After years of following Pitch Wars on Twitter, I’m excited to finally engage in all the excitement and submit!
My manuscript is a Caribbean inspired YA Fantasy (own voices) that’s THRONE OF GLASS meets BLACK PANTHER via SIX OF CROWS.
The sprawling backdrop is inspired by real places in Jamaica, other Caribbean Countries, and The Middle East.
I've had an interest in witchcraft in Jamaica since a family trip there. We visited Rose Hall, home of an infamous obeah-woman, and guys, I was hooked. As a HUGE Sabrina the Teenage Witch fan, I loved learning that my heritage had its own branch of magic.
Bonus - it was taboo, and still is.
In my research for this novel, beyond bugging my mum and aunts - who explicitly forbade me from writing about the devil's magic 😂 - I discovered the Myal. Allegedly they were the 'good' sect of magic weilders in comparison with the 'bad' Obeah.
Conflict? Yes please.
I wanted to play on stereotypes in a world that begs the question: can anyone be entirely good or bad?
The World's History
Once, Aiyca was ruled by the Obeah. In possession of artefacts that granted them power in a world where magic is limited, the fierce warrior magi oversaw the large island's magi and mortal population, power and fear maintaining their superiority. Overtime however, they became arrogant with their power, intoxicated with the fear their darker magic wrought. So much so that they did not foresee the rebellion from their rival sect, the Myal.
Tired of the Obeah's selfish ways, the Myal aligned with the island's mortals to rob them of their artefacts and assassinate their Doyenne, her husband, and the Witches Council. In possession of their symbols of power, the Myal also indentured all Obeah to a lifetime of slavery as magical generators in Myal and mortal homes and businesses.
Preferable to the aesthetically and figuratively darker Obeah for their seemingly pacifist lifestyles, blue eyes and silvered hair, the Myal have maintained their alliance with the mortals and ruled Aiyca without threat for five years.
But one obeah-witch means to end the Myal reign, and avenge the deaths of the Doyenne and her husband: their daughter.
Turning eighteen means one thing to magi in Aiyca: magic. For Carne Prison inmate Ira Adair, it means something else entirely: freedom. And Vengeance.
A prisoner in her homeland, her people fallen, and her parents dead, Ira has spent the past five years plotting the downfall of the Myal Witches Council.
Her first port of call?
To do so she'll need some help...
Myal Emissary and daughter of the new Doyenne, Jazmyne wishes to rid Aiyca of the corruption her people created when they seized power, but to do so she'll need a colossal distraction....
The Eye Candy
It was Kirdan Divsalar's idea to break Ira from prison, but he hails from Zesia, one of Aiyca's neighbouring islands. Jazmyne doesn't question why he's engaging in matters in a country that's not his own - but Ira does.
She is aware that the Obeah, the Myal and the Zesian sounds like the beginning of a bad joke, not a team ready to destroy the Witches Council.
The images don't contain all my heart's loves from this manuscript, so here are some more inclusions you can expect:
black markets + underground slave markets + underground rebellion + patricide + filicide + female warriors + betrayal + murder + poison + parties + Myal dancing + culture + Jamaican Easter eggs + spells + blood + rituals + kickass black female leads + sacrifice + friendship + fighting magic + familiars + fear + manipulation + forced mute characters + grey morals + dragons + matriarchal society
I have a lot of love for my family, and familial love motivates Ira aplenty throughout the plot
I’m known as the rebel in my family, whether it's with food, travel or hobbies
Out of my five brothers, I’m the one who has broken the most bones
I became a High School English Teacher straight out of University
I love assembling things, mainly furniture
Own voice stories are important to me. I wanted to write a book I would have loved to read when I was younger, one that championed a main character who shared my skin colour and completed impossible feats
What any prospective mentors can expect when working with me:
A passionate approach to making my manuscript shine
An open attitude to accepting all critiques, however hard they'll be (Two years of teacher training observations ladies and gents!)
Confidence in telling my story
Many laughs about my dry English sense of humour
Thanks for stopping by, and a huge thanks to the Pitch Wars team for this opportunity!
Here's the link to the other blog bios too 😊