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Through the Fourth-Wall of K. Gorman’s Work in Progress – #FourthWallFriday with @KGorman8

It is a pleasure to welcome K. Gorman back for her second Fourth-Wall Friday. This is such a magical season for many of us and for some of us the magic is needed to drag us out of darkness and into a fantastical world created for the purpose of our own escape. Miss Gorman is working on a new novel and this time it does not take place underground. I’m pretty damn glad because that last trip left me a bit bruised and out of breath. I think I am going to join her and keep my pyjamas on and have a few vodka ice teas myself and fall through once again through her Fourth-Wall of fun.

Through the Fourth-Wall of K. Gorman's Work in Progress - #FourthWallFriday with @KGorman8

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On my last breach of the Fourth Wall, I’d expected it. I’d been prepared. I’d made sure I was well-fed, up to date in my travel vaccines, dressed for the occasion…

…Okay, that last bit was a lie.

In fact, these Fourth Wall excursions were beginning to have a running theme of “Kelly walks in wearing a questionable choices of pyjamas.” As much as wish that I looked like a cross between Lara Croft and Xena Warrior Princess, my normal routine tended toward the “homebound college dropout” look: lavender-blue tourist-trap t-shirt for my top half, well-worn and imprinted with the name of my dad’s hometown; dark, pastel-blue sweatpants for the bottom, topped off with fuzzy pink socks because—Hey, it’s cold in here.

Here” being on a couch in my mother’s living room, surrounded by holiday lights, my ankles crossed on the built-in leg rest, and a burgundy blanket wrapped around my shoulders like a shawl.

It was a calm, peaceful existence. I’d already polished off one vodka iced tea whilst browsing the Facebook feed. Apart from the occasional brrt of the circling cat, the only sounds were the click and whir of my laptop, the hum of the refrigerator’s motor, and a quiet, metronomic tick tick tick of the rain through the broken gutter outside.

It was so quiet that the furnace was the loudest thing. It blew through the vents like a windstorm.

Got that visual? Good. Now picture the peaceful, pyjama-clad definitely-not-Xena person suddenly—violently—removed from her domestic comforts and deposited onto the hardwood floor in the middle of a posh, prestigious-looking office plucked straight out of a fictional Cambridge-esque University. With a bunch of people staring at her.

Yeah. I cannon-balled through the Fourth Wall like a kid into a pool.

The Christmas lights vanished. As did the cat, the house, the nativity scene and, most importantly, the couch.

I landed on my ass.

My hip took the brunt of the fall, followed closely by my ribs, elbows, shoulders, knees and ankles. All nice, solid, bony bits. Ouchie. At some point, my cat-like survival instincts realized that my laptop had come with me. I curled around that mother like it was my firstborn child.

Priorities. Go figure.

When I got my breath back, I swore: “Fuck.”

At this point, I hadn’t quite figured out I’d been teleported. You see, Mom’s laminate floor felt a lot like hardwood to the uninitiated. Eyes shut against a sudden blinding light, I tried to work out just how I’d managed to fall off the couch, break the overhead light, and whether or not I should stop drinking. I mean—Hell—it’s no secret that I’m about as lightweight as they come where alcohol is concerned; However, it usually takes more than one cooler to knock me on my ass.

And what was with this light?

Cold air sunk into my skin. My eyes adjusted. Still clutching my laptop, I glanced around. The floor ended several feet away, and I caught my reflection in the glass door of what appeared to be an antique cabinet.

The light, glowing with the cool brightness of a mercury filament, curved around me in a line on the floor. It appeared to form a circle.

What was more alarming were the glyphs that surrounded this circle, also glowing.

Now, my knowledge of magic came largely from The Dresden Files, reruns of Supernatural and Terry Pratchett novels, but that glyph-circle just screamed “boundary” to me.

Well,” someone said, “that’s not what I was expecting.

My head jerked around at the voice. That’s when I noticed the other people in the room.

Four of them. All staring at me.

Me. In my pyjamas. Without a bra.

I scrambled to right myself, wincing as another bony part—my wrist—pushed me up.

Uh… Hi?

Their faces were masks, underlit by the circle-light. A little thrill froze my spine as I read the calculation in their eyes. Barely, I made out the rest of the room around us. Bookshelves on the left, stuffed to the gills and overflowing onto nearby tables and chairs; to the right, the pale light gleamed on the edges of frame portraits, scrolls, university degrees and what looked like an archaic, hand-charted map.

That map.

Click. I felt the gears in my head move. Then, like clockwork, I recognized the people in front of me.

Samuel Blackwell, Dean of Pender University and member of the Council, stood on the far left, leaning against the edge of his desk. Now that I’d placed the room, I noticed the changes that had been made. This was his office, located in the second-oldest building on campus. Had I half the magical ability of any one of those four in front of me, I’d have felt the thick, heavy dampers, protections, and lie-detecting runes that ran through the office’s floors, walls and ceiling.

