the next big thing

I've been tagged for The Next Big Thing:

1) What is the working title of your next book?
2) Where did the idea come from for the book?
 It’s the sequel to EXILE, out from Night Shade Press in hardback in February.When I wrote EXILE a long, long time ago, I intended for it to be more a stand-alone. But Draken had more life to live, apparently.

3) What genre does your book fall under?
 Epic Fantasy. Horses! Swords! Magic!

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

I don't pay attention to actors or films. I can do some physical descriptions instead and you can fill in the blanks with an actor's name: 

  • Draken is a mixed-blood, looks like a Caucasian and an East Indian (to relate it to this world). He's nearing 40, a big, brawny guy, knows his way around a fight and couldn't hide his prowess if he tried. He's always had short hair because  he was in the navy; now he's got longish braids that locked while he was in prison. He'd like to be clean-shaven but often isn't. He's scarred all over, from whippings and fights. He sometimes limps; he's got a bad knee. He's the guy all the other guys in the room size themselves up against.
  • Queen  Elena is tall and slim and graceful. She has long black hair, pale skin that flushes easily, and her eyes are outlined with black tattoos, as Akrasians' eyes are.  She can fight with a sword, but not very well. Her warring is done at Court rather than on the battlefield. She tends to be moody; she has a dangerous edge that can make her look less attractive.
  • Szirin Aarinnaie is Brinian, meaning she's got the dark skin and kinky hair of someone who is similar to an East Indian, though it's soft and she wears it long. She is well-tended, being a princess, especially her beauty. She probably has some other blood in her somewhere but as a princess, wouldn't admit it or know for sure. She's fairly small, 5'5 maybe, and very strong. Moves like a slinky cat.
  • First Captain Tyrolean is tall, dark-haired, handsome in a classic Caucasian sense, a black ponytail, well-built though not as big as Draken. His eyes are thickly lined after his culture's habit. He has many little hash-marks on his chest that represent his kills in battle. He's the sort of guy who rarely gets rumpled or dirty.  
  • Osias is silver-- skin, hair, and tongue. As a Mance he's meant to be a mirror: those with pure hearts see their own beauty reflected in him; those with darkness, not so much. He is a narcissist's nightmare.
  • Setia, Osias' companion and familiar, is a halfbreed Brinian and Moonling. She's very short, under 5', and thickly built with muscle. Some of her mannerisms are animalesque: sniffing, touching, listening. Her skin is darker than most Moonlings' but she's dappled like them. She disappears into daylit forests quite well. 

 5) What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
After his old country banished him to the arse-end of the world for a crime he didn’t commit and his new Queen dragged into a war he didn't want to fight, Draken Vae Khellian isn’t surprised when the gods see fit to send him back to the King who will kill him if he ever sets foot on his country's shores again. 

6) Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
EMISSARY is sold to Night Shade Press. No word on release, I’d guess early 2014 in hardback, with Trade Paperback to follow Fall of '14. My agent is Sara Megibow and she brokered the deal for me.

7) How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
I’m still working on it and have been since early summer. It was a slow start, but I plan on having a rough draft finished around the end of 2012.

8) What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Just finished the NIGHT ANGEL series by Brent Weeks. I think it compares to that, or at least the same readership might like Draken and Co.The story is heavy on character, action, and intrigue.

9) Who or what inspired you to write this book?
When I first wrote EXILE (which used to be called HINTERLAND) I set out to write a single POV story because I'd been mired in a massive urban fantasy with several POVs. I chose epic fantasy because it’s my favorite. Also, single POV is unusual in epic fantasy; I wanted to see if I could make the book, well, epic when told from only one viewpoint. Two challenges, which I didn't recognise as challenges, early in my writing career. EXILE is about 6 years old.

10) What else about the book might pique the reader's interest?
Magic! Horses! Swords!  Oh... fighting and action and angst. I find Draken compelling because he has some insurmountable emotional issues that he keeps running up against; namely the women he loves tend to die. He's a good enough guy the guilt eats away at his soul.

Playing this week, RIGHT NOW:

Elizabeth Amisu
Kameron Hurley
Bradley Beaulieu
Colin P. Tucker

Playing next week:

Quincy Allen
Travis Heerman 
Ari Marmell
AmyBeth Fredricksen

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