling gorgeous, well-dressed, stylish motherfuckers
4. I joined a writing group late last week, but am now wondering two things: 1) am I worthy? and 2) am I able to come out of my introvert’s shell enough to actively participate in the group and make it worth my while. So far I’ve been really good at going around to other people in the group, reading their work, their posts, their whatever, and commenting on things, giving them props for being badass, encouraging them to do whatever it is they want to do, all without really saying a word about myself – I take that back – I did tell some folks I’m from down South – or sharing any of my work. I like being slick like that. But is that really the point?
5. I know most people love to go on and on about how much they hate Grey’s Anatomy these days and that if you’re watching past season 7, then you’re wasting your time, blah, blah, blah. Well, I watched well past season 7 and while everyone is having orgasms over Scandal – which I tune into every Thursday because there’s no way I’m NOT going to support a show with a black woman lead, but I think sucks ass and is some of the worst over-acting on television, although I must say Scott Foley is all kinds of sexy and how Olivia could be anything but #TeamJake is beyond me – I still think Grey’s is the jewel in Shonda Rhimes’ crown. And as sad as I was to watch Derek’s death, it didn’t surprise me. In fact, I feel like Shonda had been subtly preparing us for it, letting us know that although we love Mer and Der, we love Mer even more when she’s on her own. At least I do. So thanks Derek for being all McDreamy for 10 seasons, I love you, but as much as I’ll miss you, I’m totally excited to watch Meredith pick up the pieces of her life and move onto her next adventure.
6. I still can’t stop thinking about that Star Wars trailer…
7. I was watching the news last night and they kept asking how 15 police officers could get hurt during the unrest in Baltimore, but when is someone going to ask how can all these young Black men and women DIE at the hands of police officers???? #BlackLivesMatter
8. And people are so shocked and appalled by the destruction of PROPERTY in Baltimore but where was your goddamned shock and appall when that young, Black man had his spine snapped by the cops and died?? What the fuck, people.
9. An abrupt change of thought because otherwise I will rant for days – I’m not kidding, ask The Husband, I have turned into an endless spool of expletive-laden rants and explosions, often late at night, scaring the shit out of him as he lies next to me fast asleep while I write…and listen with one ear to the bullshit on television. And see that right there? It’s the beginning of another rant – I can feel it in my chest and my fingertips, so I’m going to stop and instead talk about the amazing Jason Reynolds and his fabulous book The Boy in the Black Suit and the fact that I’m one lucky bitch because I’m friends with Thelonious Legend who is interviewing Jason for his #BlerdBookClub chat this Sunday at 3pm EST and invited me to join in the fun. Umm yeah, that’s me, wiping the dirt off my shoulders. I’ve already said this a hundred times, but I’m going to say it again: if you haven’t read this book, you should get off your butt and do so. Now. Then come on over and join the chat on Sunday.
10. I’m so tempted to rant right now but am not going to.
11. For those of you who don’t know, we got a puppy last Sunday. We adopted him from the Mt. Pleasant Animal Shelter in East Hanover, NJ; he’s a chihuahua – rat terrier mix and his name is Django. The Kid thinks it’s Jango as in Jango Fett, when The Husband and I know it’s really Django as in Unchained as in the D is silent. We’re dicks, we know this, we laugh about it every time The Kid asks us why we call the dog “duh-jango”. If I explained it, his little 7 year-old self would give me grief – when he’s older, he’ll probably like that his dog has a badass name. Especially since his dog is afraid of his own shadow, but that’s another story for another day. Today’s Django story has to do with the fact that he’s driving me nuts with the house-training accidents. And I get it, people, he’s a puppy and he’s learning – that doesn’t mean he’s not annoying. This morning I took him out twice and he still had the nerve to take a shit on the rug in the living room. But the best part of it was when I saw it and The Kid saw that I saw it and Django saw that I saw it and The Kid and Django looked at each other and The Kid suddenly yelled “run Django! She’s coming!” and they both took off for the backyard. #kidsandtheirdogs
Peace out, bitches.
Not everyone I interview for Getting Proustian With… is a personal friend, but I do try to share a little tidbit about our interactions with each other when I introduce them. One, because it’s fun to let people in on behind-the-scenes shit and two, because folks love random details
at least I know I do and since this is my interview series, I kinda get to do whatever I like.
If you’ve been following my blog or other social media sites, then you probably know Kayti Nika Raet and I are what you might call friendly.
