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Teaser from Teh Novel

Figured that I'd take a break from editing to post a snippet from Teh Novel (if only to prove that I am working on it).

Latymer kept a nervous watch at the far end of the side street.

‘Get a move on, Mordecai,’ he muttered to himself. ‘We don’t have all day.’

His words were confirmed by a thunderclap that ripped towards him, carrying with it the distinctive sound of disintegrating glass. Whipping around, he saw four figures swing through the shattered windows of the Safe House.

The next thing he knew he was running.

He reached the door and was about to trigger the mechanism when something – someone – swept his legs out from under him. He tumbled to the pavement. A man’s shoe stamped down towards his face and he rolled to the side a split second before it struck. Jack-knifing to his feet, he spun around, using his momentum to add power to the kick that sent his attacker flying back over the road. Latymer recognised him from the alleyway earlier and moved closer. The man’s suit jacket had splayed open around his paunch and the print from Latymer’s trainer was visible on the front of his white shirt.

‘You got lucky,’ the man said, flipping awkwardly to his feet. His accent marked him as Scandinavian. ‘It won’t happen again, din jävel.’

The man’s fingers extended and blackened into hooked claws. His nose, mouth and chin merged together as he raked the air, stretching outwards to form a dog-like muzzle tipped by a black nose and matching whiskers. His pale irises darkened. Each pupil contracted into an ellipse. Tufts of mahogany hair burst through his sallow cheeks, covering his face and filling out his receding hairline. There was a crunch of cartilage and his ears became triangles of brown fur that twitched in response to sounds too faint for Latymer to catch.

‘Show me the colour of your blood, boy,’ the wolf-man slathered. ‘Bleed for me.’

He swiped at Latymer’s body with his claws, shredding the motorcycle jacket like it was wet tissue paper and only failing to draw blood thanks to the Kevlar plates protecting Latymer’s ribcage. As he went in again, Latymer dodged back, fusing together the fingers on his left hand, elongating and narrowing them into a spike of obsidian. He assumed a half-crouching position, shifting his weight onto his toes ready for the wolf-man’s next move.

‘Is that the best you’ve got?’ the wolf-man taunted. ‘A knitting needle stolen from your moder?’

His muzzle opened to display a pink tongue that flapped between needle-sharp teeth. He lunged for Latymer’s throat. Latymer ducked and drove up with his blade, carving through the wolf-man’s shirt to leave a stripe of crimson. Howling his fury, the wolf-man locked his jaws around Latymer’s left arm. The leather padding in Latymer’s sleeve groaned and popped under the stress of the wolf-man’s teeth.

Latymer kicked upwards at the one spot where his attacker was truly vulnerable. A high-pitched yowl announced that he’d struck his target. The wolf-man released his arm and sank to the ground, clutching his groin. Latymer pushed him onto his front and pressed his knee against the small of the wolf-man’s back to stop him from moving. After a second’s hesitation, he went for the wolf-man’s hamstring. The scream as he severed the muscle made Latymer’s stomach tighten, but the wolf-man was a Revenant – his injury would soon heal.

As Latymer pressed his blade against the remaining hamstring a faint snckt came from somewhere to his left. Two wires shot through the tattered remains of his jacket, the tips cold against his chest.

Bollocks, he thought.

A flash of sparks raced along the wires, smashing into him with the force of a juggernaut and throwing him high into the air. Every muscle in his body clenched. His obsidian blade transformed back into his left hand, which flailed uselessly by his side as he shuddered and convulsed against the asphalt. He was dimly aware of the woman standing over him, still squeezing the trigger of her stun gun, when everything went black.

In other news, my current editing dilemma is with the dreaded 'f-word'. It's a touchy subject in YA fiction - some books have it, some don't. Personally, I find it difficult to believe in a YA novel set in contemporary times without that word making at least one appearance. However, I'm also against the idea of using it as a punctuation mark. As a result, I'm trying to bring it down from the 7 occurrences that it currently makes in my text to a neater 3. This means going through and trying to work out where it makes the biggest impact. Tricky, tricky, tricky.

I watched the first part of The Day Of The Triffids remarke with uC and mR last night. Oh. My. God. It was awful. No spoilers, but take a rip-off of 28 Days Later, add every SF cliche for female characters you can think of and Eddie Izzard camping like a manic boy scout, and you've got this show. uC, mR and myself spent the entire time ripping the plot holes to bits and being sarcastic. Good times.



( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 29th, 2009 02:59 pm (UTC)
"Bleed for me." *shivers* AWESOME.
Dec. 29th, 2009 03:46 pm (UTC)
Great teaser - I love this! - JamieB
Dec. 29th, 2009 04:40 pm (UTC)
Wow! This is Awesome!! And I agree, cussing is a must in YA LOL :)~~~~~Paranormalchick

Dec. 29th, 2009 06:19 pm (UTC)
Bravo :-) Slick, compelling vivid. Can't wait to see the dustjacket.

As for the cursing thing, *shrugs* I chuck em in all over the place, but I have a chronic potty-mouth. The West Wing has fantastic dialogue without so much as a 'bloody bastard' in it.

To my mind, clean language use is a bit like vegetarianism. You can eat very well and avoid meat, but you have to cook with vegetables. You come a little unstuck if all you cook is steak and chips and chicken a'la king. You wind up having to use meat-substitute grown from fungus, which is no fun.

Equally, you can write fantastic dialogue with no swearing at all, but its best to construct the dialogue so the openings for swearing don't come up. If you keep the exasperated toe-stubbing in, and the character can't say 'f*ck', then you have to fill the gap with a milder swearword, which sounds at best weird, and at worst outright unconvincing.

Dec. 29th, 2009 06:52 pm (UTC)
It's choco (I don't have a LJ account).

Awesome teaser! So much tension and action, it kept me hooked the whole time :)

Are you sure you need to cut back on the f-bombs? haha. I like cussing in YA.

But it's weird cause in real life I do say "Oh gosh."all the time instead of cussing. Lolz.
Dec. 29th, 2009 07:37 pm (UTC)
Lovely excerpt, the writing is getting tighter and tighter.

Day of the Triffids ... yup it was deliciously cliche ridden but I must admit to adoring Eddie Izzard in it, such a fun baddie.
Dec. 30th, 2009 01:59 am (UTC)
Wonderful teaser. I loved the "bleed for me" line. :)

Stephanie (Fairy86)
Dec. 31st, 2009 12:22 pm (UTC)
‘Is that the best you’ve got?’ the wolf-man taunted. ‘A knitting needle stolen from your moder?

I really liked this line.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )


Caroline Hooton

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