Email Address: ashkalexander at gmail dot com
Age Category (MG, YA, NA, or Adult): MG
Genre: Historical Fantasy (Pseudo-Steampunk)
Other Age Categories and Genres You Like to Write: MG, YA, Adult fantasy, high, urban and historical. Some romance. Some horror/paranormal.
Twitter Handle: @ashkalexander
Web Presence (Optional): http://ashkalexanderwriter.blogspot.com/
Chapter Excerpt is From: Chapter One
500 Word Excerpt:
The first encounter between Miss Liadan Foley and Inspector James Abercrombie is an event which has been heralded by some as the beginning of great catastrophe, or at the very least, the upset of the social order. Miss Foley, a twelve-year-old of high intelligence and questionable sense, was on the run from her place of incarceration. Miss Foley had been occupying the residence hospital of reformist psychotherapist Dr. O’Toole. His methods of electro therapy were well known for being risky with successes few and far between.
Miss Foley was scheduled for one such treatment on a crisp fall morning. The sky being a becoming shade of October blue with few clouds in residence and the temperature had dipped below pleasant resulting in a dearth of shawls on those ladies taking a morning constitutional. The Brackenridge Hospital was abuzz with gossip and the good doctor was preparing for his patient—she had spilled ink down his shirtfront that morning after he informed her of his plan for electrotherapy.
Miss Foley herself, in stockings, shoes, pantalets, chemise and a particularly scandalous plaid petticoat was scaling down the brick façade of the hospital, her dress abandoned in a third floor closet. Miss Foley’s incarceration was not due to mental defect. Her deviance was visible to anyone who cared to look at her bare arms.
Shouts followed her as she ran away from the hospital, towards the complex of Trinity College to the north. Her attire drew remarks and stares from those she passed, but Miss Foley had no time for them.
Her boot heels clicked loudly against the street cobbles. The long thick braid of prematurely gray hair streamed behind her, though her thick eyebrows were still copper red. She was pale from long hours in dimly lit libraries and basement troves of knowledge and looked like a ghost against the backdrop of Dublin’s lively streets, though her nose and cheeks were liberally freckled from those short moments sunlight had dared grace her complexion.
Her pace slowed only just as she neared the campus, indecision written across her face. Her slim nose wrinkled. White coated medical professionals ran some distance behind her. Dr. O’Toole notable by the splatter of ink down his shirt front and memorable by the unfortunate nature of his facial hair, being of exuberant style and vibrant red, the color Dr. O’Toole’s hair would have been had he had any hair remaining.
The young lady was undeterred by their shouts, deciding on a direction that would take her deeper into the university’s tangle of buildings and with luck, a suitable place to lie low until the search was abandoned or night fell and she could sneak out again and seek passage to Glasgow or London. Someplace, she was determined, far, far away.
Miss Foley’s chosen trajectory put her directly in the path of a commotion occurring in an alley between two campus halls. The Dublin police in their blue uniforms and tall hats were in force around the site, truncheons in hand to keep back passerby and curious academics. A macabre display arranged in the far alley was the obvious reason for their presence.
Bio: I am a current resident of the Heartlands, though am nomadic by nature and design. I received my BFA in fine arts illustration, minoring in writing and art history. I spent a year after college doing more college while pursuing my dream to go to Europe and see--everything. I fell in love Dublin Ireland and knew at some point I would be writing at least one book set there. Upon my return to the states I continued to bounce around until I landed in Ohio. I'm currently an Autocad jockey by day and author by night. I have written more than a dozen novels (many of which were terrible) and have published to some degree under my pseudo-name, Missouri Dalton.When not working my time is devoted to art, research and teaching my ferocious beast of a cat that hands are not food and the sparrow is not out to get him no matter how he feels about either.
Critiquing Style: I start out with a general over-read, commenting as I go through if I see anything that's out and out grammatically wrong or spelled incorrectly (it happens to the best of us). I also remark on awkward phrasings, overall plot arcs and emotional beats. Once I have comments throughout I'll do a second read and then write a letter with any other thoughts/concerns/etc. I tend to do better talking face to face about issues but email exchanges also work. I'm always happy to expand/explain my comments if they aren't clear.