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Saturday 23 November 2019

Darklight On ... Marie Dry

Today's Darklight On is ... Marie Dry

Thank you for having me on Darklight On.

I thought I’d talk a little about my writing process, or lack of a process. I’m a pantser, I don’t think my brain is wired to write any other way. For those that don’t know the term, a pantser is a writer that doesn’t plot, but just write by the seat of their pants. Add to that, I write out of sequence and you get a rather interesting writing process. That said, before I start writing I have to sit down and work out the characters and I spend a lot of time on that. I need to know the characters and how they will act in certain situations. What makes them happy and sad or so mad they can commit murder. 

Every time I start writing I have a clear idea of where I’m going with the story and each and every time the characters have different ideas. They end up with different issues and journeys than I had in my head. I thought to just go with the flow and not do any character development, but then the characters remain quiet. It’s as if they get this sadistic pleasure out of making me do all that work and then ignoring me and going their merry way. Their other favourite trick is to beat the back of my eyeballs until I see things their way. No, it’s not my writer’s imagination, they really do that!

Writing Alien Redeemed was no different. Though for some reason this book took me much longer than any other book to write. I’ve mentioned in several interviews that I even drafted a facebook post in my mind, trying to find the words to tell everyone waiting for this book, that the Zyrgin Warriors won’t have a last book and the series would just end somewhere in the middle. Thank goodness I didn’t have to do that. 

I met up with a friend from yoga, Chantall and I chatted to her about my characters. She is a psychologist and I loved her insights. Suddenly I could see past what happened to Sarah in the raider camps, to the person she was becoming through sheer determination. She and Zaar struck sparks off each other and I typed Zaar’s superior plan to win his human, a little bemused and amused at what I was typing. But the characters were at the wheel. Thank goodness they were, because going on the reviews and feedback from my readers, they knew the best way to tell their story.



On a harsh alien planet, in a faraway galaxy, Sarah, a gentle human woman, is determined to start a new life, far away from the hardship she endured on Earth and the pitying glances of her friends.

Once on Zyrgin, Sarah finds that, instead of being the empress and helpmeet at the side of the Zyrgin leader, she is merely his breeder. She is trapped in a gilded cage, not allowed to go out and interact with the other women on the planet, until she's proven her loyalty to the empire by birthing Zaar’s child. After her traumatic experiences in the raider camps, and the resultant PTSD, Sarah doubts she could ever make love to her Zyrgin warrior.

Zaar assures her he has a superior plan to cure her of her problem. But is he able to reach through all the barriers Sarah has erected against true intimacy?