To his right, her hair in its usual frazzled braid, stood Anna Leighton. Although the usual exam-induced exhaustion left her eyes looking bagged and worn, I still felt her keen intellect flash as our eyes met. She was special—and not just because she’d been in Advanced Placement in High School. I mean, technically all three students in the room had been in Advanced Placement, so that’s kind of raised the bar for ‘special’ around here.

Anyway. In this world, as evidenced by the glowing circle I sat in, magic existed. I’d kind of been going for a college-age Harry Potter with all the modern muggle technology (read: computers, cars and social media). Except, instead of having wands to amplify and apply their magical powers, they received totems—kind of like familiars, except more spiritual. Usually, people received their totem in a special ceremony at the school’s convocation. This acted to ensure that only people who had studied magic could throw major power around. Without a totem, magic was limited to very basic spells and required a lot of energy.

Anna’s family had their own type of convocation. For them, they had passed the same totem down through the family for nearly 400 years.

She hadn’t received it yet, but I had a feeling her mother would allow her to receive it early.

Her stare dropped to my pink, fuzzy socks. The corner of her mouth twitched upwards.

Hah!

Next, standing with his arms crossed over his chest, was Cain Nievan. Another AP student, he’d technically graduated during the last term. However, he’d managed to fail his convocation and not receive a totem. I’m not sure if he was about to blame me for that or not. His face was stony, but there was an aggressive edge in the way he stood.

And then there was Racquel.

She was extra-special. Technically her AP didn’t count anymore since she’d died during her last two weeks of High School.

Yep. I killed her off even before my novel started. Then I’d resurrected her in the Prologue.

Er. Spoilers?

She was the only one who was visibly angry.

Did we do it wrong?” Anna frowned, directing the question to the Dean at the same time Cain and Racquel did: “Do you know her?” “What is she?”

The Dean, in turn, directed a question to me: “Who are you?”

The room waited. I swallowed, thinking quickly.

I’m Kelly,” I said. “Where am I?”

Yeah, I decided to play dumb. I knew exactly where I was—after all, I’d struggled with this place’s description for days. By now, however, my mind had caught up with the current events. It had realized that a) these are all leading characters in my latest novel project, b) if the Scooby gang were united like this and had the wherewithal to summon me, some serious shit had likely hit the fan and c) I was the only non-magical person in the room, bound by some sort of circle and, therefore, very, very vulnerable.

Four sets of eyes stared me down. I tried my most innocent smile.

You are in my office,” Blackwell said slowly.

And where is your office?”

Behind his glasses, his eyes narrowed. I had a feeling he’d seen through my ruse. He’d probably had a lot of experience with students trying to bullshit him.

Pender University. You aren’t from Numer, by any chance?”

Ah, Numer. My eyes snapped to the map on the wall. Numer was an academic hobby to him. In this world, it acted as a second Atlantis. Except with more inter-dimensional travel.

No, I’m Canadian.

Canadian?” Blackwell raised an eyebrow.

Crap. Canada doesn’t exist in this world.

Er…

Do you know where my father is?” Racquel had ventured closer to the circle. I saw the suspicion in her eyes.

No?”

As one, they froze.

Hell. Blackwell had lie-detecting wards cast into the walls of his office. And I’d just triggered one.

Racquel’s eyes hardened. I felt the air thicken. She might not have the magical knowledge that the other three had, but she had power.

Her totem happened to be a god. Of Death.

Where is he?” she asked.

Hey, now—” I straightened by back. As the shadows deepened around her, I felt the light of my little circle blaze brighter. Maybe it would offer some protection.

You—you did this. All of this.” I couldn’t see the walls anymore. The shadows slowly ate the floor between us, bleeding into the grain like Indian Ink.

No, I’m just—” Just what? What do I tell her?

Fuck you.”

I tense. One arm went protectively over my laptop, swinging its lid halfway closed.

Priorities, I thought, watching the shadows inch closer to the glyphs’ light.

Racquel!”

Blackwell’s voice cut through the air like thunder. In an instant, the shadows were gone. For a second—just a second—I felt the pulse of his magic in the room.

What?” Her snarl lost its traction as he fixed her with a stare.

Attacking a Fate is hardly going to ingratiate yourself to them.”

A Fate?

You were summoning a Fate?” I sputtered. “Is that what you think I am?”

Racquel’s lip curled as she turned back to me.

Fuck you.”

Racquel!

She retreated. Barely.

Silence filled the room. I could almost hear their minds whirring away like my computer, trying to solve the problem of me.

Blackwell spoke first, his voice slow and deliberate: “You are not a Fate?”

No.” That, at least, was true. I think. Fates probably didn’t go around in pyjamas and fluffy pink socks.

But then, what did I know? I’d never met one.

What’s on the laptop?” Cain, this time. His arms were still crossed over his chest, but I felt that the aggression had toned down a bit.

I glanced down, cracking the lid open further. Underneath the Facebook feed, wedged in between the Skype and Google Chrome windows sat the manuscript for this project, minimized to the taskbar.

And that’s when I noticed something else: my laptop was still plugged in.

I followed the cord. At the edge of the circle where it disappeared, the line of light lifted slightly. I thought I saw the pattern of my mom’s rug. When I tugged on it, the line lifted even more.

