Tuesday, 11 February 2014

A World Reborn: Book 2 in the Utopia Series... One-And-Only-Daniela seems to approve. Also a possible sneaky preview...

Whilst One-And-Only-Daniela was living it up in the Philippines over the New Year, I went into a writing frenzy for my new book unlike anything I have ever known. As such, this has resulted in her returning to the country with a mass of chapters to read through. She and Oldest-Friend-Cafrin are the only two people who I allow to read the book prior to publication, mainly because I love them lots, but also, in One-And-Only-Daniela's case, I know she will hurt me if I don't.

Anywho, it is safe to say that all publications and achievements made on my books have been solely down to One-And-Only-Daniela as she not only approves of what I write (largely due to a character in it being based completely on her) but she bugs the hell out of me for new chapters. I love hearing her reactions to reading new chapters, she is the queen of asking questions, constantly wanting to know what is going to happen next and making her guesses for what she thinks will happen. It is my favourite thing in the world to discuss these with her. Although, after almost 5 years of reading my books, she still hasn't caught onto the fact that when she asks me what is going to happen, I will always respond with "wait and see!"

There is one exception to this rule, as One-And-Only-Daniela learnt when she and I went to Barbados a few years back. All she needs to do when trying to find things out about my book is to ply me with alcohol, because then I become Miss Chatty Cathy (no idea why she's so chatty) and just let everything slip. However, she has been unsuccessful with this book as, when she has tried it, I have managed to distract myself with something shiny instead, or just plain ran away from her, covering my ears for fear of saying something I shouldn't. 

During her trip away though, I reached the point of my book whereby all questions I had set up throughout the content were now going to be answered. Without giving anything away to all of you lovely people who (hopefully) shall be buying the second book, when it comes out, there is a section of book 2 where there are about 6 chapters, all lined up in a row, that just goes to town with answering all niggling questions set up previously. It was the most fun to write, but nothing compared to how One-And-Only-Daniela reacted when she reached these chapters yesterday. 

My entire day yesterday was interspersed with emails and texts from One-And-Only-Daniela, as she made her way through the chapters I had given to her. I had made it clear before hand that every chapter I had given her would answer a list of her questions, and then proceeded to list the questions that it would answer. One-And-Only-Daniela was therefore aware that all she needed to do was to read these chapters and she would finally know what the hell I've been alluding to throughout the course of writing this book. 

That being said, this apparently didn't stop her from emailing me with the same list of questions, asking me what was going to happen. Her emails would consist of her naming the page that she was now on, before then asking me what was going to happen next. When checking the page and what was on it, I would then marvel as I realised that, had she simply continued to read and not stopped to email me, she would already know the answer to the question as it was written a mere couple of paragraphs from where she currently was. I did try and explain this to her, but she was having none of it. Apparently, she preferred to essentially prolong the answer to her questions by asking me instead, a woman who has always been notorious for saying "wait and see." 

From her point of view, I swear she was losing out and all that jazz, but I enjoyed the whole process immensely. And this is where I might get all emotional and sloppy... 

Throughout the course of my writing, by far my favourite thing about the whole process is listening to other people talk animatedly about characters that were created by me. I, naturally, have an unhealthy bond and love for each of my characters, being essentially their God, but knowing that there are people out there who are also falling for them, hating them, loving them, fancying them etc... well, it's the most beautiful gift anyone could give me. To know that I have managed to successfully convey each character to others is, by far, my biggest and most proud accomplishment. Yesterday, One-And-Only-Daniela was giddy with me, angry with me, excited with me and many many other emotions as well. She was involved in the storyline and wanting to know more. My favourite email being the shocked reaction she gave to the answer of one of the questions she had been asking for months now. She was emotionally involved, shocked at knowing what had happened, especially due to the fact that she had not guessed it herself. It was the biggest boost I had ever felt. It spurred me on, making me suddenly desperate to get it out there for as many people as possible to read. 

So guys, I'm working really hard on Book 2 to Utopia. For those who don't know, it's called A World Reborn and it is so nearly finished. I have given end dates before, but have sadly failed the world with those, so won't insult you all by coming up with another one, for fear that I won't meet it. But I will say that it is very close to being finished, and I am feeling really good about it, possibly more so than I did for Utopia. Each chapter has been really exciting to write. And, in the meantime, I thought I might give you a little something to wet your appetite. 

