The novel is called Covenant. It picks up where Burn Baby Burn leaves off, following the adventures of the superhero team known as the Covenant that formed to capture Pit Geek and Sundancer. The core members are:
Servant: The teams heavy hitter, his cells generate force fields that make him invulnerable. He can also manipulate these force fields to give himself super strength, and since his fields warp time as well as space he can also simulate super speed. As revealed in Burn Baby Burn, Servant has a dark secret--he used to be a supervillain named Ogre. But, he's now a devout Christian, committed to using his God-given talents for the greater good. Underneath his desire to do good, however, are the same anger and abandonment issues that drove him to a life of crime. The struggles between his angels and his demons are one of the big reasons I want to write this book.
Sky-Rider: Sarah Knowbokov, the Thrill from Nobody Gets the Girl, is public enemy #1 due to her involvement with the destruction of Jerusalem. It's a tragedy she was powerless to stop, but it haunts her and drives her to continue fighting the good fight, now in her new identity of Sky-Rider. But Sarah spent many years in hiding before the formation of the Covenant, and has a life independent of her superhero identity. Her struggle to juggle her two lives is my current hook for keeping her interesting
App: App has a teleportation belt that he has to wear constantly to keep from disintegrating into a cloud of subatomic particles. By manipulating the belts programming, he can alter his body to grant himself a wide variety of superpowers.App is the public face of the team, live streaming his adventures and engaging in social media to make sure that the activities of the Covenant are viewed in the best light possible. But, like his team mates, he's got his own dark secrets, having spent many of his teen years as a homeless junkie after being kicked out of his home for his homosexuality. The tension between his public persona and the privacy he wants to protect are part of the reason I'm interested in his story.
At the moment I'm planning to round out the team with two new members. They're still being crafted, but I definitely know that of them will have the code name of Steam-Dragon.
Why undertake this project instead of continuing to work on my Butterfly Cage books? Three reasons.
- My 366 Challenge. I don't want to back into this challenge by finishing the year with a lot of rewriting. I should get close to 100k first draft words out of this project. Add that to my first draft for Big Ape, and that means that half of my word count for the year will be first draft.
- This book is just ready. I've been thinking about it since finishing Burn Baby Burn back in 2011. In fact, I've been thinking about elements of this story since Nobody Gets the Girl came out back in 2003. This will be the world's slowest trilogy, but I've known for a long time that this book was going to break out into the world some day.
- Marketing. These days, my bestselling books are my collections of Bitterwood and Dragon Apocalypse. When I sell books directly at conventions, people gravitate toward books with big spines. Last week at the Fayetteville ComicCon, I sold 11 copies of my Dragon Apocalypse Collection, far and away my best selling title, with the Bitterwood Collection being my second best selling title. Hopefully I can replicate this with a superhero trilogy.
The only downside is that I could have had Cut Up Girl on sale before the end of the year if I weren't starting on this project. But, I'm not going to be as obsessed about word count in 2017. Next year, I'll be fine if I don't have a single word of first draft and instead just focus on getting books I've already written into print.