Now for the long version:
Can any of you recall Muse Academy, the webcomic I worked on years ago? If you can't, that's okay; I can barely remember it and I wrote the damn thing. It was a fun project and let me stretch my creative wings for a while, but life got on top of me and I had to make sacrifices to get by. MA was something I had to sacrifice. But not before it sowed the seeds of my next project. I only got as far as the third book in Muse Academy, and had a lot more planned before it went AWOL, so I wrote down some of the ideas I had in a document somewhere, clicked that red 'X' and forgot about it for a while.
In 2010 I opened the document again. Not long afterwards, I began to write. Over the course of two years, I wrote very little, as issues at home dragged me away from the blank Word document more often than not. It wasn't until 2012 that I was able to really sit down and hammer out the story, chapter by chapter. Moving back to the UK with no job and more time to myself gave me the time and motivation to get it finished. And in November 2013, 117,000 words later, it's done.
I can only say so much about it. I can't give away plotline, twists or secrets, and I'm even keeping the name close to my chest since there's a strong possibility it'll be changed during the editing process. So for now I'm just referring to it as the 'KZ project'. But I can tell you it starts with a magical realism standalone that will hopefully lead into a fantasy series. If you like Shakespeare, Celtic Mythology, urban legends, cryptids, and paranormal friendships (that don't transcend into romantic territory), this is right up your alley.
This is why I'm mentioning this now: I need to build a platform, to prove that people would be interested in this idea. I'm not asking for money or fanart or ANYTHING, really. Just support. You guys did an amazing job supporting 9U, and while the story isn't dead (I have all but the final chapter written), I have to prioritise my original work while I'm trying to get it published. I don't have the support I used to anymore, and my career is a lot more important than my hobbies. If I can get a fraction of the support for the KZ project as I did for 9U, it would be amazing.
I'm in the process of querying agents right now, but in the meantime I'd like to introduce you to the series, bit by bit and through art and world-building, to explain the history and lore of Sekonshee and the creatures that inhabit it.
And maybe a contest, too. A contest sounds good.