The Next Big Thing Author Blog Hop

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KariAnn Ramadorai tagged me for this blog hop, and I figured it’d be a fun thing to do. She also said some very nice things about me in her blog post, which made me blush. Yes, I’m blushing. Shush.

And it’s totally still Sunday. Because I haven’t slept yet. That’s how it works because shut up.

What is the working title of your book? 

I have two that I’m working on currently, and plan to have released in 2013.

  1. The Jade Star of Athering, sequel to Bellica.
  2. Stranger Skies, my NaNoWriMo novel and a True Woods book.

What genre does your book fall under?

Speculative fiction, for both of them. Gods, it’s probably all I ever write.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

  1. Bellica Agate is forced to embrace the past she ran away from in order to save her country, her soldiers, and her marriage.
  2. When Silva, Goddess of Wolves and Lady of the True Woods, falls to an alien planet and becomes mortal, she must find a new True Woods, stop a war, and save the wolves of Min, or she may never regain her godhood.

Where did you get the idea for the book?

  1. A name. There was a character who was mentioned in Bellica, and from her name(s) I came up with the idea for The Jade Star of Athering. I…really can’t give any more information than that without majorly spoiling Bellica; if you’ve read it, then you can probably guess the character of which I speak.
  2. I had the idea of a story of a goddess who fell to an alien planet and became mortal while in search of a missing god-friend when I was working on Islands of Fire and Water. Originally, the goddess in my idea was Pele, searching for Lono, but I soon realized the character I was building in my head was nothing like Pele. So I let it sit and percolate for a while, until a few months ago the idea seized my brain, held it hostage, and demanded to be written for NaNoWriMo (even though I’d not planned on doing NaNo this year). During October I planned, and I decided on Silva and making it a True Woods book, because I was working on publishing How to Keep a Human by Kaimana Wolff — the first True Woods book.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

  1. The characters in Bellica. I wanted to know more about them; I wanted to continue to write about them. I also wanted to explore loose ends that I’d left during that story, and see where they lead.
  2. My mom. She started the True Woods series, and I grew up believing in Silva as the Lady of the True Woods and the Wolves. And I wanted to tell Her story.

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

  1. Still not done. I’ve been working on Jade Star for several years now.
  2. I’m going to say 2 months for Stranger Skies. I started in November, and I plan on finishing it by January 1st.

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

  1.  I…really have no idea. Jade Star is sort of standard fantasy: a quest, party members, a nation threatened by war. Except, you know, feminist. So if you know what’s comparable to that, please tell me, because off the top of my head I’ve got no clue.
  2. The Through Wolf’s Eyes series by Jane Lindskold.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

  1. Off the top of my head? Kandyse McClure for Bellica Agate. She’s definitely got the right look, and I think she has the acting chops to pull it off. Also I’ve met her, and she’s a lovely person. (Yes, I’ve met actors from BSG. Go ahead. Be jealous.)  Beyond that I’m really not sure who would play Major Damien or Queen Rain-Looking. I don’t really get a good sense of who I’d cast in a movie version until I finish a book.
  2. Thalaea/Silva: Zoe Saldana, Thandie Newton, or Nia Long. In order of preference. Brinna: Amandla Stenberg (when she’s a bit older; Brinna is 19). Scoas: Idris Elba. Natai: Naomie Harris. Alaev: Donald Glover. Annnnnd I really want Morris Chestnut to play someone, but no idea who. He doesn’t really strike me as a Laeanai, but hell, maybe he could do a really good job. (Or Chestnut could play Scoas, and Elba could be Laeanai. Idk.) *kermit-flail*

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p>Side note, it’s really difficult to remember black actors aside from the five everyone knows or whatever. Racism? Yeah, super-ingrained and programmed in. Hard to shake that shit.

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

Neither will be represented by an agency — or rather, I don’t plan on that. They’ll both be published under The Pack Press, as Bellica was. Which is basically self-publishing, because I do all the layout work for The Pack Press.

Wheeeeee it’s fun not having anyone to delegate to. Watch Katje work zirself to death!

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

They’re fucking awesome?

Also, pagans should take special note, because I posit — in all of my stories — that the gods are very real and They matter. Because They are, Morrigan-dammit.  (Yes, yes, I totally respect your beliefs if you don’t believe in god, or gods, or whatever, but I do, and other pagans who do believe in the gods as real beings may find special interest in my books because I don’t write off deities as fantasy.)

Lovers of wolves would really like…well, actually, both books, because there’s a wolf or two in Jade Star, too.

Definite Mayan feel to Jade Star.

Humongous snake-people in Stranger Skies. Also, Brighid saying She’d like to snog someone. And queer gods. And witches. Oh, and the wolves can shapeshift. They’re not werewolves, though. They’re wolfweres. (Wolf first. Human second.)

Tag 5 authors

Patrick Stutzman — he’s a geek, he’s a writer, he even creates games. Patrick is a friend of mine from the SFFSat circle, and he’s pretty awesome. He’s got three books out (one of which I have on my ereader, and am enjoying so far — yes, yes, I’m a slow reader, I know leave me alone): Alone on the Edge, Alone With Her Thoughts, and Alone in Paradise.

J.M. Blackman — another SFFSat writer, Jalisa is a teacher, a feminist, and she loves Batman. A woman after my own heart. Also, she’s fucking tremendous at word-wrighting — if you haven’t read any of her SFFSat snippets you should repent of your sins now, dammit.

Heidi Ruby Miller — Heidi teaches, writes, manages a publishing imprint, and is about a hundred times more professional than I will ever be. Which, granted, isn’t hard, but I’m trying to give a compliment here. She also wrote Ambasadora, which I loved and you should read.

Wayne Basta — author of the Aristeia series, which I’m on book 2 of and loving. Wayne is also quite geeky, and leans the same way I do on the political spectrum — so you can tell I like him.

You! Yes, this is lazy of me, but it’s 2 am and I want to go watch The Wedding Singer and eat muffins with Mr. Katje. So if you’re an author and you want to participate, tag thyself and get thee to a nunnery blogging platform!

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