PROJECT: NINE-TAILED COURAGE, Middle-Grade Fantasy
Status: Revising before editor submissions, Round 2
11-year-old Sierra Li is a Huli Jing, a Chinese fox spirit, living with her parents in the San Francisco Bay Area. When a mysterious illness breaks out, causing victims to fall into an enchanted slumber and grow golden chrysanthemums, Asian-Americans face increased racism, especially those suspected to be Huli Jing, since it was believed that a Huli Jing caused the illness. Sierra faces increased bullying, her father falls into enchanted slumber, and her mother is captured by authorities targeting her fox spirit heritage.
When Sierra falls victim to a racist attack, she succumbs to the brink of life and death. To earn back her life and save her parents, she travels to Diyu, the Chinese Underworld, and is sent on a mission to bury her grandmother’s ashes under a magical plum blossom tree in Taiwan. She learns that embracing her fox spirit nature and ancestry will be her keys to succeeding. Will Sierra make it to Taiwan in time, before she loses her parents, her powers, her life, and remain a prisoner of the Underworld?
Comps: Elizabeth Lim’s Reflection: A Twisted Tale, Rick Riordan Presents, Yoon Ha Lee’s Dragon Pearl, and Kat Cho’s Wicked Fox.
PROJECT: RAINBOW GRANDPA, Non-fiction Picture Book
An old man lived alone in a shabby village. Although he was alone, he loved his home. When officials ordered him to move away so that they can destroy his home, the old man did not listen. Instead, he painted the entire village with birds, dogs, bunnies, dragons, superheroes, kung fu masters, and happy memories with all the colors of the rainbow. His painted magical menagerie and friends attract people from all over the world to visit him and his home, thus saving his village.
Comps: Andrea Wong’s Magic Ramen: The Story of Momofuku Ando, and Julie Leung’s Paper Son: The Inspiring Story of Tyrus Wong, Immigrant and Artist.
PROJECT: DAUGHTERS AND DEMONS, Middle-Grade Fantasy
Status: Revising, workshopped through Futurescapes and Big Sur Children’s Writers Workshop
All her life, Anyu craves her mother’s love, but feels unloved. Because Anyu is born with demon powers, her mother trains her to become an assassin with the sole purpose of hunting down the wanted fugitive known as the Horned Hound, who has brought eternal evening by stealing starlight and sunlight from the world. When Anyu is gifted a puppy on her 13th birthday, she is delighted…until her mother orders her to kill it, believing that it would harden Anyu into the ideal heartless killer. To save her puppy, Anyu gives in to her mother’s orders to go on a dangerous mission to end the Horned Hound once and for all.
What Anyu does not expect is finding out that the Horned Hound is her father, and that he is on a mission to bring back the sun and stars, and reunite with Anyu’s mother. Conflicted between her loyalty to her mother, and her growing bond with her father, Anyu accompanies her father and finds herself in the grandest adventure of her life. Can Anyu win her mother’s love, reconnect with her long-lost father, save her dog, AND create a happily-ever-after for everyone?
Comps: John Wick through a middle-grade fantasy lens; Arya and the Hound from Game of Thrones traveling through the world of Avatar: The Last Airbender; the emotional resonance of finding strength through family from Tae Keller’s When You Trap a Tiger; and overcoming danger from Scary Stories for Young Foxes by Christian McKay Heidicker.