Preview of “Howl”

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(I apologize in advance if the text in this post looks strange, because as I type this in wordpress it is looking really funky and I can’t figure out why. Nothing seems to be aligning in the center no matter how many times I click the button, and it looks like it may have taken out some of my indentions. Le sigh.)

Hello again, everyone! Didn’t I say I was going to post this last week…? I should really stop throwing dates around, because I can never seem to stick to them. Finally, I thought there would be a time I would actually post something when I said I would…but, no! Of course not! I had to get sick (well, sicker. I’ve been sick for two weeks now), and then one of my grandmothers got sick and had been in and out of the hospital. I am so sorry guys…I will try to remember to not give out deadlines so I won’t get anyone’s hopes up.

So here it is! The first five pages of the sequel to “Ice” I gave out at Decopolis:

 

 

Howl

the sequel to Ice

By

Elissa Lewallen

 

 

 

Copyright Elissa Len Lewallen

Not for individual sale, or reproduction .

 

 

Chapter One:

Alone

 

 

Nobody wants to be alone. Loneliness is one of the worst feelings you can have. It’s hard to shake, and it lingers, making you feel hopeless.

There was a time when I felt like nobody in the world understood me, and that I was destined to feel that way for the rest of my life.

Then someone came along who did and was all too eager to befriend me, even though I was quiet and strange and unhappy. He helped me to smile and warm up to my uncle, whom I didn’t know very well at the time. If he hadn’t have healed me, I may still be having awkward conversations with Uncle Justin that just consist of a few words. I would still be miserable. I would still feel unbearably lonely.

Kavick, the one who saved me, brightened my world when it was cold and covered in white. When I thought I would drown in this world of ice, he showed me how to see the beauty in it. The way I perceived Alaska, and the rest of the world for that matter, depended on how I felt inside. If I hated my life and the world, then I would hate this place. If I loved my life, then I would love everything around me, too.

Of course, the death of my parents changed me permanently. I still haven’t completely reverted back to my old self, even though I feel like the hole they left has healed. I’ve moved on from the tragedy, but I will probably never be quite the same, and I will never forget them. I used to be a lot like my friend Charlotte, very talkative, except that I would be terrified the whole time I interacted with others. I would always say the wrong things, quickly ending the social experiments in disaster. Now I don’t even bother trying to make friends, because I love the ones I have.

And, I love the boy who saved me, more than anyone. Therefore, I’m content. I’m finally happy again. Maybe even happier than I ever was in California, the place I called home before I moved to this world of snow.

Kavick, the strange boy who came into my uncle’s house for shelter one night…I remember that night like it was yesterday. It was that fateful meeting that I learned there was another lost and lonely person out there like me, someone who had experienced more loss than me, but could still somehow manage to smile, even though he was still healing himself. I learned later that it was seeing me that had made him smile again. I still don’t understand how someone as dreary as I was then could make anyone smile, but he said that it was the kindness that I showed him.

I called Kavick a strange boy because he seemed strange to me then due to the fact that he can turn into a wolf at will. Descended from a line of Native Alaskans known as the “Wolf-People” that have the ability to turn into wolves and Huskies, Kavick is a cross between the two, having had a father who was a black wolf, and a mother who was a Husky. But whether Kavick is truly a wolf or a human, he doesn’t know. I know, however, that he is a human first and foremost, for he is the best of humanity. He is the most kind and loving person I know. There are people that would call him a monster and want him dead for his strange ability, but Kavick is the farthest thing from a monster.

 

“You can do this,” he told me, locking his pale blue eyes with mine. He spoke with a confidence I didn’t feel, but it put me at ease knowing that he believed in me. He placed his hand on mine that was holding the gear shift. “You don’t have to be afraid anymore. You’re fate doesn’t have to be your parents’.”

His hand on mine was making my heart race even more, yet the anxiety and fear that I was going to crash began to subside. I tried to keep from staring at him for too long (a habit of mine) and keep my wits about me. I looked to the road, silently telling myself that I could do this, just like he had told me before.

He removed his hand from mine and I put Kavick’s old car in drive (he kept calling it new though, since he had recently purchased it) and gently pressed on the gas. After I had inched along and it appeared I wouldn’t be racing toward any nearby trees like last time, Kavick cheered me from the passenger seat. “Woo! Alright!” he clapped. “I think it’ll be okay to go a little faster, though.”

“O-okay,” I said nervously. I was too scared to look away to glance at my speedometer, but I knew that I was going under five. I clutched the steering wheel for dear life and prayed I wouldn’t dart off. I barely tapped it with the toe of my sneaker, and when that didn’t seem to change anything, I tapped it again. Now I was going at a near normal pace. This pace might have been acceptable if I was backing out, but I wasn’t. Kavick had turned the car around so I wouldn’t have to worry about tackling that today.

When I reached the end of the gravel road that lead to Justin’s house, I stopped at the battered stop sign. Then I turned on the blinker. There weren’t any cars coming from either direction, but I kept sitting there.

Finally Kavick spoke up gently, “I think it’s okay to go out on the road.” He then pretended to check for cars, but I knew he had seen the deserted street already. “Yup, clear both ways.”

I clenched the wheel tighter, trying to get my heart to stop racing. “I can’t do this,” I whispered to myself, losing all of my tiny bit of confidence.

“What?” I could barely tell he was looking at me from the edge of my vision.

I couldn’t hide my breathing anymore. It was loud and fast. I could feel my chest heave with every quick pound of my heart, like it was going to jump out of my chest. I couldn’t move. I was like a statue glued to the seat. I couldn’t take my hands off the wheel to even turn the annoying blinker off, or put the car in park.

“I…I can’t do this.”

“It’s okay.” He kept saying that. Everything was “okay” when I tried to drive. “You’ll be fine. Just calm down.” His voice was soothing, but I couldn’t calm down.

“I can’t,” I said between breaths.

“Yes, you can,” he said, gently like before. “Tell yourself to take a deep a breath.”

My breathing was more like gasps now. My lungs were clenching up. I couldn’t keep from thinking about the mangled mess my parents’ car looked like in the newspaper. A trucker had been drinking and driving. Eighteen wheelers like that one were a common sight in these parts. My parents had swerved to avoid the truck when it crossed into their lane, causing them to lose control of their vehicle. It had flipped and crashed into a tree.

I’m doomed, just like them.

            “You’re not going to die like your parents,” he said, as if he could read my mind.

“Y-you don’t know that.” I mentally kicked myself for being so weak, for not being able to control myself.

He put his hand on mine again and said in that same gentle voice, “Just let go of the wheel. Turn the engine off.”

I gripped the wheel, telling myself I could do it, that I wasn’t going to be scared and pathetic anymore…but I couldn’t. It took Kavick peeling my fingers off the wheel and taking the key out for me to get a grip. Once the noisy car went silent, I was able to relax. I wanted to put my arms around him, knowing that being close to him would make me feel better, but I somehow thought that was inappropriate, even though we had already told each other we loved one another. We had even kissed once.

I kept telling myself I wasn’t going to cry. After a good sniff I seemed to be better, but my hands were still shaking.

He turned in his seat to face me straight. I turned in mine to return his gaze. He smiled at me and wiped a lone tear that had fallen against my efforts. “We don’t have to do this today. Let’s try again another time.”

I put on my determined face and said, “I can do this.”

I went to grab the keys, but he moved them out of reach and used the opportunity to steal a kiss. It was brief, but it stunned me silly. It had been ages since he had last kissed me, and I had always been too awkward to attempt it since. In fact, the last time he had kissed me was when he had told me he loved me, which was several months ago. Since then it had only been a few pecks on the forehead when we were alone, which seemed to not happen much anymore.

Now the keys were long forgotten and proving a point to myself didn’t seem so important anymore. After several seconds of me staring at him like an idiot with my mouth open, he said in an amused way, “Weren’t expecting that, were you?”

“No,” I said monotonously, finding that it was hard to gather my thoughts and that my heart was racing all over again.

Kavick gave me an apologetic grin and said nervously, “I know I…”

Suddenly, we heard the distant crackle of gravel behind us. We both groaned, knowing it was Justin. He never liked being home alone for long. With graduation approaching, Justin had been making comments about it only being a matter of time before a boy would whisk me away from him, leaving him alone again. Kavick quickly unfastened his seatbelt and switched places with me.

Once we were on the road, he asked me, “Where do you want to go?”

“Mmm…how about your house?” I figured we might get to be alone there. We hadn’t been alone much ever since Kavick started working two jobs. Not long after Kavick got out of the hospital, a little hunting store had opened in Marsh, the next town over. That’s how Kavick was able to buy the car we were riding in.

“You really want to go there?” he chuckled.

“Well, why not?” I smiled, watching him drive. “You’ve got a better idea?”

“I’m surprised you would want to go there when I can take you anywhere you want.” Then his eyes widened like he suddenly got an idea. “But, we could go to the Magic Place from there, if you want.”

I suddenly got excited at the idea. It would be like old times. “Let’s do that!”

After driving through town and a few winding roads through the woods, we were at the Skarling house. It looked battered and old, just like his car, but you could tell a family once lived in the home. It was as if you could sense it. Maybe it was the many rooms that produced this effect. I wasn’t sure and didn’t put too much thought into it since I was thinking about the Magic place. Kavick and I avoided the house all together, rushing out of the car and running for the woods.

We ran in zigzags to avoid the trees, Kavick being in the lead, of course, with his long legs. He knew the way better than me, as well. It was daytime, so it wouldn’t be as cold and we wouldn’t have to light a fire. There was only about half an inch of snow on the ground which was mushy and melting. He jumped up and swung from a limb that was hanging over. When we finally reached the last of the trees, I stood still, not following him anymore. I looked across the expanse of white and the cloudy, gray sky overhead. I almost thought it gloomy, even though I had gotten used to such days. I hadn’t thought these kinds of days gloomy for a long time, actually, and I wondered why I did now.

And then I suddenly knew why.

