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The Next Big Thing

Okay my Critique Partner Kirsten tagged me with The Next Big Thing Blog hop. In the writing world it is considered a very august honor to be tagged by another author as one who others should keep an eye on as The Next Big Thing. Plus it gives me a chance to share some information about my story and myself — two of my most favorite subjects.

So having been tagged I now have to answer Ten Questions. At first I thought this was going to be easy. I mean the first question What is the title of the book? How hard could it be? But this was just a teaser, something to lure me into a sense of confidence and then BAM! I struggled quite a bit as I tried to come up with some of the answers. Regardless, I am not a coward (well not a hero either) so I have tackled The Ten and gave it my best shot. I think with a couple of months to think about it I could come up with better answers, but for now these will have to do.

  • 1. What is the title of the book?

Enkindle (the first book in a series entitled the Fire Fall Saga).

  • 2. Where did the idea for the book come from?

Tough question. It probably started back when I was around 16 and read Lord of the Rings for the first time. Since then I have always been in love with big epic adventure stories. In fact I will rarely pick up and read something unless I know it is a series. So when I decided to write a manuscript it had to be an epic adventure story.

I have always found twins extremely interesting. What do they think about each other? Do they have higher expectations of their twin than others or are they more understanding? What would it be like to have someone who probably knows you better than anyone else in the world. It is said that we all have an identical looking person somewhere in the world. But to know who that is from the crib must have an interesting impact on a person’s personality. So twins became the cornerstone of the series.

It dawned on me that some of the most interesting books I had read were where people had changed identities. The oldest example I can think of was The Prince and the Pauper. The characters in these books were always having to pretend to be someone they were not and constantly at risk of being discovered. But how to add a twist to it? After a lot of thought I figured changing roles is one thing, but what if they were fraternal twins, a brother and sister. Not only would they have to learn each others habits and characteristics, but they would also have to learn how to pretend to be of the opposite sex. And if they only planned to do it temporarily, but then if things went all to hell and they were stuck in their roles. That would be quite a mess they would have to deal with.

Back to Lord of the Rings — you knew I had to connect it somehow. What could make it even more difficult for the twins? Make it even harder for them by dropping them into a world of knights, dragons, and wizards (which I really love) where a woman’s role is a lot different than it would be today.

  • 3. What genre does your book fall under?

The primary genre is Fantasy in a Medieval setting. But there is a good amount of romance and humor. And of course it is an epic adventure.

  • 4. What actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

I don’t really have any idea. I don’t know many young actors. Maybe for the Twins Willoe and Rowyn, someone like Emma Stone could play both roles. She could play both the tomboy Willoe and also the dour Rowyn. She could be serious but also bring a bit of humor to the roles. I can picture her in a chain mail shirt wielding a sword and also in a long robe wielding a magic staff. Ask me again in a few months and I will think about it.

  • 5. What is a one sentence synopsis of your book?

Royal teenage brother and sister twins must survive in reversed roles, after inadvertently switching identities, to lead their people against the magic of fanatical foreign shamans and their puppet Monarchs .

  • 6. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

Right now I don’t know. I would love to be represented by an agency or find a publisher/editor, but getting an agency or publisher to even look at a series by an unpublished author is considered a real rarity.  I would go it alone, but my fear is I don’t know enough about the publishing world and could end up just running around in circles missing some great opportunities. So it may mean ePublishing the first book in the series (I think I can figure out how to do that) and if it does well I might be able to get an agent or editor to look at the rest of the series. Again, first attempt will be to get an agent or editor.

  • 7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

I started actually writing in in April 2012. The goal is to complete it before the end of the year.

  • 8. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Looking at this series I envision it as an epic story of unlikely heroes/heroines fighting the overwhelming might of a ominous antagonist with lots of minions  and with that in mind it would fit in a category along with Lord of the Rings. But I hate to even say this as the first thing people who hear this say “Oh another LotR knock-off”.  This is one of my fears. That it will automatically get dumped into this category. There are a LOT of stories about Elfs, wizards, and the like out there right now and many people will see this as Just Another One of Those. So the real obstacle for me will be to make sure people understand that it isn’t.

If I were forced to compare it to another book I would look for one where the author built a lot of in-depth characters, following them across  multiple story lines. Looking around I would probably pick something along the lines of George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series. But he goes on-and-on even more than I and I don’t see my series being more than three or four books. His series is more like Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series; that may never end.

  • 9. Who or what inspired you to write this book?

My parents separated when I was young and it was difficult on my mother and I. So to get away from my own circumstances I use to get lost into sci-fi and the fantasy worlds of my books.  When I was a young teenager one of my best friend’s dad was a sci-fi writer. I never found out what his pen name was, but they didn’t have a lot of money so I guess he didn’t have a lot of sales. But that was not important. He was a WRITER! I also think authors like Robert Heinlein gave me inspiration. I would read book after book about fantastic worlds and characters, mostly fighting against insurmountable odds. I think that was a big inspiration for not only writing this book, but writing in general. I still remember my first Sci-Fi book. It was Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert Heinlein. I was hooked. I also think it was in my blood. My father and the uncle I was named after both were avid writers. Though never famous they wrote a lot and even self-publishing when it required a lot of effort to self-publish a book (internet did not exist).

  • 10. What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

Family plays a big role in this series and you will constantly be surprised by how it impacts the characters and the story line.

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