Friday, July 26, 2013

The Next Big Thing Blog Tour

The Next Big Thing blog tour began in Australia and has wound it's way all around the world to Southern California and now to New England. It's a great way to discover authors and illustrators that you might not be familiar with and what their latest book is about. Each author or illustrator answers ten questions and tags two more authors who will continue the tour. So this week it's my turn to talk about my next big thing...

Thanks to Lisa Gail Green for tagging me!

What is the working title of your next book? 

SONGSTONE -- it just came out in ebook with print to follow shortly.

Where did the idea come from for the book? 

The original spark of an idea came to me when I was on vacation several years ago. We'd rented a cottage on an island on Lake Winnipesaukee (New Hampshire). The island has boat-only access, which seemed liked an exciting idea. It was actually a bit terrifying. I hadn't had much experience with boats, so I was way out of my comfort zone. Fortunately, as a writer, being out of my comfort zone is a pressure cooker for new ideas.

 I daydreamed about a girl who needed to cross a very dangerous lake, and I knew somehow her quest was imperative. She had to go, but she needed the help of a journeyman to get across. (Perhaps my husband, the experienced boater, unwittingly inspired the role of "hero to the rescue"? ;-))

What genre does your book fall under? 
YA Fantasy -- Folklore

What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition? 

This is too hard. I'd need the help of some really great director to cast it. ;)

I do have a Pinterest board for Songstone that has some pictures of Pono (sort of Pono--sort of not) so maybe that would be a good starting place.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? 

Kita, a servant girl, yearns to escape the evil sorcerer who uses drops of her blood for black magic, but she's bound by his spells, so when a young journeyman, Pono, arrives from the other side of the island, Kita sees her one slim chance for escape.

Who is publishing your book? 

I'm self-publishing. I publish under the imprint Indigo Road Teen.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript? 

Forever. LOL Well, it felt like it! Actually, I picked at it over a period of several years, while also working on other things.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? 

I'm never really good at this kind of question!

Instead, I'll quote a recent review on Goodreads who said:

"It was a beautiful fantasy story that reminded me very much of the magic Shannon Hale and Juliette Marillier create in their stories, using animals, nature, and the special gifts each of us are born with, to make a beautiful, believable fantasy world to escape in." 
--Angie, Goodreads
How nice is that?? I didn;t pay her or anything! ;)

Who or what inspired you to write this book? 

Songstone was greatly inspired by the myths and legends of New Zealand's Māori people.

What else about the book might pique the reader's interest?

Here's an excerpt, an interaction between Kita and Pono:

“Everyone is surprised sometimes.” I thought of all the horrible surprises Matiko had given me in my life and grimaced. “Haven’t you ever been surprised?”

“I suppose.” (Pono speaking)


 He shrugged my question away.

“Just one time?” I said, probing.

He hesitated. Now he hesitated. As if the answer was hard to find. He frowned and looked off into the distance.

“One time?” he asked.

“Just one.”

He slowed and just looked at me, his expression thoughtful.

“When you smiled,” he finally said. “Your smile surprised me. And your eyes, at first. I’d never seen eyes like yours. They’re green, like leaves.” His expression was so sincere I couldn’t doubt what he was saying. It did strange things to me, making my heart bump a few unsteady beats.

“I like leaves,” he muttered and picked up his pace.

I couldn’t have spoken then, even if I’d had a hundred more questions. My body felt curiously light, as if I could float into the sky and join the clouds.

Next you'll want to check out Ellen Booream and her NEXT BIG THING: her Middle Grade fantasy novel TEXTING THE UNDERWORLD!