Just like I had been scared to go on the road, I couldn’t bring myself to enter the place I had once thought of as magical. Now all I could think of was the last time I was there, on a cold, cloudy day just like this. I took a deep breath and noticed that I didn’t see my breath, unlike that horrible day. It was May now, so it should have been warmer none the less, but as the weatherman on the TV had said earlier that day, we were experiencing a bit of a long winter.

Kavick spun around and then stopped, sensing I wasn’t near him. He gave me a concerned look. “What’s wrong?”

I placed a hand on the tree beside me, nearly clinging to it. The gun shot kept echoing in my mind. Kavick’s blank stare. The blood. Marcus.

“I HATE YOU!”

I had screamed it so loud.

I felt bark prick the skin beneath my nails and the stinging that followed told me I was bleeding. I hadn’t realized I was digging my nails into the tree. “Maybe this wasn’t a good idea,” I said in a little voice.

He walked toward me and extended a hand. “Take my hand,” he said gently. “I promise you won’t regret it.”

I took it, instantly feeling better, and we walked for a while, side by side in silence. I kicked at the snow and said, “It’s kind of boring when there’s not much snow to work with, or ice to slide on.”

However, just taking a walk with him was better than being stuck in a car. I never could get truly comfortable in a vehicle since my parents’ accident.

“We can head on to the forest, see the waterfall,” he suggested.

I remembered the last time we went to the waterfall. I had nothing but good memories of that. Suka had been excited about hiking, but once we had reached the waterfall she had become obsessed with the notion of jumping from one of the big rocks.

 

Remember, you can buy “Ice” for your Kindle for only $2.99 from Amazon.com if you want to catch up before the sequel comes out! :)

300 “Likes” and That Little Something Special…

Hello! As you see in the title, YOU DID IT! Thank you guys! No, I did not forget what I said, just that pesky thing called “life” happened again and dragged me away from my blog for a bit.

Really quickly: “Ice” is still only £.99 on Amazon.co.uk! TODAY IS THE LAST DAY…so get it! ;)

Wow, I’m really caps-y today. Sorry; everything seems like a big deal to me in this post.

Anywho! Here is the interesting tid-bit I told you guys about. First a little information about it so you understand what the heck you’re reading:

I had started writing the chapters that covered Christine’s birthday and I was thinking, “What on earth would Kavick get her?!”

I was kind of freaking out because I had no idea.  Naturally, I had to think like him.

Then I realized he would think, “What on earth am I going to get her?!”

No wonder I was stumped! He would have to ask someone for help, and who other than Anana, one of his closest childhood friends? So, when I wrote this scene, I knew it would never be in the book, but I needed to know how Kavick came to his decision on Christine’s gift, and I had this little idea in the back of my head that maybe I could publish a second “Ice” book (I had thought there wasn’t going to be a sequel back then) and it could be told from the perspective of the Wolf-People, being specifically Kavick, Tartok, Anana, and Suka. It would be their lives, leading up and through “Ice”. If you guys like that idea, let me know by commenting below.

Note: as I’ve mentioned before, spelling errors are many, and some things are different than in the published novel

Copyright © 2011 Elissa Len Lewallen

 

“What is that?” Anana asked in her small monotone. It didn’t even sound like a question when she said it. Questions always sounded like statements when they came out of her mouth. She was crouched on the floor looking at the item Kavick was savagely wrapping with newspaper and packaging tape, tearing a long strip with his teeth. After he patted the tape into place, he sat up straight and examined it, sitting Indian style on the floor.

“It’s a gift,” he said like he was wondering why she had to ask. He then looked at Anana, realizing that if she had to ask, that was a problem….

He looked back down at it and growled in frustration, ripping the newspaper off.

“What are you giving her?”

When he had it completely unwrapped she moved her head a little closer. There she saw an old rumpled red sweater folded loosely, nestled in the center of the nest of newspaper.

He looked to Anana again, looking worried. “I don’t know what to give her. Do you think she’ll like it?”

“What is it?”

“One of my mom’s sweaters. It’s the only female thing I have,” he said, holding it up to debate over his choice of gift again. He laid it back down on the newspaper, noticing it was pilling. “I can’t give her that,” he groaned helplessly as he dropped his face into his hands.

“Well, I think it’s nice, but is it really appropriate for you to give your friend your mother’s clothes?”

He kept his face in his hands. “Probably not,” he said in a muffled voice.

“Shouldn’t you give her something that means something to both of you?”

“Yeah,” he said in the same hopeless, muffled voice. He then removed his face from his hands, but kept his head low, looking up at the gray haired girl. “I can’t afford to by her jewelry….”

“It doesn’t have to be jewelry.”

“What do you give a girl then? I can’t afford to buy her much of anything….”

“Think about what you give me every year.”

He his eyes went up to the ceiling at he thought for a moment. His eyes then moved back to hers. “A frog?” he asked puzzled.

“That was when we were five.”

He thought again. “A rock?”

“That wasn’t exactly what I was thinking of either, but it’s not bad. You got that rock from the lake we always played at in the summer time. I had so much fun, and every time I look at the rock I remember how much fun we had.”

He looked a little more enlightened, but still worried. “I don’t have a rock to give her, though.”

She shifted her legs around from under her and stood up. “C’mon. I still don’t think you’re getting it.”

He looked up at her. “Where are we going?” he still sounded helpless.

“To my house since you can’t remember the other things you’ve given me.”

He stood up, his faded jeans wrinkled and torn in one knee. He was wearing a gray under shirt in the house, so he grabbed his coat and bear fur on his way out. Anana still had her coat on, so she just gave it a quick zip as she walked down the old, creaking steps where the white paint was peeling off the wood. Kavick didn’t bother locking the door, simply pulling it closed behind him. They tread through the snow and through the trees a few minutes before they emerged on the Miller’s property. The house wasn’t much different on the outside with white peeling paint, but it had gray trim and a second story. She unlocked the door from a little key under the snowy rug on the porch and he followed her in. The house was quiet and empty with no lights on. She headed for the hall and kept walking until they reached her room at the end. Kavick had been in there multiple times over the years so it wasn’t a new sight to him, but it looked a little different than he remembered, haven’t being in there for the last six months or so. There were less stuffed bears and no posters on the walls. It seemed quite bare compared to what he remembered. She walked over to her chest of drawers and pulled out a box. In the box was a very flat, folded piece of paper and a leather key ring he immediately recognized. His eyes widened in realization as she held it up from the metal ring. It was made of brown braided leather strips that hung down to grasp a smooth grayish pink stone that nearly matched her gray and red hair. “See? This is what I’m talking about. You gave it to me last year…”

“…because you had just learned how to drive,” he said, finally sounding optimistic.

The corners of her mouth turned up slightly. “You get it now.”

As she placed it back into the little wooden box of trinkets, her hand bumped the paper and a shriveled purple flower fell out. “Oh!” she gasped in a tiny voice.

Kavick carefully picked it up and held it out for her. “Who gave you this?” he asked puzzled, unable to remember anyone giving her such a little flower, or any flower for that matter.

She stared at it, hesitating to answer. For a moment Kavick wondered if she was going to answer at all. He saw how her face became somber and her eyebrows moved downward as if it were a struggle for her to answer. Kavick was completely caught off guard by this and was concerned by the change in her.

“Hey…are you okay? I didn’t mean to…”

She sniffed and wiped her eyes before the tears could leave her lashes. She still wouldn’t look up at him, though. “Tupit…”

Kavick looked at the flower in shock.

“Tupit gave it to me a week before…it…” She sniffed again and wiped her nose, unable to finish the sentence.

Kavick still stared at it in wonder. I never knew…

“We were walking along a cliff over some rocks…we came to a patch of grass that was full of these flowers…he gave one to me.”

She finally looked up at him, clearly knowing that he understood what it meant. Just as she her resolve was starting to crumble again he wrapped his arms around her in a warm hug. “I’m so sorry, Anana. I never knew.”

“I know,” she hiccupped. “I don’t think anyone did.”

 

Okay, so Kavick realized after this, “Hey! I can afford jewelry!” when he was working at the O’Connell’s shop one day, and c’mon. Kavick loves Christine, so even if he doesn’t have much money, he’s going to make it happen. Fortunately, the jewelry in the O’Connell’s shop isn’t expensive, either. It’s just a little gift shop.

Thank you guys again for your awesome support! And if you haven’t read “Ice” you can buy it here, on Amazon. And there’s the trailer below.

 

Talk to you later!

-EL

Special Promotion on “Ice”!

Quick update for you guys: “Ice” is currently only £0.99 on Amazon.co.uk!! Get it here!

And, I’m at 299 “likes” on Facebook now! Thank you so much guys! I’m thinking about posting something a little different for you next time, sort of like a deleted scene, but I knew I wasn’t going to include it in the novel…I think it’s an interesting piece that compliments the novel nicely. :)

Talk to you soon!

-E

Deleted Scene: Kavick Detained

Here is another deleted scene from “Ice”! Thank you for 200 likes!

As you guys read, I think you’ll quickly figure out where this scene takes place. This scene explains what happened to Kavick while he was in the Factory.

Warning: spelling and formatting errors are many.

Copyright © 2011 Elissa Len Lewallen

Light burned through my eyelids. It was so hard to open my eyes, though. My eyelids were so heavy…

So was the rest of my body. I couldn’t move. My body felt like it weighed a ton.

I worked harder and seconds ticked by as I finally managed to open my eyes to mere slits. I peeked out and was blinded by a bright light. I quickly clamped my eyes shut. I groaned from the pain…

I groaned again. The pain was intense and all over my body.

“The subject’s waking up.”

“The sedative’s wearing off.”

I felt my ears twitch at that. Subject? I must be dreaming…

My eyes fluttered open and I forced myself to look through the light. I saw the source of it as my vision cleared and my eyes became stronger. It was a lamp over my face. I looked around, suddenly realizing there was more than just a bright light. Where was I…?

“AAAAAHH!!”

            “Hurry! Strap him down!”

There were machines hooked up to me, needles poking into my arms, forcing some kind of fluids into my body, there were people dressed in white suits, like there was some kind of bio-hazardous chemical in the air they didn’t want to be exposed to.

