Obsidian Sky – a work in slow progress

I cannot blame COVID-19 for the incredibly slow progress in updating on this website. The virus has nothing to do with how I blog or write. Look back on the posts here, and you’ll see what I mean.

It’s a good thing I’m not writing fan-fiction with a chapter a week to produce.

Back in January, I was trying to decide what to publish next despite already thinking about Obsidian Sky. This novel is the third and final in the Watching Clouds series, despite the second book ending without any need for this one.

It’ll be the toughest of the three, too, because the themes revolve around death and grief.

The cover

The John Hancock building has been a character in both novels thus far, and remains one in Obsidian Sky. The way it appears on each cover also represents themes in that particular novel.

The building’s not in great shape but that’s not a lightning bolt hitting it; it’s the sun breaking through clouds. (Happy ending???) A work in progress, as much as the novel is, but a good start at protraying what’s ahead for the MC.

First draft design of the cover.

Obsidian stands for a solid black nothingness, a sky far more suffocating than a threatening one.

The realisation

There are so many memes about how writers relish killing off favourite characters. I don’t. Although I have really enjoyed the actual writing of these scenes, the characters are part of my family.

And with Mackerel Sky and Threatening Sky now published, they’re also part of the worldwide family. They have friends and fans outside of me.

The reason why I posted in January about what to publish next, when it should have been ‘this novel and nothing else’, was because of a realisation.

If I published Obsidian Sky, then one of my most beloved characters would be dead. And stay dead. Sure, he’s just a fictional creation, but I love him, my young MC loves him, and readers love him. Once published, he can’t come back from the dead. I’m not writing fantasy, paranormal or supernatural here.

This realisation hit like a brick in the face and stopped me in my tracks. Can I really kill off this character? Can I really put my MC through such heartbreak?

The answer to both of these is ‘Yes’ because I already have.

The true question is: can I publish the novel and make it real?

Introducing Adie

Addison David Malone is a gutsy, precocious teenager with crazy gingernut-coloured hair and eyes that are somehow both green and indigo. He’s got an active imagination and, infuriatingly to some, no sense of danger.

He goes by Adie because, well, wouldn’t you? No offence to his mum, who named him.

Adie’s parents think he’s just going through a phase with his attraction to guys. After all, when he told them, he was only fifteen. How would he have any idea about what he was or wasn’t?

The First Problem

His parents would have thought the phase was over if Adie hadn’t got himself picked up by the police for doing something in public with another man. Adie’s not ashamed of that or of the fact he’s been with regular guys for money. He likes the contact, and payment is a side bonus.

He doesn’t understand that being with strangers is dangerous. The danger isn’t simply from his father once he’s retrieved him from the police station; it’s the fact that this time Adie’s come into sudden ownership of counterfeiting plates.

The Second Problem

Mark is one of the men Adie has been seeing and Adie would give everything to be exclusive with him. Mark’s The One. Except, they haven’t talked in two weeks after a blazing argument. Yet, if anyone knows what to do with counterfeiting plates it’s Mark because he… Well, Adie doesn’t actually know what he does for a living, but Mark exudes danger and that’s hugely attractive.

And the plates will be a good ice-breaking tool, hopefully.

The Third Problem

Mr Malone’s losing all patience with his son – the being gay, the being picked up by the police, the inability of the kid to understand that these things are just. Not. Done. He cannot accept that Adie is gay.

When Adie says that calling him David won’t change things, he reacts with a fist and a promise that Adie will complete his final year at Black Oak Academy, a military school with a reputation.

After another incident, Adie hurriedly packs a bag and flees to Mark. Within twenty-four hours Mark is Adie’s temporary guardian and Adie is picking through his belongings on the garage floor, knowing that what he leaves behind his father will probably burn.

What Happens Next?

The outcome is up in the air.

Adie is with Mark, which he wanted, but he suddenly seems to be without parents and he’s not sure how to react. How is being gay such a terrible thing that a father would wash his hands of his child? Should he be grateful he’s away from his father’s fists and name-calling or distressed that he’s become a half orphan?

Is Mark’s love enough to keep him from falling apart?

(The image is Adie. He’s technical Raegar, an Aimerai BJD Doll.)