"The Next Big Thing" Blog Hop

Dear Blog,

I’ve been seeing “the next big thing” blog hop making the rounds on various author blogs over the past several months. Authors who get “tagged” answer ten questions about their upcoming project, and then “tag” a few other authors. I’ve been reading the blogs and getting excited about all these books-to-be, and also feeling a little like I’m standing against the wall at a high school dance watching everybody else and thinking, ooh, tag me, tag me! (… I know, that was not a fluidly employed metaphor and school dances are not games of tag, but maybe they should be, I bet more people would have fun).

Anyway. Do you see where this is going? Yippee! I’ve been tagged by the lovely and talented (yes, I am David Letterman) Anne Lazurko. You can see her answers to the ten questions and find out about her upcoming book Dollybird here.

In turn, I am tagging the following authors, so keep checking in with them and over the next few weeks you’ll be able to see what they are cooking up: Carrie Mac, Billie Milholland, Karen Rivers, Eric Sipple, and Anne Patton.

So here are the ten questions and my answers:

What is the working title of the book?

The Unmaking

Where did the idea come from for the book?

This is a sequel to Shade & Sorceress, and I don’t remember at exactly what point during the drafting of that first book I knew there would be a second but it was pretty early on. The first one grew out of a conversation I jotted down between Nia and Eliza, before I was sure of who they were or what the story around them was. As I got into the plot and the world-building, it became clear fairly quickly that there was more story than I was going to fit into one book.

What genre does your book fall under?

YA fantasy.

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

The teen characters would have to be played by brilliant as-yet-unkonwns who would look remarkably like the characters in my head. The juicy roles would of course rocket them to stardom and whenever I read about their relationship scandals and wardrobe malfunctions I’d feel sort of uncomfortably responsible and I’d want to write them maternal letters full of advice but I’d hold back because, you know, they aren’t my children and I don’t even know them that well, it’s just so hard to disassociate them from the characters I love… um, well, I guess I don’t have a good answer to that question. Though I must admit that while writing, I sometimes imagined Kate Winslet delivering Nia’s lines.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

The Sorceress Nia (my beloved villain!) breaks free of her Arctic prison and begins a fabulously satisfying revenge spree (fabulous and satisfying if you are on the side of eeeeevil, that is), and Eliza (my beloved heroine!) has to face a horrible and deeply personal challenge that Nia has devised for her.

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

Neither. It is coming out in September 2013 with Coteau Books, an independent Canadian publisher.

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

The first draft poured out in about six weeks (this was before I had kids – my writing has slowed down since then).

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

I started the first book without ever intending to publish it – it was going to be a Christmas present for my niece and nephew. Obviously, I got a bit carried away with it. It grew quickly into a series because I was having such a ridiculous amount of fun with my made-up people (and non-people) in my made-up world.

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

Perhaps Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials series – I hesitate to say that because I’m not the writer Pullman is, but I think there’s a comparison to be made, insofar as both series are about courageous young heroines drawn into epic, otherworldly struggles by their families. I also think readers of Diana Wynne-Jones’s Chrestomanci books would enjoy this – at least I hope so. Charmed Life was one of my favourite books when I was a kid and that was the sort of thing I was going for in the first book.

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

Murderous Faeries and indestructible monsters, infiltrating military compounds and fancy secondary schools, death, vengeance, memory, and the importance of underwear – there is a lot going on in this book! The first book in the series did the hard work of setting up the world(s), introducing the characters, and establishing their relationships. In The Unmaking, I’ve already built my playground and now I just get to play on it. For readers of the first book, I hope there are some good twists and surprises in store.

That’s it! Now go check in with the authors tagged at the beginning of this post.

Yours, playing tag at the dance,

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message 1: by Karen (new)

Karen I'm really looking forward to the continuing adventures of Nia & friends. :-)

message 2: by C.G. (new)

C.G. Now I am looking forward to this even more!

message 3: by Billie (new)

Billie Milholland Can hardly wait for The Unmaking!! The characters from book one are still lively in my head!

message 4: by Jenni (new)

Jenni I was already looking forward to the sequel, but now I can't wait to find out the importance of underwear!

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