Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Introducing Otakatay - Guest Post by Kat Flannery, the author of Lakota Honor!

Happy Tuesday!

I was supposed to post this guest post already in June, but due to moving and all the chaos around that, I was not able to.

Therefore, I am very happy to welcome author Kat Flannery to my blog today! Kat recently published a new book - Lakota Honor and her guest post is about her book. But before going to the guest post, let me introduce you to Lakota Honor!


Fate has brought them together, but will a promise tear them apart?

In the small town of Willow Creek, Colorado, Nora Rushton spends most of her days locked up in her home with a father who resents her and fighting off unwanted marriage proposals from the wealthy Elwood Calhoun. Marked as a witch, Nora must hide her healing powers from those who wish to destroy all the witkowin—crazy women. What she doesn't know is that a bounty hunter is hot on her trail.

Lakota native Otakatay has an obligation to fulfill. He has been hired to kill the witkowin. In a time when race and difference are a threat and innocence holds no ground, courage, love and honor will bring Nora and Otakatay together as they fight for their freedom. Will the desire to fulfill his promise drive Otakatay to kill Nora? Or will the kindness he sees in her blue eyes push him to be the man he once was?



Ladies and gentlemen, please give a warm welcome to Kat Flannery!


Introducing Otakatay
by Kat Flannery

When I was writing LAKOTA HONOR something Stephen King said in his book On Writing, stuck in my head. "If you can make your reader have empathy for your killer, you’ve done it all."

Thus, Otakatay was born. He has become one of my favourite characters so far.

As I plotted out his story I wondered how I was going to make my reader fall in love with a deadly bounty hunter hired to kill women. Anyone in their right minds would hate, despise and be frightened by him.

What about this killer would be different than all the others? Why will the reader feel sorry for himexcusing his past transgressions?

I thought about how we treat other people, and why we are attracted to some, and others we steer clear from. Why do people turn from someone who is different? What characteristics would someone have to make people afraid or unsure of them? My answer came right away.

I placed scars on Otakatay’s body. I put him between two races. I gave him vengeance which caused his voice to sound pitted and angry. I created a monster. A man hell bent on revenge who didn’t give a damn about anyone, even woman. Here is where I will build my empathy, right?

Wrong. When I started to delve deeper into this character I stopped and took a few days to understand why people are so judgemental? Why we look at those who are different with distaste or disgust? Are we afraid of them, or is it simply that they do not look, behave or even speak like us?

I can be evil, crude, and hateful and whether or not they are visible, I have scars too.

That’s when it struck me like a punch to the stomach knocking the wind from my lungs. Otakatay was torn and damaged, a man with wounds from a treacherous pasta past that shaped his life and pushed him to do the things he’d done. He’d been cast aside from the white and red race, judged as a breed and nothing more. He’d watched, helpless as his family had been ripped from him, and he was left alone. There had been no one there to love him, to show him kindness. Instead he’d been met with hate, disgust, and prejudice of the vilest kinds. He’d embraced those emotions and without knowing it, he’d allowed them to overtake him.

I sat at my desk staring at my computer screen through tear filled eyes…and empathy for my character was born.

"No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader" Robert Frost
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Thank you, Kat, for writing a guest post!!!
Besides that, I am glad that I can post an excerpt from Lakota Honor. Enjoy!


Excerpt:

PROLOGUE

 

 


Colorado Mountains, 1880

 

The blade slicing his throat made no sound, but the dead body hitting the ground did. With no time to stop, he hurried through the dark tunnel until he reached the ladder leading out of the shaft.

He’d been two hundred feet below ground for ten days, with no food and little water. Weak and woozy, he stared up the ladder. He’d have to climb it and it wasn’t going to be easy. He wiped the bloody blade on his torn pants and placed it between his teeth. Scraped knuckles and unwashed hands gripped the wooden rung.

The earth swayed. He closed his eyes and forced the spinning in his head to cease. One thin bronzed leg lifted and came down wobbly. He waited until his leg stopped shaking before he climbed another rung. Each step caused pain, but was paired with determination. He made it to the top faster than he’d thought he would. The sky was black and the air was cool, but fresh. Thank goodness it was fresh.

He took two long breaths before he emerged from the hole. The smell from below ground still lingered in his nostrils; unwashed bodies, feces and mangy rats. His stomach pitched. He tugged at the rope around his hands. There had been no time to chew the thick bands around his wrists when he’d planned his escape. It was better to run than crawl, and he chewed through the strips that bound his feet instead. There would be time to free his wrists later.

He pressed his body against the mountain and inched toward the shack. He frowned. A guard stood at the entrance to where they were. The blade from the knife pinched his lip, cutting the thin skin and he tasted blood. He needed to get in there. He needed to say goodbye. He needed to make a promise.

The tower bell rang mercilessly. There was no time left. He pushed away from the rocky wall, dropped the knife from his mouth into his bound hands, aimed and threw it. The dagger dug into the man’s chest. He ran over, pulled the blade from the guard and quickly slid it across his throat. The guard bled out in seconds.

He tapped the barred window on the north side of the dilapidated shack. The time seemed to stretch. He glanced at the large house not fifty yards from where he stood. He would come back, and he would kill the bastard inside.

He tapped again, harder this time, and heard the weak steps of those like him shuffling from inside. The window slid open, and a small hand slipped out.

"Toksha akeI shall see you again," he whispered in Lakota.

The hand squeezed his once, twice and on the third time held tight before it let go and disappeared inside the room.

A tear slipped from his dark eyes, and his hand, still on the window sill, balled into a fist. He swallowed past the sob and felt the burn in his throat. His chest ached for what he was leaving behind. He would survive, and he would return.

Men shouted to his right, and he crouched down low. He took one last look around and fled into the cover of the forest.

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I don't know how about you, but I am going to read this book!


Kat Flannery has loved writing ever since she was a girl. She is often seen jotting her ideas down in a little black book. When not writing, or researching, Kat enjoys snuggling on her couch with a hot chocolate and a great book.

Her first novel, CHASING CLOVERS became an Amazon’s bestseller in Historical and Western romance. This is Kat’s second book, and she is currently hard at work on the third.

When not focusing on her creative passions, Kat is busy with her three boys and doting husband.

Buy LAKOTA HONOR here.

Kat’s website

Kat’s blog


Thanks again to Kat for coming by!

Happy reading!


 

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful! It's so difficult to make an anti-hero likeable, but it sounds like you've done it perfectly.

    ReplyDelete

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