If you have read the first one, and would like to know how the second one begins, please do read on. If not:


Turn away from the screen now!! Go and do something else! ... Might I suggest clicking on the link on the right hand side that goes to my first book?? That way, although you may be banned from reading this now, you won't always be banned... Won't it be nice to not be banned? That's always a nice thing... Unless you were born a rebel, not to be held down by the constrictions of the Man and the rules that bind us... if that's the case: As you were. Although I will say this... my book is practically unheard of, so to buy it would mean that you weren't following any kind of normal behaviour, if anything, the purchasing of said book would probably just heighten your rebellious status by being very much outside of the norm. You are very welcome. 

Okay, that's enough plugging. Here's the beginning of A World Reborn. Enjoy. 

A World Reborn: Book 2 in the Utopia Series


CJ and Alice
8 years old

“I’ll get the ball!” CJ shouted as the decision to play football was made.

He ran out of the break-room and headed back to the classroom where he knew it was in the cabinet. He had seen Mrs Collins put it there this morning. The door was shut when he got there, as it always was when break time was on. He looked around for a teacher to say that it was okay for him to go inside, but couldn’t find anyone. He wondered if he should just go inside anyway and glanced back towards the Break-room. He really wanted to play football. He had waited for ages for the other boys to agree to it and now it was time. He only had a little while left until the teacher would call them all back in to do stupid reading and he wanted to make sure they played for as long as possible.

Unsure if he was allowed in the room, he checked to see if there was anyone around who would tell on him. No one seemed to be there so he took his chance and opened the door, sneaking inside and closing it behind him before anyone noticed.

The classroom looked weird without anyone in it. He didn’t like it. He decided that he would be as quick as possible so that he could get back out to the rest of his friends. He was almost at the cabinet when he noticed Alice. She was sitting on the corner of the carpet, reading her books like she always did. He didn’t know why she was so interested in it. It was the most boring thing to him and he hated it when his mum made him do it.

“Hello.” He said.

Alice didn’t answer. She just kept her head in her book. She never talked to anyone. She was a bit weird like that. He decided that she was being rude or maybe she didn’t hear him. Either way, he would try again.

“I said hello.” He said, walking over to her.

Alice didn’t look up, she turned the page of her book. It was a really big book full of pictures with loads of colours and shapes. Her nose almost seemed to be touching the paper, she looked like she really liked it.

“You know, it’s rude to not say hello back when someone’s talking to you.” CJ tried again, this time standing right next to where she sat.

She looked up then and blinked at him, surprised, as if she had only just noticed him. She didn’t say anything though, she just looked at him.

“You’re meant to say hello back,” CJ said.

She appeared confused for a moment and then spoke so quietly that CJ almost didn’t hear her.


“What are you reading?” CJ asked.

“I’m not reading anything,” Alice said. “I’m looking.”

“Well, what are you looking at then?” CJ asked.

“Pictures,” Alice said. “Mrs Collins gave it to me.”

CJ sat down next to her, suddenly interested in what the book had in it. The pictures were really bright but they seemed to be just a bunch of shapes and there was nothing interesting about it; no people in it or trees or houses, just circles and squares and nothing else.

“What’s so great about that?” He asked, jabbing his finger at the picture she was currently looking at. “It looks pretty boring to me.”

Alice shrugged and tucked her hair behind her ear. “I like the colours.” She said, almost apologetically.

“Where’s the story?” CJ asked.

“There isn’t a story.”

“What, it’s just a bunch of pictures without a story? What’s the point in that?”

Alice shrugged again and turned back to the book, her face had gone bright red. She turned the page and there was another picture with a lot of blues and yellows.

“That one looks like the sun,” CJ said.

Alice looked back up at him then and smiled for the first time.

“I think so too.” She said. “And the blue is the sky or maybe water.”

“Maybe.” CJ said. “What about that one?” CJ pointed at the second picture. “Is that a lady?”

Alice nodded enthusiastically. “And she’s really sad.” She said. “But I don’t know why.”

CJ stopped looking at the picture and turned to Alice.

“Why don’t you ever come outside?” He asked. “You always sit on your own. That’s boring.”

