Cursed and My Drive to Write
by Trakena Prevost
I’ve always been a fanciful child. The kind of girl who preferred to lose herself in a great story filled with the fantastical creatures we all know and love. So, in 2007, when surrounded by a plethora of creative folks of color, and inspired to find my own creative voice, the idea of writing stories seemed as natural as breathing to me. Now looking back at my own path to the holy grail of publication, there was no way for me to really know how exciting and challenging that journey would be.
Getting Cursed published took five years, two books (both of which are stored on a drive somewhere, to be seen at a later time…I hope), and a lot of blood, ink, and tears…but it was totally worth it! Cursed started as many good stories do, with a question: What if the drug problems of our world came from a paranormal source? With that question the Dorgai and Suecai were born.
There were a lot of questions that followed that first initial wandering. Where did they come from? How do they feed? Why did the Suecai turn bad? What motivated my main character, Jazz, into the vengeful spiral that drives the beginnings of this tale? With each one my love of these people and the world I built continued to grow and thrive to the point of obsession. That obsession, as well as my goals as a writer, is what kept me going in spite of the many obstacles I faced.
See, writing can be a lonely and tough road, so you have to be focused on your goals as a writer if you’re going to make it through. As for me, my goals didn’t involve being rich and famous (because let me tell you, if that’s your goal as a writer, you might be kicking rocks for a while, if not forever. There are probably hundreds of unknowns for every J.K. Rowling). All I ever wanted was to write great paranormal fantasy that the younger version of myself yearned to read. Great stories with a diverse cast of characters that I could relate to.
And that’s why I keep going every day – that’s why I face the blank page – because we need more of that. We need for all young people to be able to see themselves in great stories.
And that’s what I plan to keep doing. Up next for me is to conquer the second installment of Jazz’s story, where she’ll be tempted beyond her wildest imaginings. I’m also working on a book about Djinn (formal term for Genies) where I focus on the idea of free will and what that means to us all. My hope is that I can continue to create entertaining and crazy tales that cause my readers to think just a little differently about the world around us!
Blurb: Half-succubus Jazz Watkins spends her days navigating the halls of Moreland High and her nights knee deep in Chicago drug dens hunting Suecai – an evil kind of incubi and succubae who devour the souls of humans. But when a leader of the Suecai curses her, Jazz has to track him down. Either she kills him before the curse burns through her, or she’ll become a full-fledged, out of control, soul sucking monster.
She’s got a handful of weeks, absolutely no leads, and her sexy best guy-friend and team member, Khan, covering her back. But will the growing attraction she feels for Khan get in the way of her mission to save her own life?
So I waited. Soon enough, three Suecai surrounded me.
The redhead and blonde chicks looked as if they’d stepped straight out of a bar in the 1970’s, with their teased hair and retro, glittery nightwear. They were almost pretty, if you were into that whole “blast from the past” sort of thing. The guy with them towered over me with his thick and hardened limbs. His clothes weren’t as crazily out of date, looking as if he’d just gotten off work at some factory. But the faded jeans and white T-shirt look that most factory workers loved hadn’t really changed over the years, so that wasn’t saying much. Each of the vermin had eyes electric-blue with the Chi they’d consumed.
If I hadn’t already known what they were, their eyes would’ve been a dead giveaway. You had to catch them uncloaked to see that, though. And the only way to do that was to surprise them somehow – catch them mid-feed, flash them with beams of light without warning, get them seriously riled up, or something along those lines.
The three around me started doing that mental connection thing they liked so much. I could tell because they kept making facial expressions that should’ve had some dialog to go with them, but didn’t.
They sized me up, and I knew what they saw – a chocolate child with the sort of toned curves that could drive the boys crazy in the right gear. My black hair was pulled back in a tight French braid that fell just past my shoulders. My hazel eyes, no doubt tight with the anticipation I felt, were the only part of my face they could see past the standard issue mask that we Guardians wore.
Oh yeah, I was the embodiment of danger. They were sure to be shakin’ in their out-of-date boots… not. That slip-up in judgment on their part would work nicely in my favor.
The blonde looked at me with a lazy sigh while the redhead twirled a piece of her long locks. Gigantor shrugged. Each of them took a step towards me, and I went into super-concentration mode. With my hearing I tracked the blonde to my left. I kept the redhead to my right in my sights the same way. Gigantor in front had my full attention.
From the relaxed stances of the women, they’d assumed I would take on Gigantor first. The way I’d honed in on him, I’d expected they would. Instead, I took two steps to my right, twisting my sword in that direction, and pierced Red in the chest. I kicked Gigantor in the stomach as I pulled my weapon free and sliced down on Blondie’s neck.
Trakena Prevost was born and raised in the great state of Texas, where everything IS bigger and the people are very friendly. She spends most of her time oscillating between being completely obsessed with reading and watching Korean dramas, and writing down the fantastic tales rumbling around in her head. When not reading and writing, Trakena spends her time working in HR for a major medical system in Houston, and hanging out with her family and friends.
Trakena has always loved the many worlds she's found in books, where everything was possible. As a child, you would often catch her enjoying a good story in the comfort of the AC, instead of wilting in the Houston heat (she showed great intelligence...even then). It didn't occur to Trakena that the fanciful stories she made up for fun could one day be out in the world, but now that they are she can't imagine it any other way!
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