Friday, November 30, 2018


It's the final day of NaNoWriMo! How did everyone do? I've heard a lot of success stories this year.

For my last pitch-a-day, I'm reaching back to the beginning of the month and the EMPTY LIES THE DARKNESS series I did then. I think this story line would fit really well in that world.

Part of the reason I'm drawn to this particular story is because I just finished reading The Light Between Worlds. It's a lovely book with some really evocative writing, but it's not the way I would tell a "can't go back home" book. AN UNWAVERING FLAME would be my response:

Veriss was traveling on the mainland when her entire home island was obliterated. Now she has nothing—no people, not even the ground of her home to walk on. In the space of a moment she has gone from temporary visitor to permanent refugee.

But the need for home drives her to forge a new life out of the scraps of her old one. She joins the crew of a ship setting out to explore until it finds a new land to settle. The journey is dangerous, with no guarantee of safety at the end, but the rest of the crew is as desperate as Veriss. They must learn to trust and rely on one other or they will all come to a final resting place in the watery depths.

Thursday, November 29, 2018


I've been playing with this idea of gathering magic from reflected light for a few days, but I hadn't figured out how to use it until today. Here is...


Juliet Hayes can absorb reflected light--moonlight, the sun on a lake, sparkling jewels--and turn it into magic. With that magic she can make herself reflect anyone around her--not their physical appearance, but their internal selves: skills, personalities, fears. The brighter the reflected light, the stronger the effect.

Juliet uses this power in the service of a secret organization called The SPIRE, doing whatever assignments come her way. But when she comes across a file she's not meant to see, she learns of another Juliet, one whose attributes are entirely identical to her own.

Now she's left wondering: who was she before she became Juliet Hayes? And why did she use so much power that she made herself forget her own name?

Wednesday, November 28, 2018


Today's post brought to you by too many episodes of The Good Place.


Leanna can travel back to any moment in her life and relive it, either to experience it again or to change it. She’s altered her life many times, often making small changes here and there, but there’s one moment she’s never been willing to touch. On that night she made the most significant choice of her life, one that hurt her deeply to the benefit of every other person around her.

But as the years go by, her choice wears at her. While her loved ones continue to prosper, Leanna continues to languish, and the temptation to go back and make the opposite choice grows stronger. The fates of everyone around her depend on two troubling questions: What does Leanna owe them? And what does she owe herself?

Tuesday, November 27, 2018


Today's pitch comes from the popular superhero concept of someone whose power is in manipulating machines. I decided to go with a different twist on it, and I think it's interesting, mostly because I have no idea how the rest of the story would go. I'd love to read this book though!


When it comes to computers, Marten has a magic touch. He can make any machine do as he wishes simply by willing it, and he can find anything online in a blink. Even encrypted information isn’t hidden from him for long. He has no idea how he got his abilities, and his aloof parents have never shown any indication they are aware of what he can do.

Marten’s only clue is a fuzzy memory from his early childhood of a girl who was just like him. He can remember her name—Liv—but not much else. Yet no matter how hard he looks through his vast online reach, the one thing he can never find is her. And the longer he searches the more certain he becomes that someone doesn’t want him to.

Monday, November 26, 2018


Not much to add to this one in the way of commentary, so I'll simply post it as is.


For every soul there is a unique set of words that will show a person precisely who they are. For some the words are a novel, for others a single phrase. For Helena it’s a poem found in the middle of a dusty old book, and once she’s read the words she can never forget them. They reveal to her the vastness of her loneliness and the depths of her longing.

But for Helena, knowing who she is isn’t a blessing. Filled with anguish over the truth of her inner self, she refocuses all her energy into becoming someone else. And yet the harder she tries, the farther out of reach such a change becomes. If she can’t master her restlessness and accept her soul as it is, her quest to become other will consume her.

Sunday, November 25, 2018


Today's pitch would probably work better as a screen play than a book, but if I ever did write a screen play, this would be it!


Ever since Joe’s wife died three years ago, his life has been off kilter. Could be his live-in father-in-law, who is secretly a wizard and throws parties with his old crew while Joe’s at work. Could be his teenage daughter, whose burgeoning magical powers make life far more complicated than simple puberty alone would.

But for Joe, who is oblivious to all the magic around him, it’s more likely the charming barista at the coffee shop he goes out of his way to frequent. When she turns out to be the aunt of his daughter’s best friend—and from a magical family besides—Joe’s worlds collide. Now it’s up to him to decide whether he’s ready to turn his ordinary life completely topsy-turvy.