“I don’t think so,” Alice said, turning the page again. “I like looking at pictures better than playing. Also I don’t like a lot of noise. I can’t hear Red when that happens.”

“Who’s Red?” CJ asked.

“My friend.” Alice said.

“I’ve never met her.” CJ said.

Alice laughed at that. “Of course you haven’t. She’s my friend, not yours.”

CJ got confused. “I don’t understand. Is she in our class?”

“No,” Alice said. “She doesn’t go to class. She doesn’t like it. She just talks to me instead. She likes the pictures as well.”

“Well where is she then?”

“She’s gone off somewhere.” Alice said. “She doesn’t like you so she left when you came in.”

“Why doesn’t she like me?”

“Because you’re loud.” Alice said. She thought for a moment and then added, “I don’t mind you though. You’re okay… for a boy.”

CJ heard the shouts of his friends outside and remembered why he was here.

“I have to go,” CJ said. “I’m going to play football. I’d let you play but you’re a girl.”

“I wouldn’t want to play anyway.” Alice said.

“Well, see ya.” CJ said and got up, grabbed the ball and left.

CJ didn’t talk to Alice for the rest of the day. She stayed in her corner and wouldn’t play with the rest of the class when they came in. The next day however, he thought of something and remembered to pick up a book from home before he left for school.

He didn’t get a chance to see her until lunchtime when the rest of his friends went out to the Break-Room. He stayed behind to see Alice. She was sitting back in her same corner of the carpet, looking over the same book.


She looked up first time this time and gave him the same confused look.

“Hello.” She said, eventually.

“I brought you a book.” CJ said, holding it out in front of him.

Alice didn’t take it. Instead she just looked at it suspiciously.

“Go on,” CJ said, starting to get excited. “Take it and have a look.”

When she still didn’t take it, CJ decided to sit down on the carpet next to her and place the book on top of her one, opening it up for her to see inside. She let out a small gasp as she saw all the different pictures inside.

“You can have it, if you want.” CJ said. “Mummy says that she only had it to look clever. She won’t even notice that it’s gone.”

Alice blushed again. “Thank you.” She said.

“You’re welcome.” CJ said with a massive grin and got up and left the room.

13 years old

Alice took a deep breath and peered around the corner to see if the way was clear. No one was around and she felt free to make her way through. She pulled her bag up on her shoulder and ventured forward, glancing around nervously in the chance that she was pounced upon. But there was nothing, she had made it to the other side of the corridor and no one had come near her.

She smiled to herself and heard the congratulations resound around her head. As she neared the door to her class however, she heard the tell-tale sounds of approaching footsteps and laughter. It was a lot of laughter, a large group of people. She felt the panic rise inside of her then and she quickly opened the door, desperate to get inside before they caught sight of her. No such luck.

“Alice?” Came the sound of one of them, she didn’t care who though, they were all the same and they all had the same thing to say.

She stepped into the empty classroom but a hand reached out and grabbed her bag, pulling her back into the corridor and against the opposite wall. Alice’s bag fell off her shoulder and onto the floor.

“Don’t walk away from me when I’m talking to you.”

It was a girl who was addressing her, she looked up to see the sneering face of Colette. She quickly dropped her gaze, frightened to even engage in so much as eye contact with these people.

“Are you just going to stand there and ignore me?” Colette asked.

Alice kept quiet. She could feel the shadows of the rest of the kids surrounding her, she was cornered with nowhere to go, she would just let them get on with it.

“Oi! I’m talking to you!”

A shove; right into the shoulder. Alice staggered back into the wall behind her but she still wouldn’t entertain them with her attention, she went to the quiet place in her mind. She sat in her little room, in the dark and listened to the soothing tones of her Red.

“Are you retarded or something?” Colette asked.

“She’s not retarded,” another voice said. “She’s just crazy. She probably can’t hear you over all those weird thoughts she has.”

“Better company than anything you have to say,” Red said.

Alice had to work hard at suppressing her smile. It wouldn’t be any good if they saw that.

“I don’t even get why they’re talking to you,” Red continued. “You’re older than them, just shove them back and move on.”

Alice didn’t answer Red. She knew better than that, especially with all these people around her. Instead, she kept her eyes downcast and focused on her quiet place.

