On The Verge, Once Again
Our second edition, featuring updates, an intro to our main character, and a sneak peek of our first chapter!
Welcome to the second edition of The Verge! It’s been a busy couple of weeks since our last newsletter. We’re working toward the release of Convergence- Book One: Incarnation on August 31st (put it in the day planner, people!) while also hustling at our day jobs, moving (one of us across a city, the other across the country), and adjusting to the new maybe-post-quarantine normal at the same time. Just a bunch of super casual existential reckonings, nbd!
We know our Vergeheads (that's YOU!) (maybe) (we're workshopping it) are busy in your own worlds, so we appreciate you taking the time to step into ours for a bit and support our book publishing adventure. In this edition, we’re excited to share more about our main character, Mera Kellen, and share an exclusive sneak peek at our first chapter!
first things first
A couple updates!
1. One of our Instagram posts was liked and shared by the author of Practical Magic, Alice Hoffman. Practical Magic was one of our inspirations for our book, being a story about female familial legacies and bonds mixed with extraordinary powers in a small town, New England setting. So having the author of that book notice and share our post was surreal, exciting, inspiring and... (wait for it)... MAGIC! (Sorry.)
2. Our cover design is coming along beautifully! The cover design artist, Allison Sanders, has been working on it for a few months now, and she’s creating something amazing that we can’t wait for everyone to see. We’ll be revealing the final design in our next newsletter at the end of July, so stay tuned for that!
3. As you know, Convergence- Book One: Incarnation will be released on Amazon on August 31st, 2021, so we’re in our last two months of preparing for that. We’re working on our interior book design, as well as some smaller, kind of boring details, like the copyright page, determining our sales categories, and figuring out how taxes like, work and stuff. (Uhh, does anybody know? Hit us up.) It’s the nitty-gritty work, but each task is one step closer to publishing, and THAT is very cool.
introduction, character edition
Sixteen-year-old Mera Kellen would describe her life with her mom in two words: nomadic and strange. The two of them moved with the seasons, never staying long in one place. Mera's mother's history was shrouded in secret, her life before Mera an off-limits topic. For years, it was just the two of them, building their lives over and over. The only true home for Mera had always been the bond with her mother.
When her mom disappears, Mera is forced to redefine her idea of family, home, and her own identity when she is sent to her mom’s hometown of Convergence, Maine to live with her estranged and reclusive grandmother, Ida. Mera soon realizes the person she trusted most was also the person to keep the most secrets from her. Alone and confused, Mera will need to learn which strangers in Convergence to trust if she’s ever going to find her mother and the truth about who—and what—she really is.
With Mera, we wanted to create a character that we would’ve related to not just as teenagers, but even now. A character who is deeply caring and sensitive but has learned to hide it under a sense of humor and hard personality. Who is clever and curious but easily ruled by insecurities and emotions. Who resents secrets being kept from her despite keeping plenty of secrets of her own. Mera is full of contradictions and won’t always make the right decisions, but she’s also resilient and won’t stop trying to be better and do better.
We love a mood board, so here’s a couple with inspo for Mera (images from Pinterest):
And a bonus board that Mera would’ve put together herself:
introduction, chapter 1 edition
Chapter 1 begins as Mera arrives in Convergence, 30 years after the prologue. The reader is slightly ahead of Mera, as the prologue details a crucial event from the past, as well as introduces Ida and Darcy and their supernatural abilities.
We want the reader to be aligned with Mera at this point, switching the story to be told from her perspective, as she wakes up from a dream.
We also wanted to juxtapose the Ida we meet in the prologue—strong, resolute, and full of life—with the Ida we meet here years later.
Mera awoke in the passenger seat, gasping for air.
“Ahh!” the man driving cried, veering to the other side of the road.
Mera looked at her driver, Vince, who was stealing glances at her while maintaining an eye on the winding forest road. He had been on edge since he picked her up from the airport in Boston, considering her with equal parts apprehension and mild alarm. She gave him a weak thumbs up and turned to look out the window. They were driving through the same dense forest they had been traveling through since leaving the highway hours ago.
It was only a dream, she told herself, closing her eyes and pressing her forehead against the cool glass of the passenger window. She must have fallen asleep without noticing. It wasn’t the first dream she’d had about her mother since the disappearance, but this dream had been . . . different.
