Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Wanda Brunstetter (Advice for Novelists, Part 45)

I hope you're enjoying this series as much as I've enjoyed putting it together. :) So many talented editors, authors, publicists and agents have shared their response to the question:

"If you could say one thing to aspiring novelists, what would you say?"

Today Wanda's is short and to the point, but no less meaningful:

If writing is your passion, don’t ever give up on your dream. Keep writing, submitting, and honing your skills.

--Wanda Brunstetter, multi-published author, most recently of the Sisters of Holmes Count series. Visit her online at her website here.

Saturday, April 26, 2008


In a day and age of blockbusters full of glitz and action and peril and crashes it's nice to discover those yesteryear movie gems. Even though I'm not a big tv watcher, I do enjoy a good movie. Netflix is my friend in this regard.

I watch most of my movies while exercising (on a Nordictrack or self-propelled treadmill) which isn't as often as it should be but still allows me to see a couple movies a month I normally wouldn't have watched.

The hard part for me comes in selecting my movies. There's so much junk out there, and I'm quite picky about that. I don't watch R rated films, and even those rated PG-13 often get crossed off my list if they push the envelope too far.

So recently I found the movie Homecoming, starring Anne Bancroft (of Miracle Worker fame -- she played Anne Sullivan). I liked the premise right off the bat. Four kids are abandoned by their mother and go off in search of a grandmother they've never met. Yes, it's been done before, but I hoped this film would have something different.

I'm so glad I tried it out. The acting is superb. The setting realistic. The movie is actually based on a book, but since I haven't read the book I had no preconceived notions of what the characters should be. I highly recommend this movie to all those wanting a clean family-friendly film that also isn't afraid to show life's realities.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Don Otis (Advice for Novelists, Part 44)

Here's another great entry in our series in which editors, authors, agents and publicists answer the question:

"If you could say one thing to aspiring novelists, what would you say?"

Take your time and do your research. From my perspective, the best fiction weaves facts, history and a sense of place with a terrific storyline and characters.

As a publicist and nonfiction author, I have to approach this question from the standpoint of marketing. You have to look at fiction publicity the same way you do nonfiction. The broadcast media is primarily information and issues-driven. This means promotion requires a credible angle. Most interviewers are not interested in discussing your characters or plot; they want to know how your writing relates to the real world and what qualifies you to talk about it. Are you an attorney writing about legal issues, a nurse discussing the global proliferation of drug resistant viruses?

In promoting fiction, think about the issues in your book. Excise these and use them as a foot in the door with the media and for creating your media materials. Let these serve as the hook for producers or hosts of radio or television programs. Ultimately, publicity means selling yourself, your product, or your idea.

An effective media release should never serve as a book review. That’s not what a media release is for. Rather, it’s designed to whet the appetite of the person who decides whether to have you on their program. The tendency of some in-house publicity people is to write a book review instead of a provocative, issues-related media release.

--Don Otis, publicist and author
Veritas Communications

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Kelly Mortimer (Advice for Novelists, Part 43)

We have an agent's perspective today in the series. I've asked editors, authors, agents and publicists their response to the question:

"If you could say one thing to aspiring novelists, what would you say?"

Everyone hears, "Follow your dream and never give up." I'm a firm believer in dreams, and I don't give up, but my advice would be to make sure you know how to write BEFORE you submit to every agent/editor on the planet.

I get so many submissions that have a great concept for the story, but the writing is too weak. Get a few recommended books on writing, go to workshops, take reputable online classes, get constructive feedback from a contest or two, try to get a published author to read your first chapter and give you some direction.

This is not an "I want it now" kinda business. Wait as long as is necessary and send your best work out. You get one shot, and if ya fire too soon, bang! you're dead...

--Kelly Mortimer,
Mortimer Literary Agency - Diabolically Diligent. www.mortimerliterary.com

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Steven James (Advice for Novelists, Part 42)

Our series in which editors, authors, agents and publicists answer the question:

"If you could say one thing to aspiring novelists, what would you say?"

...continues today with Steven James!

Stories are driven by tension, not events. Just because you write a list of things that have happened doesn’t mean you have a story. To have a story something must go wrong. So, as you work on developing the plot or movement of your novel don’t think in terms of what happens, think in terms of what goes wrong.

