Since I’m planning to get Gift of the Ancien finished and published by the end of June, or early July, my brain just clicked in and told me that I’d better start getting some buzz going. For the first time, I’m not going to be posting a new novel in draft. That works well, when I get the timing right (as I didn’t with Privileged Lives), but long before the last few chapters, it becomes a real slog, an unpleasant chore that I just want to have over and done with. I don’t remember feeling that way when I posted Hidden Boundaries and Crossing Boundaries, but I wasn’t so deeply involved in other things at the time. Priorities. They’re always changing, and you have to be flexible enough to change your working methods to suit them.
So — first things first. What is Gift of the Ancien about? Not for the first time, I’m having trouble fitting it into a genre. It’s about a mutated subspecies of humans whose existence might have been the original source of vampire legends. But they’re not vampires. They can pass for normal humans, and their main concern, besides keeping the knowledge of their existence a secret, is coping with the occasional throwbacks, whose characteristics led to the legends. I suppose it’s SF, but barely, as usual.
The time is 50 or 60 years in the future. The side-effects of climate change are converting Hannah Gordon’s little town into a ghost town. Hannah is self-educated, brilliant, but clueless about human relationships. Her health is deteriorating along with the climate, and her menial job is in danger. When she’s drawn into the world of the Ancien and meets one of the throwbacks, a young man who should have died in childhood, her life changes dramatically, and tragically, even though the “gift” restores her health and gives her meaningful work.
I’ll be posting excerpts here and in other places. Right now, I’m serializing Within the Silence on Wattpad as an experiment, and may post two or three chapters of Gift there when Silence is done.