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Teaser for book 2 of The Dark Lighting Trilogy (The Jagged Edge of Lighting):

Just then, I noticed a cluster of the noobs ogling me. “What’s up with them?” I asked my friends in an undertone.
Alan shrugged. “I think they’re working on a project or something.”
“What kind of project?” I asked warily. The intense kid with glasses—I still didn’t know his name—was looking back and forth between me and a large piece of poster board with a bunch of photographs and writing on it.
Sputnik got up and went over to look at their notes. He frowned, murmured something to the kid with glasses, and came back looking uncomfortable.
“What?” I demanded.
I’d rarely seen Sputnik so subdued. “It’s um, it’s a project about the Hallway Stalker,” he said finally.
“Oh.” I considered that. “He’s been active lately?” I’d tried to avoid news pieces about him ever since the attack at Christmas time. It had been a couple months, but in the back of my mind I knew he hadn’t simply stopped and disappeared.
“Apparently.” Sputnik wore an expression like he’d just tasted something bad. “One of those kids is a bit of a hacker, and he was checking out recent police reports. They’re…they’re saying a pattern has finally started to emerge.”
“What kind of pattern?” I asked. Sputnik just looked at me, taking so long to answer that I felt a knot of fear form in my stomach. I swallowed. “Sputnik, what is it?”
“Spit it out,” Alan agreed.
Wordlessly, Sputnik went back to the group of noobs, took their poster board (much to their vocal consternation) and showed it to me.
I took in the rudimentary timeline, dating from the beginning of the previous year, and noted the pictures and names of all the most recent victims. It took a second, but I saw the pattern, too, and felt a violent shiver go down my spine.
“My God,” Alan said. “They all sort of…look like…don’t they?” He looked between Sputnik and me, as if confirming we were all coming to the same conclusion.
Sputnik was watching me with a grim and worried expression. 
I swallowed hard. “Me,” I finished Alan’s thought in a small voice. “They all look like ME.”
— The Jagged Edge of Lightning, (J. M. Richards)
coming soon....


Day 4

Day 04:Your first stories/characters. 

Errrr...like, very first?  Back in childhood?  I'm not sure I can remember back that far...

I do recall that I liked to write about a lot of fairy-tale/fantasy type stuff.
There was a story called "The Crystal Heart" I wrote when I was about eleven, maybe? I don't recall the character's names but the girl was sent to England to stay with her uncle and ended up in a magical kingdom.  And somehow helped save the day, obviously.  For some reason my parents made a bunch of copies and mailed it to all my relatives.

Then there was a story I was developing when I was between 12-14 about a girl named Katrina who was raised as a tavern wench but dreamed of adventure, and was eventually whisked to a kingdom where her best friends were a mermaid named Shimmer, a dragon, and a Prince named Wesley.  And she didn't know it, but she was actually a fairy princess.

Wow, okay so that's really embarrassing to write down, but in my head it was this whole Disney-style story and I'd often draw pictures of scenes and characters.  I also ended up loosely basing Wesley on my first irl crush, so.  :P

I wish I could say that I wrote more sophisticated things, but alas.  Though I did write a short story in my science class when asked to speculate about what we thought was on the other side of black holes...


Day 3

Day 03: How do you come up with character names? 

Ooh, this is a good one.
So, I have a few different methods.  
The first is, I like to use the names of people I've known or read about.  For example, in the Dark Lightning Trilogy, I used a lot of my college friends' names kind of mishmashed together.  I think about the kind of people I've known with certain names; sometimes I just need to like how a name sounds.  
But I'm also a big believer in using a name dictionary.  Even if the name meaning has no bearing on the story, I think it's important to know what it is.  

Anna, for example, means "grace or favor."
Davin, incidentally, is listed as meaning "intelligent, shining  and beloved," depending on the country of origin.

Do they have a bearing on their characters?  You'll just have to read to find out...