Reading e-books before bed.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

The Never Prayer by Aaron Ritchey Guest Post and Character Profile


Title: The Never Prayer
Author: Aaron Ritchey
Published: February 9th 2012
Publisher: Crescent Moon Press
The Fury of Heaven. The Desires of Hell.

A Broken Girl.
Shattered by the death of her parents, Lena knows she is not handling her sorrow well - keeping to herself, running drugs, risking her little brother. But she'll do whatever it takes to keep her disintegrating family together.

Two Lost Souls
Lurking on the edges of the afterlife, Chael and Johnny Beels have spent centuries manipulating events, one pushing for good, the other sowing chaos. Now these two desperate souls have taken human form to play a dangerous game of hope and despair with Lena trapped in the middle.

The Ultimate Sacrifice
Lena must maneuver the shadowy realm between angel and demon, love and lust, good and evil, until she finds the courage to see the truth and make the ultimate sacrifice. When do we struggle to change the world? When do we let go and embrace life's broken beauty?

Back in August I was sent an e-mail with a request to review the novel The Never Prayer, written by Aaron Ritchey. I was fully booked back then (still am!) but the premise of the story caught my interest and I really want to read it. But since I haven't gotten around to it yet, I asked if he would oblige me with a guest post in the meantime. I enjoyed reading this story about how he came up with the idea for this book and I hope you'd like it too. So here he is, Aaron Ritchey...

My Three-Year-Old Angel Who Doesn't Believe in God
by Aaron Ritchey

In this crazy writing business, well, you never know what’s going to happen. I was in the middle of a dozen projects when I was challenged to write an angel book. And I’m a sucker for a challenge. So, yeah, don’t dare me. I won’t respond well. Or I’ll respond too well.

At first, I wasn’t excited about writing an angel book, nope, angels, demons, blah, blah, blah. It’s all been done before. So I decided I was going to do something completely different. And I did. My angel starts off as an atheist. That was the idea that sparked my excitement. What if the world was so hard, even angels couldn’t handle the tragedy? Love that idea.

Now, I’m a linear type of writer. I’m also a reformed pantser (as in seat-of- your-pants). With this book, the first scene and the climax were indelibly stamped on my brain, and as a good little plotter, I mapped it all out so I knew where I was headed. Then wrote the first scene first. And I loved it. Of course, my first draft was overwritten, overly dramatic, over-the-top, over. So I chopped and pruned and thanks to my lovely critique group, I had a solid first scene that I hope hooks people. You can read it on the Crescent Moon Press website here: http://crescentmoonpress.com/books/TheNeverPrayer.html Hurray.

When I was a full-blown seat-of-my-pants writer, I struggled to keep my novels under 100,000 words. Now that I map things out, my plots are tighter than Zack Galifianakis in a Starfleet nurse uniform circa 1966. So actually, for this book, I had to add scenes! Funny, but the scenes I added so fleshed things out, the book is far better with them in. I talked with one reader whose favorite scene is one of the scenes I added!

I get asked how long it all took and I can generally write a rough draft in three months. That was the case with The Never Prayer. I had solid draft in three months, then about six months of edits with my wonderful critique group in Evergreen, Colorado, and then I started the querying. That took another year. Found Crescent Moon Press, thank you Steph and Marlene, wherever you are, and another six months of back and forth edits, and so about three years, start to finish.

It’s kind of odd to have a finished book. I was fretting over it one night, pacing back and forth, wind and lightning and angst, and then I realized, it was over. Couldn’t change it. Just let it stand.

That’s why the Pharaohs killed the architects who built the pyramids. Goshdarn artists would have wanted to make the triangles into squares.

In the end, people like the book and generally read it in one sitting. Funny, I work on something for three years and people jam through it in about five hours and ask me, “Aaron, I couldn’t put your book down! When is the sequel coming out?”

Gimmee another couple of years and yeah, a sequel is in the works.

Thanks to Nickle Love for letting me sing about my book. I am so proud of the song I wrote.



Character Profile

Lena
Lena Marquez is sixteen, but looks and feels far older. She can still cover her sins with the makeup, a gift from another life as a popular girl at school. Her fall from grace came when her parents died and now she will do anything to keep her brother, Jozey, safe. No matter how illegal or dangerous. Yet no matter how much makeup she uses, she can’t quite hide the sleep deprivation and fear marring her face.

Lena is often snappish and moody, especially with her aunt, who she blames for her parents' death. She has friends, though more and more Lena feels separate, adrift.

Even her romantic life is drying up. She has a boyfriend, but he feels more like an obligation than a romance. But Lena needs salvation, not love. When two new boys show up at school, both taking an interest in her, she tries not to notice but she's only human. When the battle for her soul begins, she is surprised to learn that she still has one. In the end, she finds her salvation through the love of a boy she never wanted.

Chael
Chael is dark, brooding, surly; the perfect romantic anti-hero for a teen girl. But the one he's focused on, Lena, doesn't find his bad boy routine sexy and instead chafes at his superior attitude.

Chael tells himself he doesn't care. He's got bigger concerns to worry about—epic battles to fight, judgments to pass, souls to fight over. He's been around in one form or another for centuries and he can't worry about one troubled girl's reaction.

But Lena is pretty and she's vulnerable and she challenges him. Like Lena, Chael loves Jozey, Lena's little brother. Chael finds himself unable to forget that, at least once upon a time, he was only human as well.

Johnny Beels
Johnny Beels is all easy charm and slow Southern style. His cowboy boots shine, and so does his blond hair and his smile. His eyes, desert-sky blue, make girls swoon, make them hungry for something they might not understand.

But that's okay. Johnny Beels likes it that way. Johnny Beels is always hungry. When he meets Lena, the girl with the weight of the world on her shoulders, he feeds her hunger, draws it out, dances with it. He feeds her chocolate kisses and then real kisses.

He's been at this a long time and he feels pretty sure he knows how it will all go. Yet the wounds of his past are catching up to him and Lena haunts him in a way no other girl has in a long, long time. Not since he was human with a soul, crumbling from sorrow and hunger.

***

Thank you Aaron, for dropping by and sharing your story and the profiles of characters from your book. I look forward to reading your book, thank you for giving me a copy.

Watch out for my review of The Never Prayer some time this October. Thank you dear reader for dropping by and reading Aaron's story. :)

1 comment:

  1. Nickle, wow! Great write-up and feature for my friend Aaron. Thanks so much.

    ReplyDelete

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