Saturday, November 24, 2018


Hey look! I'm not out of ideas yet! In fact, this is an old idea that I'd forgotten about but that came to me again the other night. I really like the characters for this one, but I don't actually have any plot (which is sort of opposite of the way books usually come to me). If I did, though, this would be the superhero book I'd want to read.


Angel was born to a small religious cult and raised as their holy prophet. From the moment she took her first breath she has been venerated, even worshiped, and dozens of people hang on her every word. All this because of one little detail: Angel was born with wings. But the older she gets, the more she disagrees with the foundational beliefs of her cult, and the more she wants out.

A year ago Sebastian argued with his brother Andrew and left him on the side of the road. That night Andrew was mugged and later died from his injuries, and ever since then Bas has been running from his own guilt. But the guiltier he feels, the stronger he becomes, until in his lowest moment he’s able to punch through concrete walls and put the guys who killed his brother in the hospital.

When Angel escapes from her cult, the first person she meets is Bas. Pursued by the cult and the police, they must find somewhere for two impossible-to-miss teens to blend in before their pasts catch up to them.

Friday, November 23, 2018


Confession: today's pitch is actually an idea I have for a D&D campaign, but since I have no real opportunity for that in my life these days, I've turned it into a pitch. I still have seven more pitches to go after this, and it looks like I'm already scraping the bottom of the barrel. Uh oh!


Nerrisil is only one of many floating islands in an endless sky, but as far as its inhabitants know it’s the only one with people on it. The island morphs little by little every day—expanding here, retreating there. The only way to keep a section of land from changing or disappearing is to surround it with a fence of javestone, and precious little of the stone exists.

So when a new expanse of land reveals mountains full of javestone, every adventurer on Nerrisil sets out to claim their hoard of it. The dangers—unpredictable landscapes and shifting ground—are expected. The presence of a never-before-seen race of people is not.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

NaNoPitchMo 22: THE PIE LADY

Happy Thanksgiving! Today's pitch brought to you by the fact that I've spent the past three days baking a multitude of desserts, including four pies.


Janine is a pie maker whose pies can resolve any conflict. Give any two feuding parties a slice each of pie, and their problems work themselves out like magic.

Too bad that magic doesn’t work for Janine. Her pies never have any effect on her or her overly critical family. And they most certainly don’t work on her horrible neighbor Fritz, who complains about her to the super for everything from late-night chats with her sister (thanks cardboard thin walls!) to setting off the smoke alarm with a burnt crust (oops!).

But when a freak snow storm keeps Janine apartment-bound for Thanksgiving with her fourteen homemade pies, no electricity and only Fritz for company, she finds that maybe with a little luck and candle light, there might be some magic in those pies left for her.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018


The pitch-a-day exercise is good for a lot of things. One of them: showing me which tropes I keep coming back to. Apparently I really like thief characters. Like so:


Tina can travel between alternate universes whenever she likes. So long as a version of her exists on a world, she can slide into that other Tina’s body and live her life for however long she likes. Even better, she can take anything she’s holding with her from universe to universe, which is really convenient for a professional thief.

Less convenient is the cloaked figure who has begun tailing her, not only on her world but whenever she goes. Or the fact that one by one her alternate selves are dying off, almost like they’re being systematically eradicated. If she can’t figure out who’s after her and why, the next Tina killed off might be her.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

NaNoPitchMo 20: FATELESS

Today's pitch came at me out of the blue while I was reading Kill the Farm Boy. It has a little bit in common with The Rest of Us Just Live Here, which if you're unfamiliar with it is a brilliant concept--go check it out. I imagine a lot of people come to a point in which they wonder what happened to all their "potential" and why they can't seem to achieve some overwhelmingly awesome "purpose" in life. This would be a book for all those people.


In Jackie’s world, fate is a powerful force that comes for everyone. Every life is an adventure full of portent and fame. Jackie’s best friends are a budding master chef with a haunting singing voice and a brilliant swordsman who recently learned to speak with ravens. Even the plainest people are only a twist of luck away from stardom, and everyone has a magnificent purpose.

Everyone except Jackie. As her best friends inevitably head out on their grand lifetime adventures, Jackie is left behind. Determined to put herself in luck’s way, Jackie sets out to make her own fortune. But she can’t help her growing fear that fate has passed her by, and of all the girls in the world, she is the only one who will never be extraordinary.

