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The Next Big Thing Meme

I had meant to do this yesterday, but a family visit and two feet of snow followed by several hours yeoman's service (pardon the pun) for the Kingston Archery Club, I never quite got around to it. So I'm sitting among the remenants of Christmas (a paper hat, a candle stub, and empty tray of candy) to write this before the others (dog, wife, sister) wake up....

...so much for that. Dog taken out. Wife awakened at the chime of the half-hour.

I am allowed to squee for having been tagged by Sherwood Smith sartorias, who I got to know on LJ a while after reading her Inda series, which I think is an excellent example of big-fat-fantasy done right (with maps!) She, in turn, got it from superversive, and so on back to some hypothetical root that must exist, otherwise, how would we know?

But I had some trouble with filling it out, because it's not actually my current WIP, but there isn't enough of the current WIP to really know what to say about it. But it's in the same world, different setting, so it's all part of the same skein.

Brandon Sanderson made some reference during one of the writing excuses blogs to needing to write several books before you start getting somewhere with them. There may be some sense to that, and there is precidence. But after three years of sitting on it, I still don't think I should throw this one out, so it's being slowly rewritten and polished as I find the time. Anyway, enough preamble... here are my answers on my Next Big Thing!

What is the working title of your next book?

Sisters of the Sundering

Where did the idea come from for the book?

My wife and I were knocking around the idea for a book many years ago, and one element that came out of it was an underground city and a surface city, living in close proximity to each other, and the kind of people that lived in each. That was the kernel, and it accreted from there.

What genre does your book fall under?

It's fantasy, but not traditional. More a post-colonial, alternate-technology kind of setting instead of swords and sorcery.

What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

There were only two actors I had in mind when creating characters. One was Naveen Andrews for the young healer, Brayam (it's all hair and attitude), and Siân Phillips for Sianna (dead giveaway from the name, but she'd have to be cast out of the 70s and gain about fifty pounds), since I borrowed some of the mercenary parts of her Livia from the I, Claudius production with Derek Jacoby.

But the real question is "what do you characters look like", which I'll try to show you with these photos I don't have the rights to, so they're behind a cut:

Ashiya, the first protagonist

Saiibi, the other protagonist.

Ashiya's Aunt Jamaliya

Ashiya's troubled Mother, Samiya

Ashiya's damaged uncle, Maani

Ashiya's deceased father, Maazin

General Mikka

What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?

It is the story of Ashiya and Saiibi, friends who find each other after coming into womanhood and positions of unexpected influence during a time extraordinary upheaval and conflict between their two cities.

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

I am seeking representation, but not very actively: I had a couple of partials three years ago, but I've been getting to know the publishing world in the mean time, and have only submitted it to three others in the past two years.

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

Just over three years, chronologically.

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

It's something like The Kite Runner meets The Lies of Locke Lamora during Arab Spring.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

Most of my life has been bounded by complex multicultural conflicts. The book is symptomatic of that.

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

My professional background has a lot of refugee crises in it, so there is a lot of real life elements. Curiously, also, it was also written before the Arab Spring, but one of the two cities is based on Sidi Bou Saïd, the town where Arab Spring began, so it has a topical element to it.

So, thanks, for reading, and I'd like to tag three writing buddies of mine who I think should let the world know what they're working on. They all write very different kinds of genre fiction: arwensouth is currently at work on a series of steampunkish alternate-history-with-dirigibles-and-incorrigeable-fathers; I've read slcard's very traditional solid fantasy with many a twist and turn on the way to adventure; and tryslora writes YA (sub?) urban fantasy that explores the challenges and conflicts of growing up with gender-alternate identity.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 28th, 2012 11:38 am (UTC)
Fascinating stuff! Will go add link now.
Dec. 30th, 2012 02:45 am (UTC)
This novel looks fascinating, but then, I've come to expect I'll like most things you write.

You mentioned your wife and you had played with the ideas that later became the genesis for this. Does she write too?
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )