Since I started this game, I've been fortunate to meet some really amazing, friendly, and supportive authors. Kendall Bailey is one of those folks. We hit it off right away.
It's a tough reality that we can't always do everything for our fellow writers that we would like. Happily, Kendall's and my stars aligned, and today he's stopping by to share a little bit about his new novelette, Sled Dogs, as well as his journey into writing a female protagonist.
Without further ado, I give you Kendall Bailey.
I'm a little ashamed to say that I spent the first thirty years of my life not being interested in books with female protagonists. Only three stand out: Diary & Invisible Monster, both by Chuck Palahniuk and Carrie by Stephen King. Then I wrote a novel.
Writer's hear, far too often, how important it is to build a solid writing platform. In my effort to do that I found many indie authors, all women, who wrote stories with incredible ladies leading the way. In my search for an agent I discovered Red sofa Literary Agency, specifically Laura Zats. It was Ms. Zats who introduced me to the Mako Mori and Bechdel tests (if you don't know what they are, Google 'em!) which changed the way I approached writing characters.
I wanted to write a story with a strong female lead. Sled Dogs was an exercise, or warm up, for my 2nd novel which involves a woman investigating an attack on her daughter. I liked the result so much I decided to publish it.
The furry mass appeared on the opposite river bank. They sped down one side, straight through the water, and up the other without breaking pace.
"Come on boy! Come on!"
When the dogs were about fifty yards away Alia noticed the red stains around their mouths. Each dog's white underbelly was tinted pink, from this distance it looked like they'd done a sloppy job applying lipstick. Alia stifled a laugh at the image.
They were moving too fast and frantically to tell who was who. As they approached Alia squinted with concentration, trying to tell them apart. The dog at the head of the pack made a desperate full-speed grab at Alia’s left ankle. The dog lost its footing and went tumbling past.
The next one made the same attempt and succeeded in tearing out a small chunk of skin. Alia gasped and fell backwards into the kennel. The rest of the pack was moving too fast to adjust course and ran right past.
It felt like someone had poured molten iron over her leg. She scrambled to her feet and slammed the kennel gate closed, locking herself inside.
The pack came back to the gate. Dogs pressed their noses through the holes and sniffed loudly, lapping their tongues at nothing but air. Others stood back and bared their fangs; the fur on their necks bristling. Low, guttural, growls rumbled in their throats. Their eyes weren't the same, Alia saw; there was madness in them.
I need to keep them here. They can’t get to me and if I keep them here they won’t get Dad or those nice people.
Alia stood as best she could, being careful to keep weight off her left leg. The view wasn’t great from inside the kennel but there was no sign of her dad or the tourists. She did notice Chicago, however. He was going berserk. Throwing his weight from side to side, jumping around, doing anything he could to get free of the harness.
Alia wasn’t sure if he meant to help her or hurt her. He'd been friendly with the tourists.
If he tries to help me the others will…
It was like the dogs had followed her gaze. The pack noticed the commotion behind them and turned as a group. They headed for Chicago at a trot.
Want to stalk Kendall and Sled Dogs on the Web?
Kendall's Facebook Author Page:
Kendall's Goodreads Author Page: