They Are the Last

When Piper discovers her interstellar origins, she begins an adventure to save the world she didn’t know she came from.
A space-opera book
Relentless dreamer and proud Hufflepuff. 1/15th of the Inkvengers. Tweeting, podcasting, and writing since a while ago. The words "I dream for a living" are etched into my skin. (No really, its a rad tattoo...)
Read part of They Are the Last
Chapter One: Trust Me
a 10 minute read

While the sky came undone at last, Piper saw lights in the distance.

“Come on! Run!” she cried.

Laughing as the storm began to rain down upon them, she reached for Nathan’s hand and helped pull him up from the pavement. By the time the two of them started running through the deluge, Raina had already safely made it to the covered front porch. “So much for stargazing!” she called to her friends as they sprinted towards her.

“Yeah, thought you said this was a meteor shower,” Nathan joked as he began to wring out his now soaking ponytail of inky black hair.

Piper shook her head at the pair of them, “It’s not my fault!”

After shaking her own head to free the poufy coils of her hickory brown hair from the raindrops that hugged them, her dark umber eyes glanced back down the long driveway in search of the two small points of light she’d seen moments before. A pair of orbs approached the house, getting bigger by the second, until Piper finally realized what was causing them.

“What’s she doing back so soon?”

Nathan and Raina followed Piper’s gaze and saw it too. Headlights of a vehicle were barreling up the road that cut through the trees toward the mountain house. The trio hadn’t been expecting Kath back for at least another week, but even through a late night storm, her beat-up, ruby red van was unmistakable. The headlights pierced the darkness, pointing right at them, growing ever closer.

Once she’d reached the dead end in front of the house and put the van in park, Kath jumped out of the driver’s side and ran towards them, tossing on the black hood of her leather jacket. “Inside! Now!” she yelled.

“Kath, we were just—”

“NOW, PIPER!”

There wasn’t a single time in her fifteen years of life where Piper could remember her godmother sounding as demanding as she did in that instant. It scared her. So without any additional words of protest, she and her friends headed in the door.

Once all four of them were in the house, Kath slammed the door tight behind her and affixed all three locks that were on it. When she turned around, she pulled back the hood, revealing a face pale with worry under an auburn pixie cut. Dark circles stood out beneath her eyes like bruises as she sought to ease labored breaths.

“What is it?” Nathan asked.

“Each of you, go to your rooms and grab a bag. Just throw in some clothes and meet me back down here in five minutes. No questions.”

Her voice was calm and firm, but that didn’t mask her fear which poisoned the air.

Nathan and Raina nodded and started off towards their rooms, but Piper didn’t feel she could move. “I’ve never seen you like this. What’s wrong?”

Pulling her in for a reassuring hug, Kath pleaded, “Piper, baby girl, I need you to trust me right now. Please just go get your stuff.”

Still sick with unease, Piper nodded and did as she was told.

Barging into her own room, Piper grabbed the rucksack which had only hours before been full of food from an impromptu picnic. All that remained were two baggies that housed squished peanut butter...

About They Are the Last


My Light is unbreakable . . . and so am I.


Piper Anderson thinks she’s alone in the world: she is forgotten and left to lose herself at Edgemont, a juvenile detention center seeking to jolt the humanity from its children, leaving them as emotionless - but obedient - shades of their former selves. All hope seems lost.

Until Kath, her godmother who mysteriously disappeared years before, returns to free her. Piper then learns the unimaginable - she is a child of two worlds. With an Earthly father and an Alterian mother, she is capable of wielding the Light of her soul, an ancient gift that is sacred to the Raelarian people. It’s not long after discovering her interstellar origins that Piper is faced with the impossible.

Valos, a shadow which threatens to destroy all he touches, is breaking down the portals between worlds. If left unchecked his darkness will bleed out from Alteria, poisoning the cosmos, leaving Piper and her friends as the last hope to save it.

Explore the story at theyarethelast.com!


THE WORLD | THE CHARACTERS | THE JOURNEY


Discuss They Are the Last with the Author.
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*blows dust off my keyboard* Bet y’all thought you’d seen the last of me!

It’s been nearly 3 months since funding ended for They Are the Last, and with the year drawing to a close as well, I thought it might be nice to give you lovely folks still following the book an update on progress.

