Welcome to #14Debuts! Today I’m featuring:
Wordless by AdriAnne StricklandPublication Date: August 8th, 2014 Publisher: Flux In Eden City, a member of the illiterate wordless class would never dream of meeting the all-powerful Words … much less of running away with one. So when a gorgeous girl literally falls into his lap during a routine trash run, seventeen-year-old Tavin Barnes isn’t sure if it’s the luckiest or worst day of his life. That girl is Khaya, the Word of Life, who can heal a wound or command an ivy bush to devour a city block with ease. And yet she needs Tavin’s help.
By aiding Khaya’s escape from the seemingly idyllic confines of Eden City, Tavin unwittingly throws himself into the heart of a conflict that is threatening to tear the world apart. Eden City’s elite will stop at nothing to protect the shocking secret Khaya hides, and they enlist the other Words, each with their own frightening powers, to bring her back.
A book about words. Yes. That is all. (BUT SERIOUSLY. This book looks so good. My friend’s birthday is two days after the release of Wordless, so I might have to grab a copy for myself while I get a copy for her…)
Guest Post–AdriAnne Strickland: Why I Love Words (And Not Only Write Stories With Them but About Them)
I’ve talked before about the power of words, and their potential to create or destroy. They’re ideas, the building blocks for just about anything, whether good or bad, imaginary or real. So no wonder I was in love with words from the get-go. Words were a magical key that unlocked incredible worlds.
As soon as I realized I could use words to create any narrative I wanted—from a made-up past on a farm, to a lie about who ate all the candy, to my wildest imaginings of fantastical lands—I was hooked. Literally addicted to them. Yes, this affinity may have manifested itself in a bout of chronic lying when I was a kid (and a slight tendency to want to exaggerate stories for dramatic effect as an adult), but it also resulted in a lot of writing.
I actually started writing before I knew how to write. From the beginning, stories were for me all about the words comprising them (sounds backwards, I know), and the written kind more than the spoken kind. Because somehow words on paper felt more real to me, more permanent. They could spread beyond the limited range of hearing, because others could read them at great distances. And I wanted my words to be read.
Who knows why? To this day, I still don’t, other than some deep, inexplicable need to tell my stories to other people. We all come into this world screaming our heads off, and maybe I just haven’t been able to stop.
My first book was a collection of jagged scribbles with stick-man drawings, telling the adventures of an intrepid explorer battling crocodiles in a jungle—too much like Indiana Jones or Atari’s Pitfall! for originality’s sake (anyone remember that game?)—but it was a launching point. And from there I blasted off into the microcosm in my mind—existing in each of our minds in some form—filled with imaginary worlds and people just waiting to bust out on paper… to become “real.” Words were the bridge from my universe to this one.
So it makes sense that my first published book would be about the words that I love so much. In the case of my story, certain people are Words, with the ability to make whatever they say a reality (within certain limits). On the surface, they seem like the most powerful people on the planet, especially to my main character, who is wordless—a.k.a. illiterate and lacking any kind of power, whether social or supernatural. But even the people who embody certain words still struggle to be heard, to show who they really are and to say what they really want to the world… and maybe my main character isn’t as different from them as he thought.
After all, words are an imperfect, if incredible, way to express ourselves. Cramming a complex idea into a few letters has been an amazing innovation, but it has its limits. And maybe that’s why some of us have to keep using them over and over again, shouting our stories for as long as we’re breathing in an attempt to communicate the hidden worlds inside of us.