For those of you who don’t know, here’s the quick and dirty: Kayti reviewed my book, THE GIRL, and although I don’t really think it was her cup of tea, she still let me kind of weasel my way into her life. A couple of years later, she played a major role in helping me complete my trilogy, we’re doing WRITE BITCHES together – along with author Laura Oliva – and I’m eagerly awaiting the publication of the fourth and final book in her dystopian series, The Outsider Chronicles.
Kayti is a phenomenal writer – the tension and terror engulfing her characters’ lives is gripping, their tiny heartbreaks are full of feels – and if you haven’t picked up NIKO or HARM or OUTSIDER, well then, I am sorry for you. First, because you have no idea how badass a girl and her bat can be. Second, because you have no idea how creepy some boys can be. Third, because you have no idea how terrifying a Slither can be. And finally, because you don’t know Songhay.
Trust me, you want to know Songhay.
Anyway, between all of her writing and blogging and tweeting, she managed to carve out some time for my interview series
And now I’m going to turn it over to her
because what she’s got to say is far more interesting than anything I’ve babbled about this Monday morning.
Getting Proustian With…
KAYTI NIKA RAET
1. What is your idea of perfect happiness? Some place quiet.
2. What is your greatest fear? I always thought of great fears as something rules how you live and interact with people, like fear of failure, or fear of being ignored. I have a bunch of little random fears (dogs are scary) but not a big one. At least, I’m not aware of it yet.
3. What is the trait you most deplore in yourself? Laziness. I know I should get up and do it, but this bed is so warm!
4. What is the trait you most deplore in others? Insecurity. While I understand that everyone has their moments of insecurity, my experience with those who are drowning in it has been very negative, and now, if I spot it in someone, I have to try really hard not to close myself off.
5. What is your greatest extravagance? Eh heh heh. Rofl.
6. What is your current state of mind? Antsy. I feel that I’m about to go through a time management crisis.
7. What do you consider the most overrated virtue? Tolerance. I never got why people use it like it’s a good thing. You tolerate things you don’t exactly like because, hey, it could be worse.
*gets off soapbox*
8. On what occasion do you lie? I stumbled upon this great quote by Carl Henegan that I think sums it up perfectly “An author never lies, we do, however tend to speak in a fictional prose.”
9. What do you most dislike about your appearance? Ugh. Sideburns. Why must you plague me so?
*You didn’t ask but I’ll share anyway. My favorite feature is my nose. It is perfect.
10. Which living person do you most despise? They aren’t worth the energy.
11. What is the quality you most like in a man? Ooo, this is actually kind of hard! So many to choose from…Okay. Initiative.
12. What is the quality you most like in a woman? A much easier question! Intelligence.
13. Which words or phrases do you most overuse? Awesome, like, okay, well, so
14. When and where were you happiest? I don’t have anything specific, but I like being in small, dark, peaceful places, alone with my thoughts.
15. Which talent would you most like to have? Athletism. Is that a talent? It should be. I want it. I have no endurance.
16. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? I’m assuming this is some kind of magic wand thing. If that’s the case, laziness be gone!
Well. That was ironic.
17. What do you consider your greatest achievement? It hasn’t happened yet. Get back to me in three years.
18. If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be? A fish! I don’t know what kind but to be able to breathe underwater would be cool.
19. Where would you most like to live? As much as I say I like quiet, I also really like the vibrancy (and museums!) that the city offers.
20. What is your most treasured possession? I got this purse from my grandma as a kid. She died, and it’s the only gift I have from her. It’s been patched up a lot over the years, but I’m definitely not throwing it out.
21. What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery? About ten years ago I became really depressed. It was suffocating, and I do everything I can to avoid having that happen again.
22. What is your favorite occupation? Writer. Duh.
23. What is your most marked characteristic? Generosity. Though I do like to think that I’m pretty charming. 🙂
24. What do you most value in your friends? Humor/sacrasm/wit
25. Who are your favorite writers? Oh my god! There are so many! *dither* *dither* Okay. I’ll keep it to ones that have influenced me: Tannanarive Due, Langston Hughes, Sarah Reese Brennan, Dia Reeves, Tite Kubo, Stephenie Meyer, and Amelia Atwater-Rhodes.
26. Which historical figure do you most identify with? I always thought Sojurner Truth was pretty cool.
27. What are your favorite names? I prefer names made of soft vowels and consonants, with a hard one thrown in for spice. I like unusual names (like Inanthe) more than ordinary ones, even though (since I’m never consistant) I also like the name Jane.
28. What is it that you most dislike? Cowardice. Pickles. Mayonnaise. Indecisiveness.
29. What is your greatest regret? Well I haven’t done (or admitted to) anything that has really hurt somebody, so nothing yet!
