Harperpages

The blog of author Harper Alexander


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The Delirium Trilogy by Lauren Oliver

I want to start featuring more books and authors who deserve promotion here on my blog, so today I’m going to start with a feature of a trilogy that I’ve been reading, that I also happen to be really enjoying. I picked up Delirium by Lauren Oliver awhile back as a branching-out venture, not at all certain what I would find between the pages. I was pleasantly surprised for a few reasons, which I’ll list below, but firstly here are the books linked to their Amazon.com sales pages:

Delirium Pandemonium Requiem

I think the covers are quite nice, which never hurts my interest, but I was pleasantly surprised by the story and writing style of the author as well. I’m a pretty big fan of dystopia, and I thought this story presented a very interesting take on a dystopian society. I happen to love a little romance with my adventure, too, so I was very drawn in by the main theme of this dystopian society focusing around ‘love’, and love being a disease that everyone needs to be cured from, and the main character being a rebel and going for that whole forbidden love thing, etc. Just a very interesting mix of genres, to me.

As an author, I found I really appreciated the story because I myself identify with the author’s writing style. I see a lot of myself in her – the lyrical prose, the love of commas and adjectives and metaphors… Some people get really overwhelmed by this type of thing, and feel that it gets too ‘prosy’. But what I love about this author is her deft ability to balance prose with simplicity. While my own prose has been heavily praised by some, I’ve also received feedback to the tune of ‘sometimes a sigh is just a sigh, and that’s all it needs to be’. I love the way Lauren Oliver seems to be able to get carried away with the right sentences, but leave some alone. She knows when a sigh needs to just be a sigh, and when it needs to be a gusty, windswept current forged in the soul-deep recesses of despair.

There were a couple things I didn’t love love about the first book, and to be honest it took me awhile to purchase the other two books in the trilogy, although I always planned on it. But especially now that I’ve gotten into the second book and really recognized the reason her writing speaks to me, I’m falling in love with these books outright.

I can’t wait to see what happens throughout this second installment, and then in the final book of the trilogy!


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Starless Excerpt

I’m making steady progress on Starless, and thought I’d drop a little excerpt today for anyone who’s interested!

***

Biric swam out of her dreams sometime in the middle of the night, the lancing pain of her injuries dragging her back to consciousness.

A silhouette shifted near her pallet as she woke.

Darra?” she whispered. She had hoped not to wake the other girl with her agonized listlessness, but Darra was often sensitive to the sound of her awakening in pain. She would be right there, ready to give up sleep to hold Biric’s hand.

The silhouette crouched over her. Fingers curled over her cheek and mouth. The musky smell of grease and woodsmoke filled her nose.

Not Darra’s scent.

Biric grasped at consciousness, craning her neck to get a look at the figure’s face. Alarm trickled into her like a candle trying to light in the wind, but it was so hard to make anything matter over the pain.

It was hard to see in the dark, but a distinctly male pair of eyes peered down at her. The figure crouched close, keeping his voice low.

If you want to get out of here, come with me.”


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Starless – Coming to Life!

cropped-banner-53.jpg

One thing I really love about being an artist and a writer is that when I start writing a new book, I can create imagery to bring aspects of the story to life. This comes in handy chiefly when it comes to making my own book covers, but it always turns into so much more on my end, as well. Scenery for the world, character profiles, excessive posters and backgrounds, etc.

I got so excited about starting work on my new venture Starless, last night, that I paused writing to start making the cover for the book, even though I’m only 3 chapters in. That led to two separate cover options, which I’m having trouble deciding between. And then THAT led to creating promotional banners (as you can see from above).

I’m really excited to share all of these visual pieces of the book, but I don’t want to get too ahead of myself and use up all the hype in the early stages of writing the book. So, for now, I just wanted to share this banner with you, since I am putting it up on my blog to get an early start on promotion. I will go as far as to say that I took pieces of the cover and used them to make the banner, so the cover does look something like this. But I’ll leave you with that teaser until a later point in the process of finishing the book.

Back to writing!


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New in the Works

Now that Deep Breather is complete, I will be working on (yes, the fourth book in the Breathtaker series, but also…) an exciting new darling called Starless!

I plan to finish up the next Ace book as well, but it’s been taking more brainstorming than anticipated, so we’ll see how that develops over the next couple months.

As for Starless, it takes place in a really neat Dystopian setting like you’ve never seen before, and it centers around some pretty high-concept ideas having to do with destiny and free will and the apocalypse being written in the stars. And a main character who, maybe, happens to not have a destiny. That whole ‘Chosen One’ theme is so overdone, I feel, that I wanted to go for more of a ‘wild card’ approach, while achieving the same, epic, ‘you’re the one who can change everything’ concept.

