Monday, December 10, 2012
The Next Big Thing
You guys, this is huge. Someone actually tagged me in one of those fancy pants blog hop, Q&A things. And not just any someone. It was my totally fantabulous CP Delia Moran (check out her blog or follow her on Twitter (if Twitter is your thing), because she rocks). It's like I've made it at last! Or, you know, something like that. Either way, yay! I just finished the first draft of Luminary last night (insert insane amount of screaming and my happy dance here), so let's get started.
What is the working title of your book?
Where did the idea come from for your book?
Back in the spring, I was lamenting to my husband that I had no idea what to write about. So he took me to Barnes & Noble and told me to walk around, to see if anything gave my imagination a jump start. At the time, I remember thinking this was a very dumb idea and a complete waste of my time. But I went, because either way I got to hang out in Barnes & Noble. And you know what? It actually worked. There was a big Hunger Games display, and I started flipping through some sort of companion book to the movie. When I got to a picture of the people in the Capitol, all with their crazy clothes/hair/makeup, I decided I wanted to do something with color. And, since I write fantasy, something with magic. Next logical step was to combine the two.
What genre does your book fall under?
Young Adult Fantasy.
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
I have absolutely no idea. I only pictured someone else as I was writing one character in this book. And it wasn't even a real person. It was Darien/Tuxedo Mask in Sailor Moon. So this is what I picture when I think of Remi (except, you know, real), who is one of two potential love interests:
What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?
Knowing the king executes anyone who can see the colors of magic, seventeen-year-old Caya Filar is content with a life lived in grayscale. If only the stone in her engagement ring had stayed gray.
Okay, I cheated. That's two sentences. But you've seen the lengths of my blog posts. And if you had any idea how often I started them with something like, "This will just be a short post," and then had to go delete that when I was finished, you'd be proud of me for putting it so succinctly.
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
I've done an awful lot of research into the whole self-published vs. agency thing, and I've decided that self-pubbing is not for me. I have a great deal of respect for the people who are able to take that path and achieve success, because I don't think I have what it takes to market myself in that way. I've also read a number of self-published books that I quite enjoyed, so I'm glad those people decided to do that. But I have my heart set on getting an agent/following a more traditional publishing path. I hope to start querying Luminary at some point early next year (maybe February?).
How long did it take for you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
Well, I wrote the first page and a half in about 20 minutes back in mid-July, and then didn't look at this project again for a couple of months. So excluding those 20 minutes, it took me 2 months and 26 days from the time I started seriously drafting to the time I finished the draft (last night). To put that in perspective, the fastest I'd ever written a book before was 1 year, 3 months, and 9 days. I shaved over a year off my personal best, guys. And I couldn't be happier with the result.
What other books would you compare this to within your genre?
I need to put some more thought into comp titles before I can answer this question.
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
Isn't this kind of the same question as the second one (Where did the idea come from for your book?)? Because that was the inspiration.
What else about your book might pique a reader's interest?
The thing I really think is going to interest people is the magic system I've created. Just to reiterate, color is magic, and anyone who can't use magic sees in grayscale. Since we talked about actors for a movie version, just imagine how visually cool that would be as a movie. Starting out in black and white, all Wizard of Oz, and then colors slowly start appearing. Until everything is color. And then when my characters use magic, they essentially pull the color away from the object in which it's gathered (magical energy likes to gather/pool). And if you use up all the magic in an object, it goes back to gray. It has to build up its magical stores again. I hope it's not narcissistic of me to say I think that's really freaking cool.
Other than that? I write character-driven books. I always have. To me, caring about the characters is by far the most important part. (I went on about that at length here.) I absolutely love my main character, Caya. I think she's fabulous and smart, and I hope others will agree. Also, I'm in love with both Remi (think Tuxedo Mask) and Brye. I won't tell you which one, but I will tell you that falling for one of them was a mistake. He was just kind of supposed to be there. But I accidentally made him wonderful. I believe I've created several other characters (ranging from utterly lovable to the "I really want to punch that guy in the face" types) that will jump off the page. Above all else, I hope that my book will make people feel. What they feel is up to them. As long as they're feeling it.
Okay, so now I'm supposed to tag someone else to do this. I would like to tag Veronica Bartles, who wrote a YA contemporary that I absolutely couldn't put down, and is hard at work on another one I absolutely can't wait to read. Veronica, I'm pretty sure you haven't done this already, but let me know if you have and I'll rescind the tag. ;)