I was terrified. What had happened to me? What were they doing to me? Where the hell was I?

I suddenly realized I was the one screaming. I was screaming at the top of my lungs and I couldn’t stop. I thrashed on the cold table, trying to break away. I was already strapped to an operating table, so why were they panicking about strapping me down?

I couldn’t fight back the people that were trying to shove me down onto the table. Even my ankles were strapped down. I just kept screaming and trying to wiggle out of their grasp. I tried head butting them, since it was the only thing I could do, but they had those big masks over their heads.

“LET GO OF ME!”

Suddenly someone walked over to me and shoved something over my face. I jerked my head around, trying to keep them from me, but it didn’t work. They fiddled with the straps of the thing until it was tight around my head. I looked down at it over my nose and mouth and realized they had actually just put a muzzle on me.

There were so many people crowded around me, pushing me down, it was no use to fight back, but I was going to do everything I could. I suddenly knew what they meant by “strapping” me down, because they put more straps on me. The put two over my torso, over my elbows, shoulders, my legs…I was totally immobile and useless. I couldn’t move any part of my body.

I felt another needle poke into my arm and soon my eyes felt heavy again. I tried to keep them open, but soon I couldn’t anymore.

 

I woke up from the cold. I was shivering. I opened my eyes easier this time. There wasn’t a blinding light in my face, like before. It was dark and dim. I jumped up and looked around the tiny room. It wasn’t a room. It was a cell. I least I wasn’t strapped down anymore…

I suddenly remembered the muzzle and clawed at my face to take it off; but it wasn’t there anymore.

I looked up at the low, concrete ceiling. I could easily touch it. I fought back the urge to duck down from it. It would have been claustrophobic if it weren’t for the caged door that allowed me to look out across the room to see a wall lined with more cells, and even pins that were housing dogs and wolves…

I felt my eyes widen as I suddenly realized where I was. I was in the factory. I had been kidnapped by the hunter. I held my head as I tried to remember how it happened. I couldn’t. I couldn’t remember anything except arguing with Tark about Christine. I had been walking through snow…so much snow, and it was so dark…

I held my shivering body again. I looked down at the white scrubs I was wearing. They were wrinkled. I began to wonder how long I had been here. I took note of the camera in the corner of my cell and looked over at the tiny sink and toilet beneath it. They planned to have me here a long time.

I suddenly got an insane idea…or maybe it was perfectly sane. If I couldn’t get out, I could drown myself in the sink. Maybe it could hold just enough water to cover my face…

I shook my head, telling myself I wasn’t going to give up.

I grabbed the cold bars and stared at the other people and dogs asleep in their cells.

I was getting out.

But, why were they holding me here? The hunters killed my kind…why spare me?

And were the others here like me?

Everyone was asleep except me. Well, the prisoners were asleep; I’m sure there were people watching my every move via the camera in the top corner of my cell. I had to find out if the others stuck in here were like me or not. I whistled, making a few of the animals wake up, the others just stirred in their sleep. Some didn’t even seem phased. They were probably drugged like I had been. One of the dogs, a black Lab, and a couple of the wolves looked at me. I wasn’t an unusual sight to them. They did nothing except watch me from behind their tiny, barred doors, looking as helpless as I was feeling. I could see the defeat in the animals’ eyes. Their spirits had been broken; they were used to living in those little cages; they had no hope.

I stepped away from the bars and looked down at the floor. My feet were bare and cold. I could already feel the courage to break free starting to leave my body as I began to fear if I would become just like them.

I started thinking about Tark. When I had talked to him last we had fought. I couldn’t believe “Leave me alone” were the last words I had said to him…

I held my head, drowning in grief. I was the only family Tark had left. He always was strong, but his biggest strength is being able to hide his feelings. I know how hard it was when it was just Tupit, him and I. The first time we went to school after our other brothers’ death, he had looked both of us sternly in the eye and said, “Now on, we stick together.”

And we did. The three of us spent all of our free time together and began relying on each other. We all had needed that after what happened.

And then after Tupit was killed…

I rubbed my face hard, wishing I could have saved him.

Tark just shut me out after Tupit died. He was unusually silent and his temper flared more often. I know he blamed himself, even though it wasn’t his fault.

Suddenly I saw Christine’s face in my mind. I remembered her laugh and wanted to laugh, too. I wanted to smile, or maybe I wanted to cry because I could never see her or my brother again and I was going to be a guinea pig for God knows what for the rest of my life. I didn’t know how to feel. I struggled to hold on to myself, the free spirited Kavick that would never let anything restrain him, rules or people.

“…Hey…”

I looked up from my hands at the distant voice. One of the people in the cells got up from his tiny bed and rubbed his hair. His was to me. It took me a second to realize the voice was coming from someone out of my sight, and the person standing up in his cell had been awakened by the voice.

“…Looks like they got another one. What’s your name?”

I planted my face to the bars, straining my eyes to move far enough over in their sockets to see the master of the voice, but I couldn’t. The room was too vast, and his cell must have been on the same wall as mine.

I thought for a moment how I should answer. “…Kavick Skarling.”

“…Still usin’ Inuit names, huh? Not too many do that anymore, and for good reason. Inuit are the first ones they check out.”

“Yeah, well, Kevin’s on my birth certificate.”

“Smart, but proud, eh?”

“Very proud.”

“I was, too…” the man’s voice trailed off and I could hear that defeat I saw in the eyes of the animals. “Well, listen; we can’t keep talkin’ like this or they’ll separate us. We have to keep our conversations short and far apart.”

“One question,” I interjected as fast as I can since I knew we needed to end our conversation since the cameras were watching us. It wouldn’t be long until they figured out I was talking to someone. “How long have you been here?”

There was a pause. At first I thought he wasn’t going to answer, but then he said, “Long enough to have no idea. You lose all sense of night and day here since there’s no windows.”

I thought that was a strange answer. In the summer the sun never went down, and in the winter the sun never came up. Why would that make any difference? Then it dawned on me; he wasn’t from Alaska. That would explain the bit of accent I heard. “You’re from Canada, near the Lower Forty-eight?”

“Yeah,” he said sounding surprised. “You psychic or somethin’?”

Actually, the the more I heard him talk, the more he sounded like a New Yorker.

I dodged the question since we were short on time. “So, you’ve been here long enough to be familiar with the place.”

He chuckled and said bitterly, “I only see what they let me see, which is this room and their little testing room where they muzzle me and take and me for a walk on their treadmill. Good luck tryin’ to get out. As soon as you try, they’ll poke you with a needle and then its lights out…that is, if they let you live.”

 

You can purchase “Ice” on Amazon.com.

Deleted Scene from “Ice”: the Original Chapter Seven

Okay, here is the first deleted scene from Ice. This is the original chapter seven that is told from Tartok’s point of view to help fill the gap of time when Christine last see’s Kavick to when he is abducted. The final version doesn’t show what it was like when Kavick almost lost all sense of his humanity, and how long it took his body to change back completely. The part where Tartok breaks in Christine’s room, however, is told from Christine’s point of view in the final version. Now you know what Tartok was thinking when he saw Christine for the first time. I decided to chop this scene, and any other told from another character’s point of view, because I thought it would be easier to read if it was all told from one point of view, that being Christine’s.

NOTE: there are many spelling errors. Also, the O’Hara’s in this scene are the O’Connell’s.

Chapter Seven:

Missing

“Stop following me, Tark!” Kavick called back to me. He was stomping through the snow ahead, his black and white hair he so unabashedly displayed swung back and forth with every furious step. But he knew I was right; that was part of the reason why he was so mad. He shouldn’t have been associating with that girl. From his lack of willingness to answer my questions I could tell the girl knew our secret. Ever since we were little I could figure out what he was hiding if he didn’t answer the question. For example…

“Did you tell her about us?” I asked, not bothering to hide how frustrated I was with him. I wanted him to know. He knew better than to tell. No one could be trusted.

“Stop interrogating me!” he shouted, looking up at the dim sky above. There was the faintest wisp of green glowing overhead, the start of yet another Aurora Borealis.

“You told her,” I stated flatly.

“I didn’t say that!”

“You didn’t need to.”

“Whatever,” he huffed, still stomping his way through the ankle deep snow. He had never paused for a second as he avoided my question. He turned around, walking backwards for a moment as he pointed at me. “You think you know everything, but you don’t know her! She’s the kindest, most caring person I’ve ever met, and she’s been helping me for months!”

I wasn’t expecting him to say that. For a second I felt my surprise register on my face, but Kavick caught it. I could tell he thought it only confirmed that he was right and that he knew better.

But he didn’t know better. I was the one always looking out for him and the others. I was as good as the head of our clan. That is, if we had a clan. Just the two of us didn’t feel like much of a clan. It just made us feel like twins instead of the remains of a broken set of quintuplets.

“How is she so much more kind and caring than the others?” I said, once again not bothering to hide my disdain and disbelief. How could she be so different? I heard her talking to Molly. Molly is one of the most annoying people I have ever met. I never understood why Kavick associated with her, and as far as I’m concerned that’s just another of example of Kavick’s poor judgment.

“She’s the one that took me in when I was wounded,” he explained, holding up the arm which used to be injured.

I immediately relived that day for a moment, when Anana had come back panicked, asking for her sister and I to help him against the bear. She was equally worried about the fact Kavick had been spotted in the woods, since Kavick’s presence would look unusual, unlike her appearance.

The three of us had raced to where Anana had left him, only to find him walking naked and wounded in the cold, and not as a dog. He had explained to us about how he had tried to save a girl from a bear and she had taken him in her house and tended to his wounds. However, in order to escape, he had to change back into his human form. Never had I seen Kavick look so disheveled, so uncertain, so dirty, and so cold. There was a time when he was used to the moments of being naked in the freezing temperatures just after a shift. But that day he had been shivering, holding his arms, and there was a strange look in his eyes. I couldn’t quite describe it, but his footsteps did. His walk didn’t seem right. It seemed awkward. I could tell it was unnatural to him. He had already become accustomed to walking on all fours and the warmth of his fur. He stared at everything in wonder as if he were seeing it all in a new light. His eyes were big the whole walk home.

