As I was working on my final drafts of book 3 of The Rayne Trilogy, I felt compelled to make an addition to my dedication page. I was utterly inspired by how the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School organized a national protest. I watched it live with goose bumps and teary eyes. Teenagers organized this, and beautifully so, in a matter of 5 weeks.
Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy consistently feature teens whose bravery, conviction, and determination either forces the adults in their worlds to listen, or compels the heroic protagonists to usher the change themselves. They possess a fountain of hope so vital to each generation; they haven't become jaded by their dystopian politics or fantasy evils. At first our young protagonists don't always believe they can make a difference, but when they do, evildoers beware!
This is why I love reading young adult fiction. This is why I loved every minute of writing about a 17-year-old, biracial heroine and her teen allies with elemental powers. On their side of the wall, the adults who know the truth are complacent, complicit, or too afraid to act. So, it's up to them to fight for what's right in a world plagued by the lies of those in control.
The Rayne Trilogy is a tale of courage, friendship, and family. It explores the question of humanity through the eyes of a teen who has seen the truth beyond the wall. It is the story of a girl and her friends brave enough to know they're not too young to stand for justice and fight for change.
Cheers, and may you find yourself delightfully lost in your current read!
My back hurts and my brain needs rest, but it's worth it. I've been chained to my desk for days now. I'm finished with a task that I wouldn't have forced upon myself, if not for wanting to publish my trilogy as an omnibus.
I was straddling the fence of smoothing out the language in Luminescence (Rayne Trilogy #1). I'd long-since decided to leave it alone, but the omnibus made me change my mind.
I've grown to know and understand Rayne so much over these past three years. When I first started writing her back then, I failed to listen to her shouting, "That's not who I am. That's not what I would do."
Not only did I smooth out the way her species speaks (their language is based on Latin), but as I went through it, I realized I made a gross error. Rayne loves our language, and her nemesis even declared that she thinks in the "barbaric tongues." I didn't heed my own cue and write the narrative in a "normal English way." Looking back, it was hard to write, because I made it so. I made it too much. Mea maxima culpa!
It's impossible for everyone to like or dislike the same book for the same reasons. But when I, as the author, find myself on the fence for why some readers dislike it, I know it's time to give up the ghost and make some changes. So I did.
After cleaning it up and cutting needless sentences and paragraphs, it's over 40 pages lighter than the original. Three years ago, I had it in my head that it had to be well over 70k+ words, or it was too short. That was stupid. It's well under that word count now, and it's better and stronger because of it.
I've also added and changed a lot to express what was in my head but failed because I didn't quite know her world three years ago when I started writing it.
If I could do it all over again, I would be patient and wait. I would wait until the first draft of book 3 was complete before I published book 1. But I live and I learn.
Ultimately, I have no regrets.
For anyone who read the original version of Luminescence, I'm happy to send you the second edition for you to check out. It won't change or confuse anything for books 2 and 3, and there are some nuggets and references which I would be equally happy to summarize for anyone only interested in that. (Eg, why are her parents afraid for anyone to know what's happening to her; planting inferences throughout that she's not the only one, it's just her story of discovery. I wanted her to be the eyes through which we learn about her Earth and all their abilities. So this isn't a spoiler as much as it's necessary to know - Rayne isn't unique when it comes to her abilities. How so? To answer that would be a spoiler.)
I'm very much looking forward to when all this is done, and I can sit back and know that whatever readers think about the Rayne trilogy, the books are written as I envisioned, and the story is exactly how I want it to be.
Cheers, and may you find yourself delightfully lost in your current read.
We're digging into summer, and the final book of the Rayne trilogy is nearing the end of the editing stage. When I first starting writing about Rayne, something like 3 1/2 years ago, I had no idea how her story would end. When I started writing book 2, the trilogy began to feel more like one long story to me, broken into three parts, instead of three separate books. Now that book 3 is basically finished, part of me wishes I could go back in time and publish it as a standalone from the start.
Enter the omnibus.
