After writing the novel Kindred Spirits, I was hoping to take a year off from cutting new creative text and just focus on the much easier job of editing other people's stuff, but now I'm sucked into working on another novel, something completely different from Kindred Spirits that's been knocking around in my head for many years.
It's a Mormon speculative novel for adult readers, intended for Cedar Fort or another mainstream LDS publisher with good bookstore distribution. The story is a mishmash of The Road Warrior and The Stand and some Orson Scott Card, mingled with Mormon prophecies and folk beliefs.
Here's the setting: In the near future, China has attacked the U.S. West Coast with deadly hypervirus bombs. To stop the sweep of death, President Schwarzenegger has sealed off the Eastern U.S. at the Mississippi, leaving the West in reduced-population chaos. Aggressive Latin American survivors have marched up the interstates and overtaken Salt Lake and other cities. As a result, Church President Dallin H. Oaks has taken church headquarters underground, leaving scattered groups of Mormon survivors to look after themselves for now, including a group of 800 hunkered down in the former missionary training center in Provo, where they fend off attacks from two local gangs.
So that's the setting. Snooping around in the tunnels under the MTC, the main character finds himself inexplicably entangled with the spirit of an evil Nephite wizard buried there, who lived about 325 A.D. when "there were sorceries, and witchcrafts, and magics; and the power of the evil one was wrought upon all the face of the land" (Mormon 1:19). But wait, there's more: time travel and a voluptuous modern-day prophetess and the sealed portion of the Golden Plates, not to mention the appearance of Cain and some or all of the Three Nephites. I'm having rather a lot of imaginative fun seeing if I can do this in a fresh, convincing way.