The Next Big Thing – My Turn

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 . . .


28 thoughts on “The Next Big Thing – My Turn

  1. To answer your question: YES, interest piqued. It actually kind of reminds me of one of the Lilith books by Octavia Butler or maybe something by Ursula LeGuin. Their stories are more about ideas, with strong women at the center, without the battles and other stuff. I’d love to be able to write a story like that. Good job!


    1. Oh yay!
      Yes, I knew there’d be some fiction out there in the same vein… I really should read some of it! ‘About ideas with a strong woman at the centre’ sums it up pretty well. I have no doubt at all you could do that! It remains to be seen whether I can. 😉


  2. You had me at “Forbidden to wield earth magic” and I love to read about fighting for justice. Your work sounds interesting and I’m excited to dive in when you present it to the world 🙂


    1. Thanks, Judythe – I’ll consider it a real success if I manage to snare non-fantasy readers. 🙂 Just so you know, ‘release dates’ (snort!) are some way off indeed. But I labour in hope.


  3. Your synopsis also reminded me a little of certain of David Eddings’ works … and (although not a fantasy writer) Kerry Greenwood, though I’m with librancourt as Ursula LeGuin as among the first writers who came to mind. I love a good ideological struggle! Sending warm best wishes of encouragement & support.


    1. Hi Catie – Not sure I would have thought of David Eddings… doesn’t he write about gods and stuff? And battles? But hey – mega bestselling!
      I really need to read more LeGuin. Thanks for stopping by!


  4. This sounds right up my alley. I like fantasy. I also like people who are forbidden to wield earth magic. Sounds like a pretty great project you have going. Definitely looking forward to checking it out.

    And thanks very much for the tag. Looks like I’m going to need to resume blogging 🙂


  5. Forbidden, defy, and a fight (for justice) – what does it say about me that I honed in on those three word words? I don’t know, but count me in! I admire your tenacity in creating a story from a backstory from your previous novel as well as your talent to write a story with such an epic scope. Looking forward to reading it!


      1. I didn’t find those three words combative. On the contrary, I found them to be empowering. And that interpretation is probably a whole other blog post on what that may or may not say about me. 😉

        Perhaps your question was entirely rhetorical, but I’ll respond nevertheless: As for your tenacity, anyone who can a) work a day job, b) write an epic fantasy story based on the first epic fantasy story she already wrote, c) maintain two blogs, and d) keep up with social media is, in my book, a tenacious person. 🙂


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