Lady of Daemons is my current project—mostly my pride and joy, occasionally the bane of my existence. I’ve been working on it in earnest for about two years. Like most stories, the idea for it was pieced together from several smaller ideas, namely:
- “Why is it so hard to find a YA fantasy story without a romantic subplot?”
- “What if the voice in your head was an independent creature?”
- “What excuse can I use to incorporate the Welsh language into a writing project?”
And thus, Lady of Daemons was born. (And then heavily edited.)
I’m currently gathering feedback on the novel from some truly excellent critique partners and will soon be seeking biracial sensitivity readers. If you like YA historical fantasies set in alternate 1880s Wales, girls with magic powers and dark pasts, and graphic descriptions of rain, shoot me an email!
At the moment, I am planning at least one more novel in the series. You can get the latest on Lady of Daemons, as well as what I’m doing with my life*, in the “My Writing” section of my blog.
*spoiler alert: it’s mostly confused flailing
Beth Bishop is infected—possessed by a willful and potentially lethal daemon. The ghostlike creature lives inside Beth’s head, whispering to her in badly broken English and occasionally seizing control of her body while she sleeps. Its total lack of regard for Beth’s safety and dignity give Beth little cause to love it—but then, what reason might anyone have to love a daemon?
It isn’t until she moves to Wales and meets her cousin Winnie that Beth is forced to confront that question. Winnie is also infected, by a daemon a thousand times stronger than Beth’s—but unlike Beth, Winnie does not have the good sense to treat her infection as a curse. In fact, Winnie adores her daemon, despite the severe suffering that it brings upon her.
Astonished, and more than a little alarmed, Beth vows to uncover what drives her cousin to such madness. She soon finds that the truth is far stranger and more terrible than she could have imagined—and that daemons are capable of far more than she ever thought possible.
Elegant, intelligent, and more than a little cantankerous, Beth Bishop is more interested in reading about the latest political developments than in getting along with the daemon infecting her. She has little love for her daemon; but then again, its constant jeopardization of her health, safety, and dignity give her little reason to love it. Beth’s strong sense of propriety means that she is easily embarrassed, but her strong sense of justice propels her to do the right thing, however reluctantly. She is stubborn and often impetuous, allowing irritation to overpower good sense.
Beth’s daemon, which has lived in Beth’s head since she was a baby, only has one desire: control over the body that it shares with its host. As Beth refuses to simply give it control, it chooses to take it—usually in the dead of night. Like all daemons, it is immortal, sex- and genderless, and brightly colored. The daemon’s color is revealed when it takes control of Beth’s body; its eyes shine an icy blue and bursts of blue daemonic power skim across its body. Although it frequently argues with its host, it is also quick to defend Beth from the censure of other “stupid humans.”
Cheerful, eccentric Winnie Matthews shocks her cousin Beth in more ways than one. Not only does she not give a whit about what others think of her, but she openly professes her love of the daemon infecting her. Winnie loves her daemon so much, in fact, that she has named it Elwyn, refers to Elwyn as a person (a female person, at that), and allows Elwyn to take control of her body whenever the daemon wishes. It is commonly believed that Elwyn drove Winnie insane as a child—a claim that Winnie’s erratic behavior and patchy memory seem to support.
Elwyn is an unusual daemon: incredibly old, immensely powerful, and almost unreasonably protective of her host. While most daemons are focused on their own desires, Elwyn is devoted to preserving Winnie’s safety and happiness at any cost. Elwyn resents any and all attempts to discern why she behaves this way, believing that her relationship with her host is of no concern to anyone else. She appears often, shrouding Winnie in golden daemonic power, and has absolutely no qualms about threatening or even attacking those whom she feels pose a threat to Winnie’s well-being.