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.