30. How would you like to die? From old age 😉
31. What is your motto? Do better.
She is the author of the Outsider Chronicles, a five book series starting with NIKO and set in a world where the rain burns like acid and flesh eating monsters roam.
She’s also a reviewer for Readers’ Favorite and has her own Youtube Channel: Kayti Edition.
When she is not hard at work on her fourth book she has fun reading, listening to K-pop, and photography.
Grab her books – seriously – they’re so good.
A couple of weeks ago one of the editors from New Asian Writing, an online Asian Literary Community blog, contacted me about my books and possibly doing an interview with them. After I got over my initial shock of being approached by a stranger to do an interview – every interview I’ve done up until this point was somehow initiated by me – just another one of the joys of being an Independently Published author – I said hell yeah.
It’s been a second since I’ve chatted about The Sanctum trilogy and Dev, so that was nice, but I also got to wax poetic about my writer loves, badass girls, the Indie Author life, and the never-ending need for more diversity in the industry.
Oh! And apparently I’ve convinced some folks that I’m quite the Hindu mythology scholar…snort. I rather love that comment from NAW.
Anyway, here’s a snippet:
NAW Interview with Madhuri Blaylock
NAW- Tell us about yourself and your writings?
I wrote and published my first book, Crossing Paths, way way back in 2000. It’s a middle reader series I developed called The Coco Butta Kids for children of color because there was such a dearth of books out there for them, depicting them as the main characters and not relegated to stereotyped sidekicks. I published two books in the series and then started working on my paranormal trilogy, The Sanctum.
I published the first book in the trilogy, The Girl, in 2013, the second book in 2014 and the finale was just published this past February.
I’m currently working on two projects, one that works off The Sanctum Trilogy called The Warriors, and another totally different project, but in the similar urban fantasy genre.
NAW- Tell us about the sanctum trilogy series. How did you get the idea for it?
I was reading a lot of fantasy and paranormal fiction full of these total badass girls, but quite often they knew nothing of their powers until a boy clued them into how amazing they are – it was driving me nuts. I was also quite dismayed by the lack of diverse characters in what I was reading – the industry is just so far behind reality when it comes to representing diversity.
Anyway, so I set about to create a kickass, badass, smart, uber-powerful woman that knew she was all those things and didn’t need a boy to tell her about herself and from that grew my main character, Dev. I’m a very character-oriented writer, so once I had Dev and her back story, I then created Wyatt, her counterpart, and Ryker, his best friend, and from there the story came together. But the initial idea, the seed that planted and took root was all about the girl – I created the girl I wanted to read. And she is the business.
NAW-The Sanctum in particular can also be perceived as a political organisation with all the corruption. Were you inspired by any country in particular when you formulated the idea or did it just develop as you wrote the book?
That’s true and I think it plays into my belief that with great power always comes the capacity for also great misuse and abuse. I wasn’t thinking of any particular country, but I do think it’s human nature and there need to be checks and balances on power and yet, even when those exist, there is still room for evil, as evidence in the power plays and lines drawn within The Sanctum itself.Also, corruption within any powerful organization always makes for a good plot point.
NAW- Tell us about the research you did for the book. It comes across that you also seem to be heavily inspired by Hindu mythology. Correct?
Yea! My parents will be so proud to hear that – evidently I listened to some of the stories they told me over the years. I researched places – in tremendous detail. I have pages of handwritten notes on the backwaters of Kerala or the streets of London and of course, NYC which is just so deep in my blood. But the rest is all in my head. I’m telling you, I have some crazy stuff bouncing around between my ears. My husband is currently finishing reading the trilogy and sometimes he’ll look up at me from his tablet and I know he’s saying to himself “I am married to a crazy person”
The battle sites from book III are also heavily researched, but yeah, the rest is all my imagination. Maybe I shouldn’t have admitted that…
Thanks NAW for showing me some Indie Author love – I totally appreciate it and had fun chatting with y’all.
You can read the entire interview by clicking –> HERE
I still have no words for all of the badassery going on in this Star Wars trailer – holy shit, it is the business.
I watched it over and over yesterday, parsing every frame, because I am a dork like that and because it is so good it deserves repeated viewings.
Is Vader alive?
A Jedi + a Stormtrooper
A black stormtrooper – fuck yeah! – no matter how many times I see John Boyega in these trailers, I still get a little thrill when he pops up on the screen.
And of course, Han + Chewie, tying everything up perfectly, even though The Kid disagrees (ewww, why is Han Solo so old?!)
Just one question – why oh why do we have to wait 8 months for this to drop??