novel in progress

Jacquard’s Flight

a young adult fantasy

Jacquard, an aerialist who lives at the circus with her Uncle Baxter and a talking hawk named Hedy, has a secret: in the woods, she becomes a green-skinned monster.

Trouble is, trees are invading the circus and her greenness isn’t fading. When she learns her family is not who she thought they were, she runs away to Misqola, looking for her hidden past, hoping to find the sort of magic that can remove her curse.

But Misqola’s tyrant, Tosrak, has corrupted the ancient ways. The deeper Jacquard delves into magic, the more dangerous her greenness becomes, and the harder it is to run away, not only from Tosrak, but from the person she really is.

Inspiration

My first sense of the novel rose from a short story I wrote in response to a writing prompt, which included a deserted island and a mask. Somehow a talking hawk showed up in the story. I had so many questions about where this hawk came from, that a short story wasn’t long enough to explore them.

It’s funny how, no matter the project, you tend to return to the same fundamental questions. And these fundamental questions become the work of your life. I am curious about the interplay of truth and illusion, as well as the difficulties of finding your place in the world. I guess it makes sense that a prompt with a mask and a deserted island would have captured my imagination. Still not sure where the talking hawk came from though :o) I think the answer to that is the novel itself.

Status

The novel is in the revision stage. Thanks in part to a grant from MSAC, I’ve hired book coach Jennie Nash to help me kick off my revision. Thank you MSAC! To discover more about the Maryland State Arts Council and how they impact Maryland, visit msac.org.


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