Then, with the progression of your story, continually make things worse for your main character. Keep tightening the tension, keep ratcheting up the action, keep heightening the suspense. It may seem strange to say this, but readers want the main characters of the story to struggle. We want to worry about them, about whether the guy will live happily ever after, or if he’ll get the girl, or how he’ll escape from being chained to the shipwreck fifty feet below the surface in shark-infested waters. We want them to suffer until the very end, when we want to see some type of satisfying resolution.

So, start with an intriguing struggle and then look for believable ways to make it worse and you’ll move to the top of the stacks of other novel submissions that only include meaningless, although eloquent, descriptions of events.

--Steven James, author of the novels The Pawn & The Rook as well as other nonfiction titles. Visit his website here.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Chosen by Ted Dekker

I've recently joined a brand new FIRST alliance called Teen FIRST. This one features excerpts from YA novels on the 21st of every month. I enjoy reading teen fiction (even thought I'm not a teen anymore!), and it's great to be able to help spread the word about noteworthy books.

This month we're featuring Ted Dekker and his book: Chosen (The Lost Books, Book 1) (The Books of History Chronicles)

So far I've yet to read Dekker's Circle novels, and this one definitely ties into those. But I found I could easily dive right into the story. These books are geared toward teens, but really anyone can enjoy them. Read a review of the novel by my friend Vennessa Ng here.

I've had the chance to interview Ted twice now for TitleTrakk.com, and he's had a ton of insights I'm sure you'll enjoy. So check out the first interview here (he talked a good bit about Thr3e the movie) and the second interview here (for a glimpse into what's next for him, his graphic novels, and more).



Our story begins in a world totally like our own, yet completely different. What once happened here in our own history seems to be repeating itself thousands of years from now,
some time beyond the year 4000 AD.

But this time the future belongs to those who see opportunity before it becomes obvious. To the young, to the warriors, to the lovers. To those who can follow hidden clues and find a great
treasure that will unlock the mysteries of life and wealth.

Thirteen years have passed since the lush, colored forests were turned to desert by Teeleh, the enemy of Elyon and the vilest of all creatures. Evil now rules the land and shows itself as a painful, scaly disease that covers the flesh of the Horde, a people who live in the desert.

The powerful green waters, once precious to Elyon, have vanished from the earth except in seven small forests surrounding seven small lakes. Those few who have chosen to follow the ways of Elyon now live in these forests, bathing once daily in the powerful waters to cleanse their skin of the disease.

The number of their sworn enemy, the Horde, has grown in thirteen years and, fearing the green waters above all else, these desert dwellers have sworn to wipe all traces of the forests from
the earth.

Only the Forest Guard stands in their way. Ten thousand elite fighters against an army of nearly four hundred thousand Horde. But the Forest Guard is starting to crumble.


Day One

Qurong, general of the Horde, stood on the tall dune five miles west of the green forest, ignoring the fly that buzzed around his left eye.

His flesh was nearly white, covered with a paste that kept his skin from itching too badly. His long hair was pulled back and woven into dreadlocks, then tucked beneath the leather body armor
cinched tightly around his massive chest.

“Do you think they know?” the young major beside him asked.

Qurong’s milky white horse, chosen for its ability to blend with the desert, stamped and snorted.

The general spit to one side. “They know what we want them to know,” he said. “That we are gathering for war. And that we will march from the east in four days.”

“It seems risky,” the major said. His right cheek twitched, sending three flies to flight.

“Their forces are half what they once were. As long as they think we are coming from the east, we will smother them from the west.”

“The traitor insists that they are building their forces,” the major said.

“With young pups!” Qurong scoffed.

“The young can be crafty.”

“And I’m not? They know nothing about the traitor. This time we will kill them all.”

Qurong turned back to the valley behind him. The tents of his third division, the largest of all Horde armies, which numbered well over three hundred thousand of the most experienced warriors, stretched out nearly as far as he could see.

“We march in four days,” Qurong said. “We will slaughter them from the west.”


Black: The Birth of Evil (The Circle Trilogy Graphic Novels, Book 1)


Saturday, April 19, 2008

Tracie Peterson (Advice for Novelists, Part 41)

Here's another wonderful response in our series of "Advice for Novelists" posts. Authors, agents, editors and publicists give their responses to the question:

"If you could say one thing to aspiring novelists, what would you say?"

