Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Next Big Thing

Ladies and gentlemen, it's time to enjoy the latest HOT Internet meme: THE NEXT BIG THING! That's right it's where your talk about your next big project. Now, as with all memes, there's some open interpretation to what exactly that means. I've seen some writers talk about the project they are working on now, the one they are editing/revising/rewriting now, the project they are going to work on next, the project that's out in the wild seeking representation or being shopped to takes all kinds.

The thing that makes me happiest is that I was actually TAGGED by another author. Jeff Salyard, the author of the very good looking epic fantasy series The Bloodsounder's Arc, tagged me. (To be fair, it's on my reading list and I should be getting to it soon.) I'll talk about who I'm going to tag after I finish the meme. So, here goes:

I'm going to go with WINTER'S DISCORD, the first book of my YA epic fantasy series SEASONS OF DESTINY. It's been a while since I've talked about it, so why not give it a shot.

1) What is the working title of your next book?
Winter's Discord

2) Where did the idea come from for the book?
The actual genesis of the book, the first thought was simple. I had just bought and was reading the brilliant THE TOUGH GUIDE TO FANTASYLAND and wanted to write something that was kind of a deconstruction of a lot of the ideas in that book in a story very similar to George RR Martin's A GAME OF THRONES. I was sitting in the parking lot of St. Joe's hospital waiting for my wife to finish her shift at the gift shop where she worked, looking over the city of Syracuse and the hills to the east of the city. The opening scene of the novel popped into my head. I know, it sounds cliched (and a lot like the GRRM story about AGOT) but it is true. I scrambled around my wife's car looking for a scrap of paper, found one and started scribbling away. Now that scene is very, very different in a good way.

3) What genre does your book fall under?
YA fantasy with an epic taste.

4) What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
 The main POV characters are all teenagers and I have to be honest, I'd want all unknowns to play the kids. But for the adults, I'd seriously want the Frat Pack to play most of the adult roles. No, really. For the Bachelor Prince I'd want Ben Affleck, his brother the King would be Vince Vaughn. Ben Stiller would maybe play the spymaster Yvan. It's very hard not to try and cast Sean Bean as my Ned Stark expy Thomas Grange. His lady wife Emma would be played by Christine Taylor. I'd pepper in all the other Frat Pack/Apatow guys into different roles. The only teen role I'd cast by someone somewhat famous would be Veronica Maglore, who HAS to be played by Allison Scagliotti. She was who I imagined in that role when I wrote it.

5) What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Ben Grange and his friends are thrown into a dangerous situation they do not entirely understand and made to pay for the transgressions of their fathers and mothers as winter of discord threatens to tear apart everything they love.

6) Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
I am represented by the amazing Bob Mecoy.

7) How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
About seven months. Rewrites took much, much longer.

8) What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
A Game of Thrones by George RR Martin. The Seven Kingdom's Series by Cinda Williams Chima. Dragonlance Series by Hickman and Weis. Song of the Lioness by Tamora Pierce. The movie Your Highness (no, really).

9) Who or what inspired you to write this book?
The desire to write a young adult epic fantasy worthy of the title "Game of Thrones for teens." 

10) What else about the book might pique the reader's interest?
Come on, it's Game of Thrones meets DeGrassi...what's NOT to pique your interest????

As for tagging, I have plenty ideas of who to tagged, but I didn't want to go nuts and impose on anyone, so naturally I asked two of my closest writing allies: Mike Winchell and Kenneth Mark Hoover. If anyone else that reads this here blog and wants to do the meme, feel free to "tag" yourself. Enjoy. 

Monday, December 3, 2012

Time Has Come

When I started this blog I had made the decision that, unlike my old blog, I was only going to blog about my writing and things associated with my writing. I wasn't going to gripe about my job as a high school English teacher at a difficult inner city school in upstate New York. I wasn't going to complain about the trivial minutia of married life, being a dad, why old people leave their blinkers on for miles and miles after they've made their turn. I wasn't going to put up random posts about my favorite goofy video of the day. I wasn't going to pontificate about the things I think I know more about than you like politics or sports. I was going to keep this about my writing. And I've done a pretty good job of that so far. But this week is a weird week and I'm excited about it. On Thursday, I'm having my hip resurfaced. I won't chronicle the lead up to this here, but if you're interested, here's a link to the old blog where I talked about it. My hip has gotten to the point where I am in constant, unrelenting pain and it effects EVERYTHING I do. It sucks and I'm miserable. So, finally, I'm getting it fixed.

Now, this means for the next 3-10 weeks my life will consist of recovering, reading, writing, matching movies and playing videos games. It's very exciting that this is happening and while I'm nervous about what will happen to my freshman while I'm gone, I'm looking forward to feeling better.

And I'll be able to blog more.