Carnival of Souls by Melissa Marr
In a city of daimons, rigid class lines separate the powerful from the power-hungry. And at the heart of The City is the Carnival of Souls, where both murder and pleasure are offered up for sale. Once in a generation, the carnival hosts a deadly competition that allows every daimon a chance to join the ruling elite. Without the competition, Aya and Kaleb would both face bleak futures--if for different reasons. For each of them, fighting to the death is the only way to try to live.
All Mallory knows of The City is that her father--and every other witch there--fled it for a life in exile in the human world. Instead of a typical teenage life full of friends and maybe even a little romance, Mallory scans quiet streets for threats, hides herself away, and trains to be lethal. She knows it's only a matter of time until a daimon finds her and her father, so she readies herself for the inevitable. While Mallory possesses little knowledge of The City, every inhabitant of The City knows of her. There are plans for Mallory, and soon she, too, will be drawn into the decadence and danger that is the Carnival of Souls.
From Melissa Marr, bestselling author of the Wicked Lovely series and "Graveminder," comes a brand-new tale of lush secrets, dark love, and the struggle to forge one's own destiny.
Melissa Marr will participate in a twitter chat on 9/8, 2 pm Eastern. Look up #MarrChat on Twitter to join in!
Melissa Marr talks about Carnival of Souls
An Accidental Novel
To some degree, writing every book is different. Some books I write in order (Graveminder); others out of sequence (Fragile Eternity). Some series begin as short stories (Wicked Lovely), and some were never meant to be anything other than a series (the Blackwell Pages, 2013). Carnival of Souls was yet another new experience. It began with an image, not quite in a dream but in one of those hazy, half-awake, half-asleep states where you know that it isn't real and you hope that you fall asleep so it becomes a dream. I didn't. I woke, and I scrawled down about eight hundred words to capture the images. In an alley stood a girl, a boy, and a woman-creature who exhaled birds that disintegrated into ashes. The girl had been keeping a secret from the boy, and in facing this woman-creature, her secret was about to be exposed. I posted part of that excerpt on my blog, and then I returned to my novels under contract. Months passed. A year passed. Books released; I sold a new series.
Then, one Friday in the fall of 2010, I opened that file, cued up Five Finger Death Punch, and by Monday night, I'd written another thirty-five thousand words. It seems impossible, in retrospect, that so many words could pour out so quickly, but once I started I couldn't do anything else for several days. That not-quite-a-dream image that started the book remained central. The two questions I always ask when writing are "How did we get here?" and "Where do we go from here?" ForCarnival, I had to ask both questions.
The problem, however, was that I'd just sold my publisher a different series, and I didn't have a book due to them for a year and a half. A few days later, my family suggested that I'd best confess to my agent that I had accidentally written half of a novel. I did, and my publisher bought it a couple of weeks later. Sometimes a book simply wants to be written. Carnival of Souls was that sort of book.
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