So, on July 4th I finished the first draft of The (Dis)Appearance of Nerissa MacKay, my YA novella about a girl who accidentally turns herself invisible. That ms is now in the "ripening" stage, where I can't touch it for weeks, so I can come back to it, rip it apart, and improve it. This is, of course, a process which must be done several times before anyone else can even see the manuscript (so they can rip it apart and tell me what needs work).
So what's next?
Well, I have some ideas for a sequel novella, starring Nerissa, and I think I really will write that eventually, but it's too early yet. I have to see where the first ms is going before I start the second.
All in the Half-Vampire Family is just about ready for publication. However, the last version of the cover went dreadfully wrong (okay, it just went really dark), and I need to get with Max sometime and fix it. I still think I can have that one ready for the public by the time school starts, though. It's really just about there.
I'm also doing the first proof edits of Becoming Brigid, which is fun. We have the new cover for that one, but it's off-center and a little too rough, so I'll have to work with Max on that one as well (once I'm a little more healed up from surgeries). And, of course, it'll need several reads-through to get it up to publishing-ready. I'm also thinking up a booktrailer and swag for this book. Fun.
All this means it's time to start another manuscript, though. Besides a sequel about Nerissa, I'm toying with the idea of doing something along the lines of an alternate history Mormon steampunk dystopia. (Think about it for a second or two and it'll make sense. Really.) I know Patricia Wrede tackled alternate history steampunk in the Old West, but I'd like to play with less Laura Ingalls and more Mountain Meadows Massacre. Let's face it: the Mormons came West to leave the US and form a nation state they called Deseret. What if they'd succeeded? And, add to that the usual steampunk tropes of what if the Victorian ideas about science had been correct? What if aether really existed? What if we'd stuck with clockwork and steam instead of going to electricity, transistors, and the microchip? Also, because I'm sick to death of love triangles in YA books for girls, I'd like to throw in a love pentacle (or pentagram, if you prefer) to this one. Fun? Does this spark your interest? Would you pick it up to read or to show it to your favorite teen to read?
My other idea is to do a steampunk fairy tale. Tons of authors have re-written fairy tales lately, and Marissa Meyer even cyberpunked Cinderella. But no one has really steampunked a fairy tale yet.
Also, authors keep doing Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, Snow White, and Little Red Riding Hood over and over again. I want to do something different. Perhaps a mash-up of Sleeping Beauty and Rip Van Winkle. Or I was thinking of the Pied Piper. No one does that. That would be cool.
Any ideas? What are you favorite lesser-known fairy tales that I might take and steampunk?