last week, someone asked me to share a bit about the novel i’m working on for my m.f.a. thesis. while I won’t share a lot of details—not out of a lack of trust especially since I could easily prove an idea was my own with this post—but out of the process (there’s still a lot that might change in this drafting/revising mode i’m in).
but I will share what I can, what I feel comfortable with.
the book begins in the year 1754, in Southern England. Mariann and her brother James are crushed under their wealthy father’s tyrannical thumb. after a violent confrontation, they embark on what should be an adventure together, but are soon separated. A hunted young man, James must leave England’s shores.
Mariann’s circumstances decline and she decides to follow James, but by the time she reaches the nearest harbor, he’s left and no other ships are sailing for North America because winter is settling in.
she befriends a boy she names Julian, and together they must survive in the face of abject poverty, all while being hunted by Mariann’s father’s men.
Mariann makes it her mission, with Julian’s help, to quest to North America and find James to warn him of the danger in her wake, but when she arrives she finds another kind of danger brewing: war.
Mariann finds herself irrevocably enmeshed with the beginning of the seven year’s war, a bid for sovereignty and resources between the French, Iroquois, and British.
Will she and Julian survive? Will Mariann find James and save him from their father’s reach?
this is a story about independence. this is a story about family and friendship. this is a story about a remarkable girl and her remarkable adventure.
This is what i’m comfortable sharing at this point. As of right now, my book has a working title: by water and wood. I’m writing it for an older YA audience, and my aim is to pursue traditional publication because I think there’s plenty of room for more literary young adult fiction. there’s more room for female heroines. there’s more room for so many stories, but Mariann’s must be told.