This crossed my twitter dashboard this morning: Kobo Cull Self-Published Titles In Knee-jerk Response To Tabloid Clickbait.
Those of you that have read Desecrated Bonds will know that it is pure horror and nothing to do with any of the more disturbing topics that were highlighted as on sale.
My protagonist doesn’t have undue fantasies about her father, there’s no rape and there’s no incest. There are, however, instances of murder, bloody crime scenes and the ghostly paranormal.
And, to be honest, I can’t see why any of these would cause the book to be suddenly ‘unavailable’ on their ebook shelves.
I’m hoping this blanket withdrawal will end soon. It’s disgusting that they’ve seemingly vilified innocent independent authors simply because they weren’t vetting their ebook submissions with enough due care and attention nor advertising them appropriately. I’d like to see Desecrated Bonds back on the shelves for readers.
Every now and again, I post #WIPlines up on my tumblr, facebook fan page and twitter. If I remember they go on G+ too. They’re not all necessarily from the same piece, but the majority stem from Breaking Cadence – which is the piece that I’m writing now.
It’s a piece of dystopian fiction and (those of you who wanted more from Desecrated Bonds will be pleased to hear) is a novel length work. It’s not quite finished yet, but every now and again I do enjoy showing you some of the unfinished snippets.
So here’s the first few unedited paragraphs and some of my favourite bits…
It was raining the day we were outcast. And I blamed him.
I drove my car over to their house, windscreen wipers flipping in the heavy downpour as my headlights grazed the rows of small suburban bungalows. The street was quiet. Nobody was out.
A streak of white caught my eye. My brother’s car sat comfortably in their driveway, engine off. I pursed my lips together and tugged my eye patch a little further down. I would be unwelcome, but they would just have to deal with that.
My car pulled smoothly to a stop, barely any noise emanating from the wheels in the kerbside puddles. The headlights died, leaving the faded ginger streetlamp the only light source. I took off a glove and wiped the rain residue from my brow as if it was sweat. I’d been walking when she’d called me all filled up with panic.
The box on the seat behind was still there, reassuring me in the rear view mirror. It was white and well cared for even though the dress once entombed was no longer inside.
But these things change.
I swallowed, glancing up at the house between the shadows of running rain on the window. If it had been anyone other than Sera who’d asked I wouldn’t have gone, but I’d sealed our fate when I’d said yes.
I still remembered the family inside. They despised the tainted ones.
Splashes licked my jeans. The orange light and slanted rain scratched my darkened figure as we lurched for the car. Metal scrubbed against metal. The taste of iron twisted my tongue with that sound, but there was no time to stop for it. The door handle moistened my fingers. Then I was in the car, pushing open the passenger side and stabbing holes in the box on the backseat.
He passed me the rabbit, lips warping when he saw the container I was shoving it in. Keys begged the car engine. The passenger door slammed shut behind him. A cartridge rattled against the floor. Wilma had loaded Maurice’s gun, swinging the barrel up to aim at our vehicle. Hell.
Clutch. Gear. Accelerator. Gunshot.
She missed by a bare inch.
The office space wasn’t as quiet as the mechanic’s level. “I want to go back to before,” Darryl muttered. “Before the infection when life was good.” He scrubbed at the fleshy mess of human meat on the office floor.
They’d moved most of the carcass; yet wet, putrid pith remained, cloying the air and patterning the dull tiles. The wire brush worked hard in Darryl’s gloved hands, scratching up a lather of bleach and mottled body.
“Before when I didn’t have corpses stinking out my floor. Before when there wasn’t this wasteland-”
“You weren’t alive before, Darryl. Stop talking about things you don’t understand.” I flicked my gaze about with slow interest. I’d heard enough of this talk from Zander. Talk about cures. Talk about a better life.
“It’ll get like that again,” Darryl muttered. “Blue skies. No Infected. You watch.”
“Was this your whole plan, Lawrence?”
“I’m leaving,” I answered calmly, bullets and knives ricocheting overhead.
He nodded. “I thought you might be. I would too.”
I didn’t ask him why he hadn’t invited himself along. I didn’t care. He didn’t seem to be stopping me and that was the main thing.
He tipped his head towards Alex. “You’re taking him?”
“Good. Get out as fast as you can. Don’t stop for anyone.” His eyes burned into mine. “Even if you think they’re your friend.”
Something about his tone made me hesitate, hand snaking to my hip for the gun that had warmed there.
“I might not have been able to save your parents,” he continued, “but helping you is the next best thing.” He squeezed my hand with his meaty fist. “Remember, even if they’re your friend: don’t stop.”
My fingers secured my knife and I wrenched, hoping Wilma was as weak as I thought. Her arm buckled and whatever she’d been holding me with dropped as I wheeled, my blade plunging into the wide open reach of her throat and tearing as I spun. Flesh frayed.
She gagged on blood, thrusting hands up to the gap in her neck as I watched, teeth bared and breathing hot. Uncovered muscles and tubes pumped but made no noise. I clenched my knife tighter. Her blood mingled with the darker stains on my clothes. Her legs wobbled.
Within a moment she was on the floor. Silent. The carpet blushed a deeper shade, spreading closer to my feet. I took a step back before it touched the lip of my shoes. Nonchalance ached within where true emotion ought to be.
It was easier the second time. Or maybe that was because I just didn’t care for Wilma.
Alex was halfway out of our hiding place. I waved at him to stay back, moving towards him and urging him towards the door. “It is, but you don’t need to see this.”
He shucked my hand off his shoulder, staring down at me like I was a monster. Horror crippled his expression. “What’s wrong with you?”
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