Finished Chapter 9 of SoA tonight (4/12/2017). Also, I found a picture of what I imagine Quinn looks like. (You’d have to come to my wordpress to see it, though.)
Chapter 9 is the chapter where Quinn is at boot camp and has to earn everyone’s respect there. It was actually a very difficult chapter to write because it gave me some unpleasant flashbacks and I had to stop writing it for a bit.
I did enjoy writing most of it, though. The only part that really sucked was the scene where Quinn finally earns everyone’s respect. It didn’t . . . resonate with me, so I doubt it’ll resonate with readers, even though it’s supposed to be a powerful and defining moment for Quinn. I just didn’t . . . pull it off. I’m thinking that scene will need many rewrites or else I’ll have to come up with a different idea.
Right now, I feel like SoA can be explained this way: the first half of the book is sex, gender, and sexuality, the second half of the book is friendship, family, blood and gore.
It’s like that because the book begins when Quinn is still a teenager and is getting her weird alien period and exploring her sexuality. Also, Ckylar and General Miora both give Quinn “the talk” since her mother Rose is not there.
While Quinn’s off doing all this, Thalcu is off in a prison with a lot of horny guards and becomes the lover of one and also learns about entirian sex as well (at least now she will know how to do it with Quinn one day . . . ).
Varzo and Mercy also get closer, though there’s no sex between them because Mercy feels guilty: she’s a lot older than Varzo. I guess that could be disturbing to some people, but you also have to remember that these are aliens who live hundreds and sometimes thousands of years. At a certain point, age has stopped mattering and they love who they love.
Then around the 200 page mark, we meet the villain, and the violence and gore begins.
Without further ado, I found this picture randomly on the internet (I think it was in an ad or something) and I thought to myself, “She looks like Quinn!”
Of course, you’d never see someone like this in any stock art, so you’ll never see someone like her on my covers:
Yes, by golly, she is — SHOCK HORROR — a person of color, just like all the entirian. I could go into a long rant explaining that the entirian are people of color with wooly hair that protects them from the sun because they are from a desert planet, but I should not have to do that. I should not have to explain away my character’s skin color because it’s not something that needs a damn reason for being a part of her other than melanin.
Sadly, that’s not the world we live in. Too many people of color in real life have to explain their existence, that they were just shopping or walking down the street with — god help them — a hood on.
Anyway. That’s what Quinn looks like in my head. I have managed to create some covers where she is presented and has the big hair (basically, book 4’s cover is like that). It’s just that the covers can never show her face.
And I guess I don’t mind. I don’t like showing faces on my book covers unless they’re altered and disguised in some way (Wicked Witch Boy) because we still live in a society where books aren’t bought when brown people are on the covers.
Yes, for the record, Toby is brown too.