So there you have it – what’s brewing on the agenda! I feel like a lot of what I’ve written in the past has really been about practice and finding my voice as a writer, and I’m finally taking the leap to the real deal. Who’s to say if it will be a masterpiece, exactly, but that is more the goal this time around.

Here we go!


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Deep Breather Wrap Cover

Deep Breather Wrap Cover

And we’ve got another beauty, ladies and gents. I mean, if I do say so myself. I never feel like it’s bragging when I go on about how pretty these covers are, because the elements I’m working with just naturally create AMAZING results. The blue, the water, the mystical Atlantis-like lore… It just can’t help but equal gorgeously awesome.

Really, it’s like there’s real Atlantian magic weaving itself into these covers. Whenever I get one finished up, I look at it and think ‘why isn’t every book I ever write about Atlantis?’. It’s such a great subject to work with.

Anyway! The point of this post is that I’ve gotten the wrap cover for Deep Breather wrapped up (pun intended), and it’s all ready for it’s release in both ebook and paperback now. So, on to the actual release of the thing!

But enjoy this eye candy in the meantime:

Deep Breather Wrap Cover


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Impending Release

Well, I’ve finished the first round of edits on Deep Breather, leaving it almost ready for its release the day after tomorrow. I plan to go over it again tomorrow, just for final tweaks, and then get it all formatted so I can upload it for publication tomorrow night! If all goes well, it will then be available for purchase on the 28th, which happens to be the deadline I ruthlessly set for myself.

If you can call it ruthless to put my foot down and give myself a month after letting tentative release dates in January and February pass by.

I’m pleased with how the story manifested in this third installment of the saga, and I’m now looking forward to starting the fourth and final book, and actually wrapping up a series!

If you aren’t up to speed, check out Breathtaker, the first book in the series – available here!


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The Breathtaker Saga – Meet Ash

The release of Deep Breather, the third book in the Breathtaker saga, is right around the corner! Three days, to be exact.

To tide over fans of the saga until the release, I’ve been doing some fun posts to introduce readers to the characters from the book, since I happen to have most of them documented in picture-form on Pinterest.

Today we’re meeting Ash!

Ash 1

Ash is a very special character to me. He’s an old-fashioned bloke thrust into the crazy, chaotic modern world, trying to deal with being brought back from the dead after the love of his life inadvertently killed him, nearly a century ago. Having taken his life-force for herself, she is still alive, and there to welcome him back. It’s not every day that a man gets a second chance with the woman who killed him, ay?

That and other things make Ash’s character a very interesting character to write. He is good, and troubled, and noble, and conflicted. Old-fashioned, but very down to earth. Maybe a little bit awkward, but you’d never really know it,  because he has a very assured sense of self, and makes most things about others than himself anyway. (Namely Breya, of course, as she’s caught up in far more madness even than he has been thrust into, and he loves her like every girl ought to be loved.)

And isn’t he handsome to look at? 🙂

Ash 2


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Deep Breather Blurb

I was too excited to really dive into edits after finishing Deep Breather yesterday, but I wanted to keep  the ball rolling, so I went ahead and wrote the blurb. I may edit it still, but here’s the gist!

***

The hunt raging against the Breathtakers has taken a dramatic turn, resulting in Breya’s capture. The cruelty that she endures at the hands of the Sharks echoes in those she has bonded her life-force to, thanks to the act of sharing the tide of her breathing with them.

This unique bond has its benefits, such as allowing those on the other end to track their awareness of her to where she is being held. But it also has complications, leaving her intimately bonded to two different men.

To make matters worse, her captor has done something to her that’s forced her supernatural heritage to come out of the woodwork to save her life, and so that side of her is now evolving – doing nothing to help her moral convictions of giving up her Breathtaker tendencies.

Strange things are happening around the mansion, too, leaving Ash – whom she is just starting to restore a relationship with – unable to breathe in its vicinity.

Then there are the hazy bouts of sleepwalking out to sea.

Will these things and the intrigue of a mysterious Atlantian snowglobe prove to be Breya’s undoing? Or will she find an anchor in something – or someone – that surrounds her?

Or is it inevitable that all roads lead to her eventual surrender to the Great Abyss?


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It’s Finished, It’s Finished, It’s Finished!

Deep Breather cover

Well there you have it, ladies and gents, weighing in at 5,300 over my intended word count, Deep Breather is complete! Now to dive into edits, because finished or not, the deadline I’ve set is still ridiculously optimistic.

So I won’t waste any more time on this announcement, but it deserved a quick shout-out from the rooftops!

Now, I’ve basked for three seconds; back to work!