Word count: 31,201/80,000
Summary: After her boyfriend’s foolish wish in a jealous rage, Maya DeLuca finds herself trapped in a traveling demonic circus at the mercy of a devious jinni, Bell Madoc.
Among the voluntary human oddities and the demons masquerading as humans, Maya joins the other tortured souls in the circus, caught in a perpetual purgatory under the weight of their wishes.
It’s up to them to make the best of a cursed situation.
I’m a little behind, but I hope to catch up and then some this week, since I have a few days off during which I can do more than my usual daily word count.
Good news, though, is that the momentum of the story has increased, and I have a better grasp on my protagonist, who is quite unlike most of my protagonists in that there are things that I actively dislike about her, rather than the neutral feelings that I sometimes have for some of my character’s traits. Don’t get me wrong, I like Maya, just not all of her. And that’s okay. This is horror, and horror compounds people’s worst traits as well as their best.
Also, I really love the “Behind the Curtain” short stories. It interrupts the flow of the larger story, but not in a negative way. I think it kind of gives people a breather while introducing them to some of the supporting cast in a very intimate way, not to mention letting them see more of the circus than Maya can show them alone. The second story was sad before I even got into the supporting character’s back story.
I’m still a little terrified that I’ve bitten off more than I can chew, controversial subject-wise, especially since I didn’t actually set out to do something controversial. I just have to hope that respect I have for variety shines through. It’s all I can ever hope.
I’m also afraid that ARCANIUM is just too dark for my usual publishing company. That was the challenge to writing erotic horror, and I guess I might have failed this time. I have to stay true to the horror as much as to the erotica, and I refuse to flinch from unpleasant things (at least in fiction).
It’s funny. WOLF GIRL walked the line of consent and sometimes strayed over it, but it never got as dark as ARCANIUM will, and there is absolutely no issue of consent in this story. It just goes to show that shades of darkness don’t always follow the rules you expect them to.
Even if ARCANIUM doesn’t work for this particular company, there’s always STONE AND CHAINS, which will still be dark but will end up more gothic romance than erotic horror, and which I’ll work on this winter.