Feb 17, 2013

Red Madrassa Guest Post and Excerpts

Tens list ideas

Favorite Authors
Tamora Pierce
Cinda William Chima
Elle Casey
Mercedes Lackey
Jim Butcher
Kristin Cashore
Anne Bishop
Michelle Sagara
Richelle Mead
Naomi Lane

Favorite TV Shows
Law & Order SVU
The Gates
Switched At Birth

Behind the scenes of writing
I’m a pantser as in a by the seat of my pants writer. I go where the store takes me generally only with plotlines in my head and character after character wanting to go along for the ride.

Favorite places to write

In my apartment with a cup of iced coffee and my iPhone beside me

Inspiration behind the book

All of the literature of Tamora Pierce and Mercedes Lackey that I read as a child and enjoyed into the late night.


At the bottom of a pile of books, they discovered Vedaris. Flames licked at the frayed carpeting on the floor near his still form.
            Allorna focused on the flame, urging it to behave and remove itself from the carpet. It jumped from the floor to the palm of her hand, where she carefully doused it. By then, a Library Apprentice and Research Initiate had rounded the corner. The Initiate looked from Vedaris to Allorna, and then to Maride off to the side. "How d-d-dare you!" he sputtered, "This is a place of l-learning, not a child's playground!"
            "Sorry," Vedaris muttered, sitting up. "It…I don't know what happened."
            "You don't know what happened?" said the Initiate scornfully. "Are you not a dragon? Do you think that you can just set fire to anything you please?"
            "That isn't what happened!" protested Vedaris. "I wasn't lighting!"
"Hmph. You are hereby forbidden from re-entering these hallowed halls," the Initiate sniffed.
"But it was an accident!" shouted Vedaris.
            The Initiate looked ready to breathe fire himself, and with that Allorna and Maride decided it would be best to leave. They each grabbed an arm and dragged Vedaris out of the hallowed halls. As they left the building, Maride leaned close and asked, "What was that about?"
            Vedaris, rumpled and disquieted, growled, "None of your business."
            "You made it our business whether you like it or not, Master Saracen," replied Allorna, using the polite title for his kind as she blocked his path. She felt like using something less diplomatic, but restrained herself. "I felt magic from whatever that was. And we might not be friends, but uncontrolled magic isn't good for anyone, Vedoris."
            "Vedaris," he corrected. He looked at them for a long moment, then admitted, "I was reading a book. I was looking for a primer on basic magic. When I sat down, I saw that some snot had left another book open on the table. It was on something called Innate magic. The book said that if I want to use magic, I had to use my feelings as fuel, trusting my instincts." He sighed deeply. "The next thing I knew, the table blew up in my face and I was under a pile of books."
            Maride whistled. "Wow, that's tough. Innate magic isn't something to play around with. It's not necessarily what you think it's going to be."
            Vedaris turned to him with a frown. "And what's that supposed to mean?"
            "Just something my uncle mentioned when I was a kid. He once met a waterwalker with Innate magic. You know what his power was? Calling lightning. Try handling that when you live in water. He accidentally killed his entire family one night during a big storm."
            Vedaris shuddered involuntarily, and hoped the others didn't notice.

Sitara had been ignoring them. She was focused on the School of Air, where she could see with her own eyes the students—normal, un-winged students—actually flying. Not very far, but honest-to-gods flying. There was an open round balcony on the second flower of the Air Tower. From there, students were launching themselves from the balcony with what looked like microbursts of air. There were robed Initiates stationed on the ground and in the Air to make sure their launches where successful. Will I be able to do that? she wondered.
            "Fascinating, isn't it?" came a voice from her left. Startled, she looked around and saw a man with silver hair and brown eyes standing there. He gestured with white hands towards the flyers. "I think flying unassisted is one of the most fascinating things about being a student of Air."
            That was when Sitara blinked and nearly fainted. The air was shimmering around the man, as if conspiring to block her vision. Vedaris stepped forward to her side, away from the other youths' conversation about graduation and senior traditions. With a careful hand on her shoulder, he aimed a glare at the white-haired man who was unsettling her. He opted to go with a street cant when saying, "Wha's yer problem, bloke?"
And at that very moment, Vedaris' Innate magic decided to act—or rather, react to Sitara's. His eyes widened in disbelief; it was as if a cloak had dropped from the man's shoulders. Vedaris turned to Sitara ever so slightly with a whispered, "Do you see that?"
            Sitara, still silent but now in shock, indeed saw the same thing. Cartilaginous wings sprouted from the man's neck to his lower back, rooted in his shoulder blades. White wings. Huge white wings. Vedaris gulped and tried to remain calm.
            The man, who had stood looking at the flying students until now, turned to face them with a cool and calculating look. After a long moment he said icily, "It's rude to reveal another person's true form, you know."
Sitara, snapped back into reality by the censure, blurted, "I…I…we're sorry. I just, just saw the light bending around you, and then when Vedaris came over, and well…it's like it fell away." She continued in a rush, almost tripping over her words, "Are you an Ansari?"
            Vedaris forbore rolling his eyes, thinking, Of course he dreckin' is. What else looks Human but has huge white wings?
 "Indeed," the winged man said, glaring at Vedaris. "I am Thoth, of the School of the Unknown."  He shifted his gaze to Sitara, tilting his head in a big-eyed stare reminiscent of an owl. "The light just fell away, you said? Yet the light would not just fall. You commanded it to do so, unintentionally or not. Always remember that."
            He directed his next comment to Vedaris: "Young man, here is your first formal lesson. Seeing is not always believing. Good day to you both." And then he turned and walked towards the towers.