Somewhere between falling and flying… there is a girl.Iris has a secret. She lost her memory eight years ago and never told a living soul. After an asthma attack one night she finds out that her dreams of a strange house on a snowy island may be a memory resurfacing but the more she learns about the past the more she realizes the life she has been living is a lie. As the façade her father has built starts to crumble around her she will have to decide which means more to her; the truth or her life.
“In here,” she said, looking at the titles on the spines. Birds of a Feather, Untold Beauty, Stryx Literature: A Guide to Aves Vol.1 and Vermilion stood out in bright gold lettering scrawled across the dark brown leather.
Owlet. Find one called Owlet! Hurry!
She found the title her phantom voice commanded her to find, and picked it out of the stack just as Diana opened the door.
“What are you doing in here? I was told this room would be locked.” Diana was walking towards Iris and looking at the books along the wall, her eyes lit up.
She recognizes them.
“Why would it be locked?” Iris went to open the cover of the book she was holding but Diana reached out for it.
Iris passed it to her.
“Your dad wants to be here when you read them. He wants to tell you about your mother so you can understand the meaning behind them. They were hers and they are somewhat rare.” Diana was smiling at one of the quotes on the wall.
“Why do they say my name?” Iris said, walking over to the one Diana was looking at and tracing her fingers across its surface.
“They are from the story that your mother named you after. It...well, that’s probably another thing your father should tell you. I don’t want to intrude on that one. I just know the story, not why she chose it.” Diana was looking down and walking back towards the hallway.
“I thought I was named after the flower? Like the garden Dad takes me to each year with all the irises.” Iris followed her down the stairs and into the living room with the bookshelf-benches.
Sitting down beside one of them, Diana fidgeted with the cover of the book Iris had picked. Diana had such a firm grip on it that her knuckles were actually turning white.
“Nope. She named you after the story. The main character actually, who shows such deep love that she risks her life to save her friend, someone who was a part of the same group or ‘tribe,’ you could say, that she was in.” Diana was staring out the window, as if looking for something hidden in the trees. Her grip finally relaxed and she slipped the book into her purse
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My Writing Process
Iris started out as a dream about a girl running through a forest reaching for an owl, catching a piece of that owl’s soul and it merging with her own, then soaring away. That night I scribbled down lots of notes for the story idea in the notebook I always kept next to my bed and later on I started drawing her and other characters from what is now Owlet. While The Thirteenth Chime was the first novel I wrote and published, it was not the first I had started. I actually started writing Owlet before/during the process of writing The Thirteenth Chime. I then went back to it later on and decided to go ahead and finish it then rewrite it as the story further developed.
My first version of Owlet was 150k words. Yes, I know. That book would have been HUGE and way too long for a YA novel. So I finished writing the trilogy and had three 150k books then sat down, read through them all and decided to rewrite them. Some of you are probably now thinking ‘WHAT?!?!? You finished three novels and tossed them to the wind?’. Owlet had a special place in my heart and always has, Iris was meant to be the character I could most relate to, especially since she had asthma which affects everything from plot to individual scenes. She can’t run like others can; if she gets too upset she will start wheezing and more often than not that effects the way she feels on a daily basis as she fights to keep breathing and it reminds her that she WANTS things. When you fight so hard to stay alive constantly, you start to realize how badly you want to live and the type of things you want to do.
So yep, I threw the 450k words of the trilogy out the door and started afresh.
I am so happy I did.
I ended up rewriting Owlet numerous times and each time started noticing that it was getting closer to what I wanted it to be until finally, I reach a rewrite I knew was ‘the one’. I wanted this novel to be my best and for each sequel to get better because my ultimate goal isn’t to be a best seller or anything, it is to write the best book I can possibly write and that is a constant goal because as a person grows, they can always do better and always reach farther.
In the end Owlet ended up being 50k words and each word finally had a place and mattered. Iris evolved into the character she is now and the entire ‘Society of Feathers’ world evolved with it. Finally, I wrote a book I enjoy reading. As a book blogger turned author, I don’t think I could ask for anything better than actually being able to read and enjoy my own work instead of feeling the need to pick it apart. Once I was able to read without wanted to bash myself in the head with rewrites and edits, I knew I had finally done it. I had finished Owlet.
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