Take it away, Tracie!

One of the most important things I ever learned was to ask and truthfully answer the question, "If you knew you would never be published, never be paid, never have a single person read what you were writing, would you still write?"

I think it's a critical question and ties in with the things already posted on the website by so many others. It's important to know why you write and not get bogged down in reviews, rejections, critiques, fads, how many conferences you've attended or awards you've won, or whether or not you've even sold a single word.

This question was posed to me long ago and it truly impacted my writing life. When facing a harsh review or praise-filled fan letter, I have to take it back to this question. God always brings me back to Him and the fact that writing is a gift and a passion that He has given me, and what is done with that gift and passion is also in His hands. I have to be open to where He is leading and if that means I write books, I write books. If I'm supposed to write magazine articles, poetry, trade manuals or journal entries, then that's what I need to be ready to do.

Why I write has never been based on the money I could make. I pray it never is. I want the focus of my work to be on what the Lord wants it to be. If it's for nothing but personal reflection, then so be it. If it's to offer encouragement through a letter to a friend, then let it be to His glory. If it's to write the next mega-best-seller that will be made into a hit movie, great. So long as it's got God's fingerprints all over it, I can know that I am writing for the right reason and there is great liberty in that--liberty that allows my creativity and delight in what I do to not only bless me, but hopefully bless others and bring glory to God.

Ask yourself the question I posed and see where it takes you. You might be surprised and relieved by the answer.

--Tracie Peterson, multi-published author of many, many novels including The Ladies of Liberty series, Alaskan Quest series, and The Broadmoor Legacy series. Visit her website here to learn more.

Friday, April 18, 2008

My Soul to Keep by Melanie Wells

Today I want to bring to your attention a terrific new book by author Melanie Wells. It's the featured book this week at the CFBA. My Soul to Keep is the third book in Melanie's Dylan Foster series featuring her character . . . uh, Dylan Foster. :)

I was hooked on Melanie's writing ever since I read her first novel When The Day of Evil Comes. Actually, I listened to it on CD during a looooonng car ride, and it made the miles fly by, let me tell you!) And then her second novel Soul Hunter was another terrific read.

This is character driven suspense at its finest with just enough quirkiness in Dylan's character to allow for some lighter moments as well.

But there's nothing light about this premise. A young boy is abducted right out of the park, with his mother, Dylan, and others all nearby. Is it the work of Peter Terry, Dylan's personal demon (literally and figuratively)?

Read a great review of the book here by my friend Dale Lewis.

I recently interviewed Melanie about My Soul to Keep at TitleTrakk.com. Here's the first question:

C.J.: Let’s start right off talking about My Soul to Keep. This is Book #3 in the Dylan Foster series, and a child kidnapping plays a huge part in the novel. What made you decide to write a book dealing with a parent’s worst nightmare?

Melanie: The previous book, The Soul Hunter, makes it clear that Peter Terry is after little Nicholas, so once again, the characters decided the plot and I just followed along. I became very sensitive to crimes against children while I was writing this book. That anyone could intentionally harm a child – it’s so awful, I can barely think about it. It was an emotional book to write, for that reason. Even though the characters are obviously fictional, they’ve become very real to me and to so many readers. And of course, this sort of thing happens every day.

Read the full interview here.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Camy Tang (Advice for Novelists, Part 40)

For those new to this blog, this is part 40 of a series we're conducting here in which editors, authors, agents & publicists all respond to the question:

"If you could say one thing to aspiring novelists, what would you say?"

Camy has a wonderful reply:

Never lose sight of Whom you are writing for.

This has recently been on my heart. Since I started writing seriously, I've gone to several writing conferences and always see a few writers who are incredibly focused on pitching to Agent ABC, or getting a seat at Editor XYZ's table, or worried about what Agent MNO will say about their manuscript, or devastated that Editor QRS wasn't interested in their story.

While I can completely relate to their pain, it also bothers me to see someone so focused and worried about their career that they seem to have lost sight of their Audience of One.

God directs our career. God plans our chance meetings with Agent ABC or Editor XYZ. God brings our manuscript to Agent MNO's attention, or closes the door at Editor QRS's publishing house.

