What’s on the Go?

May 6, 2011 at 11:35 pm (writing)

This week, Hell Hath no Fury comes out from May December Publications, with my story, “Waking the Dead” in it – another reason to celebrate. Fervor is already out there, Magic University and Casualties of War are waiting on final edits and the first draft of Elevation is complete, but I always have a writing project on the go, even when everything that I have finished up has been submitted and is waiting in limbo. Since I don’t have any big announcement this week, and I’m not ready to start introducing you to the world of the Masters and Renegades, I thought I’d just talk a little about what I’m working on right now, something that I’m compelled to write that’s outside of my comfort zone.

My current WIP, When You Whisper, is a first for me, an urban fantasy romance with Christian overtones. Here’s the blurb:

He first appeared to Addy as merely a shifting of shadows and a few quiet words, to lend her the strength to survive her alcoholic father’s abuse.  When Addy finally took action that drew her and her younger sister, Felicia, out of the family home and into foster care, she began to hear his whispers concretely and see him as visions, inspiring her to avoid a potential self-made prison.  Becoming a youth counsellor working with troubled teens, the sightings begin to grow more common and more vivid.  She can hear him clearly at times, more than just whispers – usually the times where she is in the greatest amount of danger.  Who is this angelic figure, Javan, and why does he continue to appear to her and refer to her as one of the Elect?  Better yet, is he real, or is she just going mad?

I struggled my way through the first two chapters of this, not because I dislike the story, but because of the nature of it. I prefer fantasy and horror as genres because there’s usually something very unreal about the story – something that allows me to distance myself from the not so happy things. Some of my horror stories, like Little Sister and Silence in the Court could really happen, but they still seem in some way surreal. They hit home enough, though, that I had to write both of them in first person, something I rarely do, and I found writing both of them very disturbing. But they were just short stories, I could escape them after a couple of days writing, and this is a full novel, which will take me a couple of months. The first week working on it has been grim and daunting.

There is a supernatural element to this story, but it doesn’t have a significant presence yet, nor have I gotten to the romance part, so what I’m left working with is something that feels dark, gritty, painful and very real. To say it makes me uncomfortable is a major understatement, but this is not something I can simply toss aside. I’ve started it, I have a plan, so now I have to finish (plus Barb has read the first two chapters so now I’ll be facing the wrath of the scissors if I don’t continue.)

So, if I seem moody in the upcoming weeks, you’ll know why. Maybe I should warn people to stay away until July…


  1. theleagueofelder said,

    Wow–that’s a ton on your plate, Chantal. You’re done with Elevation already???? Whoosh–super fast.

  2. chantellyb said,

    I’m done the first draft and I’ve gotten responses from two test readers so far (and it is currently being read by a third). I used a slightly unorthodox format and I wasn’t sure how my readers would react to it – but both responded very positively, and Barb is annoyed with me because I’m not starting work on Transcendence until August. I plan on doing edits for Elevation in early July for a November release date.

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