Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The Next Big Thing!

My blogging friend and fellow fantasy author Brandon Ax was thoughtful enough to mention me in a post entitled The Next Big Thing. (Here's a link to his
Basically it's ten questions regarding your current project. For the sake of this post, I'll answer the questions based on my NEXT project... (Because I'm sick of talking about the edits I'm doing on my current)

Here we go! (as if I didn't talk about this book enough in April!)

1. What is the working title of your book? 
Turesia Split
(click to go to its page on my website.)

2. Where did the idea come from for the book? 
The idea came from my love for UFC and my love for Video Games. I wondered, What if the fighters had to kill their opponents before leaving the arena, and they were immediately revived (not unlike Mario)? This got me thinking about stats, strategies, residual scars, reincarnation, team death matches, human sacrifices - for the sake of pain alone not loss of life, and so on...
3. What Genre does your book fall under?
Fantasy, of course. And it'll get a bit gritty. Not so much erotic.
Whether it's YA or not, I don't know yet. I'm capable of maintaining a quick pace, with humor and quirkiness that would appeal to a younger audience, which seems to me like the logical determining factor... But as far as the specific age of my protagonists? Who cares? It's only a number. 
<tangent> I really hate that the market has built an impassable fence and we have to choose one side or the other. When I was a kid (and I mean as soon as I learned to read) I read every book that held my attention, regardless of the age, race, gender or species of the protagonists. What a stupid way of categorizing books.</tangent>
4. Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie version?
When I started with this book, I had some clear ideas for this answer. So much so that I drew sketches of the different characters based on certain actors. But as I wrote the book, I got to know my characters better. I didn't like the faces I'd chosen for them. I didn't want my characters to be limited to an individual but (as Brandon Ax said) I wanted readers to form their own opinions. That's the magic of books, after all.

5. What is a one-sentence synopsis of your book?  
A runaway priest from the west meets an escaped gladiator from the east, triggering a civil war.

6. Will your book be self published or represented by an agency? 
I just want to write. That said, I'd really prefer to have someone (a publishing house) do a lot of the other stuff for me (even if it involves them taking a chunk of the profit). 
But if I write a book worthy of being read, and am unsuccessful at finding representation, I'll self publish.

7. How long did it take you to finish the first draft of your manuscript?
The first draft is only about 80 percent finished. And that took four months.

8. What other books would you compare this book with in your genre?
Tough question. I spend a lot of time reading outside my genre. Despite how odd this might sound, I aspire to write Joe Abercrombie for younger audiences. 

9. Who or what inspired you to write this book?
This seems a lot like #2... But I'll try to answer differently. 
I looked at the world map of Silexare and found an area I'd already developed some history for. The gladiator / UFC / east versus west idea was perfect for this continent. And it was isolated enough that I didn't have a ton of additional world building to do. (Which is good because I'm a hella procrastinator)

10. What else about your book might pique the reader's interest?
I aim for edgy YA fantasy, with dialogue that snaps, locations that are fresh - think tropical volcanic island, and monsters that would make Pikachu crap his little electric britches. I'd also like to shrug off traditional fantasy gender roles. In this case, the runaway priest is the boy, the escaped gladiator the girl.

Thanks again, Brandon Ax, for giving me the opportunity to put this into words! I didn't have a one sentence pitch before this. At least now I have the workings of one! 

Now to nominate some other bloggers for the hotseat...

I'm going to call out Mark Noce first, from Mark Noce Stories. He has intelligent things to say, he's a new father, and he recently went to San Fransisco. I can relate to at least two of those!

I want to call out Carrie Butler over at So, You're a Writer... because she's clever and helpful. Also, I read an excerpt of her NA Paranormal Romance - Strength on Amazon and was impressed by her writing.

Finally, I'm choosing Faith E. Hough because (you guessed it) she's smart, too. She reads a lot and has an optimistic personality... well, bloggersonality.

Ok, go!

(By the way, if you want a formal invitation to partake in The Next Big Thing blog yourself, let me know in the comments and I'll add your name to those above. I can do that. I know my password.)


  1. Hah! You had me at "monsters that would make Pikachu crap his little electric britches". Sounds great. :)

    And thank you for the shout-out/kind words. I appreciate it!

  2. Thanks David! Great to learn about your WIP. You can add me and I'll try out the Next Big thing questions as well:)

  3. It does sound gritty. Might almost be better as an adult book. Although you're right - shame you have to chose. I read adult books when I was a kid.

    1. Exactly... I'm going to finish the first draft, holding nothing back, and see how red the blood flows.

  4. Boy, you have a great pitch, first of all. :) I'm another writer who has a hard time with genre/age group-picking. I've always read what interested me, and the age of the protagonist never mattered--although this seems to be a rather unpopular view in certain rule-driven publishing circles. But there's always great writers like T. H. White and Neil Gaimain who get away with it, so just write your story well and let it figure it out for itself!
    Secondly, thanks for tagging me! I look forward to answering these questions... I may let them sit for a couple weeks until I'm at a place with my current WIP where I can answer them a little better!

    1. Thanks, Faith. If I had a single nemesis on earth it would be named "Rule-driven". But that attitude has gotten me in trouble more than a couple of times.
      I've been meaning to read some Neil Gaiman. He's highly recommended.

      Make sure you let me know when you do the blog!

  5. Your one sentence is intriguing. I am interested and this is the first I have read of this WIP.

    1. Well thanks, Robin! I feel like the shorter you can make your pitch (be it sentence, query, whatever) without using any cliches at all, the better it will be. And it has to flow.

  6. Your one sentence was perfect. Instantly captures the mind. I also love the gender switch with the gladiator and priest. Sounds really good. Glad I tagged you, it was cool to get to read your answers. Genre is a hard one, luckily Adults read all genres so you should be fine no matter what.

    1. Hey Brandon. Thanks again for the tag. I'm hesitant to claim adult for two reasons. My sense of humor is downright juvenile. And my inner money goblin screams "Everything is YA! Write YA!"

    2. It is hard. I think that is why I put out YA first, but as Brandon Sanderson said, YA has higher highs but lower lows and Adult sci-fi and fantasy is easy to break into with a good book.

    3. Very true. I actually just watched one of his videos where he's talking about that. Brandon Sanderson has a ton of things going on and yet he puts out books all the time... I could think of a couple of big time authors who could take a lesson from that.


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