At age sixteen, Mink Jollè still hasn’t discovered his Elemental affinity, which is an identity crisis unheard of on the planet Georra. He has endured constant bullying while being held back in school, and his parents have come to employ drastic measures to help him mature. Their current ruse is a camping trip on Rift Ridge, where they test Mink to the breaking point, to no avail.
Meanwhile, Mink and his parents run across a Machinist scout searching out a mother lode of ore, who finds more than he bargains for. An immense geode buried deep in the ground is fabled to be the Tear of God, and the first nation to claim it will hold power and protection unrivaled on Georra.
The race is on as Mink’s parents stand guard at the Tear of God, sending Mink back to his homeland for help. Defying the odds and surprising himself, Mink succeeds in delivering the news to his people, and is chosen to assist a Team in returning to the site to relieve his parents and acquire the Tear of God for Octernal. Along the way, Mink is forced to rely on his strengths without an Element in order to win respect and ultimately discover his true identity.
Raymond has enjoyed writing from an early age. He lives in Coastal North Carolina with his wife and two daughters. His character driven stories reflect the diversity of the places he has lived and the jobs he has had, focusing on animals and film.
Abuse is one of the darker themes in this book. Writing it in a way that was credible to both Georra and Earth was difficult enough to force several drafts. I felt it was important to make the characters mostly oblivious to the abuse they were participating in. The kind that escalated in a slow burn for Mink's "own good."
Additionally, I couldn't break away from plot and action to stand on a soapbox and preach to the converted. My goal was for the abuse to be stylized without becoming glorified. Even these darker moments needed to add to the reader's understanding of the world and family dynamics, develop character, advance the story, and captivate imagination rather than repel.
Tear of God – Elements
Juré rushed into the fight. The sudden change in battle dynamics gave Mink an adrenaline rush and second wind. As soon as Juré arrived behind Nyam, she jumped in the Air, forcing Mink into a high guard. It was difficult for Mink to track Juré’s movements while blocking Nyam’s kicks over his head, but he did glimpse the flash of a weaponized dust tube extended toward him.
He spun on his back heel and swung the paddle to fan the dust away from him. Nyam and Juré quickly backed off to avoid the fanned dust. Much to Mink’s dismay, his paddle caught a fair amount of the dust. The crackling and fizzing sound confirmed that the dust was Imbued with Lightning, canceling out Dreh’s Wood effect. Nyam wasted no time punching Mink’s paddle and pulverizing it into splinters and shards.