Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Chosen by Sheenah Freitas - Excerpt, Interview

Kaia’s entire life has erupted in flames after an assassin appears and burns her village down. She’s rescued by a god from another planet who requests her help because she’s the descendant of their last savior. Together with Reeze — the only other survivor from her village and her appointed guardian — they set off on a quest to find the treasures of the gods in hopes of preventing a dire prophesy.

Kaia and Reeze quickly meet the Tueors, a group of people many thought extinct, who are searching specifically for Kaia. Their intention: to protect the truth. As Kaia discovers more about the truth and her family’s past, she also learns of the Tueors’ bloody secret. Will Kaia be the savior the gods have been waiting for? Or will she let the prophesy come true?

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Giveaway Ends February 25th 11:59 PM CDT.

Chapter 6

It was as if she was watching herself, or perhaps she was a ghost watching a person who looked like her. Though Kaia was here—wherever here was—she was also there, on the familiar dirt path. There, she now realized, was home. The Kaia that was home was walking along the same dirt path that she last walked on when she was on Earth. Basket in hand, her pale violet dress blew gently in the wind. The sunny apron that she wore over her simplistic dress matched the fresh dandelions growing near her. The day was perfect, the animals content; nothing, it seemed, would go wrong. But Kaia knew differently when she heard the soft tune emitting from her other self.
Kaia watched as she continued walking down the same old path that led to the same old berry patch. That’s when she noticed it again. That shadow. Last time, whatever flitted by had piqued her curiosity, but she merely brushed it off. This time, her curiosity was aroused even more. She had to know what it was. Instead of following herself, she followed the shadow. Seeing it from above made her realize that the shadow wasn’t an animal. It was moving slower than one, yet faster than anyone else she knew.
The shadows of the trees made it hard to see the person’s face. She squinted, but it didn’t help. Finally, a spotlight of sun illuminated the face. She found herself looking at Reeze. But what was he doing here? He never acknowledged her when he passed. Was he always sneaking around in the village?
She floated down from her vantage point. She wanted answers and she was going to demand them from him. Suddenly, she stopped, hesitating. If she were reliving the past, would Reeze know her?
Shaking her doubts from her head, Kaia carefully took her hand started to touch his shoulder. As her hand came into contact with his shoulder, it fazed right through him. Though she was surprised, she understood. The past was already written, and there was nothing you could do alter it.
A sudden thought crept its way into her head. Maybe she was a ghost. All of the activities she had done on Zinc would then be nonexistent. Was Zinc the place where the sinful children of God were sent? It was a rightful punishment to thrust someone into a different place and tell him or her they had the heavy burden of saving this strange place, but what sin had she committed?
On the other hand, Zinc was what Earth used to be: full of life and vitality. There was little crime, and so much good about the place. Perhaps Zinc was a place where God’s favorite children were sent. But why the heavy burden? Why not reunite her with her parents?
Fighting her inner thoughts, she heard a sound. It was faint, far-off. She knew it was somebody’s voice. For a fleeting second she thought it was Tipton, but she shook it off. He was an assassin and from their brief encounter she knew he would be discreet. There was an old folk tale a few of the villagers would tell about the whispers of the trees. Could this faint voice be the trees talking to her? To warn her of something? She shook her head again, clearing her thoughts. She definitely heard that voice from somewhere. But where?
What was she doing here? She knew this place, that faint far-off voice. Kaia just couldn’t bring herself to remember. Home. She wanted to be home. But her home was dead. She was astonished to find a tear trailing down her smooth face. Slowly and carefully, as if it would disappear at any second, she touched it. It was real. Could the dead still cry?


Has someone helped or mentored you in your writing career?
I think the biggest person who has helped me in my writing career is my dad. He was the one that told me to pursue it when I was at a loss to figure out what career I wanted to pursue in high school.
What is the hardest part of writing your books?
Writing out the outline and getting the first draft done. I usually know how a book begins and how it ends before I start, but I never know what happens in the middle.
Plotter or Pantser? Why?
I’m mostly a plotter. By the time I start writing the first draft, I want to know what the major points of my novel are before I start. There are things that get shuffled around and changed completely during each draft, but I like to see where my characters are going. It helps keep me organized with all the previous events that have happened in previous books, too.
How do you develop your plots and your characters? Do you use any set formula?
There’s really no set formula. Sometimes I have to think about it and force my characters to do something they don’t want to do in order for me to get that the plot should go in a different direction. As far as developing characters go, they just pop into my head. I like to sketch out their appearance too, to get a really good feel of their personality if they’re a relatively new character. I keep the picture nearby and glance at it every now and then to see if the dialogue and actions keep in line with their personality.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be everything! But I think the first thing I said was being an author. It sort of deviated from there. Like I wanted to be a marine biologist, astrologer, archaeologist, chemist, and pharmacist. When my dad suggested I pursue writing, I decided I could be all of those things through my characters.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Thank you so much, guys! I’m honored that you enjoy my work and I hope that you’ll stick with me for many more books to come. My readers are the best in the world.

Sheenah was born on the island of Oahu, but raised in the much less tropical atmosphere of Ohio. She can’t really pinpoint the time when she decided to pursue the starving artist path of being a writer, but she suspects it may have originated sometime in elementary school when she wrote her very first (but incomplete) fanfiction.

She loves to read. Although she likes the regular mainstream book, her preference is young adult. She’s quite convinced that if she could only draw better, she might have run off to California to get into the legendary CalArts and work for Disney. Room A113 awaits her in her dreams!

Her first novel, The Chosen, was based heavily on her love of magical fantasy, anime, and adorable heroines. If she was capable, she would have made the characters sing and have the story unfold in classic animated musical Disney style — but still in book form!

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mountainmama said...

Great feature. Sheenah is such a sweetie!! Good luck! said...

thanks 4 the give away

Angelya said...

The Chosen looks like a great read! Thanks for the giveaway :)

Laurie said...

The giveaway winner is Angelya :)