I have sometimes been that writer stressing about meeting the right editor at the conference, or worried and impatient that an agent has had my manuscript for at least FOUR WHOLE DAYS and I haven't heard back yet. But God usually manages to give me a swift slap upside the head to remind me to stop trying to direct my own career.

And then those wonderful chance meetings happen, like sitting next to an agent in the conference general session and getting a chance to talk to her, and actually having HER ask ME what I'm writing. Or the one-in-a-million chance of having an editor at a house who has rejected my manuscript actually take a SECOND look at it and eventually contract the series.

God is directing your career. Stop stressing. Stop trying to take control. Trust me, things go much smoother when you do.

--Camy Tang, author of Sushi for One? and Only Uni (both with Zondervan). Visit her at her website here.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Is that a classic in your inbox?

I was reading my latest issue of The Writer magazine, and I came across a blurb on the site DailyLit.com. Basically, the site serializes various novels into daily e-mails. The cool part is that many of them are free! Some of the more current offerings do cost a small fee, but they have to make their money somehow, right? :)

Here's a little snippet from their "About" page:

We created DailyLit because we spent hours each day on email but could not find the time to read a book. Now the books come to us by email. Problem solved.

Check it out here. Maybe tomorrow Dickens or Tolstoy or Austen will be waiting in your Inbox.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Chris Well (Advice for Novelists, Part 39)

Today lend you ear to the advice of crime/mystery novelist Chris Well and his response to the question:

"If you could say one thing to aspiring novelists, what would you say?"

Good fiction is not a product of writing -- it is a product of rewriting. Write your first draft in secret, set it aside, and come back later with fresh eyes. Go through and cut what isn't supposed to be there, add what you thought was already in there, and repair all the wonky transitions that made so much sense when you wrote it. Rinse. Repeat.

(Rule of thumb: If you have a target word count, make sure your first draft is a good ten- or twenty-percent above that count; as you go through and cut unnecessary words, your manuscript will shrink.)

--Chris Well, author of the novels Forgiving Solomon Long, Deliver Us From Evelyn & Tribulation House. Visit him online at his website here and his informative blog here.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Is it me or God?

Something happened to me in my writing recently that made me stop and take notice. I was working on the re-write of my latest novel trying to insert a scene that changed a few things for my character. But it just wasn't working. I wasn't sure why. It felt like pulling teeth as I tried to write the scene.

So after awhile I decided to try something else and insert this scene much earlier in the story. It just felt right. And that's when things gelled. Instantly I knew I'd hit upon the answer and everything flowed from there.

As I got to thinking later about this phenomenon, I realized something. It wasn't "me" who found the right answer. God was trying to nudge me in the right direction all along but I didn't know it. Now I'm a Christian, and that overflows into everything I do (hopefully!). But often I'll try to do stuff on my own, including writing, before I'll seek out God's guidance. I don't want it to be that way.

A big question we ask ourselves sometimes is, "Was that leading I felt me, or was it God?" Sometimes we just give our little brains too much credit! Of course it was God. He speaks to us through our spirits, so that's why it sounds like us, but it was still God. Those gut hunches, little nudges, and all around intuition on what to do is how the Holy Spirit leads us. If it's something positive and good, chances are it was from God. We need to recognize that as writers.

God doesn't usually lead by shouts from the clouds. His still small voice is often all we'll hear. So the next time you're sitting down at your keyboard, or even trying to decide how to best plan your day, take a second and listen. Really listen. That little nudge to switch your schedule or swap out scenes if you're a writer, could very well be God speaking to you.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Amber Morn by Brandilyn Collins

This week the CFBA (Christian Fiction Blog Alliance) is featuring Brandilyn Collins' latest novel Amber Morn. The fourth and final book in her Kanner Lake series, this one is a little different from the others. Featuring an ensemble cast, a hostage situation, the Scenes and Beans bloggers, and Brandilyn's tradmark Seatbelt Suspense, fans are sure to be satisfied.

Read a fun interview I did with Brandilyn awhile back here.

Read my review of Book #1 in the Kanner Lake series, Violet Dawn here.

