Kelsey Quick – YA Fantasy – A VIOLET FIRE
In the Vampire Stratocracy of Cain, humans are nothing but cattle and seventeen-year old Wavorly is one of them. Her duty? To serve her blood to the imperious and ruthless warlord, Anton Zein.
A rebellious teen with a track record for trouble, Wavorly is prepared to do anything for freedom, even risking her own life at the hands of her oppressors. When Zein expresses his affection for her through empathy, companionship, and the granting of limited privileges, Wavorly is forced to question her hate for both him and her enslavement.
Just as the tides of forbidden love begin to replace the temptations of freedom, an old friend—presumed dead—locates Wavorly. He reveals her overall importance to the salvation of humans, as well as Zein’s horrific deceit, a betrayal that leads Wavorly to a grievous choice. Abandon the truth for the vampire she loves and remain in chains, or exact rightful revenge and save the human race.
A Violet Fire (young adult fantasy with romantic elements and series potential) sits at 83,000 words and is best described as vampires meet Maas’ A Court of Thorns and Roses and Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, where the lines of freedom and enslavement are blurred by love or ameliorated by lies.
I am the working President of D&B Processing Steel out of Tulsa, Oklahoma. I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Marketing and Entrepreneurship at Oklahoma State University in 2013 and am also a comic artist/graphic novelist.
I count everything again, almost obsessively. Rope. Hooks. Ointment. Arument cloths. Six scrap metal knives. Bread and water for the next three days. My chest is still tight as a reluctant sigh passes my lips. This is it for me. The last chance I have to reclaim what’s left of my life.
The cool, night air already gives way to the spring’s warmth. The heat passes through the rips of my spent tunic, relieving my goosebump afflicted skin. Sunrise will soon be upon Nightingale and its stifling walls. A new dawn. But I’m fresh out of time to sit and hope. I rub my eyes, not wanting to start—the hardest thing to do is start. Nevertheless, I throw the rucksack over my shoulder, stand, and carefully calculate my direction before taking off. Running is something I’ve always enjoyed during recreation periods, but now it’s time to run for my life. I run faster than usual, an utterly exhaustive pace to make it to the walls on time. Still, it should work.
When I first started mapping out this escape plan six months ago, I never actually thought I would make it this far; blood pumping, stumbling through the forest, too early to be allowed out of bed, and too far off the beaten path between the dorms and the school to have a good enough excuse as to why.
If I get caught, I could maybe convince them that I just like to run. But really, who would believe that?
I estimate another fifteen minutes at this deathly pace before I reach the Eastern Wall. My dirtied, bare feet pound the earth almost soundlessly as I dodge and jump the sticks and leaves. Stealth is the difference between life and death.
The tiny anklet that I made out of twine and steel—back when I first arrived at this hell—whips my skin softly in sync with my breaths, reminding me why I never stopped fighting for this moment. Because the day I made the silly thing, was the day that I lost all hope in him to secure my future. The day I decided I would never be like the rest of the humans here.