Me, I love a dark story.
The love affair with magical horses and princesses ironically hit me in my teens. Before that, it was vampires all the way. I had chewed my way through my library's adult horror section before I lost all my baby teeth.
So it feels amazing to take a break from a comic with literally nine princesses (wait, dammit, TEN) to write something that bumps in the night.
Unfinished Business is a paranormal fantasy about Death and the Afterlife based on the fairytale Godmother Death.
The central character, West, was adopted by the female incarnation of Death as his mother's dying wish. West has the power to raise the dead, but the resurrected can't remain alive, and Death's first act after the adoption was to prevent West from bringing back his mother.
..So they have issues.
Years later, enter Mason, a misfit son born to an insular witches "coven" in rural northern Wisconsin. (Note: other covens would say extremist cult.) West and Mason's paths cross one night in Indianapolis when West resurrects a defaced John Doe on a mortuary slab. The corpse is Mason. Upon learning he has only been granted one night to clean up his unfinished business without letting anyone know he's undead, Mason does what any self-respecting witch would do. He steals the talisman that keeps him "alive," kidnaps his necromancer (aka West), and heads north to find out who killed him.
Meanwhile, West's recently dead friend Daisy is left to deal with the monster mash of faiths called the Confederation of Afterlifes. An agnostic in life, she avoids permanent deportation in death with a work visa as a low-level cupid. While trying to keep her head down, Daisy quickly gets on the wrong side of the law, both holy and unholy, when she gets tangled with an unfairly attractive incubus named Tadd. Tadd is a fugitive who escaped his assigned Afterlife, and who will do anything not to go back.
As Daisy and Tadd stay one step ahead of their pursuers, their journey intertwines with West and Mason's mess among the Living. Because the coven above is preparing to cast a spell generations in the making. If cast selfishly, it could break the balance between the Living and the Afterlifes. At the same time, someone in the Afterlifes is pulling a lot of strings with the intent to get rid of Death. Permanently.
To help this book off to a running start, I'm hopping on board with A Round of Words in 80 Days in the middle. This leaves about 35 days, and my goal is to hammer out the first 25K words of the rough draft in that time. I expect the first draft to be exceedingly sh***y, as it should be.
Wish me luck!