TOUR, GUEST POST & #GIVEAWAY - The Calling (Finding Humanity #1) by Branwen OShea
@Archaeolibrary, @GoddessFish, @branwenoshea,
Humanity’s wake-up call. Answer it or face extinction.
When Bleu’s little sister shows symptoms of the deadly Sickness, a strange vision directs him to leave humanity’s subterranean haven and seek the cure on Earth’s glacial surface. Joining the expedition team, Bleu expects extreme temperatures, not a surface ruled by ingenious predators.
Rana and her fellow star beings have co-existed with Earth’s top carnivores since the humans disappeared. But when her peers transform into Crowned Ones, the final stage of star being development, she fears remaining Uncrowned like her parents. To prove her worth, she undertakes a dangerous mission—contacting the hostile and nearly extinct humans.
But Rana’s plan backfires, and Bleu’s team retaliates. As war with the more advanced star being civilization looms, both Rana and Bleu separately seek a way to save their people.
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“All right, get out, men.” Savas had never experienced such peace on the last mission. This was truly pleasant. They climbed out of the rover, and he tripped on his own feet as if drunk.
Laughing at himself, he reminded the others, “Guns out. Stamf, take the lead. I’ll bring up the rear.”
He paused, swaying a bit, while the other two men passed him and then proceeded slowly down the left branch. Sparkling light from farther down the tunnel lit their way. With a quick glance back toward the entrance, he took up the rear.
Then a voice as ethereal as the wind sang, “Caaaaaahm heeeeeeeere…caaaaaaaaaahm heeeeeeeere…”
What the hell?
Savas shook his head, blinked, and tapped his ear communicator. Stamf and Abdul, farther ahead, had frozen and appeared confused, swaying in place.
Something was terribly wrong. Was this cave filled with noxious fumes? Had they all gotten cold sickness? The databases talked of arctic workers becoming weak and confused by the extreme temperatures.
Think! Think. Savas wanted to lie down and nap. What’s wrong with me? Images from his childhood tumbled through his head. Not now. Not again. I control my own mind.
“Caaaaaaaaahm heeeeeeeeere,” the voice lulled, endlessly peaceful.
They all mindlessly continued forward, as if in a dream. A small part of Savas’ brain screamed in warning. I. Control. My. Own. Mind. He grunted with the effort. Fighting the urge to relax, Savas forced his hands to raise his weapon.
How do you get your ideas for your characters?
I’ve found it fascinating how much the process of writing varies among authors. I definitely fall into the “pantsing’ category, where I write by the seat of my pants rather than plotting everything out in advance.
I don’t think I’ve ever had to consciously design a character. Either they show up fully formed in my head and introduce themselves, or the show up in a nebulous form with a very clear storyline. In the first case, I simply write, while the characters tell me the story. In the second case, I write the plot and the character fleshes out a bit more in each scene until by the end of the first draft I have a character that I can fully “see.” Then I go back and make the character consistent with their final form.
For my novel, The Calling, I first met Rana in a dream where she began sharing her story. The next morning as I was writing notes on what Rana had told me, the other characters appeared in my mind and began telling their portions as well. It became clear that their stories started separately and then crashed into each other. That was when I realized I had a multiple point of view story on my hands.
The only main character from this book that gave me extra trouble was Bleu Reinier, the character that starts off the story. Bleu had lots of secrets, and it wasn’t until I began drafting the sequel that he came out to me. I kept trying to write a kissing scene and every time something was about to happen, he’d just stop. Lol. Finally, he explained his asexuality, and everything that had happened in book one suddenly made more sense. (Don’t worry, I’ve spoiled nothing, as I then went back and put in hints to this in book one.)
Pantsing my characters adds extra fun to writing process for me. Writing the first draft is a lot like meeting a new friend, where intimate details are revealed the longer you know each other.
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As a young girl, Branwen wanted to become an ambassador for aliens. Since the aliens never hired her, she now writes about them.
Branwen OShea has a Bachelors in Biology from Colgate University, a Bachelors in Psychology, and a Masters in Social Work. She lives in Connecticut with her family and a menagerie of pets, and enjoys hiking, meditating, and star-gazing. Her previously published works include contributing to a nonfiction yoga book, wellness magazines, and her published science fiction novella, Silence of the Song Trees.