Monday, February 06, 2012

Promo Day: Wind Follower First Chapter

Folks say I did a great job researching the spirituality in Wind Follower. I didn't actually research anything. I tend to read a lot of anthropology so I began writing and whatever my subconscious deemed necessary just popped up as needed. I'm pretty convinced God helped me with this book.
This excerpt is the first chapter of my novel, Wind Follower. This chapter is probably the second to last chapter I wrote for the book. Probably it was the last. I don't remember exactly. All I remember was the editor emailing me and saying something like: Your main character is always talking about this past event. I think we better show it. Cause he seems so traumatized about it.
So I sat down and wrote it. Off the cuff. I think it was written in one day and critiqued by my friends the next day. Then sent to the editor. The same goes for another chapter -- the chapter about sorrows going hand-in-hand. The editor said: Uhm, we need an alternate chapter here with Satha. 
Weirdly, these chapters -- written off the top off my head and in the space of about two afternoons-- are two of my favorite chapters in Wind Follower. 
Wind Follower is primarily a fantasy romance and secondly a spiritual book. Quests, warfare, et al... are purely as needed. So although there is some fighting in the story, and although there is some talk of lances and battles in the first chapter, it's best to think of it as a romance. 

I will tell you first how Krika died.
 Okiak, his father and the chief shaman of our clan, brought Krika before the elders at the Spirit Shrine, the sacrificial mound we called Skull Place. My friend was bound hand and foot, and the skin of his face had been flailed away so that all the muscles and bones beneath his right eye glistened. He was weeping and crying out for mercy, choking on his tears. This surprised me, but I forgave it. Who could bear such pain without weeping?
Okiak lifted the shuwa, already reddened with his son’s blood, and there -- surrounded by bones and burned flesh -- remnants of the monthly sacrifices, he shouted, “My son has not obeyed me. I have warned him time and times to pay obeisance to our spirits, but he has refused.”
The spirits had ordered his death. I stood far off, struggling with my father and Pantan. Their hands held me fast and kept me from racing to Krika’s side.
Nevertheless, I called out, shouted aloud for everyone to hear. “Are the spirits so puny and helpless they must force people to worship them?”
All eyes rebuked me, yes, all the elders of the Pagatsu clan, and Father yanked me back by my arm. “Be careful, son,” he said, “lest the spirits also demand your life.”
I glared at him. “And if they did, would you be so weak as to comply?”
He turned away. “The spirits have not asked for your life. Why ponder a demand that has not been asked?”
I hated him for that. Yes, although I loved him with all my heart, I despised him for those words.
Krika continued pleading for his life. Okiak aimed his vialka and let it fly through the sky toward his son. Krika’s wail sounded over the fields and the low-hanging willows and past the Great Salt Desert. But no one spoke for him, not my father, not the other shaman, and not the Creator. He died, battered beneath a hail of stones; all eyes but mine witnessed his last breath. Father had pulled my face into his chest, and I hated my weakness for allowing it. My tears soaked his tunic. He gently stroked my head and played with my braid, and told me that I should forget, forget, forget, for death – however it comes– is the destiny of all men.
They left Krika’s body where it fell. Unburied, he was to be devoured by wild wolves and bears. Worse, his lack of a burial meant he could not enter the fields we long for. He could not hunt with the Creator. His father had damned him to everlasting grief.
      Krika had been my age-brother, taught with Prince Lihu as I was. While he lived, his presence colored my life as a wolf’s continuous howl or a woman’s singing might color the night. He seemed to rage against the spirits while yet singing to the Creator. This was a strange thing, for at that time no one in the three tribes sought the Creator; we thought those shadow gods were his servants. Even I, who was suspicious of the spirits from my birth, had never warred against them as Krika had.
      That night, as the sun set over my father’s Golden House, I escaped to the shrine. There lay Krika, broken on the ground. With many shuwas, I warded off the wolves and lions that had sniffed out my friend’s blood. But the spirits fought against me, calling from the east, west, north, and south, all creatures of earth and air. How black the field and night sky grew with their descending shadows. In the field, only two men: Krika and I, one living and one dead. All my father’s so-called Valiant Men were nowhere to be seen. Although they had battled mightily against the Angleni, on the night of Krika’s death they hid in the compound trembling in fear of the spirits.
Then, all at once, I understood the spirits had arrayed themselves in battle against me, that I would always battle them alone, for I had no, not one among my clan.

