Sunday WildCard - New Vella Story!

We're going to step away from the novel to take a look at the next Kindle Vella story.


This one's called Recruiting Kendra, and if you've been getting Kendra's newsletter you've seen an early version of this, but for Vella it's much expanded. It's also being posted every THREE DAYS, so hold on! It's gonna be a quick ride!

Click the cover image to go to Vella now, or go ahead a read a few hundred words to get a taste.


Adam, my biographer, has been at me again.

“Kendra,” he said to me. “Your readers love your Memories of Aiyana! They want more!”

I told him to stuff it. I’ll write more when I’m ready.

“But Kendra, you gotta give me something!”

So I told him the story of our first real kiss.

He went away for a while, but it was only one story, and all too soon he came back to ask for more.

“I need a break,” I said. Okay, maybe “whined” is a better term. “Besides, Aiyana’s still on my case about putting out Memories without talking to her first. I don’t know if I can get her to agree to a second lot of stories about our childhood.”

“What about after you left home? You haven’t talked about that, and since you and Aiyana weren’t seeing each other, it’s your story to tell!”

That much was true.

We argued for a while, but I realized I wanted to tell my story the more we talked.

So here it is. The answer to the question you never knew you needed to ask: how do you turn an actress into an assassin?

It’s no secret why I left home as soon as I graduated and went to the California Confederacy. I had lived at home, in Key West, Minnesota, Northern Imperium, for my entire life. Now, Aiyana and I had lots of fun growing up there. It was a totally safe place to live for a couple little girls like us who didn’t know any better than to do stupid things.

But it was small. I mean, tiny! There were more cows than people by a factor of at least ten, and it’s not a big cow-raising area. I’d been seeing the same people every day for eighteen years, and I was sick of it.

So I left.

It wasn’t that easy. I had to figure out what I wanted to do, where to do it, and, oh yeah, argue with my parents.

Oddly enough, it was the last which was the easiest. I’m not saying they didn’t love me; they did, and they do. But by the time I was graduating from high school,l they were pushing eighty. My oldest sibling was almost sixty! I think they were ready for me to be out of the house, so I didn’t get any pushback from them.

I had the idea to go West, to the California Confederacy, and get into sensies.

You’d call them porn.

Look, I was eighteen and horny. And stupid. Can’t forget stupid, at least in this context.

Why do I say stupid?

Well, Aiyana. She and I had been a couple for a year, maybe a little more, and I should have followed her to MIT. I wouldn’t have gotten in, but I would have been with her. I would have found work, even if it wasn’t sensies. Sometimes I wonder what our lives would have been like if I’d been smart enough to see the best thing in my life right in front of me.

I didn’t. At least, not enough. And I don’t think I thought it through. Everything was exciting and new and oh so very temporary. I didn’t have a clue about the consequences of my actions.

We didn’t part on bad terms. We loved each other, and neither of us really considered the idea of being together on a more permanent basis. August came, she went East, I went West.

Getting my start in San Fernando was easy. I was cute and blonde, and I could play dumb if I needed to; that was more than enough for most of the jobs I wanted to do.

I had to get out from under, though. I knew I wouldn’t manage to do anything working for someone else.

Before the end of the year, then, I struck out on my own. I had the talent I knew I was going to make it BIG!

Heh. Shows what I knew.

Proper planning prevents piss-poor performance – I planned nothing.

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