When book 3 is ready to publish, I'll also be publishing an omnibus edition. This way, I get to present it the way I want. And what's an omnibus edition without a cover?
Share your thoughts. I'd love to hear what you think!
I can finally breathe a sigh of completion, because I'm finally happy with the book covers for my trilogy. It took three tries to get them done, but thanks to a response from a poll I created, I was able to put my finger on what was missing. So, I'd like to give a tremendous thank you to GR user, Aniketa for posting this in my poll:
I like the first one the most. But the two flashes of light on the fist cover could be more refined in my opinion.
https://goo.gl/images/E5hYvZ like this maybe.
https://goo.gl/images/xexhn7 this is a NASA one."
Also, I'd like to thank pngtree.com for providing the sweet eagle image for book 1, and Vecteezy.com for providing the background image for all three of my 2018 new cover editions:
Let me know what you think in the comments below. Cheers!
While working on the final book of The Rayne Trilogy, I found myself thinking about how far Rayne has come and how much she's changed.
For book one, I set out to create a new species of human, different than us physically, mentally, and with special abilities to boot. After researching Latin words for what I wanted to convey for their species, I decided to name them Homo praestans.
Define praestans: excellent, distinguished, imminent, superior, outstanding.
I wanted “their” opinion of us Homo sapiens to be exactly like what we think of the Neanderthals. The Homo praestans are the evolved, superior species, and we're…well…not.
To make Rayne's species the next stage in evolution, not only did I have to make them physically different…and smarter…I also couldn't have them talking like us. I thought about what they value and how they behave, and I knew their language had to fit. But how could I convey it? In my mind, there was only one way to do it.
Here’s a random fact about me: I studied Latin for four years, from 8th grade through junior year in high school.
As I was saying: Rayne's species is supposed to be super intelligent, ethical and proper, and as a result, they're also super stuffy. In book two, someone refers to her species as “a bunch of high-and-mighty, pretentious, know-it-alls with magical powers to boot.”
They can’t help but have their culture reflected in the way they talk. As such, the Homo praestans speak a language which is so close to Latin, it may as well be. To us it’s a dead language; to them it's the Superior Tongue, the quintessential language of intelligence.
Fun "fact": Homo sapiens didn’t invent Latin; one of the early Homo praestans did, who lived among us in secret. By the way, Aristotle, Da Vinci, Tolstoy, Mandela, Mother Teresa, and so many others belonged to this evolved species of human too...Well, not actually. I invented this “truth.” These early “Homo praestans” kept secret journals, passed forth from generation to generation. Hundreds—and in some cases, thousands—of years later, the Homo praestans continued to preserve these records of their ancestral species. (At least that’s the history I weaved for book one.)
When I was working on book two, I went back and forth about whether to tone down the dialog in book one to make it more relatable and less stodgy. Whenever I thought I would, I changed my mind. I always believed some would find it annoying, but I also knew it had to be done. After all, Rayne belongs to a different species. They’re not like us.
I should also point out that they despise the way we talk—we Sapiens. Ancients—except for those like Rayne. She loves our “ancient tongues.” In fact, she gets to dive into “the old tongue of English” in book two but discovers she’s not as fluent as she thought she was.
I feel I’m tiptoeing on book two spoilers, so I’ll just say that this debate I had over the dialog soon became a non-issue. I grew to view it as a like-it-or-hate-it sort of thing, because the fact is, it’s necessary.
At some point in book two, Rayne becomes fully immersed and accustomed to our Homo sapiens way of speaking English. All it took was a little nudging:
“It’s like you wanna talk more proper or something, but you keep stopping yourself. It’s kinda annoying at times…If you wanna talk more like us, just, I don’t know, relax your mouth more or…blend your words together or—whatever. Just don’t be so stiff, and don’t over-pronounce things.” -OuterSphere
For those who actually enjoyed the language of Luminescence, don’t worry. In book three, though Rayne chooses to think in the ancient tongue of English, she speaks plenty of the Standard with her fellow Homo praestans.
Now, on to books two and three!
Cheers…and may you find yourself delightfully lost in your next read…