Pitch Wars 2018 #BoostMyBio for BLOOD PRINCESS

It’s that time of year again! Pitch Wars submissions are just around the corner, and it’s time to #BoostMyBio!

About Me

Processed with Rookie Cam
Yes, I took a pic with sushi last year, too.

You can find me on Twitter and Instagram at @Adelle_Yeung. (I also did #PWPoePrompts!)

I was a Pitch Wars 2017 mentee. My mentor was the amazing Laurie Dennison, who taught me sooo much last year, and I loved the whole process so much, I’m back for more punishment. I was the YA scavenger hunt winner last year, so if the scavenger hunt is back this year, you definitely wanna do it!

First and foremost, I am writer. It’s my number one passion and that’s never going to change. I write fantasy. I also voice act, play video games, do digital paintings, sew clothes sometimes and maybe do some smaller crafty things. I also love nature and hiking ❤

(Speaking of voice acting, I narrated a short excerpt from Chapter Four of Blood Princess! Listen to it here.)

(Speaking of video games, I made a short RPG spanning the first two chapters of Blood Princess! Check it out here.)

 

I’m a clerical substitute for my local school district, which is an on-call job which means I have plenty of time to write.

I work fast with pretty much everything I do, from walking to typing and especially reading. A lot of my PW ’17 mentees are amazed at how fast I can get through their manuscripts and provide feedback 😉 (It also helps that they’re amazing writers.)

Anyway, enough about me. The real purpose of this post is to show off my YA high fantasy, Blood Princess!

Blood Princess Mockup Cover

In my MS

  • A plus-sized heroine
  • Two ace and one bi POVs
  • A diverse cast
  • Adventure!
  • Non-elemental magic
  • Blood-sucking, breath-stealing ghosts
  • Airships!
  • Interracial, low key romance
  • Some dark stuff that maybe I shouldn’t mention here…

Novel Aesthetics

Act IAct IIAct III

The Pitch

Pitch One

A cursed princess, a ghost herder, and an airship captain join forces to stop a sadistic empress from stealing the powers of a death god.

Pitch Two

When a plus-sized princess discovers she transforms into a bloodthirsty monster every night, she tracks down a fallen death god to exorcise herself and her haunted empire.

What It’s Really About

Adapting to a world that a previous generation screwed over. (Basically what it’s like being a millennial.)

Comp Titles

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Reign the Earth – A fantasy set in a desert without djinn. A princess with a big heart. Sadistic royalty who strive to eradicate something. A whole lot of dark things that should only be whispered instead of screamed.

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Forest of a Thousand Lanterns – An evil empress and…stuff I don’t wanna give away 😉

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Children of Blood and Bone – A three-POV diverse high fantasy. A journey to bring something back from the dead. And a love interest’s royal asshole of a parent.

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Princess Mononoke – For a spirit-infested forest and morally ambiguous characters.

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Atlantis: The Lost Empire – A ragtag crew quests to discover a lost myth beneath the ocean!ff9_keyart_1920x1080_v1

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Final Fantasy IX – The first act of Blood Princess is similar to the first act of FFIX. On the celebration of the princess’s birthday, an airship crew kidnaps the princess to save her from her evil mother’s nefarious deeds.

POV Babies

Princess Khalida

The Cursed Princess

Khalida DancesPrincess Khalida wants to eradicate the plague of dead spirits from her empire. On her seventeenth birthday, she finds out her mother has been plumping her up as a sacrifice to a death god. She’s in love with her dancing instructor, Lake, who’s her only friend aside from her nurse, Haripet.

She loves to dance, wants to be friends with everyone, and finds beauty in everything.

Aesthetics Khalida

Lake Acaerius CLXXXII

The Ghost Herder (also known as “the royal wraither”)

Lake Contemplates his ExistenceLake is the royal wraither of the imperial city, Zoahen, which means he uses dance to herd the dead spirits infesting Khalida’s empire. He succeeded his uncle’s position three years ago, with hopes of exploring and finding his place in the world. The only one who makes him feel like he belongs is Khalida, who he adores…in a completely non-romantic way.

He’s vegan and likes animals more than people but will blindly jump off an airship to save someone’s life.

Aesthetics Lake

Viprey Baas

The Airship Captain (undercover as a palace masseuse)

Viprey Eats

Viprey can’t stand injustice and overturns corrupt leaders to give power back to the common folk. She goes undercover in the Zoahen palace to uncover the empress’s evil schemes. When she finds out that the royal wraither, Lake Acaerius, is the only one who knows what the empress is after, she also discovers Khalida’s dark secret: the empress has cursed her own daughter into becoming a bloodthirsty monster.

Outside of her meek massuese persona, Viprey is a sassy, skilled rebel who has an airship of her own and freely spews Brit swears.

