Guest Post and Excerpt by Gretchen S. B.
Playing In Your Own Sandbox
All you other writers out there will have to tell me if you agree or if I am a crazy person. I used to want to be an actress. To play different characters and bring them to life to entertain others. Then I started seriously writing and realized that suited me several times better.
When I was acting the world was already created and structured for me. Sure every once in a while you can shape a role and make it your own, but usually it is within the parameters of the director and writers. It is like you are sitting in someone else’s sandbox, playing with the toys available to you.
When I really started writing I realized that I could set all the rules, I could build the world I wanted to play in from scratch. It was as if I was creating my own sandbox, it could be the shape of a cow with blue sand if I wanted.
Maybe I am just that much of a ‘march to the beat of your own drum’ person, but I can’t imagine not writing now. Not only do I get to create the world but I can’t always skip to the end and find out what happens. I have to write it out and experience the story with my characters. I find that I become so much more invested in the story when it is the world I created verses playing in someone else’s sandbox.
Gretchen S. B.
Genre: Urban Fantasy
When a scientist runs an experiment on three separate college campuses that goes horribly wrong, several hundred students find their lives altered forever. They must learn to adapt to their new lives as Werewolves. Immediately after the incident a government program was put in place to keep track of these unwitting subjects. After a year the program falls apart as those in charge argue on how to proceed.
Without the programmers constantly looking over their shoulders the werewolves have now started to organize themselves. Creating their own hierarchy and alliances.
Jack is the Alpha of Pacific Northwest University's pack F. He thought the government had finally taken a step back and let him and the other Alphas run their packs. Recently, however, he has been hearing rumblings about the programmers wanting to reinstate the program. He thought they were just rumors until he finds out one of his pack is being threatened by several of the lab assistants that took part in the original experiment. Now Jack must scramble to find allies and hunt down those threatening his pack. The more he goes looking the bigger the plot becomes.
Lyra knew the Weres who jumped her were members of pack L, former lab assistants of Berman’s from Pacific Northwest University. They hadn’t tried to negotiate this time, but had simply jumped her as turned the corner on her way home from the off-leash dog park in her neighborhood.
As soon as she smelled her attackers approaching, she turned to Hazel and pretended to have lost her cell phone. Hazel hadn’t questioned it, just taken Fizgig’s leash from Lyra’s outstretched hand and continued walking to Lyra’s apartment.
Lyra double-timed it toward the park. She knew her attackers would follow. All she needed was enough distance between them and Hazel. Lyra loved Hazel like family, but the other woman was not a fighter. Hazel would try, but she would only be hurt or used against Lyra. It didn’t really help matters that Hazel and Lyra knew all of each other’s secrets. In Lyra’s case some of those secrets could get them killed.
Lyra knew leading the attackers away from Hazel and the dogs was her best and only option. As the outskirts of the forested trail closed in around her, Lyra spun and braced herself for the attack. She could smell the malicious intent like rotting meat rolling off of them. She had one advantage: they didn’t know how well she could fight. Growing up in a predominantly male social group, Lyra had honed her skills. They thought girls were weak. They would underestimate her. Lyra gave a small grin as the three Weres came into view around the bend.
Lyra posed as if she’d been off-guard and was helpless, widening her eyes and shrinking away in horror. The tallest guy headed toward her. Lyra counted, waiting until the last second when his arms stretched out to grab her. She roundhouse-kicked him in the head. The Were crumpled. Weres could take and dole out major damage and Lyra was stronger than most. The blow had landed perfectly, and he’d be out of commission for a few minutes.
The other two men didn’t make the same mistake; they rushed her. Lyra backed up. She needed more room than the thin nature trail provided. She was able to get one punch in to the guy on her left before the other man grabbed her.
Panic began to rise as a strong arm banded around her throat. Screaming to herself, she pushed the panic aside. She struggled to remember the course of action for this type of attack. Using the heel of her shoe, she stomped on her attacker’s foot. Inwardly she swore as she connected with a boot—she couldn’t do any damage that way. His arm tightened, and she knew he meant for her to lose consciousness. That would be bad. She felt the loss of breath acutely and Lyra knew she had maybe thirty seconds to get out of the hold before she was incapacitated.
She gave one swift kick behind her as she dug both her thumbs at her throat to relieve the pressure. Her kick hit true and her attacker cried out as her heel connected with groin.
She felt the man back up and she moved the opposite direction, scanning for the Were she’d punched in the stomach. She didn’t see him, not at first, but what she did see made her curse.
Gretchen happily lives in Seattle, Washington where she spends her time creating new characters and situations to put them in. She also enjoys cheering on her local sports teams, even though it sometimes seems they are allergic to winning.
Gretchen has spent most of her life in Washington state. She graduated from Central Washington University with a BA in History and a BA in Philosophy. Though there was a brief stint after college where she lived in Florida and worked for the mouse (Disney World). She loves that Washington provides a large range of activities, from Shakespeare in the park to rodeos.
She has had a love of reading and telling stories as far back as she, or anyone else, can remember. Currently, she loves to read the same genres she writes. She also loves exploring her home state. At the end of her adventures she unwinds by curling up on the couch, knitting while catching up TV shows via Netflix.