Before Karlee could get the next book on the shelf, a loud thunk made her jump. Spinning around to face the disturbance, she took a slow step forward. “Hello?” At first only silence answered her and then a distant click followed by another and then the sound echoed through the disorganized mess. She took another step, but it wasn’t until the lights illuminated the hallway clicked off that she realized what the sound was.
Backing away from the approaching darkness, Karlee turned to run. The clicking of the lights going out behind her grew louder. On the other side of the basement was the door that led outside and onto the street. She ran faster as her heart started to race. As the clicking grew louder and closer, she heard heavy feet hurrying along with it.
The lights directly above Karlee started to shatter. Sparks cascaded down on her and bounced across the floor. Making a quick turn, she could see the door just a few yards away, but just as she was closing the distance, she felt something tug at her hair. Letting out a shriek, she dashed towards the steps that led away from her tormentor. As one foot touched down on the stair, the other was yanked out from under her. She crashed into the wooden steps and felt a cold solid mass wrap itself around her ankle. It began to slither up her leg and she kicked out, desperately trying to clamber away.
There was nothing but darkness behind Karlee. Even the thing that held onto her and was scratching at her skin seemed to be made of shadows. She screamed as she felt the first hard tug. Reaching up, she grabbed the edge of the top step and held on. Another hard tug jerked her, nearly ripping her away from the relative safety of the stairs. Just when she thought her leg would be torn off, the door above her burst open and she was blinded by a brilliant flash of light shooting through the darkness.
“Be gone, shadow spawn!” a deep voice boomed, and Karlee felt the thick shadows jerk franticly away. Scrambling up the steps, she saw the shining man who had saved her and ran straight into his arms. A strong arm wrapped around her and she found herself tucked against the man’s side.
From beside the stranger, Karlee could see the source of the brilliant light. It radiated from a small stone he held in the palm of his hand. Beyond him, she could also see the illuminated darkness left in the library basement. The light allowed her to see the collection of books and the wreathing shadows that had chased her. Misshapen human shadows were wriggling in the light as if it was burning them. Staring at it, she felt fear rake over her, violently sending her heart into her throat and blocking the scream she couldn’t seem to conjure.
The man slammed the door, hiding the horrid sight from Karlee and in one smooth motion, took her hand and turned towards the road. “I have to get you out of here,” he said as he started to pull her away from the library and down the sidewalk.
J. R. White has been telling stories for as long as she can remember. After her marriage in 2008 she found the freedom to dive headfirst into her personal world of fiction. Currently she lives in the Upstate of South Carolina with her family, where she fills her daughter’s head with fairy tales.
The Book Junkie Reads . . .Reckless Dreams Interview with . . . J.R. White ...
Do you feel that writing is an ingrained process or just something that flows naturally for you?
For me writing came naturally. I was telling stories before I could write them. Over the years I like to think my writing has improved and I’m always looking for challenges and chances to learn new things.
What mindset or routine do you feel the need to set when preparing to write (in general whether you are working on a project or just free writing)?
Writing with a clear mind is really important for me. I normally try to get myself into the mindset of my characters before sitting down for planned projects, but every now and then I just go for free writing.
Do you take your character prep to heart? Do you nurture the growth of each character all the way through to the page? Do you people watch to help with development? Or do you build upon your character during story creation?
All of the above. Like most writers my characters are very real to me. They don’t form completely developed, but they grow throughout the entire writing process. There is a lot of prep work and people watching before I start writing, but they continue to grow and develop as I’m writing their story.
Do you have a character that you have been working on that you can't wait to put to paper?
There is a character that I’ve worked on and developed for years and I would love to find the perfect story for him. He has a very rich background and a stable personality. Unfortunately he just hasn’t fit into anything. He’s been a side character in some stories over the years but never the star. I have tried to create a story for him, but nothing works. I think he may end up being my hero that rides off into the sunset.
Can you share your next creative project(s)? If yes, can you give a few details?
Reckless Dreams is the first in a three book series, Stories from the Dream Realm. Currently I’m working on the third book, Noble Intent, and am editing the second book, Shadows Fall. These are scheduled to release later this year. There is also a sister series, Stories from the Realm Beyond, that is working its way through my brain and notes too.
Where would you spend one full year, if you could go ANYWhere, money is not a concern? What would you do with this time?
Anywhere for a year. Wow, there’s a number of places, but I’d have to say one of those old medieval castles in Europe that have been partly modernized. I’d wander the place constantly and probably explore all the nearby countryside. A place like that just seems like it would offer near endless inspiration.