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note to self: i’ll be there for you, always

written june 6, 2021. Photo by Kristine Cinate on Unsplash I have always looked for myself in other people. I think the idea was that they would somehow hold the pieces of me that I felt were missing. That maybe, if I wrapped my identity up in theirs enough, we would somehow make a whole person. It's not healthy to live like this, but I did it anyway — burning through relationships and searching for something I couldn't quite name. It was never enough, not to be myself, but it was never enough to latch my identity to other people, either. I got close, several times — I thought I had reached the pinnacle of self discovery. I thought I had completed myself. But in the end, relying on other people to help build yourself is never a viable way to do things. It's only recently that I've started to become comfortable with the idea of being enough, as I am, on my own. Several years ago, in this same position, I would have searched for another person to attach my identity onto,

Introducing Metal and Bone (Beautiful Books #1)

It's my favorite time of year again: NaNoWriMo time! In addition to NaNo, there's this kinda awesome thing happening this fall: Beautiful Books, my blog link-up with Cait @ Paper Fury. Click here if you want more details.

I'm here to enter my own link-up because blogging about my books is my favorite thing to do.

1. How did you come up with the idea for your novel, and how long have you had the idea?
I was trying to come up with something that hasn't been done before, and the basic premise for my novel hit me. The rest of it was cobbled together through pictures on Pinterest. Pinterest says I pinned the first picture a year ago, so I'm going to go by that. (It feels like much longer.) The first pin I found was of Lana, my main character, here.

The book has changed a bit. I didn't expect it to stick around. I originally had Louis Tomlinson in the novel, as well as a brother for Lana. Colt wasn't in my original plans, either. At first this book was a standalone, but then I ended up connecting it to Lost Girls, my NaNo novel from last year. Colt is the older brother of Cooper and Bryn, who were in Lost Girls. He was the missing piece, which ended up making this much better.

2. Why are you excited to write this novel?
It's been around for so long, and it is so very atmospheric. It's going to whisk me back to futuristic California, which I can't wait for. All of the characters have such vibrant personalities and I'm in love with each of them.

3. What is your novel about, and what is the title?
My book is called Metal and Bone (I'm not copying Leigh Bardugo, I swear). My synopsis kinda sucks, but here it is:

Lana Michener has always loved the horse races in distant-future Los Angeles. Ever since she was a little girl, she dreamed of competing in the prestigious yearly derby. She's managed to land a spot as a jockey in this year's race, and it seems like all her dreams are coming true. Soon she meets Colt, a fellow jockey with a family secret; Kess, a mechanic supporting her two siblings; and Jax, a quirky computer geek with a lively personality. As the race draws near, Lana grows closer to her little group of misfits, but when it comes time to race, it becomes clear her childhood dreams are on the line. And ultimately the question on Lana's mind is... will she win?

Basically: wild horses, a bunch of extroverts, and the ocean. Should be fun.

4. Sum up your characters in one word each. (Feel free to add pictures!)

Lana Michener


Colt Matthews


(You can tell he's lost because he's heavily pondering things in both of these pictures.)

Kess Matthews


Jax Weathers


Grey Hollens


(I know, I know. Grey and Jamie Dornan in the same novel? I already realized the coincidence.)

5. Which character(s) do you think will be your favourite to write? Tell us about them!
Okay, well, honestly I'm excited to write all of them. I love Lana because she's got a fire inside of her. Colt is connected to my beloved novel Lost Girls and I get to give his family cameos. Kess (Colt's cousin) has been through some serious crap, and even with her bright hair and punk exterior, she's surprisingly sensitive. Jax will be my comic relief, but he also has a dark secret (that I don't know about yet). Grey is enigmatic and very wild, so I look forward to writing her as well. (Basically everyone in this book is an extroverted daredevil. Fun stuff.)

6. What is your protagonist’s goal, and what stands in the way?
Lana's goal is to win the race. 24 other jockeys stand in the way.

