One of the best things about reading fiction is the incredible way words, together with our imaginations, become our experiences, become part of us, part of our DNA. It’s also one of the best things about being a fiction writer. Fiction, especially YA magical realism fiction, can take our hearts, minds and emotions beyond the boundaries of our regular existence.
But a lot of what we write starts somewhere real. A perfect example of this is the ocean aspect of Find Me. As a New Zealander, the sea has always been part of my life. Reliving time spent in the water and at the beach has been one of the delights about creating this story, knowing I am sharing experiences that my readers will feel, that will become part of their lives too via my words.
Like light-filled bubbles spilling towards the surface, and shafts of light rippling through water. The feel of salt-water on your skin, the bitter taste of it; the joy and adrenaline of being beneath the surface, and moving in and between the waves. And the shadow of fear that lurks, of what may lie just out of sight in the blue-green water. Here’s an excerpt from chapter 32, The Others, that draws on those ocean joys and fears, in the context of Skye’s involvement with Hunter.
Soon her toes no longer brushed the sand. Treading water for a second, closing her eyes she allowed herself to sink beneath the surface, hearing her heartbeat through the rushing gurgle of water filling her ears. Eyes still closed, she sank into a crouch, her toes touching the bottom. She recalled Hunter’s face opposite hers, blurred by water. Everything led her thoughts to him.
Remembering his delighted grin, water-prismed sunlight rippling over him, she smiled, releasing a stream of bubbles. She opened her eyes in the stinging water for a moment, hoping to see him hovering before her once more. Far ahead in the hazy distance the glimpse of a shadow set off sparks inside her.
Needing air, she rose to the surface, tipping her head back a little as she emerged, allowing the water to smooth her hair back off her face. Blinking her eyes clear, she pulled forward again, eagerly peering around. She was rewarded by another fleeting glimpse of a shadow. Her smile widened, on the verge of happy laughter.
But the single shadow was joined by another, drawing closer, moving swiftly. Multiplying. Sharks? Horribly vulnerable, she trod water again, her mind slowing with fright.
Close now, the shadows resolved themselves into shapes, distinguishable as submerged people, moving like fish through the water, encircling her. Her fear became tinged with fascination, and tentative relief. Brittle excitement filled her as she realised that at last she had encountered Hunter’s clan.
The circling figures slowed, and in front of her a head broke the surface. She recognised the blond-haired boy from the strange watchful group. A disturbing sense of déjà vu gripped her. Why was this moment, this face, so familiar beyond the couple of distant sightings she’d had of him?
She met his blue eyes. His smile was mischievous, but his eyes were full of intent. Skye’s heart sank, her fragile relief shattering. She tried to return his smile, feeling like a dreaming child trying to pacify a nameless menace.
“I said ‘next time’,” his voice caressed, “And I always keep my word.” His blue eyes seemed to glitter blackly at her as he murmured, “Come with me.”
Join Skye and Hunter as they discover each other, and their worlds collide. Share the story of an ordinary girl and the extraordinary love that leads her beyond impossible.
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