Mera’s stomach lurched again, but this time because Vince had slammed on the brakes. The car skidded to a halt in front of a driveway camouflaged by a leafy archway formed from the entwined limbs of two massive oak trees. Vince maneuvered the sedan through the tunnel of leaves, the emerald canopy brushing the roof of the car as they made their way up the drive.
They drove for a few minutes before they reached a locked gate blocking the road. Vince plucked a yellow sticky note with a series of numbers written on it from the manila file folder on the dashboard and hopped out of the car.
As he hurried toward the fence, Mera reached forward, picked up the folder, and flicked it open. She glanced at Vince, who was looking from the sticky note to the gate and scratching his head, then examined its contents.
MISSING: Kellen, Genevieve, 35, swam up to her from the copy of the police report. Minor daughter, Mera read, her eyes flickering over the page. Abandoned.
She closed the folder and tossed it back onto the dash right as Vince dropped himself into the car, panting from his battle with the gate. He glanced at the folder in disarray and then at Mera. With a huff, he threw the car into drive, and they proceeded.
Mera knew, of course, that the Phoenix police had decided early on that her mother had run away. She tried to explain something criminal must have happened, but Mera couldn’t find anyone willing to do more than nod sympathetically. She was handed from caseworker to caseworker, all the way to Vince, now eager to leave her on the doorstep of the long-lost grandmother they had discovered in Convergence, Maine. A grandmother Mera had never even known existed.
The trees thinned as the driveway inclined, and a massive house came into view.
The Victorian house on the oceanside cliff reminded Mera of the covers of the gothic romance novels her mother used to borrow from the library, its facade equal parts graceful curves and sharp edges, its color dulled to a haunted gray. A sturdy tower rose from its right side, and a porch wrapped around the front. Wispy clouds drifted by the weathervane on the roof.
Vince and Mera exited the car, and Vince made his way to wrestle Mera’s suitcase from the trunk. Mera closed her eyes and took a deep breath of the salty Maine air, brisk though it was still August. She gathered up her dark red hair and tucked it into her sweatshirt, pulling the hood closer around her neck. She could hear the ocean beyond the cliff and shuddered at the sound, remembering her dream.
The front door of the house creaked open a few inches. The afternoon light shadowed the veranda, making it so Mera could discern only a figure standing in the doorway.
“Ahh, good, that must be your grandmother!” Vince squinted toward the house, still tugging at the suitcase. He raised his voice to speak into the shadows of the porch. “Mrs. Kellen, I’m Vince. We spoke on the phone.”
He paused here as if he expected confirmation, but there was only silence. He waited a few beats and pressed on. “There’s this paperwork, and if I could use your bathroom—”
“No,” a voice from the shadows boomed. “Leave the paperwork and go.”
Vince hesitated for a moment, the command still rebounding off the veranda. “Sounds good!” he said, pulling the suitcase free. He came around the front of the car and dropped the suitcase at Mera’s feet with a dull thud.
“Wait, really?” Mera balked. “You’re not going to do an inspection or whatever?”
“Well, everything seems in order, doesn’t it?” Vince said, waving his hand vaguely toward the house. He rummaged around the car before pulling out a second, much thinner manila folder than the one on the dashboard. He thrust it toward Mera.
“These are the documents for your grandmother. She can mail them,” he said to Mera. He backed toward his car door and opened it behind him. “My card is in there. Good luck!”
Vince slammed his car door shut and drove out of sight, his sedan swallowed up by the forest through which they had come.
Mera turned around and took in the entire house, feeling smaller and smaller the further up her eyes traveled. She wasn’t yet ready to go inside and meet this mystery grandmother whom her mother had never even mentioned. The woman who was so disinterested in meeting her granddaughter that she wouldn’t even come outside to greet her. And unfortunately, the woman who represented Mera’s final, desperate hope in convincing someone to help her save her mother.
Mera sighed as she gripped the handle of her heavy suitcase and walked toward the mystery that was grandmother’s house.
Thank you once again for all your support! We look forward to sharing even more with you, as we get closer and closer to our book’s release on August 31st!
See you here again at the end of July for our next newsletter & cover design reveal!