I've been tagged by the wonderful Elaine Cunningham to participate in "The Next Big Thing," and because she's such an awesome writer, I'll let her tell you exactly what that is:
One of the great things about the internet is the ability to wander the informational side roads, taking in the scenery and occasionally finding a new, favorite destination. That's what "The next big thing," is about. It's a bit like a chain letter: A writer answers 10 questions about a work in progress and tags 5 more writers, who will answer the same questions about one of their w-i-p the following week. Call it a chain promo, if you will.I'll tell you who I tagged at the end. But first, the questions!
What is the working title of your book?
Like most freelancers, I'm actually working on several projects at the moment. One of them is HUGE, and I can't wait to tell you about it, but right now I've got NDA duct tape over my mouth. Soon, though!
The one I can tell you about, though, is the print collection of my Shaala and Kij stories, which will be titled, appropriately enough, Tales of Sand and Sorcery. It will include the following stories:
"Shaala, Made of Stone"
"The Jade and Honey Harlot"
"Shaala and the Sea of Dried Tears"
"Shaala and the Tiger's Daughter"
...and a brand new novella not available anywhere else, "Shaala and the Harlot Queen of Sumarkesh"
Where did the idea for the book come from?
Each of the stories has a different inspiration, but I talk about the initial idea to write about strong women in an Arabian-flavored sword & sorcery setting here.
What genre does this fall under?
Sword & sorcery and dark fantasy, mostly. Though I never really just write in one genre, so you can expect a little romance, a little mystery, and a little horror along the way.
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie version?
I don't really think of my characters in these terms. They are themselves, not people playing roles in a story, just like you and I aren't playing roles in the stories of our own lives - we're just living. If I were forced, since there's a bit of a Xena vibe to the series, maybe I'd choose a younger Lucy Lawless of Middle Eastern decent for Shaala. And of course, Cheetara would play Kij. Heh.
What is the one-sentence synopsis of the book?
For this, I'll steal the logline for the first story in the series/collection, "Shaala, Made of Stone:"
In a dark land of sand and sorcery, one woman takes up her staff to defy the dictates of tradition and break a terrible curse.
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
All of the stories in this series are published by Musa Publishing, and represented by my agent, Cherry Weiner.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
They're all in the 4K - 8K range (except for the novella), so anywhere from a few days to a few weeks, depending.
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Check out any of the Sword & Sorceress anthologies. Marion Zimmer Bradley published my first short story, and her work and the work of the authors she showcased in those anthologies had a pretty strong influence in how I viewed women in fantasy and, more importantly, in how I wanted to write them myself.
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
What else about your book might pique the interest of readers?
Kick-ass heroines? Dark magic? Curses, demons, creatures out of legend? Lost loves and quests to avenge them? Or, maybe these quotes from reviewers on Amazon and Goodreads might convince you:
"...beautifully evoked Arabic feel...could almost feel the sand and smell the spices..."
"...fabulous action, a beautifully drawn world, a very memorable character right out of legend and a twist at the end that kept me thinking long after the story was over."
"...such a mystically beautiful tale that you are left wanting more..."
If that sounds like something you'd want to read, you can pick up the individual stories, or come visit me at a con, where I'll have copies of the print collection for sale. Whichever you choose, I don't think you'll be disappointed.
And now my taggees, in no particular order, whose own entrees (unless otherwise noted by them) will go up on or around 12/12:
1) My BFF, agency sister, and author of the popular Alien/Katherine 'Kitty' Katt series from DAW (and a few gazillion other things, heh), Gini Koch
2) Another agency sister, and creator of the super-fun kids' books, the Cook-It-Yourself Tales, Lisa (Whom I Love) Dovichi/Dee Lishess
3) Yet another agency sister, local author, and all-around sweetheart, Fictorian Collete Vernon/Black
4) Not an agency sister (partly because he's male, heh) and not local, but still sweet (don't tell anyone) and very prolific, author of the Demonsouled and Ghosts series (among others), Jonathan Moeller
5) Finally, a guy who's already been tagged, but deserves an encore, the adorable and talented Mollusk Man and author of the Scarlet Order and Old Star Saga series (among others), David Lee Summers
Max was supposed to have scans this week, but the hackalung has infected him, too (only, in his case, it's the snotrivers), so we're going to have to reschedule, because the anesthesiologist won't put him under if he's having respiratory issues. I'll let you all know when that's going to be - probably the week before Christmas, if we're lucky. FX!