I’m getting started on the next installment of the Chimera series. This one will be told from Chloe’s point of view.
I envision the series as fantasy adventures that take place in the context of everyday life in a small city in the Berkshires. Chloe, the Chimera, and a few of their close associates are the recurring characters.
As a jumping off point, I’m trying to imagine in some detail what Chloe’s life is like as she starts school in a new town, with a new family, after her mother’s death. She’s got a lot of good things going on, but she also has to deal with her grief and the weirdness of her mother’s transformation into the Chimera.
Chloe pursues her interest in art by volunteering at MassMoca, the contemporary art museum in North Adams, and taking a sculpture class there. Chloe, the Chimera, and their friends are drawn into a mythic adventure through an art work in the museum.
This adventure offers a glimpse into the Cthulu Mythos, the spine-tinglingly creepy world invented by H.P. Lovecraft and carried on in various ways by his admirers. A scary and powerful monster will come through a portal inadvertently opened by the art work. (Note to self: invent the art piece.)
I like the idea of bringing various mythic worlds into conflict. This notion of worlds existing in parallel has been used enough in modern fantasy that I think readers will go along with it.
I’m a big fan of Christopher Moore, who manages to combine scary fantastic adventures with tons of humor and well-developed characters. With his style in mind, I think I could have fun by writing some sections in an exaggerated version of Lovecraft’s style (dark purple), assuming I can pull it off. Maybe the artist could have a style of speech that recalls Lovecraft’s prose.
I want to establish a strong sense of place. I have a few threads to follow that might contribute to the plot as well as providing local color. MassMoca was built on an industrial site with an turbulent labor history. The site itself is large, with many buildings for Chloe and her friends to explore. Also, the Hoosac Tunnel, a 4.75 mile long passage under a spur of the Green Mountain range, is another interesting physical and historical feature. This was a massive engineering project that took 20 years to complete and cost 193 lives. It could tie in well with the Cthulu mythos, which includes ancient underground earth dieties spawned in chaos and utterly indifferent to all forms of life.
OK, gotta run. I just downloaded the complete works of H.P. Lovecraft to my iPad. It’s 890 pages long and it cost $2. Good old internet, what did we do without it? TTYL!