Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The Next Big Thing

Welcome to the NEXT BIG THING Blog Hop.

What is a blog hop? Basically, it’s a way for readers to discover authors new to them. On this stop on the blog hop, you'll find a bit of information on me and one of my books and links to five other authors you can explore!

My gratitude to fellow author, J. L. Mbewe, for inviting me to participate in this event.
You can click here to learn more about Jennette and her books.

In this blog hop, my fellow authors and I, in our respective blogs, have answered ten questions about our current book or work-in-progress (giving you a sneak peek). We've also included some behind-the-scenes information about how and why we write what we write...the characters, inspirations, plotting and other choices we make. Please feel free to comment and share your thoughts and questions. Here is my Next Big Thing!
What is the working title of your book?
My working title is Shae Blessing's Tale, and it's a planned trilogy. I have specific names for all three books in the series, but I'm not ready to share them yet. (Secretive writer, you know. LOL.)

Where did the idea come from for the book?
Ooh, great question! This is a great story... While visiting my brother in the hills of West Virginia (where he moved to be near his wife's family and which is very different from Connecticut where I grew up), we were driving along some back roads at night. We passed a tiny set of buildings in the middle of nowhere, barely worthy of being called a strip mall. There was a comic book shop there with a green-faced alien on its signage, faded and worn-down, forlorn and creepy. Being on that curving, dark, lonely, forest-lined road was eerie. And I'm a writer. So naturally I thought, great setting for a horror story or dark fantasy story. I linked the setting's feel with a character and scene I'd invented for a writers group round-robin story that I participated in. That character eventually morphed into Connal Blessing, Shae's father. And Shae has become the protagonist. The book also has a tie-in to Celtic and Arthurian mythology, and this is probably because I used to read a lot of King Arthur books when I was younger. I've always wanted to write a King Arthur book myself, but there are so many historically-based books out there that I didn't want to take that tack. It's been done to death. So I made my setting suburban and American instead of centuries ago and English. It's going to be a great mashup.

What genre does your book come under?
I'd have to call it young adult urban fantasy. Though, really, it's in a suburban setting. As usual, I don't quite fit the mold.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Hmm. Tough one. I'm a fan of Hailee Steinfeld, who starred in the
True Grit remake. She came across as tough and able to hold her own against the men in her life, and she's still a teenager. So she'd be a good fit for Shae. 

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
When a centuries-old family curse begins to wreak deadly havoc in her life, 16-year-old Shae Blessing must learn to wield her insane father's sword and her missing mother's fae magic before an undying prince uses his black magic to kill her.

Is your book self-published, published by an independent publisher, or represented by an agency?
This book is still in the works. Actually, I've nearly finished writing it and it's about to go to beta readers for the next round of feedback. I'll be shopping the book to agents and small publishers in June, if all goes as planned.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
I started this draft about three years ago. But I've really hit momentum in the last 9 months. I guess I've been pregnant with it!

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
I don't know of a specific book quite like mine. BUT... I'm a big fan of Jim Butcher's
Harry Dresden series. I think of Shae Blessing as a female, teenaged version of who Harry Dresden would be if he were a female teenager instead of a 30-something male wizard.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?
I've always wanted to write novels. Some of my influences are JRR Tolkien (surprise), CS Lewis, and Anne McCaffrey, among others. I'm dedicating this particular story to my brother, because he asked me to. So he's an inspiration too.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
I have a sharp sense of humor. I like smart characters, and odd characters too. So this book is filled with wit, danger, clown-faced goths, a purple-haired fae boy (think elf, only quirkier) with a knack for misunderstanding human cliches, the Lady of the Lake from Arthurian legend, and a demigod named Raven who is the ultimate sexy, dangerous bad boy. Plus, magic swords, prophetic dreams, a little pyromancy, black magic...and of course, Shae Blessing, a teenager with a distinct attitude. People who have already read parts of this book have consistently begged to see what happens next. Apparently, they like it. A LOT! I think other readers will too. I can't wait to get it into print this year.

Below you will find authors who will be joining me virtually, via blog, 
next Wednesday. Please be sure to bookmark their sites, and add them to your calendars for updates on their upcoming books. Happy writing and reading! And feel free to share a little about your current writing project in the comments below!

Copyright (c) 2013 by M.A. Chiappetta. All rights reserved.

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