Aesthetics Viprey

The Villain

Empress Khandara

The Sadistic Empress

Her Imperial Majesty

Empress Regnant of the Jheffirani Empire. Khandara is ambitious, indulgent, and has no qualms about killing her subjects if it means ensuring a better future for their children. She’ll even sacrifice her daughter if it means the masses can benefit.

Aesthetics Empress Khandara

Closing Word

Pitch Wars 2017 was an amazing experience for me. Around this time last year, I heard all these people saying how amazing the community is, and I’m another voice to add to the chorus, the community is AMAZING. After the agent round last year, many of us felt as if we’d been in literal battle trenches together. (I looove my Pitch Wars class 😭)

However, even if you aren’t chosen as a mentee this year, there a many other places where you can get the support you need, but keep in mind that you get more out of the community the more you put in.

For more visual types:

Also, I hope this goes without saying, but when the mentees are announced this year, please be a good sport about it ❤ Support other hopefuls and congratulate those who get in! A lot of people are watching the contest, and you want to leave a good impression 😊

Pitch Wars is super high energy and fast, so keep the positive energy flowing!

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Blood Princess Mini RPG

Screenshot Title

I made a mini-RPG! It covers the first two-ish chapters of Blood Princess and it should only take 10-20 minutes to play.

Unfortunately, I think it only works on Windows…

Download it here! ←

(If you don’t have the means of playing, I recorded the main footage of the game and DUBBED it! Like a total nerd.)

Once you have it downloaded and unzipped, run “Blood Princess Game.exe” within the “Blood Princess Game” folder.

If you want to play in full screen, press F1 upon loading and check “Launch in Full Screen,” then quit and restart.

Creation Full Screen

Use the arrow keys to move
Spacebar for Action/Confirm
Esc/Insert for Menu/Cancel

To save, press Esc/Insert and go to “Save” at the bottom of the menu. (I highly recommend saving just before completing the nosen herding! (I mean, the game is only 10-20 minutes long, but depending on your luck, a certain battle can either be the easiest thing in the world or a rage quitter if you forget to save 😅 ))

Here are some screenshots!

Screenshot BattleScreenshot SceneScreenshot MenuScreenshot Cactus

It’s a bit silly, and there’s maybe only one line of text from the actual manuscript.

I created in this in RPG Maker VX Ace, using either assets included with the pack, including Game Character Hub, or free ones I found online. The only thing I created from scratch were the character faces for Khalida and Lake, which I already had lying around.

Here’s a sneak peek at the creation process:

Creation Desert Events

Above, you’ll see the most complicated event map. A lot of these things aren’t visible when you first enter the screen. I had a grand ol’ time setting up the switches. </sarcasm>

Creation Edit Event Poof

This event, just above the spirit well, is maybe the most complicated one. It only appears after you trigger another event, it switches party members, changes the screen color…

Creation Edit Event Kill Nosens

THIS particular event gave me so much grief. It’s a conditional event that displays certain text as you advance in the quest.

And for funsies, this next image is the whole map.

Creation Map

In hindsight, I probably could’ve made the whole desert a single, huge map, but I was teaching myself as I went 😅

Eliope only shows up for a second or two, so here’s a pic of the cutie’s sprite.

Eliope

Also, I threw in a reference to Avatar: The Last Airbender and Persona 5. See if you can catch ’em 😛

(If, while playing, you think, “Wow, you dork!” my job here is done.)

Mapping a Fantasy World

World Map 2g

My next big fantasy, “Blood Princess” (working title) will require a full world map 😉 So, decided to make one from scratch.

Now, I’m no geologist, but I know just a taaad about continental drift.

I started with an oval of the world, drew some fault lines, and then had some land mass bleed out onto the earth. Things begin to drift, collide, create mountains and continents, leaving islands in their wake…

I know I wanted a big “main” continent, so there it is smack in the middle, while the smaller continents are there on the sides. I’m not sure if I gave the world enough water, though :\

Taking the poles and equator into equation, I painted in some deserts, icy wastelands, forests, mountains, and it’s good to go!

Suuure, I could have just painted any old land mass and gone with that, but I thought doing it in a somewhat more scientific way would be more fun 😀

Eventually, I’ll fill out a fair portion with land marks and cities, but for now…hey, it’s a map of the world!

Here’s a gif of the process 🙂

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Of course, you can do this in a much more low-tech, kid-friendly way with some construction paper, scissors, and glue 😀 Use some blue paper as the sea, cut about 1/3 the size out of green paper, cut a jagged outline for pangaea, cut that up, and rearrange over the sea for your own world map!

WIP “Blood Princess” Character Concepts

I asked my amazeballs artist buddy Brandon Lacey (who designed The Cycle of the Six Moons cover art, check ’em out here!) to come up with some character concept for an upcoming high fantasy “Blood Princess” (working title).

