greygirlbeast (greygirlbeast) wrote,

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I can hold my head still

Yesterday earned the first L to stain my engagement calendar since December 31st. The less said, the better.

Anyway, because a number of people expressed interest in seeing it, here's the proposal that sold Daughter of Hounds. If you've not yet read the novel and intend to, there's enough similarity between the proposal and the actual novel that you may want to wait until afterwards before reading this (seriously). It was written on or about April 16th, 2004, although I did not begin writing the book until October of that year.

Daughter of Hounds is a follow-up to both Threshold and Low Red Moon and begins twenty years after the conclusion of the latter. Deacon Silvey, now close to sixty, never returned to Birmingham and has lived in Providence, Rhode Island since the death of his wife, Chance. Despite his grief and ongoing struggle with alcoholism, he's raised the girl whom he believed to be his daughter, the child returned to him by the ghouls after Narcissa Snow's death. However, Emmie Silvey isn't exactly who her father has always believed her to be. For that matter, she isn't exactly who she's always believed herself to be.

Since childhood, Emmie has been plagued by nightmares of a vast subterranean world inhabited by monsters and changelings in the service of ancient, unspeakable forces. In other dreams, she has been visited by a strange albino woman who rambles on about avenging angels and apocalypse and who claims to be her protector. Emmie's had a difficult, lonely childhood, living always in the long shadow of her father's alcoholism, her mother's death, and her own self-doubts and inability to fit in. And now, shortly after her twentieth birthday, she meets someone who claims to be her true mother, a woman named Abalyn Gray who's spent her life in the service of the ghouls. She tells Emmie that she was switched at birth with Chance Silvey's newborn baby.

In labyrinths hidden deep beneath the streets and cemeteries of Boston and Providence, the creatures from Emmie Silvey's nightmares hold court in their necropoleis and raise stolen human children to do their bidding in the sunlit world of men. Few of these changelings ever become anything more than messengers, couriers, and assassins. But the girl Chance gave birth to, the girl who calls herself Soldier, gifted with her father's clairvoyance and her mother's uncanny grasp of time, has grown into something much more than a mere "child of the Cuckoo." She has become a powerful necromancer who has been given an opportunity rarely offered the changelings — to stand as an equal among her inhuman ghul masters. But first Soldier must complete a final rite of passage. She must prove her alliance with the Hounds of Cain and sever her only connection to humanity by finding and killing her father, Deacon Silvey.

Shortly after revealing herself to Emmie, Abalyn Gray is murdered by the ghouls — revenge for her having shown herself to her daughter — and her eviscerated corpse is discovered hanging in the bell tower of St. John's Churchyard. The same day that police discover the body, the albino woman from Emmie's dreams — Dancy Flammarion — arrives in Providence. She soon finds Emmie and warns her that she and her father are in danger. When Emmie refuses to listen to her and Deacon drives her away, Dancy goes alone to a yellow house on Benefit Street — a house kept by undead things, whose cellar leads to the hounds' labyrinths — intending to confront the monsters herself.

The primary focus of the story will be the relationship between Emmie Silvey and Soldier, as each woman comes to discover the truth about her past. Each will reach a terrible crossroads and be forced to decide between the present course of her life and the possibilities that lie in accepting who she really is. And both will find themselves caught in the middle in a clash between good and evil, reluctant combatants in a holy war, as Dancy Flammarion sets out to rid a city of the monsters that have always called it home. Though the story is set in the near future, Daughter of Hounds isn't a science-fiction story and the futuristic elements with be handled strictly as background and setting.

Pretty awful. Fortunately, that is not the book I wrote. I think what I find strangest of all, though, is that I'm not entirely certain when or why Abalyn Gray became Saben White. Probably, when I was in Providence that summer, I found the name "Saben White" on a tombstone. In many ways, the novel that Daughter of Hounds became is the opposite of the novel described in this proposal.

Tags: doh, proposals, writing
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