Finally it is my turn to play The Next Big Thing and I’m a little bit excited.
I was first tagged way back in November by Siri Paulson, but being in the middle of NaNoWriMo at that stage, I put it on hold. Then Sherryl Clark approached me in December and I couldn’t see the harm in being tagged again, since I was planning on doing it anyway. Finally E Markham from Lamellae tagged me last week — and now all the stars have aligned and I am going to answer those ten questions about my Work In Progress . . .
1. What is the [working] title of your book?
I know some authors need to know what the title is before they start writing, but it’s not so for me. The title is often one of the last things to materialise, and when it does I take this as a sign that the piece is working and nearly complete. So, alas, I don’t have a proper working title at the moment. It’s being referred to as “Adehl’s Story”.
2. Where did the idea come from for the book?
This book evolved from a rather elaborate piece of backstory I developed for the protagonist of my previous completed manuscript. That novel is currently resting, in part because I received feedback that suggested my elaborate backstory was perhaps more interesting than the actual story I was then working on. Having said that, I had previously thought it might make a good prequel if the other was published . . . but I changed direction and decided to write it as a “book one” instead.
3. What genre does your book fall under?
Fantasy of the classical kind, set in an imaginary world. It has a little bit of magic and fair amount of politics . . . Not very much blood or sex though, just in case you were wondering.
4. What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
Now I wish I was one of those writers who has devoted pages to their characters on Pinterest. But I’m not. I have no idea . . . Hey, it would be pretty exciting to have a movie made of something I wrote, though. I think if it came to that I really wouldn’t care!
5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
I haven’t perfected this yet, but for now the following will have to do:
Forbidden to wield earth magic when the secret of her lineage is revealed, a young woman risks exile to defy the powerful custodians and fight for justice for her people.
6. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
I don’t have agency representation yet, but that would be my first choice. I’m still idealistic enough to want to be good enough and marketable enough to go the traditional route. However, I’m not ruling out anything for the long term.
7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
I’m still working on the first draft, which has taken about 18 months so far. I have a bad tendancy to commence revising before the first draft is finished — a time-wasting habit I’m trying to cure myself of at the moment. The novel itself has somehow exploded into something enormous too, so the revision process should be interesting. I think I’m about two-thirds of the way through.
8. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
I’ve been thinking and thinking about the answer to this and can’t think of anything comparable. That sounds awfully conceited and undoubtedly deluded; but most of the fantasy I read and admire is far more epic and/or sophisticated. This is a story about a woman who finds herself regarded as a notorious rebel, when all she really wanted was to live her own life . . . There are no battles, just a determined defiance with tragic consequences.
9. Who or what inspired you to write this book?
This seems very similar to question 2, but I’ll take it from a different angle… I spent a ridiculous number of years working on the predecessor to this book, which was the first novel-length manuscript I finished (several times). I came to the realisation that for my growth as a writer I needed to move on and write something new. It was difficult at the time to give up my dogged attempts to perfect a story that had issues, but logically I knew it was the right decision. It took me a while to get excited about a new story with a new set of characters (even though some of them appeared in the earlier book), but it was a step I needed to make! Now I am seriously excited about this story and can’t wait to finish it. (Although I am somewhat daunted by the mountain ahead as well.)
10. What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?
At heart, this book is an ideological battle surrounding use of what passes for “magic” in this imaginary world. It pitches a young woman (Adehl) with the wrong lineage against a cult of elitest fundamentalists, as she fights first for the right to wield the energy herself — and then breaks all the rules in a big way to pave the way for others. It doesn’t help her case that Adehl causes one of the elitest fundamentalists, a young man being groomed to a position of power, to defect and take up her cause . . . [Does this pique interest . . . ?]
Now, I tag Mike Schulenberg to next complete the questions.
Thanks for reading — I’d love to hear any feedback . . .