Here are two main characters, Khalida and Lake (with Astra).

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Check it out on DeviantArt here! http://fav.me/dbe133z

Khalida is, well, a princess. A chubby–albeit beautiful–princess. Lake is her mentor who has an animal familiar named Astra. In the exercise below, I wrote her as a “falcon,” but I’m open to changes since, again, this is all very early concept. Brandon drew her with some beautiful plumage, which I am aaabsoooluuutely fine with.

commission___fireworks_dance_by_blue_paint_sea-dajj0hvGiven Brandon’s previous work with Shantae fan art, belly dancer types, and full-figured women, I thought it’d be a fun idea to get him involved in the creative process for a story still very early in conceptualization. (I’m querying agents for The House with Two Faces, so I’m just keepin’ busy in this very long and slow process.) Plus, Brandon’s just really fun to work with. (Check out my other posts on working with Brandon for The Starriest Summer, An Eclipsing Autumn, and The Last Winter Moon!

I think Khalida’s design was easiest for both of us to come to an agreement. The fiery colors just work for her.

Lake’s colors took some playing with, but I like the result here 😀

As a writing exercise centered around the word “hot,” I wrote this fun piece that, in some way, will probably end up in the final story.

     Steaming, jasmine foam trickled down the sides of Lake’s body onto the hot stone slab beneath him.  He nearly inhaled a mouthful of bubbles when the attendant splashed cool water over his back.  The shock rejuvenated him with all the energy he needed for the nighttime festivities ahead.  Lake’s pulse quickened as he mentally rehearsed his performance with Astra.  His golden falcon shimmered beneath the bathhouse’s geometric dome ceiling, and her amber eyes blinked lazily as she watched the cloud of soap disappear from her master’s head.

     Fully rinsed, Lake ran his fingers over his exfoliated arms.  His skin was reddened from all the scrubbing, but it was smoother than he could ever recall.  However, the delights were his only, as soon enough, his ceremonial robes would cover every inch of his body.

     “Let us dry off in here,” he called to Astra.  She swooped down from the ceiling and into the hot chamber next door.

     Once he left the washroom, the water on Lake’s body began to evaporate.  He threw on his sheer under robes, which immediately stuck to his skin.  As he smoothed out the wrinkles and fastened his belt, Astra rose to the ceiling to gulp cooler air.  Lake would have to hurry back to his quarters before the heat overcame him and he would want to take another bath.

     Thinking of the crimson robes hanging in his wardrobe, Lake waved to his falcon.  “Come, Astra.”

     A high voice gasp came from above.  “Lake, it is you!”

     Already startled from a girl’s voice, Lake slipped on the tile when he saw stubby, tan fingers folded through the holes of the geometric ceiling.  A pair of large, emerald eyes peered back at him.

     “Your Highness!” Lake sputtered.

     This time, heat of embarrassment washed over him.  He covered himself as modestly as he could, scrambling back to the washroom and out of the princess’s sight.  Astra remained by the ceiling of the hot chamber, munching on a newt that Khalida had slipped her.  Khalida’s giggles echoed into the room, and the bemused attendant watched Lake with a dripping bucket in hand.

     “Your Highness!” Lake spat, more sternly this time.  “Do you realize how improper this is?!  To climb the men’s bathhouse!  To see me in such a state!”

     A giggle rang in each of Khalida’s words.  “What are you going to do?  Tell my mother?”

     Lake’s voice deepened gravely.  “How much did you see?”

     “Oh, Lake, I told you, the only birthday gift I wanted from you was to see your face.  I knew you were handsome!  Come out so I can see you again.”

     Lake could feel his whole head swelling with blood.  Anyone could see through his sheer robes, but the princess was so naïve that maybe the only thing she cared about seeing was his face.

     The attendant inched closer to him, wearing an expression that said, “Is that Princess Khalida?”  Lake nodded to him.

     “A very happy birthday to you, Your Highness,” Lake called to her.  “Now, please, would you allow me some privacy so you may see me again fully clothed?  And please take caution in climbing down the roof.”

     Khalida giggled.  “Certainly!  Thank you, Lake!  I’ll see you later.”

     The men stood in silence as Khalida blew a kiss at Astra.  They heard rustling in the trees overhead as Khalida jumped off the roof and climbed out of sight.

     Lake exhaled all the air in his lungs and slouched forward.  The under robes adhered so closely to his drenched body that bubbles formed beneath the cloth.  Lake started to peel the robes off and told the attendant, “I need another rinse.”

You can find Brandon on DeviantArt as blue-paint-sea. He’s currently open for commissions and is an absolute delight to work with. Give him a holler!

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