Read reviews of Coral Moon here, and Crimson Eve here by my friend and fellow writer Darcie Gudger.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Allen Arnold (Advice for Novelists, Part 38)

It's been a great experience hearing from all these talented folks. Whether they be authors, editors, agents or publicists, they've picked up tips we can all benefit from hearing. It's a pleasure today to welcome Allen Arnold and hear his response to the question I've posed to everyone:

"If you could say one thing to aspiring novelists, what would you say?"

The Top Ten Reasons – NOT – to Write a Novel:

  • If you first and foremost want to preach a sermon
  • If you first and foremost want to teach a lesson
  • If your biggest and only fan is your mom or spouse (critiques from honest writing groups are like gold!)
  • If you’re following the latest trend or the style of a writer (I’m the next ______) rather than charting your own path. The next John Grisham phenomena will not be a John Grisham clone.
  • If you’re not open to re-working the story countless times until others confirm that it shines
  • If you’re not willing for a seasoned book agent to challenge and sharpen your proposal / novel
  • If you’re not willing to invest as much time – sometimes more - than a publishing partner in promoting the novel tirelessly
  • If you see it as a way to get rich
  • If you aren’t willing to take equal ownership of the novel’s success or failure
  • If you aren’t able to remain humble with success and hopeful with failure

The Top Reason TO Write a Novel

  • Because you feel God’s pleasure when you write Fiction (my nod to Chariots of Fire)…and hunger to become a master at the craft for the sake of the story more than the deal. When the story must be birthed, everything beyond that is gravy and, ultimately, in God’s hands.

--Allen Arnold, Senior Vice President & Publisher, Fiction, Thomas Nelson Publishers. Visit Thomas Nelson's website here.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Liz Curtis Higgs (Advice for Novelists, Part 37)

The talented Ms. Higgs shares with us today her response to the question:

"If you could say one thing to aspiring novelists, what would you say?"

No question about it: the first line, the first paragraph, the first scene, the first chapter really matter. But when you're writing the first draft, don't get bogged down trying to make those things perfect. Chances are very good you are going to throw out that first chapter!

When I begin a novel, I don't know the characters yet and aren't entirely sure of how the story is going to unfold. No matter how much characterization and plotting I do, I still don't know these people until I spend time with them and hear what they have to say. Once I know them better, I often go back and change their dialogue in the early chapters, sometimes overhauling scenes completely. And yes, sometimes throwing out the first chapter. Even the second.

Furthermore, first drafts of first chapters are often bogged down with backstory that belongs many chapters later, as a revelation. All the more reason not to get obsessive about those opening lines and opening pages, because they are bound to change.

I've been known to write the first chapter last, when I know my characters and story intimately. Same thing with opening sentences. So, be encouraged: that amazing opening line may come to you mid-book. In the meantime, just keep writing!

--Liz Curtis Higgs, Best-selling author of Grace in Thine Eyes. Currently writing Here Burns My Candle. Visit her online at her website here.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Favorite First Lines

I was inspired by Rachelle Gardner over at her Rants and Ramblings blog to think about the first lines of novels. How important are first lines? Which ones have grabbed me as a reader?

It's an interesting subject. I believe first lines are very important. They're like fishhooks. If they aren't sharp and baited you might not catch a fish. So here's a sampling of some of my favorites from books sitting on my shelves:

"She ran, tree limbs and brambles scratching, grabbing, tripping, and slapping her as if they were bony hands, reaching for her out of the darkness."
--The Oath by Frank Peretti

"Valkerie woke up screaming."
--Oxygen by Randy Ingermanson & John B. Olson

"The pickup had been tailing me for at least the last thirty miles."
--On the Run by Lorena McCourtney

"Josee found the canister while seeking firewood in the thicket."
--Dark to Mortal Eyes by Eric Wilson

"Someone said to me that day, 'It's hotter than the eyes of hell out here.'"
--When the Day of Evil Comes by Melanie Wells

"The dead man's mother lives on Castlewood Street, in a battered gray house guarded by a mean echo of 'No Trespassing' signs."
--The Stones Cry Out by Sibella Giorello

And here's a recent favorite from a book that won't be published until October:

"Even in high school I didn't mind sleeping on the ground."
--Forsaken by James David Jordan

Your turn! Post your favorite lines, and maybe why you like them, in the comments. I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Angela E. Hunt (Advice for Novelists, Part 36)

Angela has written over 100 books, so I'm especially interested in her response to:

"If you could say one thing to aspiring novelists, what would you say?"