Monday, November 19, 2018

NaNoPitchMo 19: TIER 0

Today's pitch has a lot of elements that I enjoy reading: a thief, a heist, a prison break, virtual reality. It wouldn't be the first time someone came up with the idea of a virtual reality prison, but I still think it would make for a fun subject.


In 2146, criminals deemed a threat to the public are sent to the mind prison, a virtual reality correctional facility. The prison is huge—an entire virtual world—and there the captives stay until they can prove they are rehabilitated. Rehabilitation usually takes years, requiring climbing up from drudgery to luxury through making ethical choices.

Ken is the newest of the drudges, a master thief who was only caught because his partner betrayed him. He’s determined to get out again as quickly as he can, not honestly but through a heist that will get him to the top tier of the prison without any stops in between. But as Ken carries out his plans he finds that conning his way to the top isn’t as easy as it looks, and the prison isn’t all that it seems.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

NaNoPitchMo 18: SOULSPEAKERS - Evolution of a Pitch

I'm doing something a little bit different today. Normally with this series I show a single pitch on its own, but the truth is not all pitches are in their best format the first time they're written. So today I'm going to show the evolution of a single pitch from my original concept through two revisions.

SOULSPEAKERS: original 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.


I liked a lot of the things happening here, but it's too clunky. There's too much happening. So I cut out the friends (even though they are really important to the plot) and tried again.

SOULSPEAKERS: first revision

Overcome your greatest weakness, save a soul from hell. That’s the most basic tenet of Sunny’s faith. Those who do overcome bind that soul to a magical artifact and gain entrance to the religious order of Imbuers. Long ago the Imbuers were the first line of defense against demon invasion, but in the five hundred years since the demons were locked away for good, Sunny’s world has known peace.

Sunny’s own life, however, is mired in chaos. Two years ago her grandmother was executed for heresy, and her family was banished from the mountain city of the Imbuers. Now she’s back, ready to take on the annual Trial of Champions to show that she’s nothing like her grandmother. If she, too, can become an Imbuer by the end of the trails, she’ll never have to leave her home again.

But when Sunny’s greatest weakness is revealed to be dishonesty, distrust for her family grows. The last thing she needs is to get tangled in her grandmother’s old conspiracies. Against her will, Sunny learns the truth: her grandmother was no heretic, and the demons aren’t as gone as everyone thinks. Sunny must overcome her weakness to protect her people, but the only way to do that is to take on the very label of heretic she so desperately wants to avoid. Tell the truth and she could be executed. Lie, and not only will she never be an Imbuer, but this time the demons might win.


This isn't really any better. I added in way too much background information, so it's still far too clunky.

SOULSPEAKERS: second revision

Sunny has known her greatest strength is honesty since the day she confessed to breaking her grandmother’s heirloom and became an Animator for telling the truth. She is always honest, even at great cost to herself. It was Sunny’s own testimony that sent her grandmother to the execution block and got her family banished from the holy mountain.

But now she’s back, and she has one chance of coming home for good. If she can conquer her greatest weakness she’ll become an Imbuer, capable of rescuing a soul from hell. All she has to do is go before the Staff of Souls and be told her greatest weakness, then do whatever it takes to get over it. There’s just one problem: when Sunny goes before the staff, the label it gives her is Dishonest.


For this final one, I took the first chapter (which I had written at this point) and condensed it into a pitch. I'm still not completely happy with this pitch, since the ending isn't quite as powerful as I'd like it to be, but I think it's much closer than the first two.

Now, as I just mentioned, I've written the first chapter of this book. But I had a really hard time writing any more of that. As it turns out, the unwieldiness of the original pitch was indicative of some major unwieldiness in the plot. I've set this project aside for now, but it taught me something important: sometimes a pitch that won't come together is indicative of a plot that's in trouble.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

NaNoPitchMo 17: ROOM 220

*To be up front: today's pitch is on the topic of school shootings. Feel free not to read more if you aren't up for it.*

This is the heaviest of any pitch I've written. I don't think I would be equipped to write this book, but I got the idea in my head and had to write down the pitch, even if that's the most it'll ever be. If you are interested in a book that handles the heavy topic of school shootings, I'd recommend Hate List by Jennifer Brown.

ROOM 220

Faith hears snippets of future conversations floating to her on the wind. Usually the conversations are innocuous: what someone wants for dinner or who kissed whom under the bleachers. But one morning all the whispers in her town turn to violence and terror. The more she hears, the more certain she is that her school is about to be the site of the next mass shooting.

