Friday, January 27, 2012

Concealed by Sang Kromah - Fun Facts & Excerpt

Concealed by Sang Kromah
Published: October 2011
Published by: The Little Things Publishing

Concealed Fun Facts
1.)    The background story for Concealed is a story that I started to develop as a little girl. It has changed so much since I first started to create it in the first grade.

2.)    Concealed takes place in the town I grew up in (Sykesville) and at the high school I went to. I thought, what better way to make the story more authentic than writing about the place I spent my teenage years? Of course I embellished A LOT, but hey, it’s fiction! 

3.)    When I first decided to write Concealed, Sebastian was British instead of Australian, and then I thought I’d be crazy for not making him Australian. I’ve had this life-long obsession with Australia my entire life. So while I wrote, I’d watch a lot of Aussie TV to help authenticate the lingo and slang, and now I’m even more obsessed.

4.)    When I was a kid, my parents told me a story about a Djinn and a little girl named, Femeni from their native country of Liberia, and I could never get that story out of my head, so I would write my own stories about Femeni for years until one day, I wrote a story about Femeni having a daughter, and that story is Concealed. 

5.)    Many of the characters in Concealed are named after people I know or have met before, but no one is anything like their character, except for Moh, who is named after my younger brother, Moh.

6.)    Writing Concealed is the reason I have such horrible insomnia. The creation of Bijou’s dreams and visions was the death of sleep for me.

7.)    A lot of times as I write, I feel guilty for the horrible things I do to my characters. You would think I hate them or something.

8.)    Like Bijou—I’ve spent most of my life being socially awkward, but Bijou is a whole different realm of weird.

9.) Bijou’s entire life has pretty much been lived vicariously through movie, TV, and literary characters, so she’s like a walking, talking pop culture reference book.

10.) Writing Concealed has made me somewhat crazy…I think. It’s seriously done some sort of damage. ;-)


Chapter 10: Whistling in the Dark

I opened my mouth to continue, when suddenly my eyes began fluttering lazily as an intoxicating haze surrounded me and I was no longer surrounded by my peers. The fire was gone and my only companion was the heavy fog that hid my surroundings from me.
Off in the distance, I saw a figure standing with its back towards me.
“Who’s there?” I yelled.
The figure did not answer; neither did it flinch at the sound of my voice. I waited for a few more moments, but still…nothing. Then I heard an odd noise. Someone was whistling.
I got to my feet and began walking towards the figure. The figure did not stir in the least, though I am sure that my approach was heard.
As I got closer, I could see that the figure was an unusually tall man wearing dark clothing; the broad shoulders made his gender clearly obvious. His head hung low, so I couldn’t make out any other features. I slowed my pace; not wanting to get too close to this strange man, and the whistling grew louder and louder.
“Excuse me sir, but is everything alright?” I asked, now only a few feet from this odd individual…still no answer.
He just continued standing there with his back turned as he continued to whistle louder and louder. And then it hit me; I had heard that song before, long, long ago, but where? The tune was so familiar, yet it was like a distant memory; maybe even from a dream.
“I’m looking for my friends. They were here just a little while ago…” He cut me off midsentence.
“Do you know what is said of whistling in the dark?” He asked in a hushed tone that made the hairs on the back of my neck to rise.
“Um no… I’m sorry I don’t know. I just need to find my friends, so I can get home.” I responded, slowly becoming aware that I may be in danger.
“Everyone?” His rhetoric was followed by a dark and sinister laugh. “Do you know your true home? You’re neither here nor there. So tell me, where do you belong?”
This man spoke in riddles. I was now officially confused. If I were a smart person, I would run away now! But there was a deafening silence as I contemplated whether to speak or not. I thought about slowly backing away from this frightening man, but my legs failed to obey.
The man slowly began to turn around, his head still bent.
This has to be one of my dreams. When he lifts his head, I’m sure it will be Sebastian, and then I will awaken.
But when he faced me, I still could not see his face. It hung very low, and the whistling began once again.
This time something even stranger began to happen. It was as if I were on the outside looking in. I was watching myself and had no control over my own actions. I began walking closer to him.
STOP! I tried telling myself, but it was no use. I was no longer in the driver’s seat.
I began humming the beautiful melody in harmony with him. I watched as my eyes closed and my mouth opened. I began singing in a voice that I didn’t recognize, “ce billet doux est toi, mon bijou.”
My eyes suddenly opened and my outer body experience ended; once again, I was in control. “Ce billet doux est toi, mon bijou,” I repeated, talking this time—not singing.
Where did those words come from? He continued whistling as I repeated the words to myself in French.
“This love letter is yours, my jewel,” I finally translated. Where had I heard this song before?
“So indeed it is you!”
I said nothing in return.
“You still offer me no answer to my first question,” he said. His voice was disturbing.
“What question?” My voice was raw, as if I hadn’t spoken in a long while.
“Do you know what is said of whistling in the dark?” He sounded as if his patience were worn.
“No, I don’t,” I answered hesitantly.
He began to sway from side to side. I fought hard to catch a glimpse of his face, but saw nothing.
I shouldn’t even be conversing with this weirdo. Dread rose in my chest causing it to ache.
“Whistling in the dark is an invitation for the djinn to enter,” he said in a whisper.
“The djinn? They’re not real.” As the words left my mouth, I had a feeling I was wrong.
“They’re as real as you and me,” he answered, reaching out for me.
“Sebastian, is that you?” I asked, still trying to see his face.
He did not answer. He grabbed my right wrist with hot hands and in that moment I knew this was not the boy from my dreams.
“Let go! You’re hurting me.” I fought hard, trying to free myself from his grasp, but he was too strong. The heat from his hand burned my wrist so badly I began to think I would see smoke.
“So the traitor has a name,” he yelled, his voice grew loud with curiosity. “Sebastian, is it?”
The stranger pulled me closer, my back facing him as his grip tightened. But something made him scream in absolute horror, forcing him to release me from the chokehold.
He screeched—obviously in some sort of pain—an imprint of an eye branded on his arm.
I ran, but my legs wouldn’t move as fast as I willed them to. Although I could not hear him pursuing me, I could feel his presence near. The smell of sulfur was strong.
My legs were tired now and I was completely out of breath. I stopped running, resting my hands on my knees—my breaths coming rapidly. I realized that I was back where I started—the sight of the bon fire—but the fog was gone now.
“I am weak, but you have revealed the traitor to me.”
My eyes opened widely and I gasped for air as if I had been holding my breath all the while.
I looked around, Sebastian to my left and Amina to my right. Everyone was once again sitting around the large bonfire. Where had they all come from?

You can find Sang Kromah on her site and Twitter.
To see the book blurb, please visit GoodReads.

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