In a world populated by clones, Adara is unique. She has six fingers on each hand and a power she must keep hidden from the desperate survivors of a ravaged world where the Agros rule and corruption thrives.
In a land disfigured by famine and disease, panic spreads throughout the scattered population of NotSoGreatBritAlbian as the Agro Empire cuts food supplies and special children known as Meeks, disappear.
Now, starving Renegades are gathering, ready to storm the last haven in NotSoGreatBritAlbion. Whispers of a saviour have brought them to the perimeter fences. They want Adara, Catcher of Birds.
17-year-old orphan, Adara, isn’t like the other girlygigs in Cityplace. She has a special power which must be kept hidden. High-spirited and headstrong, she is thrilled about leaving school so she can follow her dream to train as an elite soldier of the New World Territories. But her plans are cut brutally short when Agros send in troops to lay waste to the capital. After her brother, Deogol, is abducted by a dark stranger, Adara must choose between saving him or joining her Santy Breanna to defend the once peaceful Metropolis from a vicious and deadly force.
Targeted Age Group:: 13 years to adult
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
I was inspired by pupils I taught creative writing to in my local High School. We were talking about environmental issues and how melting ice caps could flood most of the planet. They then asked me to write a story about a girl who would live in such a time. We brainstormed ideas about where she would live, what she would be like, and I took it from there.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
Since my class consisted of all girls they wanted me to come up with a heroine who was flawed. They wanted me to include things that other books neglected, such as the heroine eating, going to the toilet and having the dreaded monthly cycle. This helped me to create a fully-rounded character with a complex personality. I loved creating Adara and her world especially as I knew her character came from the ideas and inspiration from my pupils. My other characters came from their names. I decided to use traditional Gaelic, Anglo Saxon and Latin names that had specific meanings. Their meanings helped me to develop their character.
Sweat trickled down my armpits and back as I shinnied upwards. The climb was harder than it looked. I stopped midway and clung onto the thick twine for a much needed breather. The air hovered still for a sec and in that quiet I swear I heard an owlet hoot. Or maybe it was the ghosties of our lost ones wipple-warbling through the dirt-free walkways of Cityplace. Nah, what rot. Anyhoo, best not pause my ascent to ponder such a notion. It was nearly dusk-to-dawn time and my outsideness was in jeopardy.
“Flimsyfem. Feeblewomb,” nasty voices beneath my swinging feet heckled each clammy-fingered fumble that I made. If I’d been on ground level they’d be red-nosed crying like a bub, but I was not, so I ignored their goading and carried on.
I quickly pulled myself up the rope. Too vigorously as it turned out. The cord began to sway causing my shoulder to bump into the side of the massive metal frame. Although it hurt, I did not cry out. Even when the heat from the humming gastubes scorched my ear and I smelt the burnt sugar stench of singed hair. I kept shutums. If not, the bet would be lost.
Shaking my head to dispel the sizzle-sting, I over handed bit by bit until I reached the middle support rung. As I scrambled onto the narrow ledge, I heard a familiar two-pitch whistle. Flashlighters. Nad. I couldn’t be caught again.
The last time they fingered me sneak-thieving inside the Minion quarters outside Central Local. Well, my bro dared me to go and ask one of the dark-eyed dwellers exactly what the huff they did. Never did get to find out, though. All I managed to do was to scare a grubby-faced little ‘un when I held out my mutant mitts. A thing I do too often as it turns out. Like accepting dares. Although this one was by far the least hazardous, despite it being so high up. One day I would say no to these challenges. Yeah, right.
Yep, I know, I know. Derisive calls did not help to clamp down my fear at teetering on the edge of an info board beam. Although nervous and height-stricken, I looked below to where Drysi and Hrypa slouched. “Oy, tug on the end of the rope so that I can slip-slide down before the Longarms get a whiff of wrong doing.”
The over washed sissy-necked juves fled. I was left to hide as best I could before the ever vigilant Cityguards came searching for Curfewcrashers. Always get more folk risking being nabbed when something oddly occurs. The under-breath murmurs about the Carnies, and the kiddles that disappeared had residents all skittish with the need to know info that was not forthcoming.
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