The Next Big Thing (Round 2)
Hey, guess what? Sometimes it can be a little hard being published by two different publishing houses at the same time. This week, I’ve been tagged by fellow author Pete Abela (whose debut novel, Wings, was released by Really Blue Books, who will also be releasing my short story collection Nobody Can Scream later this month) as part of the Next Big Thing meme, wherein writers do a mock interview with themselves about their current projects and then tag other writers who must also take part as well. Each writer has exactly a week to perpetuate the meme, otherwise they earn a lifetime of scorn and damnation from the Author God.
Last time around, when I was tagged by fantasy author Jake Elliot, I focused on my first novel, Sun Bleached Winter, which was about a week from release at the time. Since Sun Bleached Winter has now been on sale for just over a month and is well and truly out there in the world, I’ve decided that I’m going to use this as an opportunity to treat you guys to some juicy information about something entirely different. That’s right — I’ve already started working on my second novel, and you get to hear about it for the first time here.
Here we go again:
1) What is the working title of your current/next book?
Currently, my project is titled Crusaders of Ice. It’s the sequel (kinda) to Sun Bleached Winter (it’s not a direct continuation, but is a largely standalone story that takes place in the same universe from the point of view of a new character), so that title may be subject to change, since Sun Bleached Winter had a rocky history with its own title, but so far I think it suits the book’s premise very well, and it references the motif of ice/cold that was so prevalent in the first book.
2) Where did the idea come from?
Well, originally, Sun Bleached Winter was conceived as the first book in a possible trilogy, so the idea’s been stuck in my head for a while. However, halfway during working on the book, I drastically revised the story and completely changed the ending, scrapping the idea of making it as an intro to a larger series and turning it into a standalone book instead (so that it would be easier to pitch to publishers). I intended to leave sleeping dogs lie at this point, but the fact that several people have already been asking me if I’m going to expand further on the book’s setting has spurred the idea into existence once again. Also, there’s a clause in my contract with Damnation Books where they get right of first refusal to any sequels I write, so I figure it will be a lot easier to pitch this time around.
3) What genre does your book fall under?
Much like Sun Bleached Winter: post apocalyptic/psychological horror. This time, though, there’s slightly less horror and a little more sci-fi and action, and the literary fiction elements of the first novel are toned down somewhat. TV Tropes would call it an Actionized Sequel.
4) What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
When I’ve actually worked on it more and can tell you who the characters are, I’ll let you know.
5) What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
The civilised and the uncivilised fight for control of the sun bleached wasteland, but an even greater threat is about to emerge that will force both of them to work together.
6) Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
It isn’t even nearly ready to be published yet, but I’ll be pitching it to trade publishing houses.
7) What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
It’s equal parts The Road by Cormac McCarthy and The Walking Dead. The story is also heavily influenced by Stephen King’s The Stand.
8) Who or what inspired you to write this book?
9) What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?
One of my goals with both Sun Bleached Winter and Crusaders of Ice was to paint the apocalypse in a much darker and realistic light than it usually is represented in genre fiction. Books like The Hunger Games (and the millions of YA novels that will soon copy it), games like Fallout and movies such as Mad Max are great at showing how chaotic and full of conflict the post-apocalyptic world is, but it’s far less common to actually show the apocalypse as a horrific thing. Think about it: the end of the world would actually be pretty scary. It’s cool to see action heroes and explosions, but struggling to survive is a depressing and harrowing concept. Even though I can’t resist putting action sequences into my work, I want to show the reader that the apocalyptic wasteland is a place of terror and nightmares.
Here are some other rising authors worth checking out:
Nene Davis (a fellow RBB author, and the next person to take part in this meme)
Jake Elliot (author of The Wrong Way Down and Crossing Mother’s Grave)
C.M Saunders (author of Devil’s Island and a fellow Damnation Books author)