“I reckon she must have been dropped on her head,” someone else said.

“Nah, she was born this stupid.” Another person added.

Suddenly a hand was under Alice’s chin and her face was forced up so that she made eye contact with Colette.

“Why are you so weird?” Colette asked, her voice low.

“I’m not weird,” Alice answered back and quickly snapped her mouth shut, annoyed that she had engaged in conversation.

“So you can hear me!” Colette said, “I guess that just makes you rude then.”

“Me rude?” Alice answered back, irritation getting the better of her. “I’m not the one ganging up on someone!”

“All I’m doing is trying to talk to you,” Colette said, a smile growing on her face as she realised she was getting to Alice. “You’re the one who would prefer to talk to imaginary people than with kids your own age.”

“Oh please,” Alice said. “You’re barely my age, you’re just some kids that don’t know when to mind your own business.”

“Oooh, would you listen to her!” Colette said, addressing the rest of the group. “She thinks she’s all high and mighty because she’s a whole year older than us.”

“Whatever.” Alice said and tried to push her way past them but they just pushed her back and she fell against the wall once more.


Alice had never felt so relieved in her life to hear CJ’s voice. She searched for him amongst the crowd, when her eyes fell on his, she worked extra hard to keep the excitement from showing on her face.

“Oh for crying out loud, Colette,” CJ said, his voice stern. “I thought we’d talked about how you being a bitch really pisses everyone off. Do I need to tell you again or shall I just go straight ahead and tell mum?”

Colette rolled her eyes and turned to face her brother. “Shut up CJ, this has nothing to do with you.”

“So, I’ll go and talk to mum then.” CJ said.

“Fine!” Colette said, “I was getting bored anyway.”

She walked away, her faceless clan following her. Alice sighed and bent down to pick up her bag.

“Let me help you.” CJ said.

“I’m fine.”

She placed her bag back on her shoulder and raised her eyes to CJ’s.

“You know, your sister is becoming a right bitch.”

“I know.” CJ said. “I’ll talk to mum again tonight.”

“Don’t bother,” Alice said. “I can’t be arsed with the fallout.”

“She won’t do anything from now on,” CJ said. “Trust me, after mum’s finished with her, she’ll wipe that nasty smirk off her face for good. You okay?”

“I’m great,” Alice said, and sighed. “I bring it on myself I guess.”


“I should be less weird. People are picking up on it.”

“You’re fine the way you are.”

Alice laughed at that. “Are you sure about that? I heard some of the adults talking about me the other day. Not to mention Christiana seems to be eyeing me like she’s just dying to pounce on me the first chance she can get.”

“Christiana doesn’t think that,” CJ said. “You’re different, which, in this place, is needed.”

“In this place, being different gets you locked up.”

“I like you different,” CJ said. “It’s why I hang out with you.”

Alice rolled her eyes. “That, and the fact that I’m the only other person your age.”

CJ grinned, “Yeah, that too.” He motioned towards the classroom. “Ready?”

Alice nodded and followed CJ into their little classroom for two.

16 years old

Alice dashed down the deserted corridor and searched under the doormat for the spare key. When she found it, she pressed her ear against the door to make sure that no one was moving around inside. After a minute of silence, she grinned to herself and turned the lock, opening the door with expert silence and shutting it behind her. She pressed her back against the wall and allowed her eyes to adjust to the darkness. When she could finally make out the shapes of the room, she headed for the stairs, grateful for her bare feet against the iron casting. She reached the top and tip toed across the corridor to the last door, once again pressing her ear against the door to check for movement. She didn’t care as much about this one however, if he wasn’t moving yet, she would make sure that he would be soon.

She could hear faint snoring and suppressed a giggle as she opened the door a fraction and slipped through the gap, shutting it firmly behind her. CJ was asleep. He was splayed across the entire width of his bed and lying on his front, his duvet covering his bottom half and leaving his bare back exposed. She smiled to herself and cocked her head to one side whilst she enjoyed the view.

Once she was satisfied with her perving, she crept over to his bed and sat delicately on the edge, careful not to disturb him. He didn’t move and continued to snore softly. She leaned forward until her lips were hovering over his ear and she blew gently. CJ let out a grunt and she sat back up again quickly to avoid his hand as it came slapping down on his ear.