I had told Anana and Suka to go back home as soon as we had spotted him. They had quickly taken off to give Kavick some privacy. I had shifted back into human form and put an arm around him. We tried to keep each other warm as we walked back home since Kavick said he couldn’t walk on his leg. I had then looked at his wounded arm he referred to as a leg. He kept making comments about how pretty the colors of things were and his words were low and hoarse. It had been a week since he had last spoken.

“Why are you doing this, Tark?” he had asked in a shaky voice with chattering teeth.

“It’s only right I suffer with you and give you what warmth I can. I’m your brother. You would do the same for me.”

I had been a little frightened by the state he was in, but I hid it well. I had to be strong. Even though it felt like I had almost lost my brother, living as a wolf was the surest way of staying hidden. To my relief he was back to his old self by the time we got home. He had eagerly run into the bathroom, speaking about how badly he wanted to take a hot shower.

I’ve lived as a wolf for several days before, as well, but not for a whole week straight. There was usually a few brief moments where I had to shift back into a human for some reason. Apparently Kavick hadn’t had those moments. I had spoken to Suka soon after, asking how Anana was after they had gotten home. She had said Anana seemed a little awkward and very happy to be human again. I asked if she had inquired about her time with Kavick when they had been wolves, and she had said that her younger sister had told her they had done a lot of running and playing, sleeping, and only a little hunting.

“I thought Kavick looked a little thin,” Suka had commented from the roof of her house. It was late at night and everyone was asleep. Whenever we spoke about our siblings to each other, it was usually at this hour on her roof. Waiting to talk until so late was about the only way it was sure to stay just between the two of us.

“And that also explains why he ate the whole fridge when he got home,” I had said with a frown.

She grinned slightly and had a knowing look in her yellow eyes. “Anana did the same thing.”

            I brought myself out of my memories a second later, strangely feeling a little grateful for this girl who had helped my brother. Because of her treatment Kavick’s wounds weren’t infected when I had found him. Kavick recovered well, but he didn’t shift into a wolf again until his gashes were reduced to just mere scratches on his arm and side.

Kavick turned his back on me again. “Now leave me alone!”

I stood still then, not wanting to fight with him anymore. I decided to let him be for a bit. “Be back in time for the Lights.” It was all I would say.

He just waved a hand up in the air, letting me know he heard me through the rush of wind that suddenly hammered us. It sent his long hair flying and it made me remember how my father was proud that he wasn’t afraid to display his heritage. An outsider wouldn’t know what it meant, but all of our kind would. He was even picked on by our own people for his Husky ancestry, and it showed more strongly in him than any other of my brothers. I was a black wolf, like Father. So was Maguyuk. Anuun was a Husky, but he was solid black. Tupit had a little, such as on his face, but he had many of those long streaks of black patterning his face like tattoos. Kavick’s face on the other hand was full white, framed by dark black. He had much more white than Tupit, just like our mother. Half his body was in white. Mother always felt guilty, though, like it was her fault, always saying she was sorry she had placed such a burden on her children.

I turned around, feeling conflicted feelings. I felt a bit of that same pride like Father had spoke of, but I was still frustrated with my last remaining brother. I didn’t want to lose him like Tupit. Tupit’s death was still fresh in my mind. I had been a witness to him being shot down in his Husky form, lying still that cold, snowy night during that unusual cold snap we had in the summer. I had been injured by gunfire, and Kavick was with the others trying to free Suka and Anana’s father from a trap in the distance. I had been made useless, forced to watch the hunter drag my brother away. I was surprised the hunter hadn’t tried to take me, as well. Perhaps he couldn’t manage dragging two wolves in the snow. The hunter placed Tupit on the front of his snowmobile, and took off. Kavick had come to my aid then, turning into a human in his worry. He was so busy checking on me he didn’t realize the hunter had killed Tupit.

“Stay with me!” he pleaded with me. He then whipped his head around, noticing our brother wasn’t there. “Where’s Tupit?!” I could hear the panic in his voice.

I finally managed to shift into a human and pointed to the snowmobile that was quickly growing distant. “He’s got Tupit!”

Kavick had jumped to his feet and ran after the hunter, shifting mid-run. But he couldn’t catch up with it.

He didn’t return to us, either.

Anana and Suka took me to their home that night with their father where we could tend to our injuries. I could hear Kavick wailing away at the moon in the forest somewhere until I finally fell asleep. Part of me wondered if he was hoping Tupit was still alive and would be able to escape and come back at his call. He was probably blaming himself, like our mother he took after. I could hear Anana crying, too, but she wasn’t howling like Kavick. I could hear it through the walls of the old house. Suka was trying to comfort her little sister in the living room. Anana had been just as close to Tupit as she was to Kavick, maybe even slightly more.

But it wasn’t Kavick’s fault. It was mine. I had been standing next to Tupit when it had happened. I should have been able to save him. It was my fault.

“Where’s Kavick?” I asked as I met up with the others at the bonfire. There was Suka, Anana, their father Tunerk, and their grandfather whom Kavick and I refer to in our private conversations as “Old Man Miller”.  And then there were the O’haras, a family of six which had the exceptional good luck of not losing anyone to the hunter. However, we all have our suspicions if there is actually more than one hunter and if they had grown to such a large number that they were building that “factory” as a cover for some kind of base. Our suspicions have been growing stronger and stronger over time. Why would anyone want to build a factory out in this tiny, dying town?

“I don’t know. He’s your brother,” Suka said with that sarcasm I knew all too well. I should have known better than to ask her that.

I looked out toward the trees, feeling worried. Knowing him, he probably went to see that girl, putting himself in danger. I was so certain; I knew that had to be where he was. He was skipping the meeting just to send a message to me. And it just happened to be one of the most crucial meetings. The oldest O’hara boy, who was seventeen, was supposed to have been tailing a person we suspected of being a hunter. But Kavick doesn’t even know what that person looks like because he was with that girl the last time we spoke of it.

“Go ahead, start,” I said as I sat down alone on the empty log. Kavick was supposed to be sitting beside me on it. I was incredibly annoyed at my brother for skipping this meeting. Jonathan O’hara (the O’haras preferred to not use native names unlike the Millers and my family) was going to tell us what he had found out from trailing the suspected hunter. He stood then, looking a little uncomfortable at starting without Kavick. Most of us didn’t look Inuit anymore from all the breeding with white people, except the Millers. The O’haras were almost as pale as Kavick and I, and they all had brown hair since they had a lot of brown mixed in with their gray coat, unlike the Millers who had virtually no brown in their gray coats. They bred with only other wolf people, and used to only breed with other Inuits. Old Man Miller had dark skin and you could see some of his Inuit heritage in his facial features. His son Tunerk carried on the skin color to his daughter’s, but it was much lighter since their mother had been white. They all had gray hair and yellow eyes, except for the old man whose hair had turned white. Suka’s hair was cut incredibly short, almost like a boys’, and Anana’s hair was a little longer, hanging down just to the middle of her neck.

Jonathan cleared his throat and addressed us all. “I’ve been tailing the human who we saw the night of the fire at the factory. I wasn’t able to look around in his house for long, so I only have a last name. I was not able to find any concrete evidence that he is the hunter, but he did have a yellow snowmobile like the one the hunter who killed Tupit Skarling used.”

I felt anger and pain surge through me at those words. Everyone was locked on the oldest O’hara boy as he continued on with what he learned. He told us the last name he had discovered and said he was going to keep following this factory worker, along with another one of his brothers, and wait for another opportunity to search his house.

That’s where the meeting ended. It was short, as were most meetings anymore. We no longer played music since we had already reflected on the dead during the first few nights of the Lights. However, I remained long after the others had walked away, still reflecting on the dead of my family. I don’t know how long I sat there, staring into the fire until I finally left.

 

“Where’s Kavick?” I asked yet again on the following night. I looked around at everyone who was seated around the fire just as before. There was only silence and awkward stares. Tunerk Miller sighed loudly from beside Suka, showing his unhappiness. He raised an irritated eyebrow at me that spoke volumes. I could imagine what our next conversation would be like. I could hear his voice in my mind. “Get him in line.”

            Tunerk didn’t like how Kavick was spending so much time away where nobody seemed to know what he was doing, and skipping meetings, at that. He had always had little respect for Kavick until Kavick helped him out of a bear trap the hunter had set the night Tupit was killed and taken. Despite Kavick not being a “true wolf” as he had said before in the past, he was suddenly polite to Kavick after that incident and soon asked him to marry Anana to carry on the wolf bloodline. Tunerk felt like we were a dying breed and needed to change that quickly before we were extinct. However, in his conversations with me, Tunerk still showed his unhappiness with Kavick’s relaxed, carefree attitude, saying he had no sense of duty for not wanting to marry his daughter. And now he had added “wild” to that list of traits he didn’t like about Kavick. I knew I would be hearing more of his complaints about my brother in the very near future.

I huffed and turned around. “Go on.”

“Without both of you?” Suka inquired in a surprised voice as I walked away.

“I’m fetching Kavick.” I stopped then, realizing there was a much faster way of hunting him down. Instead of sniffing him out, I could use Anana’s directions, since she was the one who had been spying on him, wondering where he was gone to so much instead of trying to get adjusted as living as wolf. He and Anana were supposed to be spending more time together, hunting and such, as wolves, because I thought he should marry Anana, as well, and soon. Even though Kavick didn’t to marry her, Anana was his friend so he didn’t mind spending time with her.

At least, until recently he didn’t mind. He had been spending less and less time with her. His excuse had been he was spending more time helping the O’hara’s with their store, but she didn’t believe him. She had told Suka she could smell a different scent on him and was curious to know where he had actually been spending so much time. She had carefully followed far behind him one evening and discovered him climbing through the window of a house. She could hear a girl’s voice talking to him.

