Friday, September 30, 2016

The First Page: Storm of Arranon by R.E. Sheahan

Title: Storm of Arranon
Author: R. E. Sheahan
Publisher: Rule of Three Press
Pages: 300
Genre: YA Science Fiction/Fantasy

 A forbidden birth. A remarkable young woman. A marauding alien society. The battle begins.
 A brutal alien society invades Korin and Arranon, intent on destroying the two worlds that make up Cadet Erynn Yager's home. Forced to expose her strange abilities and reveal her forbidden birth, a guarded web of secrets unravels.

Stranded on an unfamiliar planet of eternal winter and predatory wildlife, the mysterious living consciousness of Arranon intervenes, leading Erynn on a mystical journey. 

Aware of Erynn's potential, the alien enemy pursues her. She struggles to gain control of her growing powers while in a constant race to elude the invaders, and join the forces preparing to fight a mounting occupation. 

Erynn’s secret may be her worlds' only hope, but at the cost of her life. Swept up in a chain reaction of events, Erynn's dedication extends far beyond service and duty. She learns the true meaning of sacrifice. 

Along with courage and hope, Erynn finds something unexpected on her journey of awareness and growth.


For More Information

  • Storm of Arranon is available at Amazon.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.
The First Page:

THE BEST PART IS WATCHING the eyes. The moment life leaves them. Death is such a fleeting climax. Pity.
Major Birk pressed Colonel Rennek against the thick wall inside the deserted parking garage. Birk’s head tilted and he smiled, quivering in anticipation, savoring Rennek’s plunge into panic.
Rennek thrashed and jerked under Birk’s powerful, unyielding hold. His struggle brief, Rennek shuddered, then stilled. A low, guttural moan escaped his twisted mouth. In the white glare from overhead lights, Rennek’s eyes widened beneath raised bushy eyebrows. His black pupils dilated, eclipsing blue irises.
Birk’s nostrils flared, drawing in the invigorating scent of Rennek’s fear as life slipped away. A tingle of pleasure shot through Birk and he released a breath in a long sigh, a smile stretching his lips. He drew his hand back, removing the needle from Rennek’s neck in a smooth fluid motion. A tiny drop of blood oozed from the minuscule hole at the base of Rennek’s skull, a red speck barely visible under short gray hair. “Your cooperation is appreciated, Colonel.” Birk straightened and released his grip on Rennek’s uniform jacket.
Rennek’s knees buckled and he slid down the smooth wall. His body toppled over, skull striking the hard surface of the tarmac with a resounding thud.
Sweat burned Birk’s eyes but he ignored the sting and stared at the dead man. He thumbed the tiny slide on the otherwise smooth cylinder, shutting down the laser and retracting the needle. Birk tugged off dark gloves, stuffing them and the cylinder into the pocket of his black jacket. “Tomorrow morning, thanks to your information Colonel, I will assassinate General Cale Athru of Arranon, removing this final obstruction to our invasion.”

Interview with the Author:

Welcome Robynn. Can you tell us what your book is about?
   Cadet Lieutenant Erynn Yager shouldn’t be alive. Her mother from Korin, her father from Arranon, the governments of both worlds forbid the birth of mixed-blood children, a secret she keeps with her adoptive dad, Damon Yager.   
Despite her peculiar abilities to bend time, manipulate the electromagnetic energy field around her, see visions of the future, and sense the emotions of others, her dream of becoming an Interceptor
Fighter pilot is on schedule. But being the commanding general’s daughter, and the youngest in her class has its own set of problems.
When General Cale Athru from Arranon visits Korin on a mission to unify the two worlds against an alien invasion, he shatters her belief that she is the only child of blended heritage to live.
Erynn’s life swirls out of control as the invasion General Athru warns about begins.
Stranded on Arranon, a hostile world of eternal winter and predatory wildlife, Erynn races to join the forces fighting the alien occupation and escape the enemy pursuing her.
The living consciousness of Arranon intervenes, sweeping Erynn along a chain reaction of events, with her secret their worlds’ only hope.

The first page is perhaps one of the most important pages in the whole book. It’s what draws the reader into the story. Why did you choose to begin your book this way?
I attended a writer’s workshop taught by Robert Dugoni, great author and teacher by the way, and he read the first page of a book as an example. I can’t remember the exact set up, but basically, a man tied to a chair, suspended upside down in a room filling with water. Yep. I got it. I try to follow this excitement, hoping the reader asks why, how, who, and most important, what happens next.
In the course of writing your book, how many times would you say that first page changed and for what reasons?
Oh my gosh! My first page changes right up until the last minute. I change sentence order and style. I delete and add, and delete again to tighten the work. I’m always second-guessing the ratio of description, narrative, and dialog. I send the first chapter through critique groups and writer’s groups until it’s as good as I can get it, and still I have doubts. Then my editor, proofreader, and beta readers get it. More changes.
Was there ever a time after the book was published that you wished you had changed something on the first page?
Yes and no. This is a second edition of Storm of Arranon, and while I had sections in mind to ‘fix’, my first page was not one. I did rearrange and add to the first chapter because of the rewrite.
What advice can you give to aspiring authors to stress how important the first page is?
Read. All kinds of books. Read the first page of the classics. Go to the library, read first pages and ask if that’s where you would start the book. Is that the first line you would start with, or is there another you like better? My teen writer’s group would do this exercise at the library. They seemed to enjoy reading first pages and their ideas were awesome.

About the Author

I have always been a reader. I love books. When I’m not able to read, I listen to audio books. I started writing while working as a Paramedic/Firefighter in Northern California. Trust me, it’s not like it appears on TV. There was plenty of time for books, mostly reading them. I didn't seriously start writing until I moved to my ranch in Oregon. While waiting for lambs to be born in the middle of the night, I would head back to the house for an hour or two and sit down at the computer. Before I knew it, I had a manuscript. Not a good one, but a start.I joined critique groups and attended writer's conferences. I was on the fast track to learning. 

In 2013, I received an honorable mention in Writer’s Digest’s Self Published book awards for MG/YA. I guess I am learning something!

Ideas from dreams follow me into warm sunny days or the quiet of falling snow. “What ifs” feed a vivid imagination. Even mistyped phrases may lead to an "aha" moment. Brain storming sessions standing in windy, dark parking lots with fellow writers release thoughts that pry at the corners of my mind, grasping for purchase. Sometimes the ideas pursue me, with persistence.

For More Information

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