“What the-?” He opened his eyes and peered around for his potential attacker.

When he saw Alice, he gave her a look of complete dismay.

“Alice?” He whispered. “What the hell are you doing here?”

“I couldn’t sleep.” Alice whispered back.

He glanced at the clock on his bedside table. “It’s 2 in the morning!”

“I know,” Alice said and grabbed the edge of his duvet. “Do you sleep naked?”

She attempted to sneak a peek but he grabbed the cover back.

“I wear boxers.”

Alice nodded her acceptance of this and threw him his jeans, previously discarded on the floor.

“Come on, we’re going to be late.”

“Late?” CJ asked. “Nothing is late at 2am.”

“This is.” Alice said.

“You want us to leave now?” CJ asked. “What if someone sees us?”

“We’ll make sure they don’t… Unless you’re scared…”

“I’m not scared! I just don’t fancy getting a beating from mum.”

“Oh come on, stop being such a girl about it.”

“I’m not being a girl…” CJ started, but gave up, realising that he wasn’t going to win this one. “Fine! Give me a second to get changed.”

Alice smiled at him and turned around to give him his privacy.

“Done yet?” She asked.

“Almost,” He said. “I still think this is a bad idea.”

She peered back around to see him throwing on a jumper.

“Yeah okay, don’t forget your bra,” she said. “I can see your breasts growing from here.”

CJ turned to meet her gaze and glared at her.

“You know you’re only insulting yourself with the girl jokes.” CJ retorted and she grinned at him.

She turned and opened the door, ready to dash out but CJ grabbed her, pulling her back and placing his hand over her mouth just in time to see his dad walk out of his room with a crying baby in tow.

“Sssh,” CJ said and quietly closed the door until only a crack was showing.

They both watched as CJ’s dad disappeared down the corridor and waited with baited breath for him to return. Alice tried her hardest to concentrate on the corridor outside and not the close proximity she now found herself in with CJ. He had dropped his hand from her mouth but still had his other hand on her waist, his body pressed against her back. She could feel his beating heart against her and she couldn’t help but smile as she matched her breathing to his. She could tell that CJ was as aware of their sudden closeness as she was, as his whole body had become tense and his thumb began to stroke her waist.

“You’re ridiculous,” Red chastised her, but she ignored her.

Eventually CJ’s dad returned with a bottle and CJ’s crying brother in his arms. Once he had gone back into his parents’ bedroom and shut the door behind him, Alice reached out and opened the door once more, briefly glancing up and down the corridor to ensure that this time it was empty. When both of them were happy, CJ took the lead and grabbed Alice’s hand, leading her down the stairs and out of the flat.

“Now where are we going?” CJ asked.

Alice smiled a slow smile but didn’t respond. Instead she led CJ down the corridor, her hand still clutched to his, and headed towards the main lobby. The place was as deserted as it had been when she had made her way to CJ’s flat, and they managed to safely cross the lobby and make their way down into the offices at the far end. She led him through them, not stopping once for fear of getting caught. She knew that any adults finding them would march them straight back to their beds and she was eager to show CJ what she had found.

As they got to the end of the office section of their little community, she continued, reaching the border limit; a large metal door stood between them and their destination.

“Why have you brought me here?” CJ asked as they reached a halt.

“Not here,” Alice said and nodded towards the door. “We’re not done yet.”

CJ looked at her like she was insane.

“Are you kidding me?” He said. “No one’s allowed past the border. That place is out of bounds.”

Alice rolled her eyes. “You’re acting like it’s dangerous or something.” She said. “The only reason people don’t go further is because there’s no need. And a team go out there at least once a month to check that everything’s okay. Besides, I heard that they’re thinking of expanding to this area over the next few years.”

“Okay, even if I agreed to this, which I’m not saying that I am, how would we even get in there? You need clearance.”

Alice pulled out a swipe card and threw CJ her most mischievous grin.

“You were saying?” She asked.

“How the hell did you get that?”

“People are too trusting in this place,” she answered. “They leave all kinds of doors unlocked at times.”

CJ looked at the swipe card as if it might attack them and Alice laughed. She swiped it across the entrance panel.

“This is a really bad idea.”

“I’m sorry,” Alice said. “I couldn’t hear you over the sound of your penis shrinking to make way for your vagina.”

