Beautiful Books #1: Blood Debt


With NaNoWriMo starting this coming Sunday, it’s the perfect time to join in with Cait@Paper Fury and Sky@Further Up and Further In’s lovely Beautiful Books link-up, the special edition of the usual Beautiful People. Today I’ll be sharing a little about my project for this November. And, as a special bonus, I will be attempting to answer all 10 of the questions for pretty much the first time ever. So, here we go!

1. How did you come up with the idea for your novel, and how long have you had the idea?

I came up with it the usual way. While eating food and thinking about unrelated things. In this case I was watching a medical documentary about a month and a half ago, latched onto a throwaway line about blood being the currency of life, and voila. A novel was born.

2, Why are you excited to write this novel?

Blood as currency. Dystopian societies. Families. Diseases. Thieves. Rebellions. All kinds of lovely things like these. There are so many fun things about this novel.

3. What is your novel about, and what is the title?

Have a bonus cover. Just because
Photo credit: Heo2035 / Foter / CC BY-NC
Title? Um…I’m not very good at those. It currently holds the very boring place holder title of Blood Debt.

The concept on the other hand is so much cooler. In a nutshell:
When her father racks up a blood debt that will literally cost Kyra her life to pay, she negotiates a new deal: Steal a blood donor for the slumlord Moe, or sacrifice every last drop of blood in her body to satisfy the debt.

4. Sum up your characters in one word each.

I haven’t discovered all my characters yet (that’s the pantser in me showing), so we’ll just stick to the main three shall we? Make of these words what you will.
Slumlord Moe-Desperate

5. Which character(s) do you think will be your favourite to write? Tell us about them!

Kyra, for sure. I generally like my protagonists best. After all, they’re the people I’ve chosen to write an entire novel about. Kyra lives in the slum Section D, working as a thief for Slumlord Moe, helping support her family, and donating blood to help her mother combat her degenerative blood disease. She’s a strong character, but not a fighter, relies on her smarts a lot, is actually quite compassionate really, and adores her two younger siblings.

6. What is your protagonist’s goal, and what stands in the way?

Kyra’s main goal in the book is to find a way to satisfy her father’s debt in such a way that will leave her alive to look after her family after his untimely demise. What stands in the way? Social divides, bodyguards, the tricky nature of slumlords, and the sheer logistics of stealing an entire human being.

7. Where is your novel set?

The story is set in the city of Rhesus. The city is divided into several different sections. Section A is the biggest, and occupies a circular space in the middle of the city. This is, of course, the rich sector, where the people who have stable jobs and can afford a government pension live. Around Section A are the eight other Sections, B through to I, which are slums of varying degrees of poverty. Each of these sectors is much smaller, and contains all the poor people. Each Section is unofficially ruled by a slumlord. In Section D, that is Slumlord Moe. Ruthless, unscrupulous, ambitious, and fuelled by hatred for those richer than he.

8. What is the most important relationship your character has?

The most important relationship Kyra has is definitely with her family. Not that she’s eager to die herself, but her dying pretty much dooms the rest of her family as well, and she loves them far too much to allow that to happen without trying to find an alternative. Her younger siblings are her favourites by far. They’re like little puppies.

9. How does your protagonist change by the end of the novel?

To be honest, I’m not 100% sure. This book may or may not have only half a plot currently (who needs more than half a solid plot anyway?). Possibilities do include forgiving her father, learning to look beyond her own troubles, and forgiving the rich people for the fact that the slums aren’t so great. Hopefully she lets me know what’s happening as we go.

10. What themes are in your book? How do you want your readers to feel when the story is over?

Strong themes of family and unlikely heroism, per usual. As to how I want people to feel when the book’s over. Well, I want them to be dazed as they come back to reality, devastated because the book is over, and looking for a book 2. That’s totally not too much to ask now, is it?

11. BONUS! Tell us your 3 best pieces of advice for others trying to write a book in a month.

Ah, now this, this I can do.

