Bian’s Tale – Awakening – Part 1

Here is the second episode of Bian’s Tale. I will put episodes up at least until the 75% point, or where ever the episodes overtake the writing. Having the feeling that the episodes are catching me up should provide some necessary incentive for me to write faster. Bian’s Tale is supposed to be with my editor by Christmas.

The book is clearly not written to be issued in episodes, so you will find no major cliffhanger at the end. It’s merely about the right length (9k words or approximately half of Section 2). Episode 1 was an entire section (Section 1 – Innocence) dealing with Bian as a young child. We meet her again in Section 2 (Awakening) about 5 years later, a young woman caught between two worlds, trapped by the lies told when she was adopted and torn in loyalties between her Annamese birth family and her French adopting family. (I use the name Annamese instead of the more correct Annamite that the French of the time would have used – one of many decisions about language I’ve taken and will list in the novel).

Apart from the opening chapters, this part has changed a lot in the re-writes.

I also promised to explain in a bit more depth why I said that I’m not crystal clear who I’m writing this for. There are two obvious targets – readers who have not read anything of mine and readers who have read Bite Back and would enjoy the background tale of one of the major characters.

New readers need the complete introduction into the world of Athanate, Were and Adept. Existing readers could find that tedious. Concentrating on new readers would allow me to try to appeal to a younger demographic, but make it ‘Young Adult’ could turn existing readers off. A whole companion series simply to fill in Bian’s background would be excessive, and yet there’s such potential to tell a story that begins in a very different age.

And so on. Almost every aspect of the story should/could be different depending on which way I decided to write it. So I decided to write it for both and make everything much harder, and basically a compromise.

New readers attracted into a story about vampires, witches and werewolves are going to have to wait for them to turn up. Existing readers can entertain themselves by knowing that the paranormal is there, and wondering exactly how it’s going to manifest. Younger readers will be frustrated by Bian’s lack of power at this stage in her life, existing readers will know how she ends up and (I hope) enjoy the slow ratchet of abilities over several books until Bian emerges as the snarking, katana-wielding, predatory woman we enjoy in Bite Back.

Everyone needs to be swept along by the story while it happens. If the reader thinks about the story being slow or confusing, I’ve failed.

Anyway… here is Episode 2, the first half of Section 2, Awakening.


This episode from Bian’s Tale 1 – The Harvest of Lies has been removed.
The book will be available shortly on Amazon.


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About Mark Henwick

I was born in Africa and left out in the sun too often. An early interest in philosophy and psychology was adequately exorcised by tending bars. And while trying to enroll in a class to read Science Fiction full time, I ended up taking an engineering degree which splendidly qualified me to move into marketing. That in turn spawned a late onset career in creative writing. When not working, I get high by the slightly less conventional means of a small light aircraft. My first books are available on Amazon at

7 responses to “Bian’s Tale – Awakening – Part 1”

  1. amper5andrew says :

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts along with the excerpt. I’m enjoying the story, although I haven’t quite connected the child with my mental model of Bian. No doubt she’ll grow into that.

    • Mark Henwick says :

      Yes, she has a long way to go, and there are steps in every book in this companion series.

      • Randy Barber says :

        So Bien will have her own series? Will it always be in the past, compared to today’s Bite Back? Or will it you bring her forward. If I remember correctly she is running her own House? so she could easily have her own, seperate but equal, story. Or have I completely missed your vision. I like this 🙂 . I spent almost a year in Viet Nam and have always liked the stories of colonial times in Indochina.

        • Mark Henwick says :

          Yes, Randy, this is book 1 of (probably) 6, which I planned back in 2014 to take up to the point that she becomes Diakon of House Altau.

          The latter years of colonial rule in Vietnam have been well documented, but the French era is much less so, yet most of the capitals of Indochina owe their appearance to that time.

          Here’s what I planned back in 2014:

          Book 1 – Saigon, the Reach of Lies
          Book 2 – The Words of the Dead
          Book 3 – The Sword of the Second Son
          Book 4 – The Rise of the River
          Book 5 – The Tears of the Leopard
          Book 6 – The Honor of Strangers

  2. Justin Savely says :

    I can see flickers of our Bian, and look forward to her progress in being herself. Thanks for your thoughts about this story, and the absence of so many spoilers😁

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