Well, that starts here. Today and for the coming Sundays I'm going to post the beginnings of my books - in the order they were written (as close as I can remember it - it's been 9 years, people). I hope it'll be a kind of journey through my career thus far.
Anyway, without further lip-flapping, here's the beginning of my first book: Fear Itself (aka Spectacle). It was written from January to August 2004. Eight months for a first draft? :shudder: I edited it for a month and then sent it off into the world. :double-shudder: I've edited it a bit since then, but this is it... unless I decide to edit again.
“The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance—it is the illusion of knowledge.”
– Daniel Boorstin
“We’re on in two.”
Scanning the copy for tonight’s broadcast, Alex McKenzie couldn’t bring herself to believe what she was reading, not that any of it was new. The world she once thought was so constant—so stable—was falling apart.
She reported on the same types of things for the past two months, but she still couldn’t shake the feeling something wasn’t right about it all. As if the action would erase her unease, she ran a trembling hand through her hair.
Out of the corner of her eye, she caught a flash of movement; a monitor just off the set showed a woman’s profile. Her long black hair was perfectly coiffed, but hung limp around her pale face. Her slender fingers quivered over the papers in front of her. The corner of her mouth twitched as though she held back a tide of tears.
At the edge of her consciousness, Alex heard the lead-in, but she couldn’t seem to focus her thoughts. The camera in front of her indicated she was now on-air. The woman on the monitor straightening to speak.
“Good evening, ladies and gentlemen,” said a familiar voice, “and welcome to GBC News. It’s Friday, May 1st, and I’m Alexandra McKenzie standing in for Craig Jamison.”
The woman sat rigidly behind the news desk and looked, for that brief moment, as if she would rather be doing anything else than reporting the news. It took a moment for Alex to realize the woman was herself. Shaking away the detachment she now realized was visible on her face, she replaced her harried expression with the steely gaze of the hardened reporter she used to be. She looked directly into the hearts of her audience and began. “What would normally be a day of celebration for the coming of spring is instead a day of trepidation. This time of year we should all be thinking of beaches and bikinis, cookouts and ball games, but instead our thoughts are of Fenrir and its rapid descent toward Earth.”
Her face twisted as she fought against the pain coursing through her chest. She had no hope to offer about its course and no new reports of anyone who could divert the catastrophe headed their way.
She looked at the text in front of her. It couldn’t be true. If she didn’t read the words, it wouldn’t be true. But it was her job. “Tonight, Paris is in flames.”
The whole world was a gigantic jigsaw puzzle being dismantled bit by bit; one more piece taken out and tossed into the jumbled pile that once made a picture and now only made a mess. “Over the past few days, a mob has moved across the city leaving death and destruction in its wake. This morning, we showed footage of their attempt to destroy the Eiffel Tower. As of late this afternoon, that same mob focused their anger on the Louvre. Beginning with the glass pyramid that has become as familiar a part of Paris as the gallery itself, a full frontal assault on the historic structures ensued. We have reports several of the mob’s members were trampled in the crush to escape the pyramid’s falling shards. At least two have been pronounced dead from their injuries.” She stopped, swallowing hard while the director looked on, horrified. Motioning nervously, he tried to get her to resume, but she sat battling against a twisted urge to burst into hysterical laughter.
Yeah, yeah. I took a lot of heat from a writing community I joined over that MC seeing herself on camera and describing herself there, but I seriously wasn't using the whole mirror image thing for that reason. My thought was to show some level of the detachment she's feeling at this point. :shrug:
As I said, this is my first book. So no shredding apart of my maiden voyage.