The one thing missing from the whispers is the name of the shooter. If she can’t figure it out and give the police a credible reason to investigate, her school will become the next headline on the evening news.

Friday, November 16, 2018


Only comment I'm going to make on this one: I don't know how the story would go, but I promise I wouldn't make it a long lost twin story.


Connor can make himself look like anyone who has ever lived. Lived… past tense. All he has to do is snap his fingers and he’s instantly transformed into someone dead. Not a particularly useful talent for a guy who’d love to impersonate a celebrity for a night and see what happens. Good for a gruesome party trick though.

Then one morning he wakes up knowing a new face has been added to his repertoire, and an important one at that. He goes to the mirror and snaps his fingers to call up the new body and see who it is. But the face looking back at him is… his own.

Thursday, November 15, 2018


Ever since my son called Hieroglyphics "Pyroglyphics" I've wanted to come up with a good pitch for that title. I'm not sure this is it, but it's the best I've come up with to date.


The first time Jenna used a sparkler on the fourth of July, she conjured up a dragon. Fortunately it was only a baby, and dragons grow even more slowly than girls, but it’s still a bit of a hassle to keep hidden. Even harder to hide are the spells she does in the back yard with her worn yellow emoji lighter. When she writes with fire, anything can happen.

Anything except stop her best friend from moving across the country, apparently. So when one of her spells conjures up an imp that can teleport her anywhere she wants to be, Jenna thinks her life is perfect… until the imp starts causing havoc all up and down the East Coast. If she can’t figure out how to get the summonings back where they came from, saying goodbye to her bff will be the least of her worries.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018


Today's pitch is a bit of a throwaway idea. I don't really have any interest in this story in itself (at least not right now, but that could absolutely change). What I do find compelling is the idea of using healing magic for evil and pain magic for good. I like that dichotomy and would enjoy exploring it more.


Jared and Marc have everything in common. As children they both lost their mothers and were abused by the extended family who took them in. As teens they witnessed violence and murder first-hand. As adults they lived in poverty before magic gave them each a new start.

Now one can heal and one can cause pain.

The one who heals uses his power for bribery and coercion, while the one with the power of pain enlists in the army, hoping to use his gift to serve his country. But when a cold case is reopened and both men are called in for questioning, the truth of a decade-old murder could ruin them both.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018


I think I have a bit of an obsession with wind magic. I've already written one book that has it as a big plot point, and I'm not even close to bored with it. Here's another idea that is entirely focused on wind for its fantasy.


Lyssa hears voices calling on the wind. She has always been lonely—not for company but for the world outside her constrained experience. The wind tells her stories of places far away, and she thinks of nothing but seeing them for herself.

But when she wakes up one morning able to direct the wind as she wishes, she’s afraid. The wind howls at her now, begging her to release it, to unleash destruction. From the little she can make it tell her, she gathers she’s the newest guardian of the West Wind, inheriting all the powers and duties of the position.

At night she rides the wind, visiting all those places she always wanted to see. But her travels come at a price. She has inherited not only the power of the wind but its rivalries as well, and now she must face down the guardians of the three other winds, all older and stronger than herself.

Monday, November 12, 2018


A long time ago I read a book called Being of Two Minds, and the concept has stuck with me ever since. I think maybe that book gave me the inspiration for today's pitch. I've had this idea for years but never wrote it, and I probably never will. Still, I spent a lot of time daydreaming about it, and daydreaming is fun, so it wasn't a wasted idea.


Sarah is a teenage fencing pro who competes with her best friend Mira on the national level. But in her other life, Sarah is Sahni, personal bodyguard to Prince Forwin of Pelth, whom she’s had a crush on for the past year.

Sarah can move between her lives at will, always inhabiting one while the other plays in her head like a background video. But lately the switches have become harder and more painful. When Mira nearly kills herself while Sarah is off rescuing Forwin from kidnappers as Sahni, Sarah blacks out entirely trying to switch back to see Mira.

With only a few more switches left in her, Sarah must make a choice between her two lives and decide which person she really wants to be.

Sunday, November 11, 2018


I never did any drama in high school, but now I wish I had so I could write this book...


Step onto the stage of the old Bates Street Theater and become whoever you want to be... permanently. For the Darnell High spring musical rejects it's a dream come true. Talent, confidence and the bodies they've always dreamed of having theirs for the taking.

But the cursed Bates Street Theater takes as much as it gives. Once you step on the stage you must live out the final incomplete play ever performed there, along with its mysterious, tragic end. Who will live? Who will die? And who will be framed for murder? For these rejects-turned-stars, time is running out, because no matter what happens, the show must go on.

