For three years I had failed writing ideas. They were great concepts, but I didn’t get that ‘feeling’. You know what I’m talking about. The feeling that this story is going places, that the road will reveal itself if you just start driving.
Then after my agent suggested I condense Antebellum down into one book, I had to seriously get over my writer’s block in order to generate new ideas for the stories. I realized what I’d been doing wrong (for three years!) and got back on track.
And then, after such a long famine, at a time when I needed to be focusing completely on Antbellum, I received the inspiration for not one, but two more novels:
The first, tentatively titled SOULMANCER is about a boy named Jorian with the power to manipulate life forces, and his human best friend, Annika. Jorian, is ‘confiscated’ by a society known as the Spaeren. Confiscation involves separating the soul from the body in a way that each survive, but the soul is cast into a terrible void until the body finally dies and releases the soul to the afterlife. However, Jorian is so close to Annika that instead of existing in a maddening void his soul attaches to hers and he clings to life in this way. Annika must go on an adventure to discover the lair of the Spaeren and somehow get Jorian’s body back so he can live again. Along the way, Annika starts to develop powers of her own, while Jorian slowly forgets what it’s like to be human, and when the reason for Jorian’s confiscation is revealed, Annika must choose between her best friend and the safety of the world. SOULMANCER is strongly influenced by Scandinavian fairytales, and I’m going to try and incorporate trolls and giants, and all sorts of fun things.
The second is a retelling of Sleeping Beauty. Talia wakes in an abandoned castle, surrounded by dessicated roses, and with no memory of who she is or how she got there. A young man in the room with her tells her that she’s been asleep for 100 years, following a terrible accident she was responsible for that killed her family, brought endless winter to the land, and cursed her to a century of sleep. Now that she’s awake, the land will begin to thaw, and she must go to the neighboring country to marry the prince, whose armies and gold can restore her country and protect it from the evil magical beings that have taken up inhabitance. However, Talia doesn’t feel like a princess, and certainly doesn’t have the personality for it. As they travel through lands infested with evil creatures and home to a few remaining peasants, Talia learns more about the history of her country, and ultimately the truth about who she is, and what really happened a hundred years ago. There’s going to be epic romance, betrayal, an immortal witch, and some sword-fighting ass-kicking. I’m thinking of retelling this story by alternating chapters, with one chapter taking place 100 years ago, and the next taking place 100 years later. There’s a twist ending, too!
So, I’m incredibly excited about both these ideas, but Antebellum has to come first now. I’ve completed Chapter 6 of 31 for the rewrite, so it’s moving right along. I just wanted to share my new ideas!
I also wanted to share the song that I can credit with inspiring both of these novels. This is Florence and the Machine’s BLINDING, and I listen to it on repeat every time I’m in my car, dreaming of these two new worlds I’ll get to work with soon:
EDIT: ANTEBELLUM is now known as NAMELESS