I turned around and looked at Anana. She slowly tipped her head up at me, her yellow eyes growing bigger. I could tell she was figuring out what I wanted and she didn’t want to do it. But she would do what I asked. She hardly ever said no to anyone. That’s why she wasn’t protesting her father’s marriage proposal to Kavick. She was eighteen, but she did everything he said like she was a little child still with no free will. I then looked at Suka who was staring at me, wondering what I wanted. “Can I borrow your sister?”

Suka’s eyes grew a little larger then and she looked at Anana. Anana and her exchanged stares. Anana knew then that Suka had told me what she had told her in confidence about Kavick. Nothing was said and it only lasted a second. Suka looked down at her feet in a guilty way and said, “Ask her, not me.”

I looked at Anana again. She hesitantly stood, holding her side for a second, and then followed me into the trees. I stopped after a moment of walking and then turned to her. She wasn’t holding her side anymore where she had been shot, but she still looked frail. She always looked frail and delicate to me, because she was short and bony. She kind of did still look like a little girl. “Do you think you can show me where Kavick’s been seeing that girl?” I glanced at her side then to let her know she could say no if she didn’t feel like she could do it.

She was quiet a moment, mulling it over, and then gave a tiny nod. “Yeah, I can do it.”

I stepped aside and motioned for her to take the lead. She went over behind a large pine tree and came back a second later as a Timber wolf. I walked up to her and she stared at me. “I’m not shifting. I don’t want to frighten the girl.”

She let out a whine as she started walking ahead of me, clearly regretting her decision. She probably felt like she was betraying Kavick. We both knew he wasn’t going to be happy.

Anana led the way at a leisurely pace, making it easy for me to keep up with her. During the long walk to the girl’s house it seemed to get even darker and the Aurora Borealis grew even brighter even though it was already night when we headed out. The white snow stood out in the darkness. Moonlight filtered through the trees now and then, but I could make out Anana just fine without it. Once we finally reached the edge of the forest where there was a little light blue house in a clearing, Anana darted away, back to the meeting, not wanting Kavick to see her.

I looked down in the snow and could just faintly see tracks leading to the house. However, they looked old. They were have filled with this morning’s snowfall. Had Kavick actually taken the front door?

I walked around the tree line, staying hidden behind the trees. I could see the window the tracks led to. The blinds were up and it was the only room in the house that appeared to have a light on. I ran up to the window then as fast I could in the deep snow, ready to give Kavick the worst scolding and lecturing of his life. I couldn’t believe he had made himself known to the other person this girl lived with whom Suka had also told me about. Anana assumed he was probably the girl’s father. What if he was one of the hunters?

I forced the window up, making a bit of a racket, but not too bad. If her father was asleep then it probably didn’t wake him. I climbed through to see the girl sitting on the bed, staring at me with big gray eyes. For a second I nearly sighed out loud. I could see why Kavick had spent so much time with her in the past. She was pretty. He was being a typical, thoughtless, hormonal teenage boy. She had long straight brown hair that went down to her waist like curtains. She was a bit pale, but not nearly as bad as Kavick and I. Really, though, was there anyone here that wasn’t pale who was white? Summers are short and usually cloudy in this part of the world.

She was dressed warmly in a gray turtleneck that brought out the color of her eyes even more, blue jeans, and she was wearing boots, as if she were ready to head out into the snow. And then I noticed the coat and gloves beside her. She was planning on going out, and probably with him.

However, I was surprised to see that Kavick wasn’t there. Now I had exposed myself to the girl. Kavick was making me even more furious than before, and he wasn’t even present. I stood my full height and stared the girl down. “Where is my brother?”

100 “Likes”!!

Yesterday I reached 100 “likes” on my Facebook page, you can visit it here.

THANK YOU SO MUCH!

I felt like I had to give back a little to you guys, so here is the first 10 pages of “Ice”, and for those of you who have read it, I will be uploading a deleted scene for you next. I am just copying the first 10 pages directly into this post to ensure everyone can read it.

Thank you, again! Here is “Ice”:

Copyright © 2011 Elissa Len Lewallen

Ice

Elissa Lewallen

Chapter One:

Wolves

 

 

Nobody wants to admit it. Nobody wants to feel it. Pain. That cold, hard thing…just like the Alaskan ice I ran my glove over so many times, thick and dusted with a thin veil of snow.

I know; it sounds like such a strange way to start a story, but it seems like that’s exactly what this story consists of: pain, and all its various degrees of torment…and ice.

Life is like that. It’s bittersweet. So, it’s not all tears, either. Some of my fondest memories are here in the snow. But, it also contains some of my worst memories. I’ve seen the white snow turn red with blood, a sight I will never forget.

I could never have dreamed what would happen to me when I moved to Alaska. I had no idea that it would be just as mysterious as it was majestic. Amidst the dense forests and towering snow-capped mountains, there’s a little town called Riverton. And in this small town, there’s a secret.

That secret changed my life forever.

 

“Christine!”

I turned around at the sound of Justin’s excited voice calling my name. There he was, jogging from his big Ford truck, his salt and pepper colored dog running beside him. Big John was over to me licking my face so fast, I didn’t have time to stand up. And the name really suited him; he was huge. I didn’t know much about dogs, but I was almost certain he was a wolf, I just didn’t understand why someone would take a wolf in as a pet. I hadn’t had the chance to ask Justin yet, since I hadn’t been here long and most of that time I had spent in bed sick from the temperature change. When I had left California, it was 91 degrees; when I arrived in Alaska, it was 50. It was kind of a shock to my body. It was summer time (could have fooled me), so I was hoping it would get warmer.

When I was sick, the dog slept on the floor beside my bed, next to my worried Uncle. I had a nasty cold that lingered for a grueling four weeks where I was constantly going in and out of fever. One day it would break, a couple days later I would be burning up again. Even though I didn’t like Alaska, I liked Justin. He quickly earned my respect during that period of time. He had waited on me hand and foot and prepared me a beef stew one day that was supposed to work wonders.

Poor guy didn’t know I was a vegetarian.

I had thanked him for the stew, never letting him know just how much I hated meat. I kept thinking about the cow it must have come from, as weird as that is. It wasn’t so much because of sympathy for the animal, or even a political decision. Cows just strike me as dirty, smelly, and gross, along with most other farm animals.

Today before he left for the grocery store, he told me that he was going to make his famous deer jerky.

Now that was where I began to feel sympathy for animals; I couldn’t imagine eating a deer! They were cute, majestic, beautiful, furry…not gross and smelly like a cow. I had no idea how I was going to manage faking that one. How could I possibly eat Bambi? It was my favorite movie when I was a kid, despite the fact it always made me cry….

I ruffled Big John’s thick fur and then stood up. Big John was persistent, though.

“Now, now! Down boy! Porch!” Justin commanded in a firm voice. Big John sadly dropped his head as he reluctantly walked over to the front door. He sat down on the tiny square porch and patiently waited for us.

I stood up and headed for the porch. I had been swirling a stick in a puddle, watching the ripples when my uncle drove up. I had gotten tired of walking around the front yard after I had cleaned the kitchen.

“I got lots of good stuff for dinner tonight,” he said excitedly as we walked toward the porch together. He had a brown paper bag in his arms stuffed full of food. Immediately I felt grateful for having such a caring uncle; I had heard how expensive groceries were in Alaska. I was so indebted to my Uncle for everything he had done for me, which was one of the reasons why I had cleaned the kitchen instead of going to the grocery store with him. I had to do something in return to show my gratitude. He didn’t have to take me in, but he did. He was a single guy of thirty-five, being five years younger than my dad. He had no experience with kids before me. And, I was a teenage girl at that, which probably made it even more undesirable to take me in. But, he hadn’t hesitated for a second when he first met me at my parents’ funeral. He had walked up to me, shook my hand, and said, “I’m your Uncle Justin, and you’re going to move to Alaska with me. Don’t you worry one bit, I’ll take care of ya.”

As strange as it may sound, Uncle Justin had a southern accent. Even though he had been in Alaska all of his adult life, he still had the twang from Texas where he and my dad had grown up. Why someone would have picked Alaska to move to from Texas, I had no idea. It was the polar opposite.

Justin had dark, messy blond hair (just like my dad) that stuck out from under his baseball cap, and he had a little bit of scruff on his face, which wasn’t an uncommon sight for him. And, besides loving meat, he also loves John Wayne movies. I had only been here a little over four weeks and already he had watched ten westerns that had John Wayne in them. There were only three channels Justin watched: the local news channel, the sports channel, and the Western channel. And, as if that wasn’t enough to tip me off, there was Big John; John, after John Wayne, of course.

“Even though it really wasn’t dirty, I cleaned the kitchen for you anyway, since you were planning on fixing a big dinner,” I said as I stepped through the front door.

“Aw, thanks,” Justin said awkwardly, but in a very grateful way as he walked up the steps. “Now, you didn’t have to go to all that trouble. Don’t you overwork yourself. I don’t want you gettin’ sick again. You should take it easy.”

I smiled at Justin as I stepped into the center of the light blue living room with all its woodsy, cabin-like decorations that were appropriate with the area he lived in. Even though everything was strange, new, and even kind of scary at times, I was glad I was stuck with Uncle Justin in this foreign place. He was always telling me I could rely on him, and he hadn’t given me any reason not to.

As Justin told Big John to sit on the couch, he sat his single brown grocery bag down on the little kitchen counter and took off his denim jacket. I headed for the hallway so I could take a hot bath while he fixed dinner. I was a little achy after bending over the stove, scrubbing the old grime from it. It was the only thing in the kitchen that had really needed cleaning.

I walked through the dark hallway and opened the white door that was next to my room. I flipped on the light and everything became coated in a dim, orange glow. As soon as I removed my sweater, I felt twice as cold, even though I was wearing a long sleeved shirt. I was beginning to wonder if I was ever going to get adjusted to the weather here, even though mid-sixties didn’t sound like it was that cold.

