DAY OF RECKONING (Concord Chronicles # 1) by Kai Strand
* Paperback: 289 pages * Publisher: Independently published * Language: English * ISBN-10: 1690603372 * ISBN-13: 978-1690603375
Not only does twelve-year-old Terra learn she’s a Nature’s Spirit destined to serve the peaceful underground city of Concord, but she also finds she is named in a prophecy as the only one who can thwart the leader of the death tribe.
The Trepidus are the death janitors of the Underworld. They’re responsible for the termination and cleanup of Concord’s beings. When their leader, Blanco, learns Terra is the one who can derail his day of reckoning, he does everything he can to get rid of her. Including, dispatch a “Bringer” to complete the ultimate of death janitor duties.
Not only does Terra want to stay alive, but she hopes to complete her training and discover her Spirit talents too. So, Frank, a Spirit of Security, is assigned to protect her. Together, they undertake a secret investigation of how to defeat Blanco. But with the future of Concord and Terra’s very own life at stake, will they find the answer in time?
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When It’s All Made Up, But You Have to Believe It by Kai Strand
The setting of a story is difficult to develop in the first place, but in a fantasy such as Day of Reckoning, where the characters spend a lot of time in the underground city of Concord, it takes a lot of re-writing.
It’s part of being an author. You have an idea in your head. You put the idea onto a page. You realize you shared too much, so you cut some of it out. You realize you might have cut too much, so you add some back in. You go back and forth until you think you’ve finally set the stage for the reader without boring them in the process.
Here is a small example of setting that, even though it is out of context for you currently, should place you with the main characters immediately:
He cautiously opened a trapdoor and looked around before climbing out.
Terra saw they were in an alley. She had a clear view up and down the street, but a cinderblock wall impeded her view across the street. This trapdoor was hidden in the dumpster area behind some condominiums. Though it was 2:00 a.m., Terra was comfortable in her long-sleeved denim blouse and jeans, so she knew they were in a warm climate.
Frank cautiously peeked around the privacy wall. He led the way to the back of the nearest condo. Quietly, Frank opened a gate and snuck into a fenced patio area. He climbed a trellis to a second floor balcony. Terra followed, even though her muscles protested in anger when she called on them to climb. Waiting for her on the balcony, Frank hesitated before approaching the sliding glass door. With a fortifying breath, he walked purposefully toward it. It disappeared for them to enter.
Terra was surprised to find they were in a girl’s room. She assumed Frank would take her to his house. She looked around. “Where are we?”
This particular example is easy to follow for the reader because there are so many familiar things, warm weather, an alley, condominiums. Things a reader has experience with and can bring to mind.
In this next example, we are in a fantasy setting in the same story.
Once they were there, she understood why Hermie had called it the overlook. A large city sprawled below them. The sight of it stunned Terra into silence. A glow emanated from the very ground underneath the city, as if the daytime sky replaced the ground. Outrageously shaped buildings, which appeared to defy gravity, lined streets teaming with vehicles that seemed to have been plucked from an amusement park. Brightly colored creatures walked, slithered, or hopped in and out of top-heavy buildings or structures that resembled tree trunks. Terra chuckled with delight when what she had assumed was a fluorescent yellow light pole, crossed the street along with the rest of the peculiar pedestrian traffic. From her vantage point, it was like watching people move about in a painting.
As you can see, it takes very few words to paint a fantastical setting for the reader. By – again – using things that are familiar “daytime sky replaced the ground” or “vehicles…plucked from an amusement park” I’ve painted a quick picture of an unexpected vista. Descriptive words like “slithered or hopped” encourage the reader to make up their own fantastical beings that might move in that way. And alluding to unusual building shapes adds a Seuss-esque feeling to the vista.
What I learned while writing Day of Reckoning is it doesn’t take a lot to put the reader into a fantastical setting. As a matter of fact, less is more.
ABOUT the AUTHOR
Award-winning Kai Strand, author of the action-packed Super Villain Academy series, is often found exploring hiking trails and snapping pictures of waterfalls in her Oregon hometown.
Mother of four, Kai uses her life experiences to connect with young readers. With middle grade works such as Save the Lemmings, The Weaver Tale series, and Day of Reckoning, and emotional YA adventures like Finding Thor, I Am Me, and Worth the Effort, Kai has written compelling stories that tweens, teens, and their parents love.
Kai has given numerous presentations throughout Oregon about her work and the writing process. She loves interacting with teens and gaining their insight on their latest reads as well as what they would like to see in future stories.
Kai's Media: Website | Mailing List | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Amazon |
Be sure to follow Kai on her week-long tour HERE.
Author Kai Strand is giving away four $5 Amazon Gift Cards and one lucky winner will receive a digital copy of DAY OF RECKONING along with a $15 Amazon Gift Card
To enter the giveaway, just click on HERE and you’ll be directed to the widget