Read on for Chapter One

Zaar, ruler of all the known galaxies and soon to be ruler of the unknown galaxies, didn’t want another breeder. Didn’t need another fragile female to betray him and call him barbarian, and then kill herself.
Shortly after Zaar’s breeder ended herself, the Wise One, the religious leader of the Zyrgin Empire, found the scrolls—Zaar still thought the timing rather suspicious—that predicted that a small, golden woman, with the birthmark of swords, would redeem his honorZaar had ignored it. He didn’t believe in prophecies and didn’t consider his honor lost. 
Unfortunately Zurian’s breeder had shown him a likeness of her friend that had been sold into slavery. The woman had the mark of the swords, and word had spread like wildfire through the ranks. When Zacar’s warriors had rescued the human female, Sarah, with the mark of two swords crossing on her skin, he knew he’d have to take the puny, golden-haired human, with the mark of the prophecy, as his breeder. He might be the most powerful person in the known galaxies, but in this he had no choice. Would she hate living on Zyrgin, like his first breeder did?
Many times after her rescue from the raider camps, he’d come to her room camouflaged, to observe her. To try and find something about her he could use to refuse taking her. Instead she fascinated him with the odd things she did.
He stood against the wall of her room, invisible to her eyes, and observed her hiding food, putting pieces of cloth on the floor, and then she’d sit staring at it for hours. Only to pack it back into a basket. The odd things she did fascinated him. He wanted to touch her golden hair, wondered if her pearl-colored skin would be as soft as it looked. Wondered where her head would fit against him when she stood in front of him. That first time in come into her room, she’d sat trembling in the corner, softly moaning, her eyes staring unblinking in front of her, as if she saw images only she could see. But every time he returned, she’d been different, stronger.
He’d left her and had killed as many raiders as he could find. He’d also taken a personal interest in the men in his dungeon. He might not have wanted another breeder, but he would avenge her.
Months had passed since that first time. He couldn’t stay away—kept coming back to observe her unseen. 
Zaar materialized, camouflaged, inside the room where his breeder sat on the floor, wearing what the humans called jeans. It wasn’t proper, the way it looked on her, but he enjoyed seeing the way it stretched over her hips. Sitting on the floor, she was trying, without much success, in his opinion, to unravel what looked like balls of peasant silk. She never sat on a chair if she could sit on the floor. It was a habit he didn’t think a delicate human female would have.
She muttered something he couldn’t make out, even with his superior hearing, and yanked on a string entangled with several others. 
Zaar looked her over critically. No doubt he had the most beautiful breeder in the empire, but everything about her was alarmingly fragile. A Zyrgin like him needed a woman that was strong mentally and physically. He’d experienced firsthand the results of taking a weak woman as breeder.
Female footsteps came from outside and he stared at Sarah who didn’t react. The bad hearing of the humans never ceased to amaze him. How did they function without hearing and with their bad eyesight? A bell rang and his breeder jumped up and went toward the door that opened to allow Zurian’s breeder to walk in. 
Julia touched Sarah’s shoulder briefly and then stepped back. “How are you doing, Sarah? How’d the visit with Hester go?” She asked that every time, and Zaar couldn’t see the reason for the repetition. Hester was the therapist they’d found to talk to the women about what happened in the camps. 
“I almost punched her in the face yesterday.” Sarah threw a punch in the air; her stance was wrong and the way she punched wasn’t effective at all. 
Julia laughed. “Obviously our training sessions are working. But please don’t beat up our therapist. You have no idea how difficult it was to get someone with those qualifications.”
Zaar had conquered many planets, but Earth was the first planet they found where the intelligent life forms, the humans, were close to making themselves extinct. He would honorZacar’s promise not to do conquest on the humans, but they needed managing. The scarcity of trained doctors and these therapists showed how they’d mismanaged their planet.
Sarah lowered her fists and shrugged. “Okay, she can live, but if she tells me one more time about healing tears, I’m punching her.” She made another odd jab with her small fist.
Julia laughed. “Honestly, if you can actually manage to land a punch, I’d volunteer to go out and find a replacement for Hester. You have no idea how impossible a task it is.” She rummaged in the large, bright red bag she’d brought with her and took out a pair of pink and another pair of gold shoes. She held it up. “Ta-daa.”
Sarah frowned and looked from Julia to the shoes. “Why did you bring heels?” 
“We are going to do the exercises in these heels. The first one to lose her balance gets to make the coffee and cake.”
Zaar cocked his head, tried to make sense of what Julia said. He debated putting a stop to this plan; Sarah could break an ankle. But he wanted to reveal himself to her when she was alone. Not with Zurian’s mouthy breeder around. And he was curious to see what they’d do.
Sarah smiled and grabbed the pink shoes from Julia. She sat down in a chair and pulled off the sensible shoes he approved of and put on the pink high-heeled shoes. She stood and Zaar decided to obtain more of them for her. In Zaar’s opinion, Sarah should have the gold pair; her hair was shinier and would fit better with the shoes.
They played the program, and Zaar stood watching as his breeder kicked and jumped as the fat human in the exercise program instructed. It was no surprise when Sarah lost her balance and ended up on the floor. She threw back her head and laughed as Julia tumbled down next to her. Her human laugh sounded odd to him, but he couldn’t stop watching the way her blue eyes sparkled when she laughed.
