Monday, November 19, 2012

The Next Big Thing Blog Hop

I've been invited to participate in The Next Big Thing Blog Hop by Laura Hughes (@MittensMorgul on Twitter). It's a blog series where aspiring writers and published authors have been answering ten questions about a work in progress or a recently published novel. As I only have Works In Progress, I'll be answering based on the piece that's furthest along and closest to submission. 

There's been some concern about getting to this blog hop late in the game, but if you follow the link above or go to the google query results you'll see that I'm not actually THAT late. Thankfully, writers can be a lazy lot and leave these sorts of things languishing in their inboxes for days, weeks, even months at a time. For me to be selected isn't something magically mystical and wonderful (I volunteered). It's more a matter that nearly every other aspiring writer out there has already participated and, well, they had to get to me eventually.

So, on with the show!

What is the working title of your book?

Egads! Starting with a nasty one aren't we. I suppose "BookB" isn't going to cut it. The sad truth is, I haven't thought up anything cool or witty enough yet and I don't traditionally name anything I've written until after it's in a state I'm reasonably happy with. BookB is most definitely not in that state.  That said, I do have a couple titles tumbling around.
"Crows Blood" and "The Other" come to mind presently.

Where did the idea come from for your book?

It's been bouncing around for some time now and everything about the book, the plot, the gender of a number of characters, and their roles have all changed drastically. My stories generally start with a single seed, or an idea that I want to explore. It's usually a setting, theme, or character, and everything grows outward from there. 

The seed of this particular idea came from one of the characters who was set to be the original protagonist. In the changes mentioned, he's changed to a she, and is now a secondary side character. In the course of outlining the book and whipping through the first draft I simply found one of the other viewpoints to be far more compelling.

What genre does your book fall under?

Clearly another unfair question, though if I had to narrow it down it would be YA Fantasy. I'm targeting a Thriller/Adventure style plot and pace.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Laura/MittensMorgul thought she was the only author to have not spent time on this question. Truth be told, it never occurred to me either. I have a clear picture of my protagonist Flynn and the main side characters he interacts with. However, likely due to my ongoing love affair with Anime, Manga, and just about anything Animated, I haven't really lined any of them up with real actors.

What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?

[deep movie guy voice] In a world where...[/deep movie guy voice] no wait, that's not right. Let me start over.

Flynn, a young and talented thief, is the only suspect in a series of grisly ritual killings and the only way to prove his innocence when everyone else has stopped looking is to catch the killer himself.

Yeah, I'm going to have to tweak that a bit. It's hard to fit it into one sentence when I could talk about the book for hours.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

The plan is to query and try to get representation (agents be prepared to run away screaming in around March of next year). At the very least I hope to receive feedback to help me hone my craft.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

About three months for the first draft, which I've gutted since and almost completely rewritten. Now I'm  almost four months in and nearing completion of this pass.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Um, uh. In the wider fantasy genre I'd have to say Mistborn because of the heist type elements. Beyond that there are the same coming of age themes found in most YA.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

I've wanted to be a professional writer for most of my life. Somehow, in the need to make money and provide for my family I ended up working in Technology (which is still fun). 

If I were to nail down a single catalyst I'd have to say it was planning to have our second child. We had our first daughter pretty early, and there was no discussion prior to that, so I'm not sure if it's normal. I don't know how other people do it, but when my wife and I started discussing it I started evaluating myself. My career, my health, our finances, etc. to make sure we could handle the responsibility of raising and keeping up with another child.

Let's just say I was in awful shape. I'd let my health go and I was starting to spin my wheels at work. I also realized that beyond a few short stories I'd make up on the spot to entertain our older daughter, I hadn't created anything in years.

I started with my health and career, and both are in considerably better places now, which is good because my youngest daughter is a handful and then some. More recently I've started back in on my writing in earnest. It's my place to unwind and I'm a much more relaxed and calm person when I'm writing regularly. I feel like I'm accomplishing something.

That, and my absolute hatred for my daily commute and a need to have a bright light at the end of that tunnel keep me pretty well motivated.

What else about your book might pique the reader's interest?

My biggest hope is that the characters and the setting draw the reader in. I want the book to be a fun ride, but I also want the reader to be engaged and hungry for more time with both.

I've spent a lot of time with each character, even if you don't get a viewpoint with them, to make sure that they're deep interesting individuals. 

I've also taken a reasonable amount of time world building and fleshing out the society, government, history and magic with detailed notes to keep myself honest and consistent. I hope to be able to explore them further beyond this first book, as I already have a rough idea of a few more stories to tell in this world.

That about wraps it up. Now the impossible quest of trying to find even one more aspiring writer or published author willing to take part, let alone five. If you're one of the above drop me a line here or @RedAntisocial on Twitter

Update: I'm kicking this over to Brandi M Lynch on her blog at I'm looking forward to what she has to say! I'll update this post if I find any more people to pick on... er, I mean pass it on to.


  1. I can't tell you how relieved I am that another author hasn't compiled a "dream cast" list for the dramatic production of their novel! :D

    Also, I love a good heist story. Looking forward to reading it!

  2. I was going to hop on IMDB and pull up some of their lists, but since my Protag is a young man and physically fit, I thought it might be a bit awkward trolling the lists of "Hot young actors under 25." etc.