My first new book sold!
I’m working with Loose Id again and so excited to do so. They do the best covers. I first wrote Coral as Wrecked, a book about selkies living in Victoria BC. I like saying Victorian selkies, but it isn’t a steampunk. Though steampunk selkies sound amazing.
The book was one of the last things I’d written back in 2009 and had been contracted to Loose Id for publication. My editor wrote back to me and said the first half was good, but the second half was a hot mess and she wasn’t wrong.
It took me three years to figure out the problem. I’d gone to dozens of workshops, but one of the best was given by Rob Sawyer who talked a lot about what the main character has to be. What really resonated with me was the fact that the main character has to be actively against the theme of the book through most of it. He talked about how the main character is the character with most to gain and the most to lose.
In a book about selkies, I’d written it from Devon’s POV. He was the human. He never experienced what it was like to be a selkie. They say write what you know and I’m not arguing with that, but the next level is write what you think it would feel like.
And thinking about what it would feel like to be a selkie is part of the reason people read shape changing books.
Selkies can give their hearts away. Not literally, their circulatory system isn’t the magical, but they can turn into seals. Finn barely remembers giving his heart to Paul, a sadistic man who spins lies likes silk into shackles holding Finn to him.
In an ordinary fairy tale that would have been the end of Finn’s tale. A lifetime of sexual servitude being minion #2 to a cruel master. But a massive sacrifice allows Finn’s love for his boyhood crush to remain even as Paul owns his heart. All contracts give fae minions single day off each year. For the past ten years, Finn had spent it with Devon. Rugged and kind, gentle and strong, Devon had always been Finn’s rock and moral compass.
Through all the abuse, Finn’s grip on reality is slipping. Memories overwhelm him and stress puts him to sleep. Finn doesn’t know if Paul will go too far one day or if he’ll fall asleep working on a boat and drown. Either fate is better than the breaking the contract and being turned into slime-mold. When Devon offers him a way out, Finn knows it’s as much a fantasy as good customs agent, bad captain.
Finn knows not to trust Devon when Devon says he has a way out. Finn knows the Pacific sea witch had picked him out personally to give to Paul and that the man is turning into something less — or more — than human. Finn loves Devon, though. With the help of Devon’s odd but loving family, there just might be a way out yet.