Note: For those of you following this blog for Nepal updates, this blog post is about the book I’m currently writing/editing (for a writing program I hope to become involved with) so please feel totally free to ignore this!
What am I writing?
A high fantasy (it’s set in another world, which seems to be the definition) that explores the politics of the world and how unusual abilities would affect that as well as the impact religion (both personal and institutional) has on lives and countries. The current title is ‘Griffin’s Land’ – but the name has gone through several revisions.
Several years ago, we went on a family holiday to Greece and looked around the acrocorinth. There is a Venetian fortress atop this large hill with amazing views of the surrounding plain. There are only ruins left of the fortress, but these sprawl over the outcropping.
We reached the gatehouse, and there was an information board – full of dense text and largely in Greek. When asked what it said, I replied, “This archway is a later addition – thirteenth century Grathic.” I have no idea why I said that – and quickly explained it was in Greek so I was making it up. However, the idea stayed with me. Why had there been a later addition by the Grathic people? How had the fortress fallen and why?
I had also been wondering for years how a world would react if it regained magic – if opinions in the intervening years had changed. The circumstances around the disappearance would play a major role, as would who had regained magic. That then led me to working out how magic could disappear and return. The elements came together, and I started writing about four different women whose lives would intertwine. Two characters didn’t add much, so were dropped (but might make ‘cameo’ appearances!) and two men joined the main cast.
Unfortunately, the story I thought was going to lead to Til-Bathon (the fictional fortress based on the acrocorinth) turned out to lead in a completely different direction, so I’m not sure if my characters will ever arrive at the crumbling citadel.
I can’t pick a single book that is like mine, but rather different books that have similar ideas about central themes.
- Great books exploring how magic might be a godly gift but it’s not about the wielder, but about serving others are the three books in the Fire and Thorns series (Rae Carson).
- The most interesting books I’ve read that explore the impact of religious politics, and why there might be such declarations, as well as the difficulties countries have when faced with a dominant religious institution is the Elenium Trilogy (David Eddings)
The Aurellios were once called the Gyamorts, the most powerful family in the eastern world. They wielded terrifying Sorceries and controlled the griffins. They had an empire none dared to challenge until the cunning King of the neighbouring land sought to rule them. During the battle, when it seemed like the Gyamorts would win, the griffins turned to stone and the Gyamorts’ Sorcery failed. They fell, labelled traitors and forced to serve a foreign land.
Three hundred years later, the Gyamorts’ descendants – the Aurellios of Vialon – still pay for their ancestors’ defeat, and their father’s attempt to free their land from the King of Michallian.
As their land, and world, teeters on the brink of war, each has a part to play; Duke Adamus must protect his people and his siblings; Princess Zianna, whilst investigating a missing trade caravan, finds an ancient enemy; Captain Ashcharo harbours a secret that will force him to decide between his sworn lord and the woman he loves; Lady Ghaliya must decide whether to risk everything and adapt to a new land.
- Strong female leads
- Exploration of various cultures and lands
- Diverse cast
- Sibling solidarity
- Feminist themes
What I hope to gain from AMM:
- A strong and engaging story – I’ve worked with various amazing critique partners and their comments have brought the story so far from the original draft. However, I feel like there is a big mistake/oversight that I’m missing because I know the story so well and my CPs have all the backstory too.
- Advice from someone who knows the editing/revising process well.
- Meet more people on the same journey as me to talk books and the struggles and joys of writing and revising.
Why I’d make a good mentee:
- I am more than willing (and already have) to tear up existing work and replace it with something far better (and more logical!).
- I am hardworking and good with deadlines – I work better under pressure often.
- I work well with others, and know how to incorporate feedback into my work.