So longtime followers of my blog will know I completed a revision request on my retelling of Stravinsky’s ballet, Firebird, set during the Cold War, with witches and a family of monsters, but most importantly, Baba Yaga. This is the first novel I seriously queried, and I averaged about a 50% request rate out of the 50 total queries I sent out to top agents. My query letter was killer, and I’ve had a lot of great agents fall in love with the prose but not the plot, or think the plot and concept are amazing or that the prose is lacking, or some say it was a wonderful novel but they simply didn’t fall in love with it. Firebird is now with Brandon Sanderson of Mistborn and Charlaine Harris of True Blood’s agent, which makes me giddy.
This is probably it’s last shot, otherwise I am trunking the novel for another time. I love Firebird to pieces and would love to see it published, and Joshua Bilmes is an absolutely stellar agent. I think it is worthy of being published and is a very literary fantasy and is hard to pin down. I would love to someday have it available to eager readers, but I know this is it’s last chance.
It’s a great novel, but I’ve evolved as a writer in the calendar year I finished revising it, by blogging and continuing to write prose and poetry, and my new middle grade novel is absolutely my favorite thing, hands down, I have ever written! It’s about Marie Laveau’s heir saving New Orleans with her best friend, Raphael, and Papa Legba from Marinette and Mister Carrefour and their zombies and loup garou. It incorporates a lot of my personal spirituality into it, seeing as I’m technically in a maryaj lwa with Carrefour – Samael’s second favorite form, rife with jazz, canes, saxophones, dreads, and cigars, and also because it has the angels I know and love as May Laveau’s family. May first came to me when I was 18 a long beautiful summer ago, when I wanted to write a novel about my beloved Uriel and Raphael. In it, Uriel’s avatar is a precocious thirteen year old, and Raphael is her guardian angel.
It got a lot of requests from #DVPit last October, and I spent some time revising according to several kind agent’s feedback, and now it’s back on submission again. The first agent that ever gave me a revise and resubmit on Firebird enthusiastically requested the full, and despite being my one of my top choices for agents, Thao is absolutely a wonderful personality and has amazing books under her belt, my favorite being Roshani Chokshi’s Star-Touched Queen and the Abyss Surrounds Us. There’s no guarantee she or Joshua will like my books, but it feels amazing just to have gotten this far! If not, I’ll get great feedback and go back to revising, perhaps shelving Firebird and moving on to my new projects!
So what’s in the works for Allie?
Birds Away is my YA contemporary project about a group of teenagers at a science and tech school that get a grant to do a Big Year, in birding terms, seeing as many bird species as you can in the continental US. Jack Black did a lovely movie called The Big Year and my own experience going to America’s top science and tech school in the world inspired me. We were a bunch of nerdy, passionate weirdos at my high school, and had everything from a satellite to a cloud-watching club. Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology has dreamers above all else, and I was one of them. How fun would it be to read about a group of friends with biological and technical backgrounds road-tripping for a year birding! This is the novel I needed written yesterday!
Spider King is a YA Fantasy Beauty and the Beast retelling with… well, with a spider prince, and a fantasy civilization that has grown over the milennia after the collapse of a dystopian technological empire that created mutant animal-human hybrids that now live in different kingdoms where ancient tech is few and far between. A rebel spider prince named Saroth and his blood enemy warrior Princess Melania team up to take down an empire.
Harold the Dragon is an illustrated children’s book about a girl named Maude that has a bashful, scared dragon with glasses named Harold that lives in her closet. Dragons have to earn their wings by doing good deeds. They have tea with the little girl ghost in the attic, help zombies cross the street as they are quite slow, and save kittens from trees, which is hard when Harold hasn’t yet earned his wings.
Space Oddity is 20,000 words in and is a David Bowie tribute about stoner Anunnaki aliens, bi girls in space bands, kissing pretty alien princesses, and punk rocking a galactic empire down. It’s a hoot and a bit like Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy mixed with Octavia Butler Lilith’s Brood. Enki and Ishtar are the main aliens, and it is steeped in Sumerian mythology as befitting a vast alien conspiracy about King Bowie.
So yeah, I’m taking a break from writing novels for a while, as I have a ton of books and comics I want to read. But four are in the works, along with a devotional chapbook of my poetry about Samael and one for Michael! Also working on a Norse devotional. We shall see where 2018 brings me!