Genre: Fantasy with Romantic Elements
Title: THE PAIN BEARER
Word Count: 117,000
Three Sentence Pitch:
Rosalina DeMagna suffers from a mysterious affliction—unexplained pains which neither medicine nor prayer can cure. Though she believes the affliction is penance forced upon her by vengeful gods, the arrival of Warlord Thorne Kierin reveals she is his Pain-Bearer, an unfortunate soul forced to suffer every ache, pain, and fatigue on the warrior’s behalf. Unfortunately, Thorne’s enemies learn of Rosalina’s affliction, and they will eagerly sacrifice her if it means destroying the warlord.
Question 1: In your MC’s voice, what costume character do you relate most to and why?
Rosalina didn’t think the form-fitting nurse outfit was appropriate, especially as a pair of scrubs would cover more of her skin than the unrepentant “sexy” skirt, but the theme was the same. Though her brothers claimed the costume would be a clever pun representing how she alleviated pain, Rosalina believed real nurses would offer morphine, not reluctantly shoulder the agonies of a wrathful warlord who needed no costume to demonstrate the demons within his soul.
Question 2: As an author, what makes your manuscript a tasty treat (aka marketable/unique)?
THE PAIN-BEARER is an epic fantasy, but, for a majority of the story, it is set in a small, rural village where hysterical superstition represents the greatest threat to the main characters’ safety. The heroine’s strength is not derived from physical fortitude but emotional endurance, and, though the hero is attracted to her, their relationship complicates the traditional happily-ever-after ending.
First 250 Words:
The holy men believed most of the village would be dead before the end of summer.
Rosalina DeMagna did not doubt the fears of the holy men, but she did doubt the accuracy of their predictions. Many things were capable of decimating the village. Famine and drought once starved the people of Brice, and a recent fever claimed the lives of three children. But the holy men did not see weather and disease as the greatest danger. They preached bloodshed. However, the war was over, and Rosalina vowed not to worry of swords and soldiers, even if most of Brice did.
The village’s only road crowded with people browsing the seasonal market, but the dire warnings of the holy men murmured from shadowed alleys. Rosalina guided her niece and nephew away from the busyness and ceaseless preaching. A particularly violent game of tag distracted the children, but chastising Caleb did little good. He knocked his sister into the street for the second time, and Kitty began to cry despite her remarkably un-scraped knees. The boy bolted, nearly colliding with a fruit cart while losing both shoes in a puddle of mud. Rosalina was grateful the children weren’t bleeding, but it was rare for a market visit to end in smiles and not stitches.