If you look way down in the April 2020 range at the Camp NaNo topic, you’ll see that I was working on a novel draft for a year-long workshop I was in. Maybe it’s time to update that ….
I did finish it around August 2020. Then the revision phase began—and that was a radical shift in gears. Yikes. But the revision got done, with some further polishing ….
It’s now being queried to agents in the speculative fiction area (“a 103,000 word science fantasy novel set in a Jovian cloud city”). I will likely be looking for beta-reader feedback at some point soon—please feel free to PM if you might be interested. The quick summary:
Sweet Things and Dark Animals is an LGBT science fantasy set in a class-stratified Jupiter cloud city, mixing in Roman myth, time travel, and urban fantasy magic. The story is a bit of pagan Flannery O’Connor out in The Expanse, with the feel of Cloud Atlas. Devotion, sacrifice, and wonder are at the core, and how people cope with a reality bent by magic.
Two hundred years after magic spreads across Earth, only the rich and lucky are able to leave for the stars, and especially Olympus, a luxurious cloud city in the Jovian atmosphere. Sylvain is a struggling priest of an ancient Roman lightning god sent to Jupiter to keep the batteries full. Dai is a sly card sharp on a mission from a mysterious patron to discover what keeps the cloud city aloft—because no known magic could. Adam is one of the historical heroes who brought magic to the world, then becomes the last of a fading line of enchanted tattoo artists. Sylvain and Dai cross paths even though they are on opposite sides of a conflict between the governing Core and the revolutionary Flies—until a shattering intervention sends Sylvain back to meet Adam. Only breaking the rules of magic will return Sylvain to his own time, save Dai from death at the hands of the Core, and allow Adam to uncover the darkest secrets of Olympus.
What’s cooking now: I had already written a prequel/sequel novel (time travel, eh) that I am polishing up so I can offer them as two of a trilogy. I will be attending a “bookcamp” in August to give some dedicated focus to revising this second book in the set. Then there’s one more book to outline, write, and revise. And there’s more on the back-back-back burner (I have a huge stove?) that I need to keep simmering away while I deal with these projects and, you know, work.
The process doesn’t always move as quickly as I want, but my main job is just to keep it moving.
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