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Other participants

Check out the other members of this Online Black History Month Event:
Winston Blakely, Artist/Writer-- is a Fine Arts/Comic Book artist, having a career spanning 20 years, whose achievements have included working for Valiant Comics and Rich Buckler's Visage Studios. He is also the creator of Little Miss Strange, the world's first black alien sorceress and the all- genre anthology entitled - Immortal Fantasy.  Both graphic albums are available at Amazon, Barnes and Nobles and other online book store outlets. Visit him: or
Ja Ja (DjaDja) N Medjay , Author—DjaDja Medjay is the author of The Renpet Sci-Fi Series. Shiatsu Practitioner. Holistic AfroFuturistic Rising in Excellence. Transmissions from The Future Earth can be found at:  or on Facebook or on Twitter -!/Khonsugo 

L. M. Davis, Author--began her love affair with fantasy in the second grade.  Her first novel, Interlopers: A Shifters Novel, was released in 2010, and the follow-up Posers:  A Shifters Novel will be released this spring.  For more information visit her blog or her website

Milton Davis, Author – Milton Davis is owner/publisher of MVmedia, LLC . As an author he specializes in science fiction and fantasy and is the author of Meji Book One, Meji Book Two and Changa’s Safari. Visit him:   and
Margaret Fieland, Author-- lives  and writes in the suburbs west of Boston, MA
with her partner and five dogs. She is one of the Poetic Muselings. Their poetry anthology, Lifelines is available from  Her book, "Relocated," will be available from MuseItUp Publishing in July, 2012. The Angry Little Boy," will be published by 4RV publishing in early 2013.  You may visit her website,

Valjeanne Jeffers, Author -- is an editor and the author of the SF/fantasy novels: Immortal, Immortal II: The Time of Legend and Immortal III: Stealer of Souls. Her fourth and fifth novels: Immortal IV: Collision of Worlds and The Switch: Clockwork will be released this spring. Visit her at: and and
Alicia McCalla, Author- writes for both young adults and adults with her brand of multicultural science fiction, urban fantasy, and futurism. Her debut novel, Breaking Free will be available February 1, 2012.  The Breaking Free theme song created by Asante McCalla is available for immediate download on itunes and Amazon. Visit her at:
Carole McDonnell, Author--She writes Christian, speculative fiction, and multicultural stories. Her first novel is Wind Follower. Her short fiction has appeared in many anthologies and have been collected in an ebook, Spirit Fruit: Collected Speculative Fiction.  Visit Carole:  or
Rasheedah Phillips,Author--is the creator of The AfroFuturist Affair in Philly. She plans to debut her first spec/sci-fic novel Recurrence Plot in Spring 2012. You may catch her ruminating from time to time on her blog,
Nicole Sconiers, Author-is also a screenwriter living in the sunny jungle of L.A. She holds an MFA in creative writing from Antioch University Los Angeles, and she recently published Escape from Beckyville: Tales of Race, Hair and Rage.  Visit her: 
Jarvis Sheffield, M.Ed. is owner & operator of, & Visit him:

Thaddeus Howze, Author-- is a veteran of the Information Technology and Communications industry with over twenty-six years of experience. His expertise is in re-engineering IT environments using process-oriented management techniques. In English, that means he studies the needs of his clients and configures their offices to optimize the use of information technology in their environment. Visit him: or

Balogun Ojetade, Author—of the bestselling “Afrikan Martial Arts: Discovering the Warrior Within” (non-fiction), “Moses: The Chronicles of Harriet Tubman” (Steampunk) and the feature film, “A Single Link”. Visit him:


Anonymous said...

Wonderful! I had a similar feeling about Interlopers. I wrote the first draft in two months; it was like it came through me.

Carole McDonnell said...

Thanks, Shifter! Sometimes words come so easily. -C

Alicia said...

Carole I love this story! It feels like folklore and action intertwinned. I downloaded it on my Kindle Fire. Thanks for sharing!

Carole McDonnell said...

Thanks so much, Alicia. I hope you like it.

Margaret Fieland said...

Wow, absolutely AMAZING. I'm blown away. I have to read this book.

Carole McDonnell said...

Thanks so much, MadcapMaggie. I appreciate it. Remember, it's a Christian romance. -C

Margaret Fieland said...

I bought it for my kindle --
Actually, in spite of not being a Christian, I've read a fair number of Christian romances. I find they make interesting reading, as the source of conflict tends to be more deeply motivated than a lot of "regular" romances, where often I want to shake the characters and yell, "For goodness sake, talk to each other.

Carole McDonnell said...

Thanks, Maggie! I appreciate that. I generally don't read Christian romances alas. But I know what you mean. I watch a lot of Korean and Japanese romances and there are moments I just want to shake a character and say, "Seriously, is shyness a national trait or something?"

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