Inspired by Sarah Kettle’s NaNo, I decided to post something as well.
Last year’s NaNo was actually the same thing as the one I attempted 2012, but very much refocused. Since I finished the first draft, I’ve outlined the sequel (I’d intended to write that during Camp NaNo, but ended up not having time for it). I’ve also outlined another in the series, with plans for the final book as well.
This is going to be the “another” referenced above. It may or may not be two books (it follows two people who interact occasionally while doing their own thing), but I’m writing it as a single at the moment.
A burial ground of dreams
Blutwald, Vendela’s stalker, left a trail of bodies. One survived, saved only because Vendela and Andrej defeated Blutwald. That one is Belinda, who now–six months after the end of her harrowing experience–flees Stockholm by boarding the first train out. Other passengers goofing around triggers a panic attack, and she leaves the train in the middle of nowhere, which is more-or-less where she stays. Meeting Vendela (again) and Sia convinced her to take her healing away from the city of painful memories. And, of course, the enigmatic Malbrecht (who comes and goes as he please) isn’t making things less pleasant.
Not to spoil too much, but Malbrecht isn’t quite straightforward with who he really is, and she’s forced to travel to Hel to free him. Sia can’t help, but Katja–a fashion designer-gone-Valkyria–can, so they travel together on Katja’s giant raven steed. Seeing Blutwald barring the way, Belinda flees in panic, getting lost among the branches of Yggdrasil. Lose her sanity, or the man she’s starting to love? Tough call.
When Katja in affect agreed to become imbued as a Valkyrie (to save her girlfriend Sia, her ex friend-with-benefits Andrej, and Vendela from a monster who’d kidnapped them) she bit off more than she could chew. Perhaps she shouldn’t be surprised that the powerboost came with small print, but now she’s supposed to collect dead people for Freja. As it turns out, someone’s been stealing the dead while they’ve waited In-Between to be taken to their proper place, and it’s up to Katja (the first Valkyria in centuries) to track the thief down and save the dead.
Shout-out to my friend Erin Jeffreys Hodges who’s helped inspire me.
She’s a frail-looking woman in her mid-twenties, born and raised in a suburb of Stockholm. Her pale skin is covered in golden freckles, and more than a few scars, courtesy of Blutwald. Her hair is strawberry blonde and wavy, and she has dark blue eyes. Once she had vivid dreams–dreams of ancient battles on the west coast of Sweden, among other things–but Blutwald killed them. She lives with the cold, and the survivor’s guilt. She shouldn’t have survived.
With broad shoulders and scars on his hands and other places, he is clearly a warrior. He has shoulder-length, dark-brown hair that’s generally kept in a ponytail. His fashion sense is eccentric, preferring belted tunics to more usual western fashions. His favourite seems to be a saffron yellow one, trimmed with dark brown/pale yellow tartan. His memories are consumed by the woman he failed, and seeing Belinda he decides that he will not fail her.
Ambitious and driven are good words to describe her. She’s a fashion designer who’s just about to make it, with a penchant for strong colours that contrast beautifully with her dark brown skin and short, black hair. Though the idea of being in a committed relationship kind of freaks her out subconciously, she is coming to terms with her love for Sia, the first person she’s really cared for. Yes, she loves Andrej, but they were never lovers in the romantic sense, only in the carnal.
Sia loves the 50s fashion, and often sews her own clothes, partly since she’s grown tired of most stores not having clothes that fit her curvesome body. Her black hair is cut into a bob, and the cheerful demeanor belies the powerful rune worker–sejd woman–beneath. She is unapologetically gay, though before Katja she managed to find a long string of girlfriends who later denied ever having been into women. Where Vendela is cold and emotionless, Sia is warm and passionate, and has always been.
Cold and cool, dealing with the trauma of her parents death–both through therapy and banishing the man who killed them–she is starting to warm up. Her magic is unique among the group in that it is innate, inherited from her skogsrå (forest guardian) great-grandmother. Feature-wise she is tall and slender, with pale skin and heavy, white-blonde locks.
Sexy and predatory–if mainly unconciously–he is tall with dark hair in a ponytail, and generally wearing tailored suits. His paternal grandparents were Russian nobility, but as his father married a Swedish commoner, he rarely mentions his heritage himself. He is a wolf shifter, the power inherited from his grandmother. Before Vendela he was a playboy, but he fell hard for her, and in his family, there is such a thing as a one, true love.