7. Where is your novel set? (Show us pictures if you have them!)
Lana is from San Francisco, but the horse races happen in Los Angeles. So, a bit of both maybe. Colt's home is in Santa Monica (the setting of Lost Girls) so maybe he'll head back there for a visit, too.

(I might be a wee bit obsessed with ocean pictures.)

8. What is the most important relationship your character has?
Lana will hopefully be friends with almost everyone in the novel, and each of them will be important to her in different ways. However, she and Colt are planned love interests (assuming they don't rebel and fall in love with someone else).

9. How does your protagonist change by the end of the novel?
I have no idea. I think maybe she learns to rely on other people rather than do everything herself. We'll see.

10. What themes are in your book? How do you want your readers to feel when the story is over?
The themes in this book are basically friendship. I want all my characters to be close to each other and lift each other up in different ways. I'm looking forward to writing each of their relationships.

As far as how I want my readers to feel... maybe like they've just gotten done having a smoothie with a friend. (I'd say coffee, but Metal and Bone is perfectly suited to fruity chilled drinks.)

NaNoWriMo BONUS: Tell us your 3 best pieces of advice for others trying to write a book in a month.
1. Don't think about what you're writing; just do it. You can edit it later as long as it's on the page. If you don't write it, then you have nothing to edit later.

2. Find a community and then plug yourself into it. Whether it's on the NaNoWriMo site or in a writing group on Facebook, find someone you can attempt this really wild adventure with.

3. Have fun! It doesn't matter if every word you write is profound as long as you're enjoying writing your novel and the characters in it.

Have you done Beautiful Books? How's your NaNo planning going? What's your best NaNo advice?


  1. I love the whole vibe of your story - the pictures you've found are just gorgeous! Also, future LA sounds so intriguing. I definitely wouldn't have thought of horse races there :)

  2. Oh wow this is an amazing link up, Sky! (and i just realized our blogs look totes similar. weird but AWESOME. ;) <3 your books sounds lovely. good luck on NaNoWriMo!!!!! (if you get five million of these sorry - browser is being totes weird).

  3. I am absolutely in love with your Pinterest boards. Honestly, they are some of my favourite things on the internet. I stalk them way more than is probably healthy. I love the setting of LA—I just realised that for some reason I always seem to pick cold places to set my stories...Denmark, England etc. I have some serious summer feels now. My own post is going up soon!

    Ely @ Tea & Titles

  4. I LOVE the sound of this. Almost more than I love the sound of Lost Girls. Your Pinterest boards are works of perfection, by the way. I'm mad jealous of your skills. =) Your first tip is the one I always have trouble following even though this is my 6th NaNoWriMo! I start out good but I always start thinking way too much towards the middle of the book. Love your answer to 10, I love books about friendship, it's awesome that that's your main theme and focus.

    Good luck with NaNo! =)

  5. I really love the vibe I'm gettting from your description-- it just sounds so /fun/. And the characters are absolutely adorable. :) Good luck with NaNo!

  6. Oh, this is great! Your novels always sound so unique and interesting. I mean, horse races in a future Los Angeles with a bunch of wild characters? So much uniqueness!

    How exciting this will be connected to Lost Girls! And your cast just sounds like way too much fun to write about.

    The very best of luck to you! I hope this is the best NaNo yet!!

  7. This sounds like a really cool idea! I'm wondering where the futuristic element comes in with the horses ... Also I really like your character pics. ^ ^ Best of luck with NaNo! :D

    I linked up with Beautiful Books. ^ ^

  8. Futuristic races in California? I'm in. I'm not really a beach girl, but this sounds like a fun concept with lots of cool characters.
    "Assuming they don't rebel and fall in love with someone else." Characters just do that, don't they? Though with me, I'm all "okay people, no romance allowed here." And then someone falls in love. :P
    Characters do tend to think for themselves . . .

    (And this reminds me, I don't know if you read about Ryan Graudin's "Wolf by Wolf." when I reviewed it last month. But it's motorcycle racing in alternate 1956 with an awesome female lead- but it seems like you might like it)

    Good luck on NaNo!


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