TITLE: The Funnyman
AUTHOR: Sophia Whittemore
BACK COVER BLURB: It isn't a laughing matter when Diana starts to see things in the mist which other people don’t: monsters, gods, and deadly shadows. Yet now she sees another thing, the world of the Impetus, a reality where humans are enslaved and the once-beautiful gods are actually tyrants. Diana must find a way to escape before the exiled king Fear, a vengeful murderer, hunts Diana down to get back something she's stolen from him. But will her growing feelings for the Prince Isak, the oddly sullen god of comedy, draw her into an all-out war?
"I am almost a king, Diana. My father would have to be dead for that to happen."
I hung my head, moving farther from him as I realized that we had been positioned far too close for comfort. "I’m sorry for assuming. Losing him would be a terrible thing."
"Don’t feel bad. He hasn’t visited me since I was a child." Isak turned back to the mirror, his lips so tight they were a line, a dark crease forming between his pale brows. "It’s been so long that even your great, great grandparents were nothing more than a vague idea then."
"Immortality sounds wonderful." I stopped myself when I sensed the envy creeping into my words like a poison. "I’m sorry. I mean, with your father…"
"No, don’t wish to be immortal, Diana." Now it was Isak’s turn to sound wistful. "Pray that death comes swifter, if anything." Silence fell like a heavy pall over our shoulders, but then Isak soldiered on. "And about my father, well…somebody has to fight off Fear in the world of men. Somebody has to keep you humans from killing each other, from hurting so much that you can’t feel any other wonderful thing."
"To love, to live, to feel so much that your world keeps spinning, faster and faster, in that wonderful, chaotic mess of humanity that you’d so hastily give up. Immortality is overrated. It is nothing but the ability to live through it all and not experience a single thing, to eat everything without tasting it at all." Isak’s eyes shone with a desperate need. He wanted, more than anything it seemed, to be like me, when all I wanted was to be like him.
"But it must be a great thing, to walk on the stars."
"It isn’t, not when shadows threaten you from below. One misstep and we turn into the greatest monsters humanity has ever seen."
"What, like the shadows that attacked us?" I shuddered when I thought of those writhing, clicking bodies, so ready to consume me, body and soul, till I was nothing left but a beating heart.
"No, those are just byproducts of the real monsters, like famine, disease…"
Isak’s eyes shifted over to mine quickly. "What did you say?"
AUTHOR BIO: Sophia Whittemore is a multiracial author with an Indonesian mother and a Minnesotan father. She penned THE FUNNYMAN during her sophomore year of high school at Benet Academy and published it when she was a senior. Her love for the English language manifested itself in eighth grade when she went to the Scripps National Spelling Bee and has continued with other languages such as Spanish and Indonesian. Her prior publications include "A Clock's Work" in a Handersen Publishing magazine, “Blind Man’s Bluff” in Parallel Ink, and winning awards in the Best Midwestern Writing competition for high school writers. She currently resides in Chicago, Illinois with her family and food-loving mini schnauzer called Tiger. Drawing on inspiration from her two cultural backgrounds, Sophia lives a life playing tennis, traveling, and writing about her dual life experiences through other characters in her works or on her blog.