THE DEVIL YOU KNOW
Genre: YA Sci-Fi (time travel) Southern Gothic
Status: Brainstorming/Reworking (to add humor because it’s darker than I want)
“I never understood why Mama liked God so much until I met the Devil.”
THE DEVIL YOU KNOW follows Auggie, a girl in present day Good Faith, AL who joins forces with Raven, a girl from the wrong side of the tracks, to uncover why girls are disappearing and what that has to do with the town’s dark past. The story is told between diary entries from Auggie’s Salem, MA ancestor (circa the Salem Witch Trials) and present day Auggie.
Think Octavia Butler’s Kindred meets Melissa de la Cruz’s Witches of East End but YA
FULL SUMMARY TK
THE DEVIL YOU KNOW will also appeal to fans of Natalie C. Parker’s Beware the Wild and Servants of the Storm by Delilah S. Dawson. It’s part creepy goodness, part exploration of what it means to want to “get out” of a place yet be utterly stuck, and then a whole heaping of Southern Gothic’s traditional odd, damaged characters, secrets that threaten their very existence, twisted violence, and sweet tea…always sweet tea. As a southerner, Southern Gothic has been running through my veins since before I knew what to call it. I’m thrilled to be putting my own twist on the genre.
Auggie has a twin sister and their relationship is very complicated. As is Auggie’s relationship with her mama. Ultimately, I want all the stories I write to be a fun read (even if creepy, spooky, and sad at times). However, the book also touches on mental health in generations of black women, being gay and, despite everything, still loving your mama, sibling jealously in terms of perceived parental affection, and the things mother’s hide from their daughters. Auggie and her mama’s relationship is (unintentionally) the closest mirror to that of me and my mama you’ll find in my stories. That being said, my mama and I are in a much better place of understanding and love. I don’t know yet if Auggie and her mama will reach that point (or, erm, survive).
More things to note:
- It has has hoodoo & history
- It features (a very frowned upon friendship that turns to romance) between Auggie and Raven, the girl from “the wrong side of the tracks”… the only one who’ll help her uncover what’s actually going on in Good Faith. Instead of “the tracks” representing a racial divide, as they often are/were in the South, they’re a Christian vs. spiritual/magical divide.
- My love for Toni Morrison’s Beloved and Octavia Butler’s Kindred inspired THE DEVIL YOU KNOW. And since I’m a big music lover, I’d definitely point to Nicki Minaj’s The Pinkprint and Beyonce’s Lemonade as two albums that influenced and inspired this.
- View the inspiration board!