Saturday, November 10, 2018


Fairy tale retellings have been pretty popular for the past several years. I've never written one myself since I don't generally like following someone else's structure even if it's really good. (I'm the same way with crocheting--I'd much rather make up my own mediocre designs than follow a spectacular pattern.) But I could possibly be interested in writing a dark Cinderella...


Bone of her father, ash of the fire, blood of a prince. These are the things Elle needs to bring her father back to life. She has the bone and the ash; all she needs is to seduce the prince. And the ball to choose his future bride is only days away.

Brigitte has been watching her strange stepsister for as long as they’ve lived under the same roof. She refuses to sleep in a bed, choosing the cinders of the hearth instead. And she speaks mysterious incantations whenever she thinks no one is listening. Brigitte has tried to befriend her, but Elle wants none of her pity. But when Brigitte discovers Elle’s true plans, she’s the only one who can stand between Elle’s murderous designs and the life of the prince.

Friday, November 9, 2018

NaNoPitchMo 9: DEAR ANNA

On a much lighter note than yesterday's monster murder book, here's a high school rom com:


Libby writes the advice column for her high school newspaper under the pen name Anna Doolittle. Nobody is supposed to know her identity, not even her best friend and secret crush Jake. She loves writing the column—it’s a lot more fun to meddle in other people’s business from a distance instead of the messy business of getting to know real people in person.

But then a new regular starts writing in to her column, a guy calling himself Hopelessly Smitten who needs advice on winning over his crush. Libby’s pretty sure he’s Jake, and she has absolutely no idea what to do about him. Help set him up with the most popular girl in school? Or sabotage his romantic hopes and dreams? One thing’s for certain: advice is a whole lot trickier in real life.

Thursday, November 8, 2018


So... I heard vampires might be coming back into vogue. How about a murder mystery at a monster masquerade ball?


Every day the Manor at Howling Hill lies silent and empty, and every night its halls are dormant and wasted. Every night but one. On the night of the Masquerade, representatives from each of the immortal races come together to renew the uneasy peace that lies between them.

Alessin is the younger son of Barron Drovince, the most powerful and influential of the Bloodbane clans. All he wants is to spend the night of the Masquerade chasing whatever excitement he can find. The last thing he expects is for his older brother to be murdered, shattering the peace between the immortals. Or for himself to be the prime suspect in his brother’s death.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018


Pitch first today, then some commentary:

Erin is a linguistics professor who translates obscure languages over the summer, and she’s one of the most respected linguists in her field. She loves her life and never intends to do anything else, but on return to the university one autumn, her whole life is flipped upside down. She’s summoned to a secret government compound with no chance to contact anyone and no way to leave once she’s there.

At the compound she learns that she’s to begin work on a new job immediately. The compound is home to several dozen Americans of all ages, ethnicities and genders, but they all have one thing in common: within the past year every one of them has begun speaking fragments of a strange new language. Erin’s job: figure out this language and how it works as quickly and safely as possible.

Because the language isn’t only strange and unexpected: every utterance lets loose a different form of magic.


Back in college I minored in linguistics, which involved taking a course on deciphering the grammar of Korean based on hearing English sentences translated into Korean. We could make requests for sentences to be translated, but we couldn't ask, say, "How do you do past tense?" It was such an engaging class and one of the most memorable of my four years.

Now a lot of books with magic systems involve a magic language that makes the spells work. I've always thought it would be fun to read a book about a linguist coming across a language like that and trying to figure out how it works. So... hence today's pitch!

Tuesday, November 6, 2018


And finally in the EMPTY LIES THE DARKNESS series... (I know, I've got a lot of ideas for this world...) a futuristic space exploration story!


The world is overflowing, and there is no longer Empty mist to map and explore, so for the first time humans look to the sky, void of all but the sun.

But not void for long. Fueled by a longing to explore like the cartographers of old, Seru designs a new technology to map the skies, and soon a dusty white moon is orbiting the planet.

At once every wealthy nation in the world starts racing to be the first to put a human on the moon. Science and technology explode with potential, and dozens of eager people volunteer to join the first flight.

But Seru has been dreaming of leaving the planet for longer than any of them, and she’ll do absolutely anything to be the first to walk where no one has stepped before.

Monday, November 5, 2018


Next up in the EMPTY LIES THE DARKNESS series is a plot set in the maps world that would take place in the equivalent of modern Earth. I kind of love the idea of a construction-worker-turned-monster-hunter. So to that end...


