The Birth of DEAD RADIANCE
Dead Radiance started with an idea and was spurred on by a daydream (let's just keep that between ourselves shall we?)
The Teens had demanded I write something they can read and naturally that meant YA. I wasn't too sure I was in touch with my inner teen well enough to bring out the kind of emotion one sees in YA these days, but I'm a good mom - at least I think I am) so I tried playing around with ideas. I wrote two other books before Dead Radiance and both had more of a YA crossover feel in terms of voice and content. While thinking about possible ideas I figured I'd try Norse mythology since it wasn't a subject many YA writers have touched on, and certainly not with the depth I had in mind. I've always loved mythology, especially Egyptian, but Norse was the least done. I plotted and scratched out ideas on random pieces of paper, and let the idea stew for a while.
Until on Mothers day morning I woke up with the most fabulous migraine ever. The Family went out to get MacDonalds breakfast and I lay in bed trying to get my mind off the pain. And it was the scene in the kitchen with Aidan and Bryn, that came to me first, so strong and potent in its simplicity, and so pure in emotion.
I knew I had a love story at the centre of the plot but I also knew it wasn't the focus of the novel either. The focus was a strong main character, a girl who empowers herself. And that's what I went with.
Bryn Halbrook: Age 17
Description: green eyes, red hair (Bryn thinks its hideous but its really not that red at all), gorgeous, far too tall for a girl
Self Image: lonely, a little angry with her past, calls herself The Freak cos of her power to see golden auras around people. Doesn't help that the kids in Craven call her a Freak too because of her height
Location: Craven, somewhere in Illinois off Route 66
Foster mom: Ms. Custer - amazing cook - kind hearted and loving - best foster mom ever!
Nemesis: Cherise, bitchy, nasty cheerleader type who takes it upon herself to make Bryn miserable.
Father: Geoffrey Halbrook -Geneticist, killed in a car accident when Bryn was 13
Mother: Irene Halbrook - abandoned Bryn at the age of 5 with no explanation, refused to take her in when her father died.
Best friend: Joshua O'Connell, gorgeous, kind and sensitive but just a friend.. His death weighs heavily on Bryn and she mourns him for a long while
Love interest: Aidan Lee - mysterious biker boy, new foster kid at Ms. Custer's, steals Bryn's heart before she has a chance to blink. But what is Aidan really up to?
DEAD RADIANCE - Book 1 in the Valkyrie Novels
For as long as she can recall Bryn Halbrook has seen a golden aura around certain people, and it is only when her new best friend Joshua dies that she understands the glow means death. Bryn struggles to adapt to a new town and a new foster home while trying to deal with the guilt of being unable to save her friend. Until mysterious biker-boy, Aidan Lee arrives..
When Aidan unexpectedly takes off he leaves behind a shattered heart, a tonne of unanswered questions and a mysterious book that suggests Bryn is a Valkyrie. Bryn is faced with questions about Aidan’s real identity, the real reason he came to Craven, and that Odin, Freya and Valhalla just might be real.
As if accepting her new wings, new life and new home in Asgard isn’t difficult enough, Bryn is forced to find and return the precious necklace of the Goddess Freya. The only problem is – if she fails, Aidan will die.
The mystery of a Mythology is easy to enjoy. The reality is much harder to accept
I have been a writer from the time I was old enough to recognise that reading was a doorway into my imagination. Poetry was my first foray into the art of the written word. Books were my best friends, my escape, my haven. I am essentially a recluse but this part of my personality is impossible to practise given I have two teenage daughters, who are actually my friends, my tea-makers, my confidantes… I am blessed with a husband who has left me for golf. It’s a fair trade as I have left him for writing. We are both passionate supporters of each others loves – it works wonderfully…
My heart is currently broken in two. One half resides in South Africa where my old roots still remain, and my heart still longs for the endless beaches and the smell of moist soil after a summer downpour. My love for Ma Afrika will never fade. The other half of me has been transplanted to the Land of the Long White Cloud. The land of the Taniwha, beautiful Maraes, and volcanoes. The land of green, pure beauty that truly inspires. And because I am so torn between these two lands – I shall forever remain crosseyed.
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