I just noticed aspiration has a lot of different meanings.
Anyhow, I now have a critique partner and a beta reader for Save the Queen, and while I hope there aren't too many more changes I need to make on it, I'm glad to get some new eyes on this one. I was 19 when I started writing it, so finishing it at 26, of course I had a lot of growth, and after 2 years editing and revising, it's not a TOTALLY different story, but I do think it's better than when I started it. Hopefully, I can get some more beta readers, but Facebook only got me one loyal friend, whose been reading my stuff since we were in the 4th grade. I'll have to look at AQC to see where else to get readers.
And now that I'm "done" with it for now, I started working on a tribute sequel for Octavia Butler's Fledgling. It was her last published novel before she died, and I loved it. It's about a little girl who wakes up burned and skull-fractured in a bunch of ruins, basically, and when she heals and gets out into the world, she learns she's a 53-year-old vampire named Shori. She's not really a vampire, but her race was the cause of all the folklore, and she has to find out what happened to her and her family because she permanently lost her memory. I've seen mixed reviews: most people (the ones with sense *wink*) loved it. A few were extremely uncomfortable with it, and a few others were turned off by the court hearing the book turns into for the last third of the story. I personally loved everything about the book. It has action, mystery, sex (yeeaah haha); it made me happy, sad, angry. A good book takes you there, and for me, Octavia Butler usually succeeded in that anyhow.
So the sequel I started actually was derived from a series of vampire roleplays I used to do online with some friends. I played two characters, a cannibal/wendigo named Rubix and a 300-year-old vampire named Finlay "Falon" Moynahan (he was very Irish). I had begun writing stories for them and some of the other vampires that one of the guys said I could use that he created, and I'd even wrote a long backstory sequence for Falon and some shorter stories, but I knew they weren't going to see the light of day. I'm not even sure how the idea came to me to write them as Ina (the race in Fledgling), since I read the book either last year or the year before, but it was on my mind the last few months that it was a good place to put them. So, I read the book again, took notes as I did, compiled them, and started writing the story circling Shori's birth daughter Ruby as she prepares to (looking for a good word) spawn (ew) the next generation of dark-skinned Ina.
Shori isn't old enough to mate but is already bound to her mates when we are introduced to her, so I am working from scratch on those aspects, which is kind of cool, I think. I also want to use some of the Ina language, which means, of course, creating it, but I think I can do it. Butler described the alphabet, so at least I have something to work with.
I will keep working on it and see how it turns out. It's a really important piece to me, because of how memorable Fledgling is, and to keep the memory of some of my favorite roleplay characters alive.