Yeah, I know: as if I'm not busy enough. :D But I can't help it! For years I've wanted to take part in National Novel Writing Month, but something--life, health, etc.--has always come up. Not so this year. *knocks on wood* This year I'm finally going to do it.
So, what's my project? Glad you asked!
In her first Sealer Saga anthology, SEALED WITH A KISS, Kathy Coleman tells the story of Lucian Veradayne, Lord of the Underworld.
BY DARKNESS DECEIVED...
For centuries one thing alone has eluded Ruby Grendell, Goddess of the Moon: to have a child of her own, to raise as she sees fit. Her consort, the Sun Lord Darius, has denied her this each time she has questioned him about it. And now she has discovered his mortal lover...and their son.
Two can play at that game. Ruby decides to host a contest among her followers. The man who proves himself most worthy will have the honor of fathering her child. But when Lucian, Lord of the Undrerworld, disguises himself and ends up in her bed, Ruby will stop at nothing to seek vengeance on the man who wronged her a thousand years ago. Even if it means destroying the very being she sought to create.
TO WED A DARK LORD...
Carita Veradayne has been given an unthinkable task. She must murder the infant son of her Goddess. But while Lucian fought to win Ruby's heart, Carita unwittingly gave him hers. Unable to kill her only surviving link to him, she returns to the Moon Temple with the baby and begins to raise him in secret. She knows she will not be able to hide him forever. And that when Ruby discovers this betrayal, her wrath will be severe.
Lucian has spent ten years searching for his son. When he finds the boy standing over Carita's body and calling her "mother" he offers to grant her immortality--if she agrees to become his Queen. But Lucian's heart is shattered and he has no desire to repair it or have it broken again. Will Carita find a way to win his love or has she sentenced herself to an eternity of solitude?
I am so hyped to start work on this! Since I'm working on outline and characters and this book is totally on my mind right now, I thought I'd share five facts about it with you guys.
1. Yes, this was inspired by Hades and Persephone.
I was really happy to see people on the NaNoWriMo forums catch on to this. :D There are a lot of differences between my work and the actual myth, but a lot of my Sealer Saga stuff references, borrows from or alludes to different stories within several mythologies. Kesyl and Sarena's story didn't have a specific myth tied to it, but SEALED WITH A KISS is a nod to Hades and Persephone, while SEALER'S QUERST (which I should be writing next) has its roots in the story of Orpheus and Eurydice.
2. Readers will get to explore New Haven, the capital of the Underworld.
I work very hard in this series to integrate my divine realms (The Underworld and the Sky Realm) in with my two living realms (Earth and Zynedia). We got a few scenes from The Underworld in SEALER'S PROMISE, but I'm really excited to expand on that further in this anthology. We'll also get to see Carita and Kesyl's reactions to Earth, and the reader will get to see Zynedia before it's destruction since this is a prequel.
3. Readers will get to witness the birth of a Hell Hound puppy!
From artists to betas, facebook fanpage members to people on twitter, people seem to love the mini hell hounds. :D And who can blame them--they're cute! (And I totally credit Katling on Facebook for them--it never occurred to me to do them this way when I commissioned her for this art.) We got a couple scenes with the minis in SEALER'S PROMISE, but in SEALED WITH A KISS readers will get to witness the birth of Cujo! (Can you see glimpses of Zakariah's sense of humor in this? :D I figure a deity who can inflict people with fear would HAVE to love / respect Stephen King's books.)
4. Readers will get to witness Kesyl's first trip to Earth and see the first time he encountered a car. (Something referenced in Sealer's Promise)
When I initially planned out a few novellas to go between the main four Sealer Saga novels the decision was inspired by my friend Robert Bevan's Caverns and Creatures mini-adventures. I'm so glad I ended up planning these (and that I eventually listened and did the re-write for SEALER'S PROMISE before releasing any of them.) The ideas for the novellas have added richness to my plans for the books, and as I work on the books they add things I want to explore to the novellas. It's totally win-win. One of the most crucial scenes in my NaNoWriMo project is inspired from something Kesyl tells Sarena about while they are at the Sterling Community Theater. I love getting to see Kesyl as a little boy (he's so freaking cute!) and showing how much he has grown as a character (by showing where he came from) will be an interesting writing challenge.
5. Readers will get to see how Zakariah deals with the idea of a "new mom" and a baby brother.
Writing the family dynamics for the Veradaynes is one of the toughest challenges I will face this November. I'm NOT from any form of a blended family; my home is about as 'nuclear' as you can get. I've had lots of close friends who come from a wide variety of backgrounds, though, and I'm hoping that will be helpful in not botching this up. There's also the fact that the Veradaynes are Sealers (basically Gods / Immortals), which can be a blessing and a curse when writing them. I want them to seem as zanny as the characters from the Greek and Norse myths I love, but I also strive to have them deal with character issues that feel real to today's world--not our world the way it was centuries ago.
Zakariah is a 1,000 year old Sealer who has never lived. He's kind of a sand in for, say, an 18 year old brother who is looking after a baby sibling. I like this about him. It means I can make him responsible, but I can also make him emotional and have him make mistakes. This story takes place before SEALER'S PROMISE and part of my goal is to show how far Zakariah has come from here to where he is in that book. Zakariah, as a character, is pretty close to my heart. He has kind of evolved with each of my three drafts of SEALER'S PROMISE, getting (I hope!) better with each one. Getting to explore him further is something I'm really looking forward to.
Are YOU writing something this year for NaNoWriMo? Feel free to link me to a post about it, or to it's page on the NaNoWriMo website. Good luck!