Tuesday, 20 December 2011

DISTANT FUTURE TEASER

Hello all! Did anyone notice the date today? It's the 21st! Only four more sleeps 'til Christmas! How did this happen? *Hugs self with mingled panic and excitement*

In honour of the holiday season, I'm going to be taking a tiny hiatus here, and won't be posting on Friday this week or Monday next week. This is to ensure that the levels of nonsense on the blog remain low, because what with sorting out last minute presents, cooking Christmas dinner and various other baked treats, dealing with relatives (including my brother who only comes home once a year) AND the fact that I just got my edits back for The Night Itself, anything I post is highly unlikely to be thoughtful and good quality. What can I say? I'm good, but I'm not THAT good.

So, as a special treat this Wednesday, I'm going to share a teaser from a book that you won't be seeing on shelves until 2015 (although I will be telling you more about it before then!). It's not one of the Katana Trilogy books. It's a standalone high fantasy, but it's set in Tsuki no Hikari no Kuni (or The Moonlit Lands), the setting I invented for Shadows on the Moon, and like Shadows on the Moon, it is inspired by a fairytale. This book is literally only a few pages and a synopsis at the moment - the literary equivalent of a twinkle in my eye, and that means the sample you're getting is even more subject to change or deletion than normal.

Bearing that in mind... Follow the cut for teasing!

“There is a monster in the forest.

Do not sneer at what I say - and do not protest, for I saw the look in your eye, the flash of pity and doubt. You think me a foolish child. But I am not a child. I am not a fool. I do not speak of some sinister, shadowy figure used to threaten babies to obedience, a half-seen terror dreamed up by drink and superstition. The thing is real. Its slashing fangs and claws, its night-glowing eyes, its hot carrion-stinking breath, are real. I have known this all my life.

Before I was born, it stole my grandmother. By the time I was old enough to walk, my uncle had gone to join her. When I was ten...my older brother was taken.

Oh yes, there is a monster in the forest. And it craves human flesh.

It is a truth we cannot escape, those of us who make a life here on the mountain. Sometimes, at the dark of the moon, men and women are drawn into the trees. No one knows what calls them, what they see or hear that makes them fling aside a lifetime of caution and care. What sings to them so strongly that they will abandon everything they love for the embrace of the darkness under the rustling leaves. We only know that they go. And they do not come back.

All except one. 

One returned. But it was already too late for him, so the healer says.

Why do we not leave this place, you ask? Why stay here on the green slopes of Mount Moonview, when the great city, the city of the moon, the jewel of the Moonlit lands, is there less than two week's journey away? Why not pack our things and flee while the sun is high?

Why not run from the thing in the forest?

Perhaps we are too stubborn. Too proud of the ground our great-great-grandparents cut from the hillside with nothing but stone picks and the sweat of their skin. Or maybe too frightened, for among the trees, with no beloved walls to shelter us, no familiar paths to lead us, we might all succumb to the enchantment of the trees, regardless of the shape of the Moon.
 
Both those things might be true, or neither. I only know that this mountain is within me as well as without. The iron-hard rock of the mountain is in my bones, strong and craggy under my skin, and my skin is tanned brown as the earth. The perilous shades of the trees are like the shadow of my hair, and the rushing, thundering song of the leaves the same as the music of blood in my veins. I do not love the mountain. No more than a man loves his right hand, or his eyes. I am the mountain, and I could not live anywhere else. Not if I wished to remain me.

And besides, it is not the mountain that takes loved ones. It is not the mountain that breaks hearts. No. The monster does that. The monster that takes what it wishes and never lets it go. All except once. All except one...

My grief is as sharp and hard as the point of an arrow and I know what I will do. I will go into the forest. I will go, though everyone I know believes I am mad. I will find the monster. I will make sure that it never takes another brother or father from the family that loves them. I will kill the beast with my own two hands.

Even if I die in the doing."
 

20 comments:

A.J. Mullarky said...

Sounds so exciting! I'll make a note in my diary... when I get a 2015 diary :)

Zoë Marriott said...

Alex: I'm excited about it too! Just a couple of books to write first :)

Jenni (Juniper's Jungle) said...

Oh wow, suddenly 2015 seems so far away! Very exciting peek :)

Zoë Marriott said...

Jenni: It's going to be an exciting year, definitely. With any luck I'll be having two books out, which is a first!

R.J. Anderson said...

Want... book... now...

HNGGGGGGGH, this is like waiting for THE HOBBIT all over again! Only by the time this book comes out THE HOBBIT movie will be *three years old* already!

Zoë Marriott said...

