I’ve written 1200 words of The Deep today and yesterday I wrote 2000 so I thought I’d take a break tonight and work on my synopses. My publisher usually asks for three of varying lengths—200 characters, 2000 characters, and 200 words for the back cover text. I’ve finished the first two and thought I’d share them here on the blog in case you’ve been wondering what I’m writing about…
Sentence Description (200 characters, including spaces):
This urban fantasy places a Brooklyn teen at the center of a battle between good and evil. Nyla must learn to wield the astonishing power she inherited from the mother who abandoned her as a child.
Short Description (2,000 characters, including spaces):
THE DEEP plunges readers into a dangerous underground world policed by members of The League, a secret group of women and men who use their intuitive abilities to detect energy surges far below the earth’s surface. In the deep, ancient sources of malevolent energy search for fissures in the bedrock (made larger by seismic activity); “pressers” attempt to locate these leaks and “heal” the fissure, thereby preventing evil from entering the world.
Abandoned by her mother at the age of three, Nyla has grown up with a loving father and stepmother on a military base in Germany. After a traumatic assault takes place at a school dance, Nyla and her family return to the United States and take up residence in her deceased grandmother’s Brooklyn brownstone. Nyla gradually changes her outer appearance to match her inner ambivalence around femininity; despite her father’s objections, Nyla shaves off most of her hair, dyes what little’s left, and gets multiple facial and ear piercings in order to establish a new Afropunk identity.
Determined to control as much of her environment as she can, Nyla is terrified when she begins to hallucinate while walking the city streets. A man named Osiris approaches her and offers to introduce Nyla to others who have similar “gifts.” When Nyla refuses, her young friend D is kidnapped and held in the deep until Nyla agrees to let Osiris guide her below ground. There she meets Lada, the mother who abandoned her ten years ago. Furious that her daughter is being recruited by The League, Lada tries to persuade her ex-husband to take Nyla out of the city. But Nyla has decided to follow in her mother’s footsteps and her training begins at an accelerated pace when The League discovers an earthquake will soon hit Brooklyn, releasing unprecedented levels of malevolent energy into the city.
THE DEEP is the companion book to SHIP OF SOULS (2012), which was named a Top Ten Sci-Fi/Fantasy Title for Youth by Booklist.
I don’t have a contract for the book yet but I also filled out the author questionnaire they sent me for SoS. I’ve already lined up an illustrator for the book’s cover, but the movie poster that comes closest to what I have in mind is the one for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Audience? Teens (13+), all genders, African Americans, New Yorkers, Brooklynites, feminists, urban fantasy/speculative fiction fans…