Ending campaigning was one of the hardest decisions I made this year, and the weeks following it were pretty rough for me. I had to keep reminding myself that stopping was not the end of a road, but rather diverging onto another one that will in the long run, be better for my story. I don’t look back on one second of my seven months of campaigning with regret. It introduced me to people who’ve changed my life. It taught me more about my story than I could have anticipated, and it showed me that there are people who care about Piper’s adventure.

October was spent rehashing a lot of the backstory that still needed work. Thanks to some incredible conversations with a friend, I even have a few new characters who’ve helped to fill in some of the blanks and plot holes the book was experiencing. Putting the "BUY MY BOOK BUY MY BOOK" narrative on the shelf finally allowed me to take the time needed to do what is the real (and most rewarding) part of the work—focus on the story.

Thanks to all that, I managed to get through 40,000 words of rewrites for NaNoWriMo, that will hopefully soon be a completed second draft. Developments with the podcast I produce, a new business some friends and I are launching, and just other worldly things have gotten in the way of that draft, but its something I’m okay with. Just because I’m taking back some of my time to have a life outside my writing does not mean the words will stop. 

My time campaigning on the Inkshares was a rush, a seven month marathon of bulldozing motion. The time since has been quieter, and my creative mind is thankful for it. All this holiday time off from Clark Kent-ing it up at my day job should thankfully offer more time for creativity. Perhaps at last it will give me some much needed time to figure out what steps I need to take so that in 2017, I can get back on the path.

If you want more frequent updates, you can check out @AlteriaBooks on twitter. Hopefully the deeper into rewrites I get, the more content you’ll see there. There should be some new videos coming in the new year to my Elayna Musings channel with more updates and fun. Until then, wishing every supporter of this story the absolute happiest of days, and a blessed new year. Can’t wait to see what it holds.

Love and best wishes,
Elayna

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I come to your inboxes today with a heavy heart and some sad news, so seat belts on, kids. This is going to be an emotional—but extremely important—update about the book.

At this time, I have decided to bring an early end the campaign for They Are the Last.

This may come as a shock for some, especially given the determination which I’ve had over the last seven months to take this book from dream to reality. Along the way, 138 of you pre-ordered 172 copies and showed me that there is a place in the world for this story, and for me as an author. That has been invaluable. However, there have been a number of major changes to Inkshares as a company within the last few months, and I no longer believe them to be the right fit for this book series.

Essentially, their contract has been altered significantly from what it was originally when I signed up in February. I don’t blame Inkshares for doing this, because they have to do what is best so their company may thrive—which I very much hope it does. But while their actions are in the best interest of their company as a whole, the majority of these changes would not be in the best interest of my particular book.

I am eternally happy and grateful to have been able to run this campaign and build such a family of support around the story. I’ve made lifelong friends, grown as a writer, and my short story Continuum is still slated to be published in the Inkshares anthology Too Many Controllers. The conclusion of this funding campaign is certainly not the end of my relationship with this site and this community, which I’ve come to love so dearly. But I have to do what’s right for my book, and at this time, campaigning for pre-orders is just not it anymore.

Campaigning—as any person who has ever crowdfunded anything will tell you—is extremely draining; physically, mentally, and emotionally. You have days where you feel like a failure, and days where you feel like a hero, and sometimes, those days are the same day. It took all the stress, fear, and doubt, and heightened it for a prolonged period of time. And in that time, I’ve not done anywhere near as much of the one thing I should be doing, and which I love doing the most—writing.

I go forth from this campaign not to quit, but rather to refocus. The funding period itself may be ending, but I will be getting back to full time writing, and this page will still exist as a place for you to receive updates and follow along with the progress of They Are the Last, wherever it may end up. The official website will still be active and updated as necessary, and once the Inkshares campaign officially ends at midnight, you will be refunded within several days for all the copies you purchased. Here’s just a few options for what you can do with those returned funds:

  1. Support other authors on Inkshares. So, SO MANY authors are winning contests and making their way towards 750, and it would be great if your support of my story could be redirected to theirs. My recommendations for your pre-ordering consideration are listed below. All of them are rad people with rad stories, and you can learn more about each of them by clicking their books.
    1. The Delicate Art of Soulripping by Sara Polk
    2. Blue Water by Joseph Parcell
    3. Bad Medicine: Slay it Queen! by Ricardo Henriquez.
  2. Support me on patreon. For $1 a month (so $12 for the whole year, which is less than the cost of an Inkshares paperback) you can directly support my writing so that I can focus more time on honing my craft and finishing this story. Supporting at any level would add you to a list to receive a once monthly newsletter from me, and will bring They Are the Last one step closer to reality.

