The Current Darling

It’s actually a huge relief to be working on something so different from The Shadow Mile (and yet similar stylistically) while TSM is out on submission. I looked over my list of WIPs and project ideas, and decided I needed to settle down and work on one thing, and so the current darling is KEEPER.

Two cities, Torque and Base, once ran like rooms into one another, connected by a dozen gates. Both glittered and thrived, enchanted. That was before the world burned down. Now, the city of Torque has no soul, and the city of Base is gone entirely, and there is no such thing a magic. Inside the city of Torque, the boys of Wallow House gather to receive their weekly service assignments. 13-year-old Evan Ashford waits for his name to be called, hating the uniform he wears and the way he is seen (but not seen). Evan dreams of being dependent on no one, of being free. When he gets assigned "gate duty," (a symbolic task, tradition, though no one knows why), he wishes he could trade for something less boring, like toilets, or alley sweep.

Seven days trapped in the musty windowless room staring at a stupid stone arch seems unbearable. But when Evan awakens the one gate left between Torque and Base, he exposes the darkest secrets of his own world ­a buried past, a forgotten war, a demon king– and uncovers another world entirely.

I’m surprisingly excited to be working on this. I set it aside for a little, to mull it over and because school demanded it, but I’m glad it’s here for me now when I need it, ready and waiting to be told. It’s a “boy book” in many ways, and honestly the closest to something I would have read. It’s toeing the line of fantasy right now, but hopefully the style will give it a little more of the fairy tale feel I love.

And Alex, if you get bored and want to make me a wonderful icon (after you make some for the other dozen people) I think that would be lovely visual accompaniment :p

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9 thoughts on “The Current Darling

  1. tessagratton says:

    That’s a great pitch. I would definitely open the cover. And I’ve been feeling pretty anti-second world fantasy lately. 😀 Good luck!

  2. veschwab says:

    Haha thanks, that means a lot. The pitch isn’t nearly as clean right now as the one for TSM was, because the one for TSM was meant for agents. This is just the working pitch for me as I’m going.
    I’m doing my best to not make it feel or read like high fantasy. Not that there is ANYTHING wrong with that, I just prefer things that exist closer to a place of tale and myth.
    And it’s certainly a welcome distraction. I think I fret more about TSM when I don’t have anything else, it’s like that one shot or nothing thing.

  3. tessagratton says:

    I totally get that “one-shot” thing, and am always glad for the next project.
    I love high fantasy, I just reached a place where I can’t absorb any more at the moment, ya know? Time to immerse in another genre. 😀 Yet – I’d read this. I like city-based fantasy, too. Like Sarah Monette, who you should totally read if you haven’t.

  4. patesden says:

    Sounds interesting. Getting into a new characters’ heads certainly does help with the waiting.

  5. veschwab says:

    I’ll definitely have to check her out! Thanks.

  6. veschwab says:

    Yeah, anything to help stem the submissions insanity.

  7. m_stiefvater says:

    It sounds AWESOME!!!!!
    Ahem. Clears throat. But it does.
    And yeah, the projects that “keep” when you have to put them down are the ones worth keeping.

  8. veschwab says:

    Haha you made me laugh out loud with your enthusiasm. That’s the kind of enthusiasm I have for Lament. Which is an ~*AWESOME*~ book and I’m not just trading compliments.
    And yeah, I NEED a project to hold my attention, so I’m not CONSTANTLY refreshing my email…more than I already do.

  9. m_stiefvater says:

    Oh, I remember those days . . .
    and thanks. I can’t wait for BALLAD and SHIVER to come out because I think I got so much better since LAMENT!

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