Long ago the world was covered in mist and monsters, but for millennia the mist has been gone and the monsters eradicated. Now the only unnatural mists that form are thanks to precisely planned land demolitions, covered in governmental regulation and red tape.

Jovin is in the land repurposing business. His job: clearing useless land and replacing it with better through government sanctioned destruction and recreation of maps. His current commission is no different: simply a routine wipe and fill. Totally ordinary. Boring even.

Until the monsters appear.

Sunday, November 4, 2018


Back again with another pitch set the EMPTY LIES THE DARKNESS world. This time I've jumped forward several centuries or more to show what happens when the easiest way to make war is to destroy all the other people's land.


Destroy a map, destroy the land it represents.

Ever since the ruling family of Xoatl City slaughtered everyone she loves, Apertni has been out for revenge. Taken into the care of the boss of Moxitla City’s underbelly, she is trained as an assassin and spy. Her new target: the entire city of Xoatl.

Tiopt is the ill-favored second cousin of the Duke of Xoatl. Shunted from scriptorium to army to priesthood, he lands at last in the Archives, where the maps that brought Xoatl’s land into being are housed and protected. While his relatives laugh and carouse, he is all that stands between his city and annihilation.

And then the mysterious and alluring noblewoman Apertni begins courting his favor.

Saturday, November 3, 2018


The pitch for today is set in the same world as EMPTY LIES THE DARKNESS and involves some of the same characters. It's an entirely different story, though, and I'm not quite sure that the pitch as it's written now is actually what the book would be about. If I ever have the opportunity to write it, maybe I'll find out!


Ashl is the best cartographer who ever lived, and no one will ever know. She’s cursed to be forgotten, to live humbly and be judged only for her looks. But she’s always craved more, always hunted down the far reaches of the world with her best friend Donl by her side. When her newest cartography commission out on the Infinite Lake turns up a mysterious island full of people who are not quite human, she feels a stirring of hope that maybe she won’t be doomed to insignificance forever.

A nonhuman named Tulmar sees Ashl not for her beauty or her maps, but for herself. He asks her to join him at the island, away from the world and the curse that follows her. But as tension stirs between humans and the people of the island, Ashl must make a choice between Tulmar, who sees through her curse, and Donl, who has loved her since the day they met.

Friday, November 2, 2018


Yesterday's pitch-a-day was for EMPTY LIES THE DARKNESS, my most recent project. When I finished what I thought would be the final draft for that, I started working on a companion book called THE WALLOWOOD. However, it turned out to be more novella than novel, and I have since interwoven it into the story of EMPTY LIES THE DARKNESS. But before doing that I wrote a pitch for it, and this is that pitch:

Never leave the house after dark. Never listen to the whispers of the trees. And never, ever go into the Wallowood or you’ll be devoured by the dark things. These are the rules Coln lives by, the rules that keep him safe and give him control over the dangers that surround him.

Until a new dark creature turns up, one that traps him inside his own panic, leaving him vulnerable and out of control. When his younger brother goes missing, Coln must go against every instinct and enter the Wallowood to rescue him. But in the woods, no rules can save him, and control is only an illusion.

Thursday, November 1, 2018


This time last year I started writing a pitch a day for all of November. In fact, the blog has essentially been gathering dust since the last post of November last year. Oops. But! I'm back again this year with more pitches, and if I can get my act together, maybe I'll even be able to do one a day again.

I'm going to start off this year with the pitch for the book I've been working on all this past year. It's been one of my absolute favorites to write. I love the characters and their world, and I think I could happily keep writing books in this world for a long time.

I've had the idea for this one for a while now. It was one of my pitches last year, which I guess means I'm cheating a little, but it's undergone a few changes.

Without further ado, here is EMPTY LIES THE DARKNESS:

Sorsca is a cartographer in a world where maps create new land, pushing back the Empty mists at the edges of the world and pulling mountains and rivers, trees and marsh into existence. A single wrong stroke brings monsters into the world, beasts that devour and demons with silver tongues. Sorsca longs to go to the Empty to conquer it with ink and vellum and to become a hero who creates protections from the monsters through her cartography.

But when she gets her chance, she discovers that she is not the prodigy she has always imagined, and the Empty is more dangerous than she bargained for. A demon of the mists haunts her. In desperation she turns to her map for a remedy against him, but with every stroke his influence increases. If she can’t find a remedy quickly, Sorsca risks bringing more darkness into the world through her map.