Today, I’m a part of The Next Big Thing blog hop, thanks to speculative erotica writer Victoria Pond, author of My Lady Gambler. The Next Big Thing is a branching pyramid-of-prose for authors to discuss their latest release or WIP. Each author answers ten questions (see below for my answers), and then tags other writers to do the same.
So it’s kind of like a chain letter for writers, without the dire threat of evil consequences if you break the chain. (Oh hey, that could be a writing prompt. Hmm…)
At the moment I am primarily focused on writing short stories and even submitting a few. But, I’m going to play along with the spirit of this exercise, and answer the questions based on my novel Work In Progress… using a very broad definition of “Progress”. It’s also the book I started for NaNoWriMo.
1. What is the working title of your book?
2. Where did the idea come from for the book?
The idea for the “creatures that need killing” in my book came from watching a murmuration of starlings video. This is truly a spectacular sight, but just imagine if you saw that after watching Hitchcock’s “The Birds”. Now imagine insects instead of birds.
My two main characters were conceived of as part of the backstory for one of my Player Characters in my cooperative writing Role Playing Game. Since then they have transformed and grown into separate personalities who demand their own unique world.
One influence in my world building has been the pervasive inequality in western culture. I tried to imagine an ideal, and was also thinking about the MVP (Minimum Viable Population) concept in terms of humans colonizing a new planet. How would I (or my fictional counterpart) select humans to colonize a new planet with the intent of a) making sure the human race survived and b) increasing the likelihood that a new human culture would develop without a privileged class based on gender, race, sexual orientation, etc. This was the beginning of my world building. I’ve found that a vision of idealized perfection is a great place to start because then I can figue out all kinds of stuff that can go wrong.
3. What genre does your book fall under?
Post science fiction heroic fantasy.
4. Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Now that is difficult, but I will give it a WAG (wild ass guess).
The brother might be played by Ben Barnes, whom I remember best for the title character role in the film “The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian”.
I think I’d like the sister to be played by Parminder Nagra, whom I loved as Jess in the film “Bend It Like Beckham”.
5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Whilst coming to terms with what they are, siblings Kestra and Razmer must rescue their Sept’s children, expose the Dyozan Bishop’s purpose for kidnapping them, and unite the Clades against a greater threat: the Sturmitera are swarming again and humanity cannot survive another Grand Murmuration.
6. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
Until I have an actual manuscript in my hand, this is something of a moot point. My gut inclination would be to go the traditional route. But, who knows?
7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
I would need a time machine to answer this question. So instead I will declare a goal: to finish my first draft one year from now.
8. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
My hope would be to create something that fans of Anne McCaffrey’s Pern books might like. Not that I could come close to her awesomeness! And whilst I’m in the land of wishful thinking, I would also hope it might appeal to fans of David Gemmell’s Drenai Series.
9. Who or What inspired you to write this book?
My mother is a big inspiration and source of encouragement. She provides an attentive ear for bouncing ideas around. When I’m having trouble figuring out a scene or short story, describing it to her helps me clarify it in my head. If I can’t explain it aloud, I know I have some more day dreaming to do. And of course I couldn’t be writing at all without the support of my wonderful husband!
10. What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
One of the things distracting me from writing this novel is the backstory. There is a short story, or possibly a novella simmering in the back of my head about the humans from earth that colonized the planet, and the aliens that are there when they arrive. I may need to write that story first.
That’s it! The Next Big Thing Blog Hop! Are you a writer willing to be tagged for the Next Big Thing blog hop? If so, let me know via comment or email [ miriah (at) live (dot) com ] and I’ll add you to my list here!
Now, I hereby tag these writers to answer the same questions in about a week. (Or when they get around to it. No dire consequences, remember?):
Jessica Broughton, Genre: Speculative Fiction
Gayle Weatherson, Genre: Speculative Fiction
Frank Kim, Genre: Contemporary and Speculative Fiction