Number 1. Be 100% committed to writing this book. If you go in half-heartedly, you’re going to put other things ahead of your writing, or make excuses as to why you can’t find time to write. Commit to this book. Write a contract in your own blood if that helps, but don’t doubt your ability to write the book. Just go for it.

Number 2. Get ahead in week 1 if you possibly can. Let me tell you right now, week 2 is the worst week ever. The novelty has worn off. The book hasn’t come together yet, and everything’s looking a bit bleak. Try and have a bit of a word count cushion going into week 2 so that when the slump happens, you’re sure not to get behind while waiting for things to get better.

Number 3. Word wars. Do all the word wars. Trust me, nothing gets your word count up faster than racing another human being in a limited amount of time. They are the secret weapon of all good NaNoers. Track them down on Twitter, stalk them on Facebook, or search them out on the NaNo forums. But do them. Lots of them.

Are you doing NaNoWriMo this November? What are you writing? Are you linking up with Beautiful Books this month? Link me to your post! And tell me, what advice would you give to someone trying to write a book in a month?

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  1. Word count cushions are so important. It's almost impossible to get linear, let alone exponential progress -- something will ALWAYS crop up. And your idea is SO COOL, though -- the premise just blows me away. And haha, my protagonists are almost never my fav characters XD

    1. Too true! I can't count the amount of times that having a word count cushion has been good for me. Aw, thanks! I'm so glad you think it sounds interesting. It's one of the most unique ideas I've been struck with yet, so I'm excited to see how it turns out.

  2. Ahhh I LOVE THE SOUND OF YOUR BOOK. omg, blood as currency...that is beyond perfect. Did you ever see the movie Time? I LOVED that concept too...that you get paid in "minutes" and when you run out you die. o.O It's freaktastic and awesome. *ahem* But I digress. sO YAY I LIKE THE SOUND OF YOUR BOOK SO MUCH and I hope it's fun to write, too. And your tips are basically golden. :') I plan to be done in the first week so I don't have to have 2nd week blues. AHHAHA *ahem* BUT. We shall see. Life might get busy.
    I so loved reading this! YAYYYY AND GOOD LUCK FOR NANO.

    1. I have indeed seen Time. Such a cool idea. I didn't get my initial inspiration from it, but it has been oh so helpful during brainstorming. There are so many different ways these kinds of things affect life. I'm so much enjoying exploring this!

  3. Wow this idea seems cool! It's one of the best I've seen in Beautiful Books this year if not the best! Best wishes on this story and NaNo. *claps for answering all of the questions*

    I'm doing NaNo and I did the link-up as well. ^ ^

    1. Wow, really? You made my day! Haha, I was actually thinking of you when I was answering the question. I have to say, they made me think very hard about my book. Probably a very good thing actually. I'm glad you enjoyed my answers.

  4. Your story sounds SO COOL and I'm totally looking forward to hearing more about it and especially the worldbuilding that goes into a place of such blood debt. I think it's a cool title, though, even if you don't. What else? I agree with you on the commitment thing. You can do anything if you say you'll do it. One time I was like, "I think I want to write a book over Christmas break" which meant 50,000 words in 19 days and I did it. Didn't end up liking the novel for rewrites, which says something about spontaneous drafts, but COMMITMENT. Do it! Happy writing this Nanowrimo, Imogen!

    1. Yes! Commitment is key. I know so many people who have gone into NaNoWriMo not fully committed, and they give up so quickly most of them. You really have to be fully committed to what you're going to write. Congratulations on writing that book so quickly that time. That is a very short amount of time to write one in!

  5. Wow, fascinating idea here, Imogen! I'd be curious to see how it turns out. Best wishes!

    I'm not doing NaNo, but I did do the link-up...

    1. Thank you! I'm rather interested to see how it turns out in the end myself. Ah the joys of being a pantser!


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