Monday, October 29, 2007

Leaving Wind Follower, finding an Inheritance

Now that Wind Follower is published I have to shake myself free from it. Marketing, interviews, reviews -- all must bow their heads and let me move from Wind Follower mode into Inheritance mode.

Inheritance is my new WIP. It is intended to be urban lit. The story so far (okay, I've tossed in some backstory also):

Female character: Novella. Fortyish Black woman. A cop who's going through burn out. She belongs to a people called the Kindred. These folks have various supernatural talents. Nothing over the top, mind you. I like my magic to be pretty real and gently paranormal. Natural supernaturalism and all that. Novella, however, lacks a lot of this power because she is too practical. And magic only works when one allows one's self to believe. Even though as a child the elders at the local gathering all taught her how to look into the mirror of life, she simply cannot "bring substance down" into physical reality.

Danny: Half-Chinese. His white mom --a minister's wife and a pro-lifer-- was raped by a rapist who happened to be Chinese. She and the minister raised Danny with a lot of love. When she was pregnant, she hid the pregnancy by visiting her sister in the city. Then she and her husband made up a story about going to China to adopt a child. She returned to her upstate all-white town with the baby. The story of the baby adoption was shown in an Albany newspaper. No one suspects the truth ...except the sister of the rapist who is a news reporter. Since Danny’s youth, she has written local news stories that somehow involved Danny and has made herself a friend of the family. She has also brought these newspapers to her imprisoned brother. It’s her way of letting him know about his son. Danny, for his part, was pretty much in the dark about the circumstances around his birth but when he accidentally discovered the truth at age fourteen, he acted up. Petty thieving, burglary, heroin addiction. He soon learned to accept it and around age twenty-five he meets the black woman and romance begins.

Oh, by the way, did I tell you that his dad in prison has an hankering to see him?
Oh, and did I also tell you that ever since Danny learned about the circumstances of his birth, a headless female torso has been visiting him in his dreams, forcing sex on him. Oh, didn't I tell you that?

This is the very same succubi who had visited his biological father and had resulted in his dad becoming a serial rapist. (Trust me on this, I can make this kind of thing believable. I’m a writer, after all. And all you feminists out there, please do not email me with comments about how I'm blaming the woman. It's a demon, for heaven's sake!)

So then...this is Danny’s inheritance…a spiritual battle for his destiny? Or is it a psychological battle?

Oh, yeah... didn't I tell you? Danny is also one of the kindred. And he has way more skills in the paranormal than Novella. Except he's useless against the succubi. And he needs some help -- burnt-out case Novella's help-- to free him from this demon. Yep, my heroine has to fight a demon for her man....and for the safety of every woman in the region. After all, we wouldn't want the succubi to get her way.

What I imagine is a sweetly normal, one might even say bucolic love May-December multicultural urban lit love story with this weird dark undercurrent. Can I do it? Yeah. ::patting self on shoulder:: Folks, I am one good writer!

Okay, there are moments of utter fear and panic. I won't lie. Times when I say: will my audience (Who the heck is my audience?) like this story? Will the story have the same sense of magic and sweetness and honesty as Wind Follower? What about this may/december bi-racial relationship? Will it annoy some folks? Will the novel be obviously Christian or subtly so? Will the woman or the man be the main character?

Lord knows. I'll just trust Him. -Carole McDonnell
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