My working title is Beyond the Flame. Or perhaps it is Through the Flame. I really haven’t decided for sure yet.
It actually comes from a couple of different places. Partly it’s a response to another book I read. A pretty well known and reputable one (actually part of a series). But I didn’t like it at all. I didn’t like the message in the story and I didn’t like the way it was written. So I decided I had to write something in response – I’m not going to tell you what that book is.
Also, I wanted to have a bit of a play within the fantasy genre. My previous book, Magnus Opum, played with some of the conventions. This is an attempt to play further with the conventions. I recall years ago, somebody talking about how within the fantasy genre, the actual staples of the worlds portrayed, high mountains, deep dark forests, etc had got a bit cliched. I wanted to create a world with a difference, with landscapes like nothing ever seen before. Don’t know if I’ve been successful but it’s been fun trying.
What genre does your book fall under?
I suppose I would have to say it’s a fantasy. Bits of it are funny, but it’s much less out for a laugh than other things I’ve written. Also, it has a young teenager as the lead character – not sure if that makes it YA or MG. Don’t mind as long as people like it.
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
I refuse to give up movie rights to my books. To me, books are the highest form of story telling and that’s where I want this one to stay.
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
A girl passes through a flame, where she enters a world like none she has seen before and shows a young man what it means to be a hero.
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
Funnily enough, a big publisher has seen some early chapters and expressed interest. I suspect I will get back in touch with them, but would be surprised to be taken on as I hear they’re not travelling too well. So most likely it will be indie all the way.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
How long to write it? I started 4 years ago and am still going (admittedly there have been lots of distractions on the way). Hoping to have a draft complete in a couple of months.
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Hard to say. It’s a kind of portal fantasy which I suppose compares it to something like The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. It’s got kids solving problems adults can’t so maybe a touch of Harry Potter. Then again, it’s not that much like either. It kind of stands alone.
Who or What inspired you to write this book?
I described the main ideas above. One thing I might add is that it was because of my daughters that I wanted to write a story with a smart, interesting and extremely capable female main character.
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
It’s different. It’s surprising. Parts are funny. Parts are strange in the best kind of way. It has an extremely likable main character who is grappling with the kind of problems we all seem to have to face. And it’s set in a crazy sort of world like nothing you’ve ever seen before.
***Answer the ten questions about your current WIP (Work In Progress)
It’s that simple.
Ten Interview Questions for The Next Big Thing:
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