The most valuable lesson I've learned about writing is that the old admonition "write your passion" is more than mere mantra--it's essential to developing your voice as a writer. For years I wrote what I thought the market wanted, but then an editor dared to ask, "What are YOU dying to write?" That question--and the resulting book--gave me the first glimmer of the writer I was supposed to be when I grew up.

--Angela E. Hunt, author of over 100 books including The Elevator, The Fairlawn series, Magdalene, Uncharted. Visit her online at her blog here. And at her website here.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Ryan Watter's and the King's Sword (FIRST)

It is April FIRST--no foolin'--, time for the FIRST Day Blog Tour! (Join our alliance by clicking the button.) The FIRST day of every month we will feature an author and his/her latest book's FIRST chapter.

The special featured author is:
and his book:

Creation House (May 2008)

Illustrated by: Corey Wolfe


Eric J. Reinhold is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy. The former Naval officer writes extensively for a variety of national financial publications in his position as a Certified Financial Planner® and President of Academy Wealth Management. His passion for writing a youth fantasy novel was fueled by nightly impromptu storytelling to his children and actively serving in the middle and high school programs at First Baptist Sweetwater Church in Longwood, Florida.

Visit him at his website.


Angel’s Visitation

It first appeared as a gentle glow, almost like a child’s night-light. Heavy shadows filled the room as the boy lay face up, covers tucked neatly under his arms. A slight smile on his face hinted that he was in the midst of a pleasant dream.

Ryann Watters, who had just celebrated his twelfth birthday, rolled lazily onto his side, his blond hair matted into the pillow, unaware of the glow as it began to intensify. Shadows searched for hiding places throughout the room as the glow transformed from a pale yellow hue to brilliant white.

Ryann’s eyelids fluttered briefly and then flickered at the glare reflecting off his pale blue bedroom walls. Drowsily, he turned toward the light expecting to see one of his parents coming in to check on him. “What’s going on?” his voice cracked as he reached up to rub the crusty sleep from his eyes.


Under a pale half-moon, Drake Dunfellow’s house looked just like any other. A closer inspection, however, would reveal its failing condition. Water oaks lining the side of the curved driveway hunched over haggardly, like old men struggling on canes. The lawn, which should have been a lively green for early spring, was withered and sandy. A few patches of grass were sprinkled here and there. Rust lines streaked down the one jagged peak atop the tin-roof house. The flimsy clapboard sides were outlined by fading white trim speckled with dried paint curls. Hanging baskets containing a variety of plants and weeds all struggling to stay alive shared the crowded front porch with two mildew-covered rocking chairs. Inside, magazines and newspaper clippings both old and new were carelessly strewn about. Encrusted dishes from the previous day’s meals battled each other for space in the bulging kitchen sink. In the garage, away from the usual living areas, was a boy’s room. Dull paneling outlined the bedroom, while equally dreary brown linoleum covered the floor. The bedroom must have been an afterthought because not much consideration had been given to the details. A bookcase cut from rough planks sat atop an old garage sale dresser.

Moonlight pressing through the dust-covered metal blinds tried to provide a sense of peacefulness. Instead it revealed bristly red hair atop a young boy’s head poking out from beneath a mushy feather pillow. His heavy breathing provided the only movement in the quiet room. Tiny droplets of perspiration lined his brow as he began jerking about under the thin cotton sheets.

Starting at the edge of the window, the blackness spread downward, transforming all traces of light to an oily dinginess. Drake was slowly surrounded and remained the only thing not saturated in the darkness. Bolting upright to a stiff-seated attention, Drake’s bloodshot eyes darted back and forth. He stared into the black nothingness shuddering and aware that the only thing visible in the room was his bed.

“Who . . . who’s there?” Drake cried out, puzzled by the hollow sound that didn’t seem to travel beyond the edge of his mattress. Beads of sweat trickled down his neck, connecting his numerous freckled dots. He strained, slightly tilting his head, ears perked. There was no reply.

Read the rest of the First Chapter here.