Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Next Blog Thing

...or, as it was presented to me, "The Next Big Thing Blog Hop Tour" in which writers answer some standard questions and then tag in some other writers to do the same. I was tagged by Michael K. Eidson, a speculative fiction author, blogger, and web programmer.

Although I've got a whole bunch next big things in the works right now, I've decided to apply these questions to my almost-finished novella, which should be available in couple of months, if not sooner.

1. What is the title of your book?  
The working title is As Always, which was also the title of the short story that started all this. I might still change it if I think of something I like better.

2. Where did the idea come from?
The main elements of the setting are all part of Qalidar, which evolved from a combination of dreams, travel, meditative trances, and role-playing sessions. Also, for reasons I'll go into under another question, this book owes a lot to a prompt from Eposic.

3. What genre does your book fall under?
It starts out as heroic fantasy, dives into time travel pretty quickly, and takes on more science fiction elements as it goes along, while still dipping back into the original heroic fantasy setting on a regular basis. Also, there's an Old West style gunslinger.

4. Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
  • Zira: Michelle Rodriguez - I hadn't initially pictured Zira looking like Rodriguez, but there's no reason she couldn't. Mostly, I picked her because her range of expression fits this character really well. The actor who plays Ceira needs to be able to display a believably tough, guarded mood as easily as wide-eyed curiosity. 
  • Fentar: a digitally dwarfed Michael Madsen - And no, I would not want him to affect an accent, most especially not a Scottish one. 
  • Veth Tarkas RhelCillian Murphy - A winning smile, beautiful eyes, and good at being creepy. What more could you want?
  • Wilkes: Ben Browder - I was originally thinking Nathan Fillion, and I'm sure he'd do a wonderful job as well, but, the more I thought about it, the more Browder seemed right, somehow.
  • AradocAnton Yelchin - He may be a little young, but he's got the right look and can certainly manage Aradoc's cocky, playfully dishonest style.
  • Rathlind: Alec Newman - I'm finding it really easy to picture Rathlind's maniacal intensity on Newman's face. Plus, Alec Newman is awesome. He should be in every movie.
5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Zira, a roguish explorer and treasure-hunter, is drawn into the multiverse-spanning machinations of a charming, amoral mystic, and must find a way to take control or always be a pawn.

6. What is the longer synopsis of your book?
In the course of, you know, that stuff from #5, our heroine has to deal with loss, ambiguous personal relationships, and destructive extra-dimensional corporations. She explores her own world as well as the between-space known as Qalidar. She discovers disturbing things about the forces that shaped her universe and the inhuman conglomerates that are trying to warp it even further. At this point, I need you to imagine you've just read a concluding sentence that brilliantly wraps up the scattered thoughts above and leaves you desperate to find out more. Ideally, it should also convince you that the characters are interesting. Maybe just go back and read #5 again.

7. Is your book self-published or represented by an agency?
It's not quite there yet, but I've already decided to publish this one myself.

8. How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
The first draft of my manuscript? Just how long have these questions been circulating? You know it's not 1975 anymore, right? Here in the future, we have word processors. I have to admit, though, I do miss disco.

9. Who or what inspired you to write this book?
It started taking shape as a story when Eposic announced its second anthology and started soliciting stories with a particular set of time travel elements. Although the short story was accepted, Eposic later had to cancel the anthology, so I still had the unpublished piece to market elsewhere. After that, it was accepted by two other publishers, which also folded before my story could see print. Naturally, I had several rejections as well, frequently along the lines of "great story, but ________ (time travel or heroic fantasy or something else) doesn't fit my theme." One guy just didn't like Wilkes.

So anyway, I had this story, and several other bits written. My original plan had been to publish more Qalidar stories through other people. These would have been standalone tales, but would also star the same characters and would continue to develop the overarching plot. Then maybe I'd put them together in an anthology later. Because of the first story's tortuous journey to nowhere and other adventures in time-wasting, though, I scrapped that plan and decided to publish it all myself. And, since it's easier to sell something large than something small, I figured I might as well write the whole thing the way I originally imagined it, as a novella.

10. What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
It'll be really really cheap in Kindle format.

And that's it for the questions! Now to tag in some more writers and spread the virus. Only one of the people I contacted wanted to play, so allow me to introduce Andre Kruppa of Game Soapbox Productions, master of theatrical horror gaming. He'll be blogging about his next project soon - probably next week.


  1. Wow, what a journey. I still feel bad about Eposic's part in it. I'm glad to hear that the story will be published despite all. I'll do what I can to promote it once it's out there.

    You know, I miss disco, too. I don't understand why it has a bad rap. I mean, I dislike rap as much as some people dislike disco. The things that distinguish one generation from the next.

    I guess you can't answer the question about how long it took you to write your first draft because you didn't start out with the intention of writing a novella anyway. I use a word processor, and I still had what I considered a first draft of my current novel.

    Anyway, I'm looking forward to reading your novella. The fact that it will be cheap on the Kindle is definitely a plus.

  2. Thanks! And don't feel bad. Eposic may have had a part in slowing it down, but, while I would eventually have started writing some kind of Qalidar fiction, this particular story wouldn't have existed without you.