I apologize for this update’s length, but thank you all for so much. Thank you for your faith in me, and thank you for being the best of people and best of readers. It is because of you that I step out onto the road ahead with courage in my heart, and a band of friends along for the adventure.

“No story lives unless someone wants to listen.”  
—J.K. Rowling

Thank you all for listening. Now time to finish writing this story.

— — —

PS, If any of you have further questions regarding my decision, what it means for the book, or anything really, please feel free to reach out to me via email at theyarethelast@gmail.com, or connect with me through social media. Best wishes.

098de134cf14fc66a9c66b4f51abf753
Ferd Crôtte · Author · added 5 months ago
Holy shit, Elayna!!!

You have just shattered the world record for Coolest Book Website!!

I urge anyone who reads this to visit http://www.theyarethelast.com/read
to read the chapter, scroll down to the site links, and explore. Elayna Mae has really raised the bar for book promotion websites! Beautiful!  :-)
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Looking for a way to celebrate National Read a Book Day? 

GOT YOU COVERED!

After months of toil and about a dozen scrapped drafts, I’ve got a brand, shiny new first chapter of the book for you to read. You should have received it moments ago, but if you would like to read it with a pretty interactive background, you can find it here on the official They Are the Last website!

In other news, the story now has an official twitter account! For updates and even more behind the scenes (behind the pages???) details, you can click right here to check out @AlteriaBooks.

Now that the chapter is in your hands, I really hope you enjoy it. If you get a chance to read it, please let me know your thoughts, as nothing brightens a writer’s day more than hearing what people think of their stories! You can always leave a review here on Inkshares, contact me through the They Are the Last website, or hit me up via twitter! My personal one is @ElaynaMae, but to tweet at the book, check out the new @AlteriaBooks  account and use the hashtag #TheyAreTheLast.

As ever, your support means several worlds to me. Have a beautiful day, and hope you enjoy this new chapter in Piper’s story.

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Friends, readers, Alterians; lend me your inboxes!

After a summer which has been very back and forth and up and down and full of questioning more things about myself (and my writing) than could possibly be relayed in a brief update—yesterday gave me some hope.

I began messaging people who I’d previously been nervous to. People who I hadn’t seen in almost 10 years, people I hadn’t spoken to since college, and even some newer friends, who I worried my ask of pre-ordering a book I wrote would come off as pushy. As someone with anxiety, this was NOT an easy task. 

You might be thinking but its just a quick message, Elayna! Nothing to fear! But for someone with anxiety as bad as mine, my brain can turn a "quick message" into a million things it isn’t, until I’ve gone through every possible bad scenario for how people will react, before talking myself out of it altogether. Yesterday, I was terrified. But despite my fears, I took the leap and began reaching out.

The book got 8 new pre-orders in a span of an evening.

I’m in awe of all of you.

This campaign has done so, SO much for me in the last six months. It’s introduced me to remarkable friends, helped me become a better writer, shown me that Piper’s story is one people can believe in. And now, it would seem, it’s even helping me start to overcome my anxiety.

Much of Piper’s journey is about overcoming depression, something that goes hand-in-hand with the anxiety I deal with on the daily. It’s a numbing fear that, "This can’t be done. You can’t possibly accomplish this. No one cares."

Inkshares has proven so much of that wrong. People are caring. People are supporting. People are inspiring. And so it makes sense to me, that in such an environment where overcoming obstacles is in the job description, that Piper’s story will at last be told. Her journey is one of doing the impossible, and so too is mine.

Be blessed, friends.


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So it’s been a bit of a month.