I turned on the bathwater and started taking off my sneakers. After I had peeled my socks off, I stood up straight in front of the bathroom sink and caught a glimpse of myself in the dim reflection. I did a double take and stared at myself. My tan was already almost nonexistent, thanks to it being cloudy the majority of the time. It had rained nearly everyday last week. This place was draining the color out of me. I pictured my skin in the near future being just as dreary as the overcast sky that hung around most days. My eyes were the same color as the gray clouds outside, only adding to the effect. I ran a hand over my ridiculous brown hood-hair and frowned at my pink nose. I sniffed and turned away from the mirror, not able to stand the sight of myself.

I soaked in the water for a while, just lying there in the warmth. I wanted to stay in the warm water forever. I felt alone, even though I had Uncle Justin. I still felt so empty and strange.

What had happened to me? I didn’t feel like myself anymore. I felt like a stranger in my own life.

No, this wasn’t my life. It couldn’t be. I live in California, where every day is bright, sunny, and hot. Not cold, damp, dark Alaska. I was used to looking out my bedroom window to see other houses. Here, all I saw were trees.

I lifted my hands up out of the water to rub my face. What happened to me? I wondered again in frightful astonishment.

Tragedy happened. Death. My parents were gone.

Now I felt like I was being crushed by an overwhelming sense of helplessness. How was I ever going to adapt to this place? What was I going to do when the school year started? Thank God it was summer, but what about when winter came? Alaska has a reputation for brutal winters, and I lived in the middle of nowhere.

I achingly remembered my two friends in California whom I had left behind, but Charlotte was the only one I still had. She had seemed horrified when I told her I was suddenly moving to Alaska. She acted like that was the worst place in the world I could go to. At the time I had thought it wasn’t quite that bad, and that it could be worse. I could be going to a whole other country. What’s wrong with Alaska? How is it any worse than Washington, or maybe Texas?

Now I knew. It was completely different.

I silently prayed I would grow to love it in time like Uncle Justin had, otherwise I was going to be miserable for as long as I was here. Charlotte was already acting like I had made my mind up to move back to California as soon as I had graduated.

“Next year we can share a place,” she had said excitedly into the phone last week. “It’s only a year.”

Personally, I didn’t see how I was going to be able to get out. I was going to have to get a job first in this strange, cold place. How was I going to manage driving myself on icy roads in the winter? What if I had an accident like my parents? The last thing I wanted to do was get behind a steering wheel. And how was I going to get a car, anyway?

I took a deep breath and decided I would just have to discuss it with Justin later.

Later. I didn’t want to think about it anymore. Everything was happening so fast. I needed to calm down and take it one step at a time.

I took another deep breath. This time I held it, and dunked my head into the warm water. For some reason I thought it would clear my head. It only made me feel better as long as my head was under the water, though. As soon as I broke the surface, I returned to my troubles. There was no escaping it.

After my bath, changing into several layers of clothing and drying my hair, I stayed in my room until Uncle Justin called for me. I didn’t wait long for dinner, though. I was just sitting on my bed with my laptop, staring at my e-mail’s inbox, hoping for a message from my other friend in California which would never come.

“Christine! Dinner’s ready!”

I quickly turned off my computer and darted up from my bed.

“Okay!” I called as I slipped my sock feet into my warm, fuzzy slippers. I quickly walked out of my room, nearly running. I shut the door behind me to keep Big John out. I loved him, but I really didn’t want his fur on my bed. The last time I left my door open I had awoken in the night to him jumping up on my bed to curl up next to me. I had regretted letting him lay there because I woke up the next day to wads of gray hair all over the burgundy comforter. It was a job getting all that fur off.

I stepped through the dark hallway, wondering if Justin would ever replace the bulb that had burned out in the little light fixture on the ceiling. I could see him in the kitchen setting silverware around the table. Big John jumped up into a chair like he was going to eat with us. Uncle Justin smiled at me before getting on to Big John.

“Get down, boy!” He used that same firm voice as he snapped his fingers and pointed to the living room. Big John let out a single airy whine as he got down out of the chair and walked over to me. He wagged his tail as he looked up at me. The way he opened his mouth looked kind of like a goofy smile.

“Hi, boy,” I said as I petted his head. Justin was washing his hands at the sink, so I bent down and scratched behind his dog’s ear and whispered, “Don’t worry. I’ll give you some meat.”

He started licking my face again, making me stand up to escape the smelly, slobbery kisses. I wiped them away with the long sleeve of my red sweater and walked into the kitchen. While I washed my hands, Justin excitedly began telling me about all the food he had made. I looked over my shoulder, carefully listening. Once again, I felt indebted to him.

“I got some corn while I was at the store,” he said as he motioned toward a big bowl of it. I almost heaved a sigh of relief. Finally, something I actually liked. Then he motioned toward his deer jerky and some beef patties he had made, just like the ones he grew up eating in Texas with my dad. I smiled, and then I felt my face immediately fall at the same time as his. We both looked down and took a seat at the table, a kind of quiet understanding not to say anymore about dad, or mom.

It was the first time he had mentioned my parents. It was a good start. Maybe one day we could say a little bit more, and maybe this time next year before I leave, we might actually be able to have a full conversation about them. There were plenty of things I would like to discuss with him about my dad. Just not today.

I bowed my head across the table from him as he said grace. Usually it was the same words, but tonight he thanked God for the beef, corn, and other foods on the table he was able to buy from the grocery store.

And, “Thank you for healing Christine. Amen.”

“Amen,” I echoed with a little smile. I was grateful to be well, but it felt a little unusual. My parents had believed in God, but they almost never said prayer over a meal unless it was Easter, Thanksgiving, or Christmas. Uncle Justin never missed a meal. Even though it felt odd, it felt nice, too. It felt a little wholesome for some unknown reason.

Uncle Justin immediately started passing me the necessary things to make a hamburger. He passed me the slices of cheese, hot sauce, the plate of patties, and the buns. I could see that he was looking forward to me eating a burger like him. I wondered how I was going to be able to slip the patty to Big John. I didn’t see how it was possible without Justin noticing, so that was one ordeal with meat I wasn’t going to be able to wiggle out of. I started building up my burger like he said.

“…And then you load up the hot sauce!” Justin said with the largest smile I had seen on his face yet.

I felt my eyes widen in horror. That much hot sauce?! I’m a wimp when it comes to spicy foods.

I momentarily had an internal panic attack while he continued to shake drops of sauce onto his beef patty. He then passed the bottle to me. To my relief, not long after I started putting the hot sauce on my burger, he started eating his. I immediately stopped since he wasn’t looking anymore, and then closed my burger before he could pass me anything else. I took a bite and my mouth was instantly on fire.

Justin looked up from his burger. He swallowed and asked, “What’s wrong?” with a worried look on his face.

I couldn’t spit it out; not only would that be gross, I didn’t want to risk hurting his feelings, so I chewed it as fast as I could. Finally, I couldn’t take it anymore and forced it down while it was still a big, hot lump of food. I grabbed my glass and gulped down the icy water for several seconds. Eventually I had to put the glass down because I needed to breathe. I took a few breaths, seeing Justin grin awkwardly through my watery eyes.

“Too hot, wasn’t it?”

I nodded.

He wiped his mouth with the back of his hand despite the napkin next to his plate, just like a typical guy. “Sorry, I forget how hot that is to people who aren’t accustomed to it.”

I shook my head. “It’s okay. You didn’t know. I should have said something.” I took another big gulp of water and then continued, eager to drown out any doubt that I didn’t enjoy it, “It’s really good, though. Really.” I nodded for extra emphasis.

He smiled, and then returned to his burger, believing my lie. He passed the jerky next, and when he wasn’t looking, I quickly broke off pieces to drop for Big John, who was sitting diligently beside me. I then chewed, pretending I had just taken a bite.

Justin asked me if I liked the jerky and I lied, nodding my head like before, saying it was delicious. He would smile in that way that was part bashful, part proud.

After dinner, he insisted on doing the dishes, just like he always did. The only reason why I let him do it before was because I had been sick. Now that I was well, I felt up to it.

“No, let me do it,” I said, stepping over to the sink next to him. I held my hands out for the plate he was holding. “I want to. You cooked the meal, so I can clean the dishes. It’s only right.”

He stared at me for a moment like he was stunned by my determination to work. I don’t think he expected that from a teenage girl. He hesitantly handed me the plate.

“Okay…but this doesn’t feel right,” he said slowly with an unsure shake of his head. “I feel like I’m workin’ ya.”

“It’s fine, I want to,” I said as I poured the bright orange dish soap onto the plate.

Uncle Justin started putting the leftovers into the fridge then. After I was finished with the dishes, I joined him in the living room for a few minutes to watch TV. I sat on the opposite end of the couch and Big John sat between us. I petted him as I watched a boring game of baseball for about ten minutes. I then got up and left for my room. I went through the tiny, dark hallway, and as soon as I had closed my bedroom door, I heard Big John whine.

“Sorry, boy,” I said through the door to him. As if he knew it was a lost cause, I heard his heavy footsteps as he walked away, toenails scratching against the hardwood that wasn’t covered by the dark blue and tan floral rug in the hall.

I walked over to my bed and turned on my laptop. I signed on the Internet and stared at my empty inbox again. Thankfully, Justin had a computer in his room with high-speed Internet; he had bought a router so I could have Internet on my laptop.

I slipped my feet out of my slippers and tucked them under me as I clicked the “compose” link so that I could write a message to my friend who didn’t want to talk to me. I reminisced about the good old times with Charlotte and Marcus. They were my best and only friends in California. Now it was just Charlotte and me, hundreds of miles apart.

I felt the familiar pain that Marcus’ memory never ceased to bring forth in me. As always, I couldn’t help myself from reliving the nasty memory of how it had all fallen apart.

Marcus Garcia had been more than a friend to me. I had secretly admired him since the first day I laid eyes on him. He was tall, tan, muscular, and always the charmer. It seemed that Charlotte and I were the only girls he hadn’t tried to charm in the school.