Sarah walked barefoot to the synthesizer and ordered coffee and a cake that looked revolting. “How is Mirabelle?” she asked as she handed Julia a plate and cup and then sat down on the floor next to her.
Zaar stared down at the two human women. He’d thought they would sit at the table, demand someone serve them. Normally, if he came to observe her and she had the other women with her, Zaar would leave. He should rethink that strategy. He’d learned a lot today. She was beautiful even when she did her ugly human laughter, and she was terrible at self-defence. He’d trained many warriors, and no amount of training would turn his breeder into a fighter. It was a good thing a warrior owned her.
“What do you want, Sarah?” Julia asked in an abrupt manner.
Sarah’s shoulders stiffened and she frowned down at her cake. “What do you mean?” She pressed the fork into the cake, until it looked like mud.
Julia set down her plate on the floor and looked Sarah in the eye. “You’ve been holed up here for months, almost a year now.”
“You want me to go?” His breeder sounded tragic, as if she wanted to make human tears. Zaar took a silent step forward. He couldn’t harm another Zyrgin’s breeder, but he could deliver her to her warrior with instructions to keep her in their dwelling. 
Julia shook her head so vigorously, the hair Zurian always bragged about—that was not nearly as shiny and gold as Sarah’s—swung about her face. “No, Sarah, never. I want you to stay with us forever.” She took Sarah’s hands in hers. “You can’t continue like this. You need a purpose, something to live for. Something that makes you so happy you laugh from deep inside your belly.” She gestured at the peasant silk. “You pretend to be interested in making clothes, but I know what you look like when you’re excited about something. If it’s not your passion anymore, find something, anything that gives you a reason to get up every morning.”
Zaar didn’t appreciate her meddling. Sarah had a purpose as the breeder to the Parenadorz of all the known galaxies. That was purpose enough for her. 
Sarah’s face was unmoving, but she still pushed the cake around with her fork and that more than anything told him how upset she was over Julia’s question. He’d seen her eat warrior-sized meals and she always looked as if she could pack away more. Sarah shrugged. “All I ever wanted was to be loved, to have children, and work on my business like me and Charles had planned.”
“Charles might come b—”
“He doesn’t want me anymore,” Sarah interrupted, her voice harsh with emotion. 
“Why are you so sure of that?” 
Sarah shrugged. “It doesn’t matter anyway. All I want now is to be safe, not to be sold by people I trust.” She put the plate down on the floor and then shuddered. “I want to belong somewhere, Julia.”
“You belong with us,” Julia said.
“Not really. You are my friends, the best friends I could ever ask for. But I want what you and Natalie have. You belong with your warriors and the children. I can never have that.”
“Of course you can.”
Sarah looked up at Julia and her lips twisted in a way Zaar didn’t like. “You know what happened to me? If Charles who loved me couldn’t accept me after what happened, why would any other man? 
“You don’t know—”
“I know him. Even if there’s a man out there who could accept that, I don’t think I can have a normal relationship.” She clenched her fist. “But I want to, I don’t want those b… b… beasts to win.”
Julia took his breeder’s hands and held it. “You know, you won’t be struck dead if you call those assholes bastards. That’s what they are.”
Zaar could think of much more descriptive words to call them.
Sarah shook her head. “It’s too ingrained in me, I suppose. No matter how hard I try, the words just won’t come out.”
“I wouldn’t mind being as ladylike as you,” Julia said. They both sat silent, eating their cake, and then Julia suddenly said, “Promise me something?”
Sarah looked wary. “What?”
“If a chance for adventure and change presented itself, no matter how outrageous it seems, grab it with both hands and go for the ride.”
Sarah put down her plate again, and stared at Zurian’s breeder. “Do you know something, Julia?”
“Of course not.” Julia got up and got busy putting the high heels into her bag. If she warned Sarah about the fact that she would be Zaar’s breeder, he would pay Zurian a visit. “Just don’t let fear hold you back.”
“All right.”
Julia jumped up. “I have to go. Mirabelle is with Natalie and I promised not to be too long.” She hugged Sarah and ran out the door. She came back almost immediately. “I almost forgot, here’s the canned food you wanted.” She shuddered. “How you can eat that when you can synthesize meals, I don’t know.” With that she ran out again.
“She’s hiding something from me,” Sarah mumbled. She went to the bed and put one tin of the human food under her bed, the other she hid among the peasant silk. Making lines on her forehead, she took up the fighting stance again. 
“Stuff off, Destiny,” she said. Who was this Destiny? He didn’t approve such a person for contact with his breeder. She reached up and behind her and tightened the band that held her hair together at the back of her head. He’d noticed she did that before she tackled any hard tasks. She adjusted her stance again and still didn’t get it right. “Start Program,” she said. The image of the instructor, that had to be the worst he’d ever seen in his lifetime, appeared again.
“If you can’t spin and kick yet, turn as fast as you can, and kick hard, and with meaning,” the instructor on the TC program said. Zyrgins never gave conquered planets their technology. They improved existing technologies if it was necessary for the smooth running of the planet. The TC that allowed the humans to watch programs and badly reported news, was the most primitive of all the technologies they’d encountered. That went for the instructor of this so-called exercise program, as well. Why did she want to learn anything from this human male that had no muscles and no fighting skills? 
Breathing hard, Sarah paused the program and adjusted her stance again. “Julia’s right, I need more exercise,” she mumbled and played the clip again. Sarah turned and kicked. “Take that, Destiny,” she screamed at the same time the solid thwack sounded as her foot connected. Zaar didn’t know which of them was more surprised when her heel hit his groin.
