The next big thing

The next big thing…we all like to think we will be.  I suppose there can only be so many Twilights in a lifetime, but you never know…right?

We are blog hopping our way through some new reads.  For those who aren’t familiar with a blog hop, to me it’s kind of like a treasure hunt.  Once you find something on one blog, you hop on over to the next blog link for more treasure.  In this case, the treasure is a wealth of new and exciting books.  Some are still being written, some are just being released.  Either way, for fiction lovers, it’s a treasure and I’d like to thank Lindsey J. Parsons for tagging me to participate.

In this particular hop I answer ten questions.  You get to learn about my current WIP (Work In Progress), some of the characters I’ve come to think of as real, and how I got to the point of being nuts enough to write down over 70 thousand words worth of what the voices in my head have been whispering to me.  When it’s all said and done, comments and questions are always welcome!

What is the working title of your book?
The one I just finished and am currently querying is called The Lokana Chronicles.  I’m not overly thrilled with the title, but I can’t think of anything better, so for now, it stays.  If you’re a regular reader here, you’ll know I just started work on the follow-up.  It’s currently nameless.  Because I had to name it something if I wanted to save it on my computer (Document 1 just wouldn’t cut it), I chose TLC2.  Creative, I know, but what can I say?  I’ll probably have the book written and half-edited before I come up with a title I like. 🙂

Where did the idea come from for the book?

Artwork by Hazel Butler

I got the idea for The Lokana Chronicles from a story I co-wrote with a friend in high school.  We were both in love with the Atlantis myth and wrote this story about two girls who discovered they were long-lost princesses from the sunken city.  Being teenagers, there was, of course, much drama and romance.  It was also terrible.  But one scene stuck in my head after running across it again years later and The Lokana Chronicles developed from there.

What genre does your book fall under?
Because I have characters who travel from our world (called Arkona in the book) to Lokana through a hidden portal, it falls squarely in the fantasy genre.  That, however, is the only fantastical element you will find in my work.  There are no typical fantasy creatures and no magic systems; Lokana is much like our world, only less advanced.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Hmm…This one will take some thought – I hadn’t really considered this till now.  I think Arnold Vosloo would make a terrific Balil; he is excellent at playing the villain, after all.  And I think Ryan Gosling would be great for Vegin – he is passionate and smart and I could see him as a king.  And maybe Idina Menzel and Lea Michele as Lipei and Anná, respectively?  I believe them as mother and daughter, and I think they could pull off the roles personality-wise.  Hair color is another story, but that’s what wigs are for. 🙂

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
One man longs to transform his kingdom.  One woman has the power to do so.  Together, they just might succeed.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
I am currently querying agents.  I had a small press request my full manuscript over the summer and am still waiting to hear from them.  That was pretty exciting.  I hope to have a traditional publishing career as I’m not sure I’m cut out for the self-publishing road, but I’m glad I have that option available to me if querying doesn’t pan out.

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

Artwork by Hazel Butler

It took me six years to write the whole thing around my job and family events.  Those six years saw a lot of action, including the break-up of my first marriage and the creation of a whole new family with my second.  The writing seems to be going a little quicker with my current project, which is wonderful.  I hope.  Hopefully I won’t have so much editing to do when I’m finished. 🙂

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
I think The Lokana Chronicles can be reasonably compared to The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis as it addresses similar themes of religion and good vs. evil.  It also addresses the struggle to maintain tradition in a changing world, which is something I think a lot of people are dealing with at the moment.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?
I’ve always wanted to write; I’ve always written, actually.  I love a good boy-meets-girl story and that’s usually what I write, but it seems they always turn out about the same.  This time, I wanted to do something a little bit different.  I put a soap opera spin on it, gave it a fantasy twist to keep it from sounding quite so hackneyed and cliché (I hope), and voilá!  My book was born.  Now the characters won’t leave me alone.  But I’m okay with that – they’re really quite nice, as long as you’re not killing them off.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
I like to think that my eclectic taste in literature has influenced my writing to some extent, which is why I can see nods to everything from Greek tragedies to modern ideas in my work.  I don’t know if anyone else sees these things or not, though.  And because I love to know what people are thinking, The Lokana Chronicles is told from multiple points of view.  One of my teachers (my high school math teacher, of all things, a wonderful woman I wish was still teaching) once asked me why a certain character in one of my early novels (which were all awful, by the way) did a certain thing.  I couldn’t provide a satisfactory answer.  She told me I needed to get into my characters’ heads.  I’ve been doing it ever since, and I find it so much fun that, even if it does dilute the tension a bit (and I’ve been told that it can on occasion), I just can’t stop.

And now for the tagging bit!  I was told I’m to tag five people but only Láyla Messner has volunteered for the job.  If anyone would like to be added, let me know in the comments or use my handy-dandy contact form and I’ll be happy to add you!  And as I said above, questions and comments are definitely welcome! 🙂

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