When I first started writing Descendant, the entire concept revolved around the fact that my main character, Abby, had some extraordinary abilities. Originally, she could do a lot of other things, but as I got writing the story, I realized that I was in over my head, and that the story was going to be way too complicated. If I wasn’t careful, I’d end up with a story about another super hero.
Don’t get me wrong, super heroes are extremely cool. I’m a big fan of super heroes. But as I got to know Abby and Kye, I realized that they are so much more human than anything else. And rather than make them invincible, I allowed them to keep the powers that sort of made them who they are, and then I gave the rest away to other characters, or dropped the abilities altogether.
Once I made that decision, the story came alive in a way it never had before. I figured out where their powers came from, why they each have the abilities they do, and why those abilities are so important to the story. Also, it was doing this that brought up Abby and Kye’s connection, and the history behind it. That connection has become a backbone for the plot, and one of the things that keeps them moving through it.
By letting go of what I thought this story was going to be, I discovered what it truly is.
Abby and Kye’s journey has evolved over a long time, and the story has changed dramatically in the process. But the things that have remained consistent are Abby’s ability to Heal others, and her intuitive ability to See things. The love story hasn’t changed much either, actually. It’s just become deeper and more refined. So there’s that.
I’m a fan of love stories, so everything I write will involve some romance. It’s just who I am as a writer. Love at first sight? Check. Long lost kindred souls? Check. People and circumstances trying to tear the lovers apart? Check. And guess what? Other than the love at first sight thing (which was part of the very, very first draft of this story forever and ever ago) Abby and Kye’s story evolved organically. Most of what happens between them wasn’t planned in advance.
A bit of trivia: there is one scene that started it all, including the special abilities and everything else that evolved from that. It’s a scene between Abby and Kye. While it changed somewhat in the revision process, it is, to me, the truest part of the story.
Anyone want to guess which scene it is? Leave your guesses in the comments for a chance to win a signed Descendant bookmark.
About DESCENDANT: Seventeen-year-old Abigail Johnson is Gifted.
Blessed-or cursed-with Sight and Healing, Abby lives an unsettled life, moving from place to place and staying one step ahead of the darkness that hunts her. When she arrives in Jackson, Wyoming, she is desperate to maintain the illusion of normalcy, but she is plagued with visions of past lives mixed with frightening glimpses of her future. Then she meets Kye, a mysterious boy who seems so achingly familiar that Abby is drawn to him like he's a missing piece of her own soul.
Before Abby can discover the reason for her feelings toward Kye, the darkness catches up to her and she is forced to flee again. But this time she's not just running. She is fighting back with Kye at her side, and it's not only Abby's life at stake.
Praise for DESCENDANT: "A hot new spin on paranormal, Descendant is refreshingly imaginative and powerful. I can't decide which was best -- piecing together Abby's sinister past or keeping up with her heartbreaking future. If you like your YA laced with melt-my-heart romance and a good helping of heart-pounding suspense, you'll love this book!" -- Michelle Davidson Argyle, author of The Breakaway
"This debut novel delivers in all the right ways, with heart-pounding action and a delicious romance that sweeps centuries. I loved it!" --Elana Johnson, author of Possession and Surrender
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