His breeder jumped around on one leg. “Ouch, ouch, ouch.” She stumbled back from him. “What the h… What happened?”
Zaar made himself visible. 
She looked up at him and whimpered and scrambled away. “Where did you come from?” Then that Zyrgin-like spirit he’d observed in her several times, stopped her in her tracks. She lifted her head and stood her ground, her gaze flicking from his jacket to his face.
“Who is Destiny?” he asked. His breeder will not have relations with a human male.
She made lines on her forehead again and then touched her hair. “Someone I’m going to kill,” she replied. “How did you get in here?” She moved away from him, in the direction of the door. “And why didn’t I see you enter? I faced the door the whole time.” 
He glanced at the corner where the TC still played the exercise program and then looked her up and down. “You do not have the skill to kill this Destiny. It would be better if a superior Zyrgin warrior like me killed him for you.”
She gave a strange laugh. “Oh, I think I can kick his butt without any help.”
“You are small and weak and your fighting skills are inadequate.” He glared at the instructor, still showing off his marshall skills. “Learning from an inferior male like that will not help you. You need a warrior.” 
Her face leaked of color, becoming as white as the clouds in the Earth sky. “I don’t need a warrior; I don’t need anyone.” She smoothed her hands over her jeans, all the while watching him with those jewel eyes. “You haven’t told me how you got in here and who you are. I will call Zacar if you take one step closer,” she threatened. Her gaze went to the door, measuring the distance. 
Zacar is under my command and I can be anywhere I want andcalling him will not help you.” He ignored the way she trembled and looked her up and down.” You are too puny to kill this Destiny. I will kill him for you.” 
She wrung her hands. “You don’t understand, Destiny is—”
She stopped talking and bit her lip. “Thank you, but I can kick his butt,” she said. What was she going to say about this Destiny? Was it a male she met in secret? She inched to the left, still giving the door those furtive glances. 
“You won’t make it,” he said gently, not wanting to scare her. But he wasn’t about to allow her to run out, screaming for the guards or Zacar
She froze and for a moment he saw sheer terror on her face. He’d seen it on many alien faces during his many conquest campaigns. He didn’t want that look on her face when she looked at him. 
She took another step back, but pointed her chin at him. “You have no right to invade my privacy like this. Who do you think you are?” 
“I am the Zyrgin,” he told her. Obviously, she didn’t understand when he’d told her before. 
“I know you’re a Zyrgin,” she added under her breath. “Did he think I missed the green-and-copper skin, bulging muscles, ridge on his head, and those odd eyes?”
Zaar decided to never tell her how good his hearing was. He enjoyed listening to her strange ramblings.  
The Zyrgin,” he corrected.
She rocked back a little, as if the truth had hit her. She touched the band that held her hair together, then plucked at her shirt. She took two more steps back, her eyes so wide, it looked like Earth viewed from space. “You’re the emperor?”
“The correct title is Parenadorz, but you can address me as my leader.”
“If you’re the Parenz-whatever, how can you be here? Julia said it takes a year for your ships to reach us. Surely you can’t just leave everything to travel to Earth to talk to one insignificant human.” She said that pointedly, as if she wanted to convince him she was of no importance.
“Your feeble human mind cannot comprehend my powers and how I can be here,” he told her and she narrowed her eyes at him. 
She crossed her arms over her chest and tapped her toe. “Why don’t you try explaining it to me? My feeble human brain might surprise you.” She trembled so much, he was surprised her thin limbs didn’t rattle together. But she was brave, standing her ground. He was impressed that she tapped her toes at him, in spite of her fear.
“I do not need to explain anything to you. But you should know that you are the least insignificant human on this planet. As my breeder you have a status above all others.” He knew what impressed breeders. The next time he came, he’d bring jewels and silk clothes. And strings of silk to replace her peasant silk.
“B…breeder?” she stammered. And then in that undertone: “So that’s what Julia talked about? Wonder how she knew?” She sounded disappointed, as if she thought her friend had betrayed her.
“I give you the privilege to become my breeder.” He manifested and presented the gold eduki pelt.
“What’s that?”
“It is the pelt of the eduki that I hunted and killed with my bare hands. You are now my breeder.” Zaar had resolved never to do this again, and yet he felt a savage satisfaction at knowing she belonged to him now.
She shook her head, her hair swinging back and forth. She ran to the door, but he’d programed it to stay close while he was with her. “No, no, no! Not again, never again.” She slammed her hands against the door.

About Marie Dry

Ever since she can remember Marie Dry wanted to travel. She lived in Zambia, Morocco and Spain and did short stints in Tunisia, Zimbabwe, Rome, Brazil, Portugal, Botswana and Mozambique. Through all the travelling reading romance has been a constant.

She read romances since she was nine and was fairly young when she decided she would write a story that had all the elements she looked for in a romance. Her first book was published in 2014.

There are several wonderful moments in her life that she would never trade for anything. One of them is meeting President Nelson Mandela and the second being published.


Buy Links  Amazon US / Amazon AU / Kobo 

Author Links  Website / Facebook


  1. Thanks for sharing, Marie. I tend to pants too. Even when I think I know where the story is going, characters and situations pop out of nowhere to change the story, so I totally understand where you're coming from.

  2. Gosh, there's certainly an art to pantsing. If that excerpt is anything to go by, Marie, it sounds like you've got it nailed. Thank you for sharing this!


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