Not only did Too Many Controllers make it to the top spot in the Nerdist Video Games contest, but we are also now an official selection of the Nerdist Collection. One of the hopes back when first launching They Are the Last was that very same goal. Just goes to show you that sometimes prayers aren’t always answered how you expect them to be. :)

The other big thing, was my very first San Diego Comic Con. I spoke on a panel called "Fantastic Fans and Where to Find Them" and in was one of the most surreal moments of my existence. Being up there, the SDCC backdrop behind me, people in an audience looking up and hearing what little wisdom I attempted to impart was nothing short of magical. Even more so, was the person who came up after the panel and said she loves listening to the podcast I run. And the woman who thanked me for saying "Embrace your weird and don’t be afraid to be who you are and love what you love..." because she wished she had someone to tell her that when she was in school. I said it because I wished I had that person too. I had to learn the hard way that being yourself is the best way to be, but getting to share that with fellow nerds was unparalleled.

But while all of that is beyond incredible and awe inspiring to the extreme, there still lies a great task ahead—getting They Are the Last to 750 pre-orders in the next 94 days.

Many of you have already pre-ordered and supported this book in immeasurable ways, but it will never make it to your shelves if we don’t achieve this goal. Seeing Too Many Controllers hit publication has truly been inspiring, and really represents what Inkshares is all about—stories thriving when people come together. So humbly I come before you asking that you share this book or pre-order if you haven’t yet. Cause here’s the facts:

This book needs to sell 150 copies every month for the next three months if it is to be published. If that feat is possible is entirely up to you, the readers. Let’s make it happen friends, and let’s do it together.

PS, For those who might have missed it, the book’s got a new cover! See it below.

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TODAY IS THE DAY EVERYONE!

In just about 24 hours, the Nerdist Video Games contest will come to a close. Its hard for me to fathom that five months ago, I was just joining Inkshares, setting off alone on my Inkshares journey in the Space Opera contest. Yet now, here I type, SO CLOSE to being published for the first time in my life, alongside 14 other remarkable authors and humans. Its unreal to say the least. But as exciting as that is—IT AIN’T OVER YET.

You have a chance to help us succeed, and by pre-ordering, you will be opening up your imagination to 15 different stories that lead to 15 different worlds. 15 universes for you to explore and be part of. Not bad for $10. So if you’d like an adventure, if you’d like to make dreams a reality, or if you’re just a groovy person, please take this time to pre-order at the link below. You’ll have my eternal gratitude and the knowledge that these fifteen stories will live on forever because of you.

PRE-ORDER TOO MANY CONTROLLERS HERE!

PS, If you haven’t already, my dear friend and fellow slayer of stories—Alisa King—is at the time of this writing in fourth place in the Nerdist contest! So if you have the extra $10 to spare today—USE IT TO GO SUPPORT HER STORY. Nothing makes me happier than seeing remarkable women like Alisa pursuing their passions and telling their stories, so if you can, please go check out her book: Are You Sure You Want to Quit? She’s worked INCREDIBLY hard on her campaign and no one deserves it more. Help make it happen!

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HUGE news, Alterians!

Yesterday I found out that I am going to be on a panel at San Diego Comic Con this month!! SAN DIEGO COMIC CON, Y’ALL. For those who don’t know my work outside of noveling, I happen to co-produce a podcast about the upcoming Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them films by J.K. Rowling. This stemmed from my work at MuggleNet.com, which is a Harry Potter fansite that I spent my childhood fangirling over, and now somehow manage to work for. It’s a dream honestly.

But while this journey is sure to be enormous for our podcast—which is called SpeakBeasty and you should totally check it out—this is also just a really tremendous moment in my own life as a writer and creator. There is nothing more validating to one’s life experiences that being recognized and invited to be part of something bigger. Being on a panel at SDCC was a total Bucket List goal of mine, one I did not think I’d achieve till late in life when I became established in my field.  But now here I am. 25 years old. A book and an anthology on the way. Speaking at the country’s largest fan convention. 

I’ll be sure to send out an update after the con so keep a weather eye open for that! 

In the meantime! Today marks the kick-off to Camp NaNoWriMo, and my writing project for the month is They Are the Last draft two! I completed the first draft of the novel over the course of November and December of 2015, and then spent the first six months of 2016 mostly writing and re-writing and scrapping and writing again. I did a lot of rehashing to make the plot stronger. But last month, I set down and finalized a pretty concrete plan for this new draft—thanks in no small part to the incredible support and feedback of Inkshares readers and authors—and really feel ready to tackle this thing head on!

