Thursday, November 30, 2017

NaNoPITCHMo 30: THE NEVERWAS

I saved my last pitch this month for the book I'm editing right now. It's nearing completion, and soon I should have it ready to release into the wilds. My fingers are crossed that this book will one day be published.

THE NEVERWAS

Kai is a gladiator in the Neverwas, a world where government policy is determined through combat in the arena. Laws are made based on who prevails in these magical fights to the death, and the winner receives a life-extending drug. After witnessing the destruction of a whole community in the far reaches of the world, Kai has come to the arena to find some semblance of control. Instead, the arena offers only chaos and confusion.

While fighting, Kai remembers a fragment of another life—a life in which Kai shared a kiss with an arena official named Quin in a place called Iowa. To remain near Quin, Kai resurrects a long-dead political coalition. But delving deeper into the intrigue of the arena only brings more questions—about the running of the government and the origin of the life-extending drug, about memory, and about the nature of the world itself.

Kai’s greatest battle of all won’t be on the sands of the arena—it will be proving to Quin that just because something is forgotten doesn’t mean it never was.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

NaNoPITCHMo 29: FUGUE

As promised, today I have a pitch for my second NaNovel, called FUGUE. It was a little less derivative than The Empire Project, but still not the strongest concept.

I admit it's kind of fun to go back and chuckle at my early work. It's always nice to have a reminder of just how much my writing has changed.

Here's the pitch:

Jacob Brown has finally written a masterpiece—a perfect fugue worthy of Bach himself. He hopes the piece will finally earn him some money to pay his mother’s medical bills. But the first time he plays it, the music summons Hope, a ragged Spirit of Christmas—the only one of four such spirits that remains on Earth.

To bring back the other three in time for Christmas, Jacob must work with an opera singer and her mathematician brother to mutate the fugue into three other variations. If they can bring back all four spirits of Christmas, Jacob will have his own Christmas miracle—healing for his mother.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

NaNoPITCHMo 28: THE EMPIRE PROJECT

In honor of it being NaNoWriMo, my pitches today and tomorrow will be for the first two NaNovels I ever wrote. They were truly terrible, but everyone has to start somewhere. (The first was particularly derivative. Any similarities you notice between THE EMPIRE PROJECT and Ender's Game are... not the least bit coincidental at all.)

Without further ado, here is the first pitch:

Vidar is a child born and raised to be brilliant. At six years old, after intense training in language, sociology, politimetrics and the like, he’s ready to join the other children his age in ruling the Earth. But even as he makes new friends among the others in the program—including two who share more in common with Vidar than he ever expected—he begins to notice cracks in the utopia all around him.

Older children keep disappearing. Anyone who asks too many questions soon vanishes. For all their brilliance, the children in the program have never asked the most crucial question of all: Who really runs the world?

Monday, November 27, 2017

NaNoPITCHMo 27: THE SOULSPEAKERS

We're nearing the end of the month and the end of the pitches. Obviously I have lots of ideas I could work on when I'm finished editing my current manuscript and writing The Lies of Lochan Duvh. But the one I've been leaning toward is this one, THE SOULSPEAKERS.

I've always wanted to work with animation magic, and that's a big part of this book. I'm also really intrigued by the way labels affect people. Children tend to think of themselves as how they've been labeled. When I was younger I thought of myself as shy--even used my "shyness" as an excuse--simply because I'd heard myself described that way.

And I don't think it's only kids who react in this way. I really want to explore how thinking of ourselves in a particular way can make our weaknesses even more difficult to overcome.

And with that, here's the pitch:

In Sunny’s world, all seventeen-year-olds go before the Staff of Souls to be told their greatest weakness. If they can conquer their weakness within the following year they will become Imbuers, capable of imbuing one object with a magical soul. But when the staff labels Sunny as Cruel, Sunny spirals and loses control of the animation magic all children gain when they discover their greatest strength.

Nevertheless, Sunny is forced to compete in the annual Conqueror’s Trial, designed to make contestants face their weaknesses over and over. Sunny is placed on a team with River, who is Faithless, and Ember, who is Merciless. The three must work together, putting behind them their shared history of romance and betrayal, if they have any chance of surviving, much less conquering their weaknesses.

But as the three fight against the harsh labels they’ve been given, Sunny makes a startling discovery: the Staff of Souls can lie.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

NaNoPITCHMo 26: SWEET AND BITTER

Coming to the end of the month, I'm beginning to run out of quick and easy ideas. I started thinking about my hobbies and what I found interested and decided to see if I could come up with a book involving chocolate.

I also love a good underdog story, particularly if it involves a leader turning a team of riffraff into something special. So here's my combination of the two, SWEET AND BITTER:

Jayra is a baker and chocolatier under the tutelage of Animatra, the most respected chef in the world. After her kingdom is conquered and Animatra killed, Jayra is taken into captivity to be a slave to a foreign queen. But the queen has more slaves than she needs already—any who can’t perform quality service are put to death. The queen has recently executed her kitchen staff, so Jayra is placed on a team of cooks competing for the chance to take their place. Any team that does poorly will be put to the sword.

Jayra’s team is full of drunks, laggards and hopeless slaves—a perfect recipe for failure. Only Jayra has any experience in a kitchen, and while her skills may be barely enough to carry them through the first eliminations, after that it will be up to Jayra to whip the team into a competent kitchen staff. If they can’t win the competition they will die… and Jayra will lose the opportunity to slip poisoned chocolate into the queen’s dessert to get revenge for Animatra.