By- Jen Minkman
Expected Publication Date-June 1, 2013
*Novella* (80 pages)
Genre- YA Dystopian
‘I walk toward the sea. The endless surface of the water extends to the horizon, whichever way I look.
Our world is small. We are on our own, and we only have ourselves to depend on. We rely on the Force deep within us, as taught to us by our forefathers.
If I were to walk westward from here, I would come across a barrier – the Wall.
Behind it, there are Fools. At least, that’s what everyone says.
I have never seen one.’
Leia lives on the Island, a world in which children leave their parents to take care of themselves when they are ten years old. Across this Island runs a wall that no one has ever crossed. The Fools living behind it are not amenable to reason – they believe in illusions. That’s what The Book says, the only thing left to the Eastern Islanders by their ancestors.
But when a strange man washes ashore and Leia meets a Fool face to face, her life will never be the same. Is what she and her friends believe about the Island really true?
Or is everyone in their world, in fact, a Fool?
About the Author-
Jen Minkman (1978) was born in Holland, in the town of Alphen aan den Rijn. When she was 19, she moved between The Hague, Salzburg (Austria), Brussels (Belgium) and Cambridge (UK) to complete her studies in intercultural communication. She is currently a teacher of English, career counsellor and teenage coach at a secondary school in Voorburg, Holland. She tries to read at least 100 books a year (and write a few, too!). She is a published author in her own country, and translates her own books from Dutch into English for self-publication.
In her spare time, she plays the piano, the guitar and the violin. For every novel she writes, she creates a soundtrack.
‘I have always been drawn to writing. My first book was a sci-fi novel at the age of eight, which I painstakingly typed out on my dad’s typewriter and illustrated myself. Nowadays, I stick to poetry, paranormal romance, chicklit and/or fantasy. In my home country, I am the first-ever published writer of paranormal romance, and I will gradually make my books also available in English (seeing I have to re-write and translate the books myself, this will take some time!).
Read an Excerpt!
THE ONLY thing I can hear in the dark forest is the hooting of owls and my own ragged breath. The leaves rustle eerily when the wind picks up from the sea. Although I can hardly make out anything in the darkness, I run like crazy.
Suddenly, my foot catches behind a thick branch on the forest path. I lose my balance and plunge headfirst onto the trail. My knees scrape painfully over the stones, bringing tears to my eyes. I hit the ground with a thud.
In the nocturnal silence, I suddenly hear a sound in the bushes. Something is walking around there. Something large. A wild animal? This close to the Manor? They usually don’t risk that.
And then, a blinding light shines in my eyes out of nowhere. Incredibly bright – as if I’m staring
straight into the sun. Before I can even draw a breath to scream, a hand clamps down over my mouth, stopping the shriek in my throat.
“Be quiet,” a male voice tells me.
The voice doesn’t sound very old, so it could be someone from the manor. But where’s that terribly bright light coming from?
“If you promise not to scream, I’ll let go of you. Okay?” the voice continues. That’s odd – this
guy speaks differently than I’m used to. The words are more melodious, and he pronounces the R more rounded than rolling. A stranger.
I nod silently.
He takes away his hand. I breathe deeply in and out and then bat at the light with both hands. “Keep that out of my face!” I hiss. “You’re blinding me.”
Thankfully, he takes the light away. For a moment I see spots dancing before my eyes. Then the boy – he doesn’t look much older than I am – shines it at his own face. The light travels from his chin upward to the rest of his face, distorting his features with sharp shadows. I was right – I don’t know him.
“What is that thing?” I whisper in shock. “And who are you?”
“My name is Walt,” he replies. “I got this lamp from one of the shipwrecked men.”
“Ship… what?” I mumble.
“The man who washed up on our beach.” Walt gestures toward the west part of the island. “Across the Wall.”
I stare at Walt incredulously.
He is a Fool. So they really do exist.