Just before my parents’ accident, Marcus started dating a fellow Junior. Not long after they started dating, I struggled with my feelings for him. I told Charlotte, who had always suspected it, and she told me I should tell him how I felt. Just as I was about to spill my guts to him, he told me his girlfriend didn’t want us hanging out anymore, because she suspected I had feelings for him. I went from nearly telling him just that, to lying, saying that it was a crazy idea. He said he had already told her that, but if he didn’t stop associating with me, she would dump him. And, he couldn’t bear that, because he loved her.

But, I couldn’t bear saying goodbye to one of my best friends, especially him…yet, I did anyway.

I had told Charlotte all the details after school that very day, crying my eyes out.

“Marcus and Marcia,” I had said, scrunching up my wet face. “Makes me want to gag.”

And I did.

She was almost as sad as I was; she had wanted us to get together so badly. She wanted to confront Marcus, tell him he was being stupid, but I stopped her, pointing out that it wouldn’t do any good because he loved her. He still wouldn’t talk to me, no matter what anyone said as long as it was what Marcia wanted. I knew it was useless, which was probably how I found the courage to let go of him.

I had only called him once since then, telling him I was leaving for Alaska and just wanted to say goodbye. To my surprise, he showed up at the airport with Charlotte. Apparently, Marcia had granted him the privilege of telling me goodbye in person.

How generous of her, I had thought bitterly.

We had hugged, and that was it. It still hurt to think about the hug, along with everything else. Somehow I hadn’t cried that day at the airport as I said my goodbyes. I think I had run out of tears.

I forced myself to put the memory behind me and started typing feverishly the first words that came to my mind, hoping he would read them and reply despite the voice in my head that still told me it was useless. At least it would make me feel better. (Well, that’s what I hoped.)

 

I feel like I should be talking to you right now. I’m used to talking to you whenever I’m sad…but what can I do? I feel like I have no one. I know I have my uncle, but I can’t talk to him like I could with you and like I can with Charlotte. I feel like I’m alone. It’s just me, alone, in the quiet of the night on my computer, thinking of all the words I want to say to you, all the words I will never say to you. All these words full of so many different emotions that will never reach you, staying locked up in my frustrated, aching head.

I feel so…it’s so hard to describe. Sad doesn’t explain it. I feel hollow in my chest without you in my life. I need to talk to you, but I know I shouldn’t. Know I can’t. Know I won’t, no matter how much I want to. Besides, even if I did, you wouldn’t respond, anyway. You love someone who made a request that you not talk to me. You’re going to uphold that request as long as you love her, and that will probably be forever, unlike me, which will be never.

 

 

If you like what you’ve read of “Ice” so far, you can buy it on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, CreateSpace, or order at your local bookstore. You can also purchase “Ice” from the Kindle store and at Decopolis, located on S Boston in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

New Cover, Trailer, and Another Book Signing!

Hello, everyone!

A lot has happened since we last spoke…or rather, since I last typed at you. It’s been crazy and exciting. Remember me teasing a new cover for Ice and going on for months about making a trailer for it? And did I mention a book signing? I know I did on my Facebook page (shameful plug not-so-cleverly inserted there). Those are some of the things I am going to talk about in this blog post, then I am getting to work on the Secret Lives of Characters series again, and of course, the sequel to Ice.

 

Book Cover:

Ice cover Ice back.

Ta-dah! Photographer Micheal Lowther (Remember her?) assisted me on the new back cover, which is something I could not do without her expertise. We private messaged on Facebook back and forth until we got it just right. I am so happy with the new cover! The snowy image she selected for the back fits the story perfectly, don’t you think? If you would like to reach out to Misha, here’s her website, where you can see more of her great pieces of work and pricing. I highly recommend her. Note to Tulsa authors: she is very interested in working with you! You won’t be disappointed.

 

Which brings me to the trailer that features the new cover! Ta-dah again!

I know, it’s quick and short, but that’s what I wanted. Hopefully a longer trailer with actors will be coming in the near future. It’s definitely something I want to do and have discussed with someone on how this might be possible for my small budget. I hope this tease trailer is simple and straight to the point and intrigues one enough to check it out.

 

2nd Ice Book Signing at Decopolis:

decopolis

On November 30th, which I discovered that very morning was this new thing (well, new to me anyway) called “Small Business Saturday,” I had a book signing at Decopolis in the afternoon and into the evening. The guys there are so cool. They let me set the hours for the signings, so I am welcome to stay as long as I like. And they really do make you feel welcome. And did I mention the store is SO COOL? Some time I will have to ask them if it’s okay to shoot a video of the place and post it on here and my YouTube channel for you guys. (Oh yeah, I’ve got one of those now. Here’s the link. FYI, I am most likely going to neglect my Google+ account, because I only created it so I could have a YouTube channel.) It was another great book signing where I met some interesting and lovely people. Decopolis is doing more book signings with local authors now, so if you are in the Tulsa area check out their Facebook and their website, DecopolisStudios.com, for information about when they are having book signings. By the way, William, one of the owners, is an AMAZING artist and has designed some awesome Christmas cards you can buy. So check. It. Out.

william's christmas cards

Jeez, I’m so bossy! ;)

Also, Ice was featured on the local news!

2013-12-02 01.13.18

Decopolis had a great turn out that day. Some people said they came out just to support local businesses. Thank you so much to everyone who came out to Decopolis. And thank you to Channel 2 News for inserting my little novel into your broadcast.

 

I think that covers everything, so talk to you later!

 

-EL

Strike a Pose! My Photo Shoot with Photographer Micheal Lowther

Hello, everyone!

New and exciting things are happening with Ice. Other than drawing closer to the end of the sequel, I am giving the first Ice book a makeover (and hopefully this blog, too, in the near future). As you may have figured by the lackluster, and just downright dull cover of Ice, I did it myself. I am by no means a photographer, and creating the cover was a long and agonizing process. I had a few different visions, only one of them was within my capability, and because I could never seem to get the text clear, I wasn’t even able to do that right in the end! I had to settle for a design in Create Space’s Cover Creator and have my vision diced down to a letterbox and my font chosen for me. For a cover absolutely free of charge, it wasn’t terrible. (Doing this did however mess with the quality of my image in a way I still haven’t figured out. I just know Kavick wasn’t pixel-y until I did the Cover Creator). I knew that I wanted a better cover in the future…future being hopefully in time for the holiday shopping season.

Enter Micheal Lowther, the savior of my book cover!

I met Micheal Lowther at my book launch party. She was very excited to read my book, which made me worry that my writing would be a let down. So I warned her Ice might seem slow, but that I like to think of it as a “slow burner”. ;)

Despite Misha’s busy schedule, she liked it enough to find time to read it through to the end! I was shocked. She messaged me personally to ask me when the sequel was coming out. So, it was after that I asked her if she wouldn’t mind helping me with the cover. She had told me at my launch party that she would love to work with me on any future books. I wanted help with Ice first, and I had been worried about asking her before to work on a book she might not even like!

Misha, as she likes to be called, is very professional, and also very friendly. I wanted a new photo for my author bio, so we did that first. She chose Downtown Tulsa, where there are many great places to shoot. Misha’s not afraid to think out of the box. In fact, she’s a genius at it. We were just walkin’ along, her camera in her hand, and she said, “Since they have the sprinklers on in the park, why don’t we go over to this mural?” She explained the mural to me just as we were coming up on it, and it blew me away. It was awesome, and we got some amazing shots, of course. There were several Day of the Dead murals all connected to each other. And one of them was in the style of Alice in Wonderland in the scene of the Mad Hatter’s tea party! It even had a quote by Lewis Carrol next to it! It took all my strength not to squeal at it…which I still did, just a little, in the form of, “OH MY GOSH!”

Here’s the photos from that:

Ice: by Elissa Lewallen Ice: by Elissa Lewallen Ice: by Elissa Lewallen

We shot in front of a mural of the Blue Dome district, which was cool since the Blue Dome district is, you know, cool. And blue, my favorite color.

Ice: by Elissa Lewallen

We shot in front of windows and water for cool reflection effects. In front of beaten old buildings, and newer buildings, and even on some train tracks. At last, we rounded it up at the park, where we had originally intended.  When she announced that she had about a hundred photos to work with, I was blown away. It hadn’t felt that long, and if memory serves me right, it had only been about an hour. Everything had been within walking distance, and Misha made it such an enjoyable experience. It didn’t feel like work, or like a stuffy old photo shoot; it was actually FUN!

Ice: by Elissa Lewallen Ice: by Elissa Lewallen Ice: by Elissa Lewallen

Later—that same day— she already had my photos ready for me to select ten for her to burn on a CD-ROM for me. They were all amazing. She blew me away again. She even gave me some extra photos, too.

Here is a link to Misha’s website, and her blog. She is wonderful to work with. You will not be disappointed. As you’ve gathered, I highly recommend her. I’ll include photos at the end of the post, of course. And soon, I will unveil the new cover for Ice! I am so excited for everyone to see it! And soon, I will be back to working on the trailer for Ice. I really want to amp up Ice’s exposure. So, if anyone has any suggestions, feel free to leave a comment! It would be greatly appreciated!

 

Thank you so much, guys, for reading!

EL

 

Here are all the many places you can buy Ice: Create Space, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and you can always order it from your local book store. :)

Also, I noticed the Kindle version of Ice is free right now if you have Amazon Prime!

 

Commence more photos!

Ice: by Elissa LewallenIce: by Elissa LewallenIce: by Elissa LewallenIce: by Elissa Lewallen

 

Christine

The Secret Lives of Characters

Christine

 

As I mentioned in the previous post of this series, Ice is told from Christine’s point of view because it was too hard to get into Kavick’s head because he is so secretive (not that I never attempted to. There was originally a single chapter in his POV, but I removed it because I felt it made it a bit confusing). Christine is an introverted thinker who becomes close to Kavick very quickly, and can understand him extremely well. I realized right away she was the perfect choice to tell the story. I also felt she brought more realism into the story by being the voice of it, which was important to me. I wanted it to be as realistic as a fantasy/supernatural novel could be.

