Today is the official day I started work on my next "heart" book, an urban fantasy entitled Incarna, which, depending on how good I am, may be complete and revised in time for the Angry Robot open submissions month in March. Yes, I know I'm being ambitious but hell, it doesn't hurt to try, does it?
So, where does Incarna come from? It's born from my love of the esoteric, which makes me ask all sorts of questions about life, the universe and the concept of Self. The question that sparked Incarna was: what if there were magicians (or in this case groups of sometimes opposing houses or factions of magicians) who could reincarnate throughout the centuries, each group or individual jealously guarding secrets from each other.
Today I officially got stuck into the first draft I outlined recently with my dear dark brother, Andrew, who helped me tweak motivations for the assorted characters. We spent a very late night and early morning plotting, after attending the funeral of a close friend of ours. I must admit I was inspired by the ritual, which was based on a rite from the Papyrus of Ani, part of the Egyptian Book of the Dead.
Incarna is redolent with Egyptian imagery. In fact, the concepts for the human soul are very much based on the ancient Egyptian ideas of the various components. Other themes include love, justice and making amends. My main character, Lizzie, returns to an incarnated form after spending time in the limbo state. Only, things go wrong. Instead of returning in the body of the comatose and braindead three-year-old girl that had been earmarked for take-over, she reincarnates in the body of a twenty-one-year-old barman and gothic metal musician.
Ashton Kennedy wasn't a nice guy. He cheated on his girlfriend, knocked up a powerful drug lord's sister, and abused vast quantities of illegal narcotic substances. The guy who ran him over with a big shiny SUV was doing the world a favour. His very male and rather tattooed body is the last place Elizabeth Rae Perry, with her Victorian sensibilities, expected to get stuck in. But Lizzie needs to make do. Not only must she figure out what went wrong with her intended reincarnation, but she must patch up the life of her host and deal with an angry ghost. Lizzie finds love in unexpected places while saving the world from a powerful House, hellbent on uncovering the secret she didn't know she was supposed to protect.
Watch this space for further updates!