Introducing J P McLean
Where did the idea for the story come from?
I’ve had recurring flying dreams since I was a child. They are my favourite dreams, and I know I’m not the only one who dreams of flying. So, writing a story about a secret society of people who can fly, fuelled my imagination. I especially loved finding the words to describe the sense of freedom and wonder that I feel in my dreams.
Give a quote from the books, one that says little but speaks volumes.
“I looked around at the majestic vista before me and felt the enormity of it, the possibility of it, and smiled, just a little.” —Emelynn Taylor from Secret Sky
Summarise your book in ten words or less.
Haunted. Hunted. Deadly. Some secrets are lethal.
What genre is it?
How many pages is it?
Give a short summary of what the book is about.
Secret Sky is about a secret society of people who can fly. Emelynn Taylor is the protagonist, but she doesn’t start out knowing that she can fly. She knows she’s losing gravity, which is awkward, and dangerous. In a daring attempt to learn to control it, a miscalculation causes her to fall from the sky. She ends up in hospital, and that’s where she meets a doctor who recognizes the second lens in her eyes that marks her as one of them, a Flier. The doctor introduces her to a covey of others who are like her. They teach her how to fly and indoctrinate her into their secret society. But she soon learns that they are keeping secrets. Their kind are ruled by a Soviet-style Tribunal, and powerful organizations know about them, are hunting them, and Fliers like her are going missing. Only one has ever escaped and he returned missing an eye and his will to live.
Why do you think the readers will want to read it?
I think we all need an escape and during the pandemic? More than ever.
Where are you located?
Denman Island, British Columbia, Canada.
Everybody wishes they could fly – until it happens. When Emelynn Taylor wakes up in the emergency room, her injuries present Dr. Avery Coulter with more questions than answers. Who is this guarded young woman? Why was she found in the middle of Sunset Park? How can she have injuries consistent with falling from above the tree line? Seemingly from nowhere? And, more importantly: Why is she lying about it?
The truth is stranger than anyone could have imagined – least of all Emelynn herself.
Nine years earlier, during the same summer she’d lost her father, 12-year-old Emelynn accepted a ‘gift’ from a mysterious woman called Jolene. Now, as she recovers in Dr. Coulter’s emergency room, she’s left wondering if that blessing was really more of a curse. Jolene’s gift planted the seeds of incredible power within Emelynn – but what’s the point of such abilities if you can’t control them? Her emerging gift of flight, for example, nearly killed Emelynn when it sent her plummeting to the sidewalk in Sunset Park. Next time, she might not be so lucky.
But Emelynn is determined to master her abilities, and returns to the seaside cottage where Jolene had once granted her this ‘gift.’ There, Dr. Coulter guides Emelynn in uncovering a secret society of others just like her, who inhabit a mysterious world-within-a-world that challenges everything Emelynn thought she’d known. But the more she uncovers, the murkier the truth becomes. Soon, Emelynn is left questioning the motives of those she’d trusted the most – and is forced to rely on her barely mastered powers in a desperate fight for survival.
Secret Sky is the first book in the thrilling, otherworldly The Gift Legacy series by JP McLean. Seamlessly blending paranormal mystery, fantasy, and romance, this beautifully written and deeply resonant adventure will swoop you into a vivid, new reality and leave your imagination soaring.
I’d failed. Despair reared its ugly head and choked me. I straightened and screamed my frustration into the night at the top of my lungs. This was never going to happen for me. It was hopeless. I would be a freak for the rest of my life.
When the tears finally came, I dropped to the sand and gave myself over to the thickening misery. I curled into a ball. The tears kept coming. I was so tired of the effort it took to keep up a positive attitude. It had sucked what little life I had left right out of me.
Eventually, the tears dried up. I rolled onto my back and gazed at the storm clouds hanging low overhead. The wind was picking up momentum, pushing the clouds across the night sky. This might be as good as my life ever got.
Utterly exhausted, I closed my eyes and concentrated on what was comforting and familiar: the ocean’s steady, melodic lap, its briny scent. A soothing numbness crept over me, blotting out the pain of my failure and the ache in my heart before claiming the noise in my head. I welcomed the complete lack of sensation.
How much time passed, I’ll never know. Gusting winds roused me. I remember being angry at the howling intrusion. I didn’t want the perfect numbness to end. I opened my eyes to the storm clouds and reality sank in. I had to go home, regroup, see if I could salvage anything from the ruins of the night. I gave a brief thought to the tingling sensation that danced across my skin before I rolled over.
Then all rational thought scattered as I realized the beach was five storeys below me.