“Okay, that one didn’t even make sense. Why would that make a noise?”

“Come on!” Alice laughed and dragged CJ through the now open door.

The sensor driven lights flickered to life as Alice ran down the corridor, dragging CJ along behind. She didn’t stop for ages, pulling CJ down the journey she had previously made. She remembered the way exactly and the closer she got to their destination, the more excited she felt.

“Just how much longer are we going to run for?” CJ asked, although there was laughter in his voice as well.

“We’re here.” Alice said.

They stopped outside the wooden oak doors. She reached her free hand up to the coloured carving on the door and let her fingers trace the floral pattern.

“What is this place?” CJ asked.

“Ssssh,” Alice responded. “Wait and see.”

She turned to him then and let out a slow smile, soaking in his questioning gaze for a moment.

“Could you drag this out any more?” Red asked.

She didn’t respond. Instead she reached for the handle and opened the door, leading CJ into the room. The door shut behind them, casting them into complete darkness.

“Okay, now stand just… there.” Alice said, positioning CJ into her marked out position.

Once he had promised to stay put and not move, Alice grinned stupidly at him, knowing full well that he couldn’t see her. She backed away until her back came into contact with the wall behind her. She found the light switch she needed and switched it on.

A floodlight turned on and immediately CJ was flooded in the multi-coloured light from the stained-glass window in front of him. He gazed up at it in wonder.

“Okay, so maybe he will like it.” Red said.

“Told you.” Alice whispered under her breath.

She joined CJ in the middle of the room and glanced up at the colourful window depicting Jesus and his disciples, lambs on his lap.

“Isn’t it amazing?” She asked him.

“You see them on TV, but they’re nothing like this.” CJ whispered.

“Obviously they look better under natural light but I guess they had to make do with what they had.” Alice said, she turned to him.

“Beautiful,” Red admitted.

“I know.” Alice said.

“You know what?” CJ asked, turning his attention to her.

Alice smiled and stroked his cheek with her hand, she could feel the electricity between the two of them. She saw his face turn serious and she realised that the moment she had been waiting for had arrived.

“My mum is always saying to me to make sure that the first time I kiss a guy is special.” Alice said and leant in close. “This feels special, doesn’t it?”

CJ smiled. “I’d say so.”

“Well good, because I couldn’t imagine sharing it with anyone else other than you.”

CJ’s smile increased and he closed the gap between them. Alice could feel Red’s anticipation rising with her own and she waited with baited breath for his soft, soft lips to reach hers. When they did, it was like fireworks had gone off everywhere within her head. She wanted to jump and scream and laugh and dance all at once, and she felt like she was doing all of those things. Although, in reality, she just stood there clutching hold of his waist with one of her hands, her free hand by her side. She stepped closer and opened her mouth, she was pretty sure that was what she was meant to do. Obviously it was right, because CJ followed suit and deepened the kiss, his own hand pulling her closer.

She could feel Red’s anticipation continue to grow until it became something else. Alice couldn’t put her finger on it. She mentally queried Red and found the answer, she was inpatient… Of course she was, she wasn’t getting anything out of this moment. She was just waiting for the next bit.

Alice reached into the back of her jeans and her fingers found their way round the leather and metal, pressed against her back. She pulled out the thing that was going to keep this moment sealed forever and before CJ could even realise what was going on, she placed the barrel against his temple and pulled the trigger.

The noise was deafening and CJ seemed to fall limp almost immediately, dropping to the floor in a crumpled heap. Red seemed to explode inside her head, bouncing around the inside of her skull in such glee that Alice couldn’t help but feel uplifted by it. However, deep down something didn’t seem right. She glanced down at CJ and saw what it was that irked her.

“No.” Alice said. “It’s wrong.”

“Then fix it.” Red answered. But Alice could tell that Red didn’t particularly care, she had had her moment of glory.

Alice wasn’t finished however and she knelt down and straightened CJ’s body out, laying his arm out so that she could fit herself in nicely. She laid down next to him and curled his arm around her shoulder, placing her own hand on his chest. Once she was comfortable, she glanced up at the colourful stained glass window once more, smiled serenely to herself, closed her eyes and fell asleep.

Peace out my lovelies.

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