Sky pirates. Kidnapped bride. Clockwork people. Circus animals. Flying contraptions (heavy steampunk influence). Cigar smoke and steam. Giant golden eagles and anti-romantically romantic romance. And BIG guns.
(Please note, Clocker is a working title and it, like essentially everything else in this introduction, is subject to change.)
Exciting, no? If you've read any of my upcoming projects you will notice that I have combined two separate ideas (sky brigands and clockwork people). We'll see how well that actually works. If you know me personally you may also recognize a slight correlation between the way clockers (clockwork or partially clockwork people) are presented and the way cyborgs (mechanical or partially mechanical people) are presented in one of my favorite Disney movies (no, I won't tell you which one--guess). And, because I really am super stoked for this project, here is a little excerpt (the first approximately 500 words of today's word count):
It was late afternoon, low tide. The jetsam that had drifted over from the mainland to beach itself on Hanwood’s shores stank. Steaming beneath the late summer sun the cloth wrappings of kilstca bales, the bodies of illegal exotic pets probably dropped in the water when the Land Rangers passed by and left to drown, and contraband literature written on parchment made from animal hide gave off a stench worse than when the cemetery had flooded, bringing cadavers floating up to the surface of the water.
But Hanwood always stank. If it was not the beach refuse decaying in the heat, it was the great black chimneys belching yellow and gray smoke as they burned heaven only knew what in an effort to heat storefronts or the fumes drifting up from the cracked open street-level windows of kilstca dens. Most of the island’s residents had lived with the seasonally shifting odors of Hanwood for long enough that they could ignore it; only the mainland tourists even noticed the reek of decay rising from every aspect of the tiny islet.
Hink walked down to the beach on her midday break, regretting that the break had not come until it was nearly evening. She loved to walk the broken, littered strand and stare across the channel at the mainland and listen to the whir of the tram lines above her, the light reflecting off the water so brilliant that it turned everything white and gold. But the sun had sunk too far to scald the crests of the channel waves so Hink sucked on the stump of a cigar and observed the debris of the beach beneath her feet.
She remembered venturing down to the shoreline as a child and playing in the cold, salt water waves. Taking in a deep drag of her cigar, which smelled almost as repellant as the beach itself, she wondered why she did not remember any of the children who must have come with her.
They had probably been orphans and island-born like the children she passed on the street in the morning—so covered in filth they had hardly and need to wear clothing and one could only guess at what they actually looked like. But she could not remember and of their names or faces.
Clamping the end of her cigar between her teeth, sucking cold air into her mouth around it, she bent to gingerly turn over a long, narrow wood frame. The sea water had warped the image in the frame, bubbling and crumpling paper, but Hink could see a pretty woman with dark hair, too dark to be a native mainlander, and a heavy upper lip, perhaps made heavier by the portrait’s sea journey. Hink scoffed in her throat. The portrait was probably of some Land Ranger’s son’s immigrant lover. Forbidden and so entrancing and then forgotten. The mainlander had probably dumped her into the sea along with the portrait and any other evidence of the affair.