The Next Big Thing - Wild Literati Style

I am honored to have been asked to participate in "The Next Big Thing" blog hop by the gifted Andrew Williams.  Andrew has a keen sense of story and an admirable ability to make every word count - not to mention a sharp wit.  You can find his work in anthologies including Tales of Lost Civilizations, After Death, and Uncle John's Bathroom Reader: Flush Fiction.

I am particularly thrilled to have been tagged beside two equally impressive up-and-comers - the dynamite Luna Lindsey and masterful Mark Andrew Edwards.  

Luna's characters seem to have lives beyond the words on the page, and she weaves themes and moods together to make her stories bigger than the sum of their parts.  As an independent author, she has self-published a string of stories, novels, and a novella in her faerie urban fantasy series, Dreams by Streetlight.   She also has stories featured in the Journal of Unlikely Entomology and Penumbra.  

Mark's work is fun, above all else - whether showcasing hard-edged gunmen, conflicted teens, or absurd scientists.  He keeps the action moving and the thrills coming.  Nothing he writes is ever EVER boring.  Like me, Mark is waiting for that first big break into the publishing world, but when it comes, it's going to be big.

So I've got quite a lot to live up to!

And here's the part where you get to read a little about what I'm currently working on.  At the end, I'll point you toward my victims, the next to be tagged as the Next Big Thing.

What is the working title of your next book?
A Cliff with No Edge, the first in the Thieves of Fate trilogy.

Where did the idea come from for the book?
It's always hard to trace an idea to its source, especially when you're talking about a big project like a novel!  There are so many moving parts and the brain is a weird melting pot.  But here are a few sources I'm aware of: 

The setting in Cliff is a wilder, grittier, hopefully more realistic/detailed version of what we briefly see in the anime Jyu-Oh-Sei, because while I watched the show, I was always wishing they'd spend more time on the world or interacting with it.  And then my biology degree was off and running, and things got a little out of hand.

The main conflict of the book, a broken relationship between corrupt father and daughter, developed from an otherwise completely useless and ridiculous dream.  The skewed semi-industrial-age technology grew from worldbuilding conversations I had with my dad, and is a kind of tribute to him and the things he taught me to wonder about.

What genre does your book fall under?
Fantasy.  I can't really get more specific, except that it has elements of mystery, spy thriller, and sword-and-sorcery.

What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
I am terrible at actors.  Really really terrible.  I know the names of like two of them.  People who attend trivia nights with me despair at my complete obliviousness.  Therefore, since my cursory image search did not result in people who look like my imagination, I had to abandon this question as impossible to answer.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
I hope to gain representation, but I'm not going to shut any doors at this point.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
Since it isn't quite done, I can't say for sure.  But if everything goes as planned, it will be done this month, bringing the grand total up to 8 months.  

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Golly gee... this question always seems so hard because it's hard to judge your own work accurately, and every writer is so different.  But to give it a shot... 
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
Like the ideas themselves, inspiration is a slippery concept.  I write because I've always written, and because it is fun.  I wrote this because I finished my previous project and got excited about the idea.  Selfish, I know, but that's the honest truth!

What else about the book might pique a reader's interest?
Family drama, hidden motives, clever uses of little magics.  Betrayal, sacrifice, mysterious strangers.  Dangerous plants, glass blowing, turbines, the laws of chemistry and physics as weapons.  What's there not to love?

Who's next?

And now to the more exciting part of the post - where I point out a few emerging writers.  I've read work by every single one of these authors, and they're all people I admire and enjoy reading.  You really ought to keep your eye on them!

Jarod K. Anderson - who has an uncanny sense of pace and tension, and always manages to pull me into the story and forget I'm supposed to be critiquing

Jean Davis - who balances interesting characters and intricate world-building, and lays out plots that keep me guessing

And although they won't be continuing the chain-letter nature of this blog hop (either because they've already been tagged, or because they don't have a blog), I can't miss out on the chance to point you toward the other incredibly talented members of my writing group, the Cloud City Wordslingers: Andrew Rosenberg, Shannon Peavey, Meg Peavey, H. E. Roulo, Mila Webb, Folly Blaine, and J. Boswell.

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