Huh. I think I found a hole in their magic.

Maybe I wasn’t so vulnerable after all.

Okay, look. I just write things down,” I said, reaching farther along the cord’s length. “I’m not a Fate and—even if I was—I think you’re thinking about Fate all wrong.”

What do you mean?” Racquel had frozen, her brow furrowed.

Most people think of it as rather set in stone,” I said, meeting her wide eyes. “I find it’s rather malleable, actually.

You ‘write things down‘?” Cain asked. “So are you like Fate’s secretary? I mean—” and now he turned to Blackwell “we were very specific in the summoning parameters.

We were. But this is not a normal situation, by any stretch of the word. It’s possible that we found the wrong person.”

You didn’t. I’m probably what you were supposed to summon. But—” I spoke faster as Racquel took another step forward, “I can’t help you in the way you want me to help you. I can’t solve your problems for you. All I can tell you is that the your choices determine the outcome. It’s up to you, not some mystical, romanticized version that people have made of the concepts of fate and destiny.

Anyway. I have to go. Might see you around again.”

I gave them all my most winning smile, then I snapped that power cord like bull kelp on the beach. The light circle snapped up with it. I saw it rise, bringing my mother’s living room crashing back over me like a wave. Three surprised yelps followed me through. I had an instant’s glance of their surprised faces and the shadowed ceiling before I was back to reality.

At least I didn’t fall, this time. My tailbone would never forgive me.

I stared at the Christmas tree for a long time. Then, I disentangled myself from my computer—cords, cooling fan and all—and hobbled to the fridge to nurse my bruised limbs with another cooler.

Ah, Christmas.

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Black Bird

K.Gorman-Black-BirdsEven in a world where magic mixes with science, technology and everyday life, ressurection——real, bonafide ressurection——was thought impossible.

So, when Racquel Wright found herself back from the dead, she decided to keep it a secret.

Trying to distance herself from the past, she begins to fall into the routine of student life at university. Classes are simple, dorm life is quiet, and there’s a cute librarian she’s got her eye on.

Then it all changed when she recieves a note from her father. A father who had vanished——presumed dead——four months ago. Suddenly, she starts seeing things. People go missing. Ghosts and hell-beings appear in old ruins, shadow people appear in daylight. Everything seems to be building toward something big, and Racquel, her ressurection, and her family’s tragedies appear to be the key.

And someone wants her dead.

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K. Gorman

kgormanhellraiser

A Canadian university student currently studying abroad in South-West China, K. Gorman has been a voracious consumer of Sci-fi and Fantasy from a very young age. She first practised writing in high school whilst ignoring classwork, focusing on forum-based role-play games. Later, she calculated just how much time she spent writing and decided that it might be a good career move.

When not writing or studying, she moonlights as a horse-drawn carriage driver, combining her other long-time passion of working with horses with her passion for history.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon

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Through the Fourth-Wall of K. Gorman's Work in Progress - #FourthWallFriday with @KGorman8Today’s Fourth-Wall Friday was not about her current novel, as mentioned above, but her WIP. If you are interested in reading the book featured in

Through the Fourth-Wall & into Underground with K. Gorman & Mieshka

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Into the Fire

“I’ve got magic?”
“I’m afraid so.”

Into the Fire by K. Gorman

Secure under its Mage-powered shield, Lyarne ignores the war that has taken the rest of the country.

Inside its borders, refugees are first pitied, then assimilated.

Mieshka knows this well. Coping with the loss of her mother and the grief of her father, she keeps her head down at school and maintains a neutral stance with her new Lyarnese friend.

Things change when she meets the Fire Mage. There’s a lot more to this city—and herself—than she could imagine.

And Lyarne’s shield is not as impenetrable as the city would believe…

AMAZONSMASHWORDS

Fourth-Wall Friday – January – June 2014 Signups now open

Ever wonder what happens if you were to break into your world build and sit down and have a beer with your main characters? I think I would love to have tea with Jane Eyre, or discuss the best way to take care of vampires with Jane Yellowstone…maybe having Susie Shotgun take me out for some Angels Tears…

Interested in being part of Cabin Goddesses Fourth-Wall FridaySign up for a limited amount of spots open today. (Sign ups for January-June 2014). The 3rd Friday of each month is open for special eventssuch as book releases and toursContact me at [email protected] for more info. I hope everyone (authors and readers alike) takes time peruse the archives and find out just what other authors have done and enjoy a lot of amazing world builds! Or check out the PINTEREST board with every Fourth-Wall Friday pinned!

FWF-300-BUTTAllow yourself as an author to open up a new avenue of sharing your AUTHOR PERSONA & WORLD BUILD in a unique and creative fashion.. Just take a chance, write fluidly and from within that “place” you hangout at with your muse. Or perhaps walk in the door, tuck into a corner & watch your characters get into trouble before you take a chance and talk to them…

 

Through the Fourth-Wall of K. Gorman's Work in Progress - #FourthWallFriday with @KGorman8

One Comment

  1. This was so fun to read!! Thanks for sharing!

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