Silent Witness

Hey there, internet! Here’s Nikki Garrett and the first chapters of her works in progress.

Live readings are the best! You get to impress your friends when you heard the author show you the book they’re enjoying. Also, you get to hear a book out loud by its author, who knows it best, who loves it most.

The first segment Nikki reads is from her book “Silent Witness,” and she starts off with the most intriguing set up. It’s got mystery and tension. Where are we? Why can’t we talk? What is going on? Why is it happening? We stay so solidly in this character’s mind that we learn things as they cross her mind and absolutely no faster. It’s tantalizing, yielding more questions as the first few are answered. It makes for a steady stream of curiosity, moving listeners/readers deeper into the story. Aw yeah.

Furthermore, the character herself is exciting. She can’t or won’t talk. She has lots of contradictory feelings. Fear that paralyzes. Anger (ooh, I adore her ferocious anger. It makes me want to bite people). Complacency after abuse. Love? I want to know more about her.

Aside from her complexity, there is nothing more appealing in literature than fragile, damaged protagonists. They can go so many places. They can be scary or adorable or on-the-recovery. Their arcs are delicious. I don’t know where this one is going yet, but I want to know.

And the book isn’t published. So we’ll have to wait.

Nikki’s second story begins at 11:30. It’s currently titled “The Magical Storybook of Aunt Barboo” (apologies, Nikki, if Barboo is spelled incorrectly). It starts like “Magic Tree House” meets “Inkheart.” One particular strength is that Nikki clearly caters to her audience. Book-reading-children like to strongly identify with protagonists, so there are several. If one is not like you, one of the others will be. They also, for some completely incomprehensible*** reason, like friendly and childlike adults. Finally, they like to have a clear conflict to grudge against–in this case, the people reading the story will be entirely set against the book characters’ lack of reading. That’s clever.

***Note: reason is probably not completely incomprehensible

Here is the open mic video. Thanks to everyone who shared their time and labor and feelings!

-Jessica, your friendly neighborhood Helicon blogger

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