The Next Big Thing
So I guess the idea of The Next Big Thing is to help people find brilliant writers they might not have encountered. Each writer answers some questions about their work, then tags five other writers who do the same thing. I was tagged by the lovely Niel Bushnell, author of Sorrowline. I’m pretty sure this whole experiment is going to go quantum fairly soon, but before it does … here are my answers.
1. What is the working title of your next book?
My next book is called The Weight of Souls. It will be published in August 2013 (so not too long to wait) by Strange Chemistry, teen imprint of Angry Robot books.
2. Where did the idea for the book come from?
My brain is such a melting pot, that I am often not sure where an idea originally comes from. As a teenager I was fascinated with Ancient Egypt and read book after book about the pharaohs, gods and life back then. I was particularly interested in the so-called curse of the tomb of Tutankhamen. The central concept of The Weight of Souls is that Anubis is trapped in Queen Nefertiti’s tomb by the priests of Horus and that in the 1800s an expedition discovers the tomb … and an extremely irritated Anubis. The lone survivor agrees to work for him and so his whole line is cursed with the ability to see ghosts and the duty to avenge unnatural deaths by sending murderers to Anubis for judgement.
Taylor, my main character, is also bullied at school. This is something I can strongly identify with (I have written a post about some of my experiences at Dear Teen Me ) and specific incidents that happen to Taylor are strongly based on things that happened to me.
3) What genre does your book fall under?
I suppose it’s a dark paranormal romance / supernatural thriller. My first book (Angel’s Fury) also defies simple categorisation.
4) What actor would you choose to play the part of your character in a movie rendition?
This is a difficult one. My main character, Taylor, is half Chinese, so I think the best actress would be Katie Leung, who played Harry Potter’s girlfriend.
5) What is a one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Taylor has enough problems, what with seeing the dead, avenging their deaths and trying to persuade her father that she isn’t crazy; then her worst enemy, Justin, gets killed … who did it and can she avenge his death before her soul becomes the one on the line?
6) Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
I am represented by the hugely talented Juliet Mushens and The Weight of Souls will be published by Strange Chemistry.
7) How long did it take you to write a first draft of the manuscript?
The first draft took me about seven months, but then I do have two small children …
8) What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Obviously there are similarities to Angel’s Fury (my first book), particularly in terms of style. I think anyone who enjoys romance, thrillers and supernatural elements in a book will enjoy The Weight of Souls.
9) Who or what inspired you to write this book?
I wrote this book while I was waiting for Angel’s Fury to come out. I’ve always wanted to be a writer and as a teen was most inspired by Anne Macaffrey – her books are such amazing, character driven tales, I cry every time I read The Ship Who Sang and I like to think that my own work is similarly character driven.
10) What else in the book might pique the reader’s interest?
The Weight of Souls book has Egyptian gods, ancient curses, ghosts, a murder mystery, friendship, love, sacrifice, redemption and a zombified army of ten thousand undead killers. Seriously, what more could you possibly want?
Now I get to tag five other wonderful writers. It’s hard to find five authors who haven’t already been tagged … but I’m thinking Sarwat Chadda, whose wonderful Devil’s Kiss is among my top favourite books. Tom Pollock, whose book City’s Son is completely amazing and also one of my all-time favourites. Steve Feasey, author of the gripping Changeling series, TL Costa, whose book Playing Tyler is out next year and sure to be big … I can’t think of anyone else who hasn’t been tagged so I’m going to cheat and put in a circle here (see it’s gone quantum already). So I now restrospectively tag the author of another favourite, Firebrand – Gillian Philip and Laura Lam, whose book Pantomime is definitely going to be a ‘big thing’ …