I also chose to write it in her POV because I knew I didn’t want Ice to be a typical boy meets girl story. I didn’t want it to be happy, but not a total drag, either. I wanted it to be bittersweet, just like how life really is and because I was very depressed during the majority of the writing process. When I started Ice, I needed an outlet for the feelings I was struggling with and I knew Christine had to be suffering through a terrible ordeal. She had to feel just as bad as I felt. So I wrote her as an orphan, but somebody had to be providing her with the things she needed. So she had an uncle.

Christine’s name came to me right away. It’s also the name of one of my grandma’s best friends, which makes me like it more, of course. The real life Christine is a hoot. I had started chapter one, and when I was supposed to type her name, I ran a few names through my head quickly. Christine was the third one, I think, and then Birch was the second or third, one, too. I thought it was the perfect name for her and I was surprised it was so easy.

Christine’s loss, the feeling of hopelessness in a new, strange environment, and her relationship all came to me as I was writing it. I didn’t have to brainstorm any of it.

I always saw Christine as slightly tan, tall, and skinny with long, straight, brunette hair. Her eye color was the only thing I had to deliberate. I thought gray would be pretty with her hair and skin. More aptly, I thought Kavick would think it was pretty. I had to see her through his eyes (over time, it got easier).

I soon realized they had a lot in common despite coming from completely different worlds, and I liked that he was the one person who could understand how she felt.

You might be wondering why Molly couldn’t understand Christine. Too often I have read stories where the leading lady has that one perfect girlfriend who understands her so well and she gushes about her friend to the point it’s annoying. I wanted Christine to be realistic. Even Charlotte has her faults, despite being nicer than Molly. Molly was supposed to be like most kids you meet in school. You’re friends, but you never totally trust her because the friendship is more about getting along with her instead of being close to her. You know that friend has, or might gossip about you behind your back because she gossips to you about other people. After all, she met Molly when she had Kavick’s secret to keep and Molly can’t be trusted with secrets. Charlotte, however, never told what she considered Christine’s biggest secret (her crush on Marcus), despite wanting them to get together so badly and thinking that he would return her feelings if he knew.

From the first moment Kavick introduced himself to Christine, he proved he trusted her. He had already put his life on the line to protect her from the bear, and then he put his life in her hands not only out of desperation, but because he trusted her. He was a lonely, lost boy like she was a lonely, lost girl. I can’t think of Charlotte ever being lost, or lonely.

And Marcus’ relationship with Christine: well, I think when you read the book its pretty evident that him and Christine are very different people, and her feelings for him made her too shy to ever get close enough to him like she was with Kavick.

Something else about her, Marcus, and Kavick I hope people have realized, but I think it’s largely gone unnoticed: Ice is not a love triangle between the three. Christine is not in love with them both at the same time. Just because they compete for her (and Kavick didn’t compete most of the time because he didn’t think he stood a chance) doesn’t mean she loves them both. If you pay close attention to what Christine says about Marcus, and Kavick, you’ll see. Love triangles annoy me and I feel like they are not as common as fiction makes them out to be (unless you consider cheating to be a love triangle).

I think that’s it for Christine.

 

See ya!

EL

Kavick

The Secret Lives of Characters:

Kavick

 

I feel like I have to start with Kavick because he was how I created the story. I kid you not. It actually started with him, not Christine. After all, he is just as much the title’s sake as the Alaskan terrain is. Christine came after him, and it was through her the story was told, because Kavick is too secretive. It was too hard to get into his head most of the time, so I had to tell it through another person…and who better than her?

Telling how I created Kavick goes into telling how I got the idea for Ice. For those who haven’t heard it from me, you may find it surprising. I know I did at the time.

Ice was an idea that came completely out of the blue. I wrote it on a total whim, which I’ve discovered some of my favorite stories are created that way. No matter how outrageous or stupid an idea seems, WRITE IT DOWN, and never tell yourself that you are not good enough to write them. Trust me, because I almost didn’t write Ice, and I am happy I did. Most of all, don’t worry about people’s opinions when you write them.

So, as I used to often do when I was unemployed, I had trouble sleeping at night, because I would sleep in. However, this particular night I was beginning to think I would never go to asleep, so I turned on some music and started a game of Mahjong. I wanted to write, but my mind was blank. I felt like I had a permanent writer’s block on everything, and I couldn’t form any ideas. I hoped it would give my brain a work out. I love Tokio Hotel, and their Humanoid album wasn’t very old then (it was mid to late August, 2010), so I was listening to my favorite song off the album, “Dogs Unleashed”.

Are you starting to see how things came together? It had absolutely nothing to do with Twilight, despite some opinions.

After listening to it a million and one times, I browsed around YouTube for their German music and discovered someone had posted a video that played the German version in one speaker (in my case, ear bud) and English in the other. They had a picture of the lead singer in the video. I stared at the image for maybe the whole song, wondering who he reminded me of. He had long black and white dreadlocks at the time. And then finally, it hit me: he didn’t remind me of someone, he reminded me of something! A Husky!

I laughed out loud at this realization. And then I suddenly saw an image in my mind’s eye (this is how 90% of my ideas come to me), of a young man who looked similar to him. He was different. He was trapped in this large cage or something like that. There were bars. There weren’t any windows. There were security cameras watching him. He then ran out of the building; it was night and there was ankle-deep snow. There appeared to be nothing but snow for miles. This boy, man, whatever you want to call him, had black fur over his shoulders, like a cape or a wrap of some sort. And there were wolves and Huskies running with him. At some point he stopped, like a jump forward in time, and he was sitting down, petting them.

I was momentarily stunned by what I had seen. I kept playing it over in my head, thinking it was so cool and that it would make such a great story. I instantly knew that this boy could turn into a wolf, or a Husky, or a he was a hybrid of the two. I immediately told myself I was not a good enough writer to create it, though, and would just have to find a novel like that. I thought, “Surely somebody has already written something exactly like this.”

I made myself forget about it. But it kept coming back. Each day I thought about it. (This is usually when I decide to write a story.) But I didn’t believe I could write it.

A week or two later, late at night playing Mahjong and listening to that song again, I decided to entertain the idea of writing it. Instantly, I got more ideas once I allowed myself to pursue it. I thought, “What if a girl discovers his secret? And that place? And now her life is in danger and she has to keep his secret?” I was bombarded with ideas that played out in my head, and I was so excited about it. And I hadn’t been excited about anything for a while. I wasn’t in a very happy place at the time. But when I saw Christine, then a nameless girl, gasping in shock, running with him out of the building through the dim, concrete halls from the room with the cage and out into the night with the wolves and dogs, I knew I had to write it. It was too enjoyable for me to pass up. I thought, “Hmmm…that would make a good book.” And with that it was final: I was writing it.

 

Kavick is a misfit by nature, and somewhat in appearance. There’s his hair, of course. It’s the first indicator that he’s different. For the warmer part of the year I saw him in a white undershirt and faded blue jeans that sometimes had holes in the knees. I saw him skateboarding alone. I saw him being alone a lot, or being distant when he was with others. He has trouble opening up sometimes, depending on how deeply he is bothered by something. He doesn’t like to talk much about emotional pain or struggle, because he was originally a pretty positive person, despite a less than easy life growing up. But then, Kavick is also a very emotional person. When he is in good spirits he is very happy, smiles a lot, and talks a lot. He becomes very out-going, too. He seems almost bubbly even at times (which is my favorite characteristic about him).

Kavick was very close to his large family before many of them died. He was the fourth of 5 brothers, all the same age (I figured multiple births would be common in the Wolf-People because a part of them are wolf). They shared rooms, and were in the same grade, so they were rarely ever apart. With loving parents that valued family, it makes sense Kavick would. I didn’t think of this though until I was in the process of writing the scene where he meets Christine for the first time as a human and his explaining his situation to her.

I quickly knew I wanted the story in Alaska because there aren’t a lot of English speaking countries that have the kind of scenery I envisioned. Plus, I liked keeping it in America so I that I wouldn’t have to do as much research, lol! And that was when I got the idea he had Eskimo ancestors, but they had to be distant, because he had white skin. However, I had this idea at the same time that his skin color was really from being a Husky, not due to his white ancestors. Over time, I have decided that is the reason, especially after crafting the first Skarling’s background and how the different Eskimo tribes consider the Wolf-People so different from themselves. Although, when I wrote the first book, there never seemed to be an opportunity time to explain it, and Kavick knew so little about what he was. I wasn’t even sure if it was worth explaining in the story.

Which brings me to Eskimos, the Wolf-People lore, and how I came up with Kavick’s name.

I chose to use the term Eskimo in the book and in this post because I am solely referring to the native tribes that inhabit Alaska, since in my research I read multiple times they sometimes refer to themselves as Eskimo and are not offended by the term. If I were speaking of the native tribes that inhabit other countries, I would not be using the term since I read it offends them. So, no need to get mad at me because I mean no disrespect.

As you probably know already, the Wolf-People legend is not an actual legend. I created it. Out of curiosity, I tried to find an actual legend like it, but the closest thing I came to were stories about shamans and the “Adlet” which were still too different than what I had in mind.

Kavick’s name comes from a river and an actual place in Alaska. When I originally found the name, it was spelled like how I have spelled it here and in the book. The definition was “wolf,” but the website did not tell which tribe the word was from, or even how it was supposed to be pronounced. I later discovered the river, and the place, but it was spelled differently. And then I discovered an old movie with the same name. Having an immense attachment to the name by this point, I decided that Kavick’s parents were not fluent in any Eskimo languages, but were desperate to hold onto their heritage they cherished. So they added the “C,” because they liked it better that way, just like I do. ;)

 

Phew…! I think that covers everything. If I realize I have left something out, I will edit this post and mention the change in the next addition to the Secret Lives of Characters series so you guys will know.

For those of you who might have had questions about the character, I hope this has answered some of those questions for you.

 

See you soon!

EL

 

Haven’t read the book Kavick’s in? You can buy it from Amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, createspace.com, order it from your local bookstore, or at Decopolis. Ice is also available for the Kindle.

Don’t forget to leave a review when you’re finished reading!