R.J. Heh - I literally giggled like a ten year old over that. Thank you :)

Kelly said...

Wow Zoe that sounds fantastic! Can't wait to read more. Grrr it's so annoying that books take so long to publish! I'll have a knee-length beard by the time it's 2015!!!

Megha said...

Wow! That sounds wonderful. You sure are a busy writer, huh? Constantly working on a book. :)

But, seriously, 2015? That is VERY far o.O

amy_celestia said...

Ooh sounds great, I'm guessing it's inspired by Little Red Riding Hood? You have so many books coming up, how exciting! I can't wait to read them all :D

Zoë Marriott said...

Kelly: Well, this one isn't even written yet, so it's not just about long delays in publishing - it's about how long it takes me to write a book as well. Sorry!

Megha: The alarming thing to me is how *close* 2015 is. I've got a lot of words to write between now and then!

Amy: Not Little Red Riding Hood, no. But I won't say anymore about the fairytale it's based on, It's far too early for me to do more than hint :)

Rebecca Lindsay said...

Oh, what a tease! lol
It sounds so, so good *claps excitedly*

2015.....so long..... lol

I can't remember the name of the story, but the monster bit sounds similar to a film that I watched that was based on a fairytale. Can't wait for more teasers :)

Zoë Marriott said...

Rebecca: Well, that's vague. Now I'm wondering what film it was and if I've accidentally plagiarised it! *Bites nails*

Krystle said...

Heyo! I haven't posted here in a long time. ^^;;. Your premise sounds awesome and the writing sample is fabulous~.

But this is going to be very nitpicky of me but Tsuki no Hikari no Kuni doesn't really translate to the Moonlit Lands. Tsuki = moon, yes. Hikari = light, yes. Kuni = land, yes, although technically represents a land that is a nation or a country, not just literally land. But using the no article between the nouns doesn't equate to Moonlit Lands.

It means Land (country) or Moonlight, or Moonlight Land to be specific. But *not* Moonlit. It's simply subtle nuance but saying Moonlit suggests some noun modification via the verb lit for moon, which is then added on to Land. I really don't know how you would say this because English just doesn't translate into Japanese that easy so you'd end up with something very long.

Tsuki no Hikari no Kuni technically means Moonlight Land if that's what you're looking for but it's really unwieldy and unnatural in Japanese. Even if you wanted to take this poetically (which the Japanese language is great at doing for certain things), no one would really see it that way. Simple because the phrasing is just too long.

For a simpler phrase that sounds more natural that means Land of Moonlight, you could say "Gekkou no Daichi". 月光の大地. Gekkou = Tsuki + Hikari added together. Daichi means land, but in regards to a vast area. You could use kuni in exchange for it if you wanted I suppose.

Yeah, that's all. I mean, it's only something very little but hmm... just tweaking it to make it seem more natural.

- Krystle -

Zoë Marriott said...

Krystle: Oh dear! I'm sure you're right - the thing is, I don't speak or write enough Japanese to have done my own translations, so I asked a friend who works at a university in Tokyo (Dr Mie Hiramoto) to look at my English names and translate them for me. I know that Moonlight Land and Moonlit Land aren't exactly the same. To me, it made sense that the English version would be slightly different to the Japanese, in the same way that if I translated, say, 'Yorkshire pudding' from English to Japanese, it wouldn't necessarily come out perfectly as 'Yorkshire pudding' for the Japanese listener at the other end. Bear in mind, too, that Tsuki no Hikari No Kuni isn't actually Japan or even a perfect analogue of Japan (or China, or any of the other cultures that inspired it). It's a fantasy Chinoiserie setting, meaning that it's not intended to be accurate, only atmospheric. I hope that makes sense! But thank you for caring enough to bring this up :)

Eafiu said...

The only thing I don't like about this teaser is that I have to wait three years for the book.

Rebecca Lindsay said...

Zoe: No you wouldn't of, don't worry. It was a pretty rubbish film and it said it was only vagualy based on it. It was about a village that lived beside a forest and people kept on going missing by a monster. That was the only detail based on it. The book ended up being a conspiracy thing within the village and was set in modern times and the monster wasn't really a monster after all.

Isabel said...

Eeek, sounds really good! Terrible of you to already be teasing us, but I'm very intrigued... hope to hear more about this in the distant future. :)

Zoë Marriott said...

Isabel: No, no, you've got it all wrong! I'm not really *teasing* you. I'm giving you a special PRESENT. That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.

Isabel said...

Haha, if it makes you feel better! ;) Thanks for sharing the teaser.

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