Title: NAKIA WHO FOUGHT FEAR ITSELF
Genre: MG Horror Ownvoices
Word Count: 53,000 words
How Did You Fall for Writing: I started writing a short story that turned into a novella, but the story didn’t end there—it went on to become my first novel!
NAKIA WHO FOUGHT FEAR ITSELF is a middle grade horror #ownvoices novel which can be described as STEPHEN KING’s IT with a MUSLIM MC set in SINGAPORE.
Nakia’s family is a mess: her papa’s deep in debt, the bank wants to kick them out of their house, and her mama’s left home.
Nakia figures that if she can just get some cash, everything will be fine. She stumbles upon the location of a mythical statue and tries to sell it online to fix her family’s money problems.
A mysterious entity called Deva-Asura breaks free from the statue and possesses her sister. Deva-Asura isn’t the type of ghost to flicker lights and break a few glasses—it shows people their worst fears, as if they’re living in their own personal horror movie.
It holds her parents hostage inside a hospital. The police can’t get through to them because each time they try, they too experience horrific visions of demons, monsters and ghosts.
Now it’s up to Nakia, who’s got twenty-four hours to figure out what Deva-Asura is, why it’s holding her parents and the others hostage, and most importantly, find a way to kick its butt before it kills everyone. Just as she’s about to give up hope, a spirit brings her to the Akashic Records in the astral plane, where she learns about a magical sword, armor, light and fire that can defeat Deva-Asura.
There’s only one teeny-weeny problem—the magical items are hidden in different parts of the hospital. To get them, Nakia must face each of her own fears or live out her worst nightmares forever…
This is an #ownvoices manuscript because I am a Singaporean Indian Muslim and Nakia’s character is partially based on my experiences.
First 250 words
By the time the man gave up the search for the statue and left the pit, it was already maghrib, the hour when the sun slipped away into the horizon and spirits prowled for fresh victims to possess. Shadows gathered deep in the heart of MacRitchie forest, the home of pontianaks—female vampiric ghosts.
I rushed from my hiding place behind the banyan tree to the edge of the large pit. It was a few meters deep, but if the big guy I’d just seen climb out could do it, it should be easy peasy for a short, skinny girl like me. I sat down, took a deep breath, pressed my hands against the ground and slid down the wall of dirt.
My phone’s thin beam of light couldn’t cut the growing gloom that pressed on me from all sides. I circled the pit three times. Each time, I scrutinized every inch and occasionally dug out chunks of dirt with my small garden spade. No sign of the statue.
Ka-Boom! Lightning struck one of the mud walls.
I froze, one hand on my old phone and the other on the handle of the spade. My heart rat-a-tatted in my chest. Just a lightning storm. No big deal. Happened all the time in Singapore. When my heart finally chillaxed, my brain started functioning. There had to be something in that wall that attracted the lightning. Yes! I fist pumped the air.