The work-in-progress blog tour: Never Sleep

Today I’m participating in a work-in-progress blog tour. The rules: link back to the previous blog post, then describe your current work in progress, with the openings of the first three chapters, and finally tag another author blog to carry things onwards.

I was tagged by the lovely Pauline Ross, author of the epic fantasy novels, The Plains of Kallanash and The Fire Mages. I have The Plains of Kallanash on my Kindle, and I can’t wait to dig into this magical epic.

My current work-in-progress is Never Sleep. This is a bit of a cheat as Never Sleep is mostly finished and being published later this month, but I haven’t yet started on my brand new book as I’m finishing up last-minute proofreads this week for Never Sleep.

This book is a YA science fiction about a girl with chronic, months-long insomnia, who goes on an epic adventure through underground New York City to find the only cure for her fatal disease.

Here are the openings of the first three chapters:

Chapter 1

They come in the night. The Sleep Clinic is cold when the curves of the moon knife into the black sky. And as I watch the last rays of sun melt away through the barred window of the sterile, white room I’ve called home for the past three months, I can’t stop my hands from shaking.

One hundred and twenty-seven days. It’s the longest I’ve gone without sleep.

I don’t turn when the door cricks open. Instead, I hug my arms to my chest and shiver underneath the thin cotton gown they make me wear every night.

“Thora,” Doctor Clark calls out in his typical soothing tone. “It’s time for your Polysomnography in the lab.”

“You mean my experiment.”

Chapter 2

I groan and pry my eyes open. The first thing I see is Doctor Clark’s weathered face hovering over mine. Ugh. He shines a sharp light into my eyes. I blink rapidly and shift my head. Drumbeats pound against my forehead.

“What happened?” I’m surprised my voice comes out steady when my skull bones feel on the brink of shatter. “Did I Collapse?” The sudden burst of energy I usually get after a Collapse treatment is achingly absent, but from what I can remember, I pretty much morphed from Neverendingly-Awake-Thora into Heap-On-The-Floor.

“No, you didn’t Collapse. You had a fainting spell of some sort. Most likely a complication of your Lucid Hallucination.” His voice sounds at the edge of delight, like he is excited by my “development” but trying to reign it in. I don’t like it.

Chapter 3

“Wait,” I say. “We need to make sure Nurse Lucianne is busy doing something else so she doesn’t follow us.”

“Good point.” Odin sits again, and we focus our eyes on the TV, waiting for Nurse Lucianne to come back. But for the first time, I have a hard time concentrating on Buffy and the Scooby Gang, my thoughts focused on what happened last night.

It’s impossible to ignore how much pain the Lucid Hallucination caused. The only other times I felt something that severe were during treatments after I Collapsed. Could the two be related somehow? A Collapse is the worst thing for me—when my body hits its breaking point and collapses into a deep comatose state. But then again, it’s also the best. It’s the only time I’m able to sleep, and when they wake me with a treatment, I feel incredibly, completely, and overwhelmingly alive. So, maybe they are trying to push my body to a Collapse, and that’s why they got so excited by my progress.

Next up on the Work in Progress Blog Tour is Michael Omer, author of The Narrowdale series.

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