But what’s it about?

The question that invariably follows when you mention you’re working on a book…”but what’s it about?”

It’s hard to distill a nearly 500 page manuscript (over 100,000 words!) down to a sound bite. But it’s something writers need to be able to do.

In a nutshell, I have always wondered about the Chosen One trope. It’s so prevalent, and given America’s love affair with the rugged individual, it kind of makes sense. Plus, consider all the mythic stories where a god (usually, or demi-god) has to save mankind or his friends and family.

Yet, part of good story is posing questions and then writing to find the answers. What if it’s THREE Chosen? Doesn’t that raise the stakes a bit? Bad enough losing the one, but what if the multiple players don’t come together to solve the problem? Or they’re different and it’s hard to work together?

Also, what makes us human? Perhaps one of them is not as human as they appear. Where IS the line between mankind and monster? Consider all the stories out there, new and old, and it’s a potent question.

Power…Machiavelli says it’s better to be feared than loved. We’ve heard absolute power corrupts absolutely. What would we do if given power? Would we save others? Hoard it for ourselves? Is power always a good thing, or can it be a curse?

More questions that got wrapped up into my manuscript. Along with the one that I first tried to answer. What happens if we hold people back from their full potential? How does society suffer as a result?

What’s the book about? To start, a woman who’s lost everything to her father’s enemies. A man who questions his existence and has passed from slavery to freedom. And as if real-life concerns of survival weren’t enough, a vengeful god wants to gain entrance to their world and plunge it into endless winter.

I joke I took a history degree and MFA to write this book. Somehow, though, it seems more and more like that’s not a joke after all…