Kristin glanced in his direction and then back at me. She took a step towards me, hesitant. She unfolded her arms and shoved her hands in her jacket pockets.
"I'm sorry he's being such a jerk," she said. "He's not always that way."
I shrugged but didn't answer her. It wasn't the first apology she'd given me this year. I still had the sticky note that said "I'm sorry" in the back of my American History book, but I wasn't entirely sure I was ready to forgive her yet.
"How've you been?" she asked.
"Only ok?" she asked, a strained smile on her face.
Well, I thought to myself, I'm hanging out at a party with a bunch of kids I'm not sure if I like that much, your boyfriend just reminded me that half the football team still calls me "faggot" behind my back, and yesterday morning, right between homeroom and first period, I turned into a panther in the bathroom. Did you hear about that? No?
"You know." I shrugged again. "I'm ok."
Title: The Portal & The Panther
Author: R.A. Marshall
Genre: YA Fantasy / Science-Fiction
The only thing seventeen year-old Jon Parker wants is to escape his sleepy hometown of Mecksville, Arkansas. But everything changes when Jon stumbles into the boys’ bathroom and transforms into a black panther.
Without choice, Jon is thrust into a world where parallel universes are real, shapeshifters exist, and dangerous “intruders” can control the elements with a mere thought. Jon learns he’s inherited his shapeshifting ability from his long-dead mother, and now, like it or not, his mission is to protect our world from invaders from other worlds.
But is it a mission Jon will accept? His decision will determine the fate of the people he loves — and our whole world.
My first attempt at novel writing was when I was ten years old. At the time, I was writing fan fiction, without realizing what fan fiction actually was (I don’t think the term existed yet). I had just finished reading Tunnel in the Sky by Robert A. Heinlein for the second time and, for the second time, couldn’t stand that the book was ending. I needed some sort of sequel. I think I got about 12 handwritten pages into my Tunnel in the Sky sequel before my father pointed out that I’d never be able to publish it.
I tried writing novels again some time in college, but that was the period in my life when I took myself faaaaaar too seriously. If you’re over the age of 23, you’ll know what I mean by that. I was only interested in writing something Important, something that Mattered, and consequently wrote no more than about 10,000 words before giving up. In my heart, I didn’t want to write Les Mis or War and Peace, but The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.
When Kindle came along and I stopped buying actual paper books, I realized that there was a revolution going on in the publishing world. As I heard tales of self-published authors meeting with unprecedented success, I decided it was time to dust off my fiction writing skills and join their ranks. I could finally just write for the hell of it and never have to worry about what a publisher would think or what anyone else would think.
I finished the first draft of The Portal and the Panther in April 2014; I plan to publish it in January 2015. Meanwhile, I’m hard at work on the second book in the Guardians of the Portal series, The Girl Between Worlds. I hope to also have it ready at the same time as The P and the P.
You can read the prologue here: http://ninja-writer.com/the-portal-and-the-panther/
Email sign-up: http://eepurl.com/SMrjX. If you sign up before March 15, you will get the third book for free.