This morning I came across Charlie Mackesy’s instagram feed via Deborah Harkness and discovered his wonderful book “The Boy, the Mole, the Horse and the Fox.” (I know, I know. This book was named Waterstone’s Book of the Year. What deep cave have I been in that I would miss this book? I blame middle age and failing eyesight. Clearly I don’t get out enough.) His work does that magical thing of reaching right into you and giving your heart a tender hug. It’s uplifting and soothing. Words have power. When woven into story, that power turns to magic and fills our hearts to transport and transform.
My aim as a writer is to tap into that magic by telling emotionally authentic stories to lift and inspire. I’m really excited to announce my Nov 2020 debut, SOUL AFFINITY, a love story of lost hope, heartbreak, and healing set against a London law firm run by Hades ferrymen.
Fans of Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke and Bone Trilogy and Deborah Harkness’s All Souls Trilogy will love this modern-day take on romantic fantasy with reincarnated friends-to-enemies-to-lovers inspired by K-drama My Love from the Stars and my own time as a London lawyer.
Framed for the theft of contracts worth more than her life, street-smart workaholic Aziza Lee’s got more than her hard-won legal career to save. Someone wants her dead. The only person willing to help is the only person she can’t stand, arrogant and jaded immortal Marcus Vandenberg who seems intent on shoehorning himself into her life.When Marcus recognizes in Aziza the reincarnated soul of his first, and only, mortal friend, he will do anything to keep her from harm. Even risk eternal banishment for breaking the Vaktar’s cardinal rule—Never meddle in mortal affairs. Will this second chance be their last?
I’m doing something a little different with my book. Instead of self-publishing or traditional publishing, I’m taking the middle route: crowd publishing.
Crowd publishing allows me full creative autonomy partnered with the processes and methods of a traditional publishing house. I chose Kickstarter for the platform as it is used by many creatives to successfully bring their projects to life. In return for pledges, Soul Affinity Patrons get their name listed at the front of my book, plus a selection of other cool rewards, like art cards, archival quality posters, and enamel pins. Kickstarter projects only go ahead if they get enough support to meet their goal. If it doesn’t reach the goal, the whole project is cancelled and no pledges are taken.
I set my campaign for sixty days, fully expecting to need all sixty days to reach goal. It took FOUR. The outpouring of support for Soul Affinity blew my mind and had me in tears more than once during those first few days. I’m still reeling. But in this haze of happy joy, I’m getting everything rolling.
We have two amazing artists on board for the art cards. The talented Al Norton, an illustrator from the Ukraine, is doing character illustrations of both Aziza and Marcus, Soul Affinity’s heroine and hero. Another artist whose work captures a beautiful steampunk sensibility is also on board, and I’ll be able to reveal more information when we have draft art ready.
I cannot express how grateful and blessed I am for my patrons. They are integral to bringing my words to life. If you’d like to join this very special community (and see your name in my book) click here.
For an EXCLUSIVE excerpt, click here!
A.Y. Chao (she/her/Alice) is a recovering lawyer and mom to a seven-year-old girl, an elderly black pug, and a Hong Kong rescue mutt. She’s a 2019 Pitch Wars mentee, a twice-honoured Golden Heart® finalist and PRO member of the RWA’s The Golden Network. She is also someone who likes to roar.