The Part That Doesn’t Burn
Genre: Dark Fantasy
Publisher: Tirgearr Publishing
Date of Publication: March 23rd, 2016
Number of pages: 319
Word Count: 97,000
Cover Artist: Cora Graphics
In an overpopulated city-state where technology and magic are forbidden by the corrupt church, young witch, Mirabel Fairfax, plots the creation of a deadly plague to cull the burdensome rabble.
That is, until she falls in love with the very alchemist she has been deceiving.
Now, with soul-hungry geists flooding the city, the church scrambling for their prey, and her own mind at war with itself, Mirabel must decide what she's fighting for before she loses everything to the evils of Autumnfall.
Mirabel waited in the darkness. Each passing second made it exponentially less likely the power would return.
“Mirabel? Did we lose power?” Felix’s voice quivered in the darkness.
“It should return momentarily.”
They waited. Mirabel could practically feel Felix’s demeanor evaporating.
“Unbelievable, the singular time I am protecting company on the geistlines, a train dies. We are not coal powered. We are coming to a stop. Perhaps your pessimism rang true. Sour fortune must have followed you from Haugen. We need to leave.”
“L-leave? As in, leave the train, and go out there?”
“Felix, without power the only thing stopping a geist from swooping in here and taking your face off is nothing. One hundred percent nothing. Essentially, we already have the cons of being outside, along with the narrow space of being inside. Not a survivable combination.”
Without hesitation Felix took to gathering his tools, and corralling them into his bags.
“No time for that.”
She tugged him out of their room and through the train car. One side of the car featured the cabins. Asleep and unaware, no one else left their rooms. Windows with their blinds drawn and a faint cyan shimmering through adorned the other side.
“They’re lining both sides of the tracks. How long do we have?” said Felix.
“Geist behavior is a constant mystery, even to me, but eventually some will strike. Even those with eternity run out of patience.”
They reached the door to the next car and Mirabel mashed on the panel. Nothing. No power, no doors. She tried the manual handle, but it wouldn’t budge. If only Miss Perfect-Priestess were here, then the door wouldn’t be able to fly open fast enough.
“Oh bother,” she said.
“Door haunted too?”
“Handle denies me. Seems rusted, and I wonder if they automatically power lock.”
She could barely make out Felix’s nervous wince. “I wouldn’t expect that, Mirabel. Emergency situations would turn fatalities.”
“That is not happening with us.” She put her weight on the lever. It didn’t amount to much, and the lever knew it.
“Let me try.”
Felix consisted of average build and height, if not a tad lanky. Certainly not the strong type. Petite Mirabel stood quite small, a whole head shorter, also not the strong type, but she expected she could generate more strength. The alchemist didn’t have the mind for it.
“Felix, darling, put your hands here.” She directed his hands next to hers. “Press down on three, yes?”
Violet light washed over the handle they gripped before she got to “one.” She didn’t have to turn around to know its source. It traveled up her arms and across the door. If another passenger had opened a blind, the light source wouldn’t be nearing them.
“Three-three-three,” she shouted.
Felix threw down on the handle alongside her. Perhaps he did have the mind for it when terrified. With a shriek the lever punched into the open position, and the partners threw their hands into the crevice at the door’s left.
“Get the blasted thing open. Pull, Felix, do not look back.”
She made a mistake. Everyone looks back when instructed not to. He turned his neck and got an eyeful of something that forced a spate foul language. Such words didn’t suit him. Pulling with whatever force her slender arms could muster, she joined his blunder and looked over her shoulder.
About the Author:
Sam Poling has been writing fantasy and science fiction for the thrill of it his entire life, from short stories to screenplays. His love for each of the subgenres led to dedication to writing genre-skirting fiction with all the elements that make up the human condition. He holds a strong enthusiasm for medical studies and currently works as a medical assistant in a large clinic while taking classing for nursing. He also serves on a health and safety committee, including disaster preparedness and infection control. His interest in epidemiology and medical science tends to spill over into his writing endeavors.
Author’s site: www.samuelpoling.com
Sam Poling – THE PART THAT DOESN’T BURN
Where are you from?
I am from Marysville, Washington.
Tell us your latest news?
My novel, THE PART THAT DOESNT BURN was just released.
When and why did you begin writing?
I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember, at least since my early teens. I wrote to express the stories and characters circling around in my head, begging to be brought to life.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
In Middle School I carried around notebooks filled with “novels” I had written in a series. I considered myself a writer of sorts around that time, I suppose.
What inspired you to write your first book?
A great deal of things, but mostly it was my protagonist and the other characters I came up with during story-telling games and the like. They fit into a great story together and demanded to be put to paper.
Do you have a specific writing style?
I write to clarity over “prettiness” or “wordiness,” with preference to strong verbs and nouns. And somehow my tone is often wry, even in the darkest of hours.
How did you come up with the title?
It refers to the human condition: that no matter how much suffering you are put through, there is always a part of your humanity the fires of hell cannot burn from you. My novel is about using that bit of your humanity as your strength to fight back against the unfairness of the world around you.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
I want them to have fun with the characters, but if they learn anything, I hope they discover the hidden strengths within themselves.
How much of the book is realistic?
Aside from what it has to say of the human heart, nothing. It is entirely fantasy. However, witch hunts were a real, unfortunate thing in our own world.
Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
No. I’ve never known anyone to have to run from geists or deal with demons or black-magic fueled insanity. Fortunately.
What books have most influenced your life most?
With regards to big name authors, I like some of their least known books such as Dean Koontz’s TICK TOCK, or Stephen King’s EYES OF THE DRAGON. JURASSSIC PARK by Michael Crichton is another favorite.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
Dr. Lisa C. Murphy, author of WYRMSTONE.
What book are you reading now?
None, I’m trying to write one actually!
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
What are your current projects?
I am toying with sequel ideas for my novel.
What would you like my readers to know?
Don’t hesitate to write reviews! Share your thoughts.