The tentative goal for the month is 50,000 words—what can I say, I’m into #ClassicNaNoWriMo—but in reality, this draft will end up closer to 90K if the story unfolds as planned. Looking forward to what is sure to be an incredibly creative month! 

And if you haven’t yet, make sure you’ve grabbed your copy of They Are the Last soon! I’m not saying there’s gonna be something special for those who’ve pre-ordered by the end of this month or anything, buuuut.......... *whispers* there’s gonna be something special for those who’ve pre-ordered by the end of this month........

Till next time!

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Got something new & exciting for you all today! 

So remember that website that I shared for They Are the Last back in May? (If you don’t cause you’re new to the party, hop over to theyarethelast.com to see it!) The website features Pinterest boards about the world of Alteria, a brief author bio, and even a playlist to accompany the first chapter uploaded to Inkshares! Well today, I’m happy to announce that there’s now NEW CONTENT! The very first They Are the Last character page is now live! Meet Piper Anderson...

Over the course of the campaign, I’ll be adding more pages like this one, which features a little bit of insight into Piper as a character! Where she’s coming from at the start of the story, her Myerrs Briggs personality type - which I took a quiz to figure out! - and even photos of the actress who in my head is my dream cast to play Piper if ever They Are the Last were a film. (Amandla Stenberg!) Each image you click features the following:

  • The photos themselves represent the different ways I imagine Piper looking as she progresses through the book. Each one links back to Piper’s Character Board on the They Are the Last Pinterest page, where you can find the original image sources!
  • Each one has a quote - these are lines either said by or about Piper in the book.
  • For every photo, there’s a song on Piper’s custom playlist to accompany it! (Which you can follow here if you have Spotify!) These songs are not only ones I’ve listened to while writing the book, but they, like the images, represent the kind of headspace Piper is in during key moments of the story.

These ones are just sneak peaks, but you can see all the images and hear all the songs on the playlist by visiting theyarethelast.com! So thrilled to finally share this first character page with you all to take you deeper into the story. And if you get to visit the page, drop me a line or send me a tweet to let me know what you think! Keep an eye out for more character profiles in the coming weeks! 

CLICK HERE TO VISIT PIPER’S CHARACTER PAGE

AND QUICK UPDATE! We’re currently only 3 pre-orders from 150!! Let’s hit this awesome milestone today!

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HEY FRIENDS!

My, has it been A WHILE since I’ve sent a reader update to y’all. Quite frankly, it’s been an extremely tumultuous month for me for lots of different reasons. But as I’ve gone through some despicable lows and incredible highs, I’ve had to arrive at some big conclusions, and the most glaring one of them all is this: right now, making sure this story gets told is my priority. So here I am, back in your inbox to remind you that They Are the Last isn’t going anywhere. (Except on your bookshelf...)

The process of going through a second draft came to a screeching halt, which was really difficult to face. BUT! While hardly any new words have been written, I’m in the final stages of a master plan of notecards and plot points that I believe are going to help me kick this into high gear. For while I’ve been stressed, it is still my intention to finish this draft by July 31st. (The goal is I don’t get to read Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts I & II until I’ve finished draft 2...) So basically, this will be me for the next 30ish days...

The updates shall be more regular as that phase progresses, and as I begin to implement the promotional campaign this book needs to go all the way by November 1st. I really believe that together we can make this a reality. The past month worth of doubt saw many moments where I was seconds away from closing my campaign and giving up. Giving up is the easy thing to do. 

But then I’d remember every good thing that has come of my being on Inkshares. It has launched Women Slaying Stories, led me to the amazing team behind Too Many Controllers, and has helped me develop my writing to a new level because of amazing feedback from authors and editors. Every friend made and every story shared here has given me so. much. hope. Just deep down, I’ve truly begun to feel like this is where Piper’s story is supposed to take root and grow. Hopefully, you’ll be a part of that.

Wish me luck for this draft, and show some love by sharing the campaign with a friend tonight or finally making that pre-order. I’ve got a dream of this book crossing to big 2-0-0 mark before the month is out, but only you can help make that happen.

See you on the other side...

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What the Critics Are Saying