Author Kiri R. Newton has stopped by today with a guest post for the Undertow blog tour.
Josiah vs NoxWhen I began developing the conflict in my head, Undertow was initially going to be a protest against the pollution of the ocean and the wanton killing of its inhabitants. When I was about twelve I watched someone spear a full-grown turtle through the throat and then leave it to suffocate. I guess that left an impact on me because I get filled with a rage when I see whales being slaughtered or coral reefs being destroyed or the vast stretches of waste floating in our oceans. This is why the initial conflict in the story is that of mer-folk dying due to pollution. Then I developed it further, tracing the source not to the likely culprit of humans but instead fellow mer-folk. That I felt was much more of a twist because no one expects these happy, songbird creatures to be willingly killing one another right? Trouble is by the time I figured out what Nesoi and Nox were up to I realized I had a problem. You see Nox and Josiah spawn from the same person, an ex-boyfriend who had clinical split-personality disorder, among other things. He had the dominant side that most people saw; happy, bubbly, life of the party and everyone’s best friend. But then as I began to get to know him I realized something else lurked under the surface. The ‘Josiah’ side of his personality would build and build and then he would crash and ‘Nox’ would come out of hiding. It was like dealing with two vastly different people, he wouldn’t even remember what he said most of the time. ‘Nox’ as I started calling him was dark, moody and temperamental and yet that’s when his musical talents would shine. In our relationship I was constantly being pulled between both sides. While ‘Josiah’ was hilarious and the kind of person you always wanted to be around ‘Nox’ had an intoxicating darkness that I thrived on. When I came to writing in the two characters Zoe had to be pulled both ways but as I realized the full extent of Nesoi’s plots I realized there was no way Zoe could be in love with someone who was willingly involved with Nesoi’s plots. This is why I wrote Nox the way he is, a tortured soul who can see no way to escape his mother’s influence. Nox had to be the polar opposite twin of Josiah; they had to be essentially wired the same way, even looking similar in a completely opposite way. It turned into the ultimate battle of light and darkness for Zoe’s heart. I then also discovered a local band, the lead singer of which who just so happen to provide a perfect vessel to put ‘Nox’ into and the whole thing fell together like a sinister jig-saw puzzle. By the time I finished writing Undertow I had split up with owner of these two characters. For at least six months the book ended at Chapter 28 but in a spat of anger and egged on by the notion that there’s no such thing as a happy ending, I wrote the epilogue. At the moment I am regretting ending the book the way I did because it’s a cliff-hanger that has to be followed up. I left too many loose ends that need to be explained and at the time I thought I was very clever doing so but now, faced with writers block I’m regretting it. I will one day write the sequel but don’t hold your breath.
Author: Kiri R. Newton
Publisher: Bookpal Austrailia
Blub: For far too long these sailor-drowning, ship-sinking sea sirens have been portrayed as happy, peaceful creatures who want nothing more than to fall in love with a prince and live happily ever after. Undertow is an unconventional twist on one of the oldest mythological creatures known to man.
About Kiri R. Newton