Archive | November, 2012

The Next Big Thing

29 Nov

I saw Carol Berg post this – and I thought to myself, “Hey, I’m technically an author right? Right?” So if you’re an author or even just a writer looking for representation, if you’d like, I’ll tag you. Especially R.J. Hore, but I’d like to hear all of you talk about your projects!


What is the working title of your next book?

Tower of Obsidian is the one that’s due out in January. Yeah, it got pushed back at little, mea culpa.

Terran is the project I’m finishing up right now, so far I haven’t sent it anywhere, and it needs another edit. I have the feeling it’s going to be one of those projects I’m going to be working on for a few months more. It’s a hard novel but in a good way – I suspect it’ll be a little more polarizing then ToO. If you think my writing speed for ToO is impressive, Terran is shorter and it took me over a year to draft – not counting the two years of research prior.


Where did the idea come from for the book?

It’s more complicated then what I’m about to admit to, but here’s the nutshell of how it started: My Little Pony.

When I was drafting the novel I was in school and watching my sister’s kids. I got my niece addicted to the toys and so, awesome auntie I was, I ordered her the movie from the 80’s because I wasn’t going to shell out for the tv series. They started to show the new version on the kid’s channel around the same time. I noted not only the change in art, audience, and characterization; but I also noticed where the newer series grabbed several of their storylines from various preestablished stories. I know various other shows from my childhood have reboots and you see it all the time with comic books – but let’s keep it simple and I’ll focus on my niece, because while I can’t really remember being three, I can remember how I felt about stuff marketed to me back in the 90’s and how I feel about seeing the same stuff now.

My niece had her birthday a month into my draft, and I noticed a trend with lots of kids merchandising – she got swarmed with Disney Princess everything. Now, I’m an animation buff and I adore Disney movies if only for the almost timeless feel they have, but I noticed how these classic stories are still reflective of a good portion of society’s ideals of that specific time period. (I could go on about some of the banned stuff from various animation studio’s vaults, but I’ll leave it for another day). So on the one hand, we had something rather timeless, and on the other, I could see the progression of various princesses they were relatively passive to becoming more active in the story line. This was also around the time that there was a lot of controversy around the Princess and the Frog movie, so let’s just say that there was tons of opinions and articles to be found relatively easily.

While people nowadays will complain that Cinderella is passive and Belle suffers from stockholm syndrome or whatever, I watched the various things that were deemed ‘children’s entertainment’ , as an adult examining character motivations, while at the same time, I could kind of see what my niece was seeing. Let’s just say that as I became a writer I started to read books differently – but it wasn’t until I was watching the same things with a young child that I remembered how I used to see the world. How we could take the same basic story and boil its basic elements for a child’s story, or, and I questioned how exactly we made something more ‘adult’ – darker, sexier, edgier, or was there something more?

In the meantime, I had come up with an idea for a novel that was floundering: Telling the same short story again and again, changing one element or story telling piece, and just seeing where it took me. I originally tried this with the Grimm’s tale Jorinda and Joringel several years prior, but it just wasn’t working. I’ll admit shorts are not my forte. So I looked at my developing novel and decided to see if I could tell the same story again and again – some times with characters actually saying the story, other times characters acting out the roles and even changing roles from hero to villain, sometimes within the same arch.

So basically I just started writing about a young archer and her hawk walking through a field when they were attacked by wolves. I had no idea who she was or where she was going, but she was looking for someone. I let the story flow, and kept in mind that I wanted to retell a story several times within the same novel.


What genre does your book fall under?

I call it historical fantasy.


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

I mentioned this in the See Jane Publish interview – I’m really easy going with casting because I care more about an actor being able to pull off the part then necessarily if their bone structure is just so. Especially in a novel like mine where character interpretation and motivation can be really fluid, I’d be okay if a director wanted to take a character in a slightly different direction and because actor X is otherwise perfect but he’s got blond hair instead of red and he looks awful with a dye job… I’d say rewrite him as blond. There’s certain things I wouldn’t budge on (Naguset would have to be played by an aboriginal woman; most of the other character’s ethnicities can be altered but this is kind of important) but for the most part I’m open-minded.

But, as said before, I would cast Ben Barnes as Skolvane, but I could see Skolvane easily cast as a variety of different Hollywood actors.


What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

It’s about an immortal princess that refused to be rescued, who in her cruelty, cursed the land around her.

It’s about a young man-at-arms who is betrayed by his lord’s men and condemned to face an ancient abomination who blights the land.

It’s about a young woman who’s betrothed was stolen from her, and she will not rest until she finds him.

It’s about an ancient champion who will not let his beloved go, no matter the monster she becomes.

Take your pick.


Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

Tower of Obsidian will be published by Burst Books and is due out in January. I have no agent, but I am planning on self-publishing a novel soon – the deal to myself is that I had to come up with the art for my cover myself, and I’m still not happy with my inking, so I’m hoping it’ll be sometime early in the new year, but we’ll see. It was my new year’s resolution for this year, but I’ve kinda been not doing my daily art lessons like I should have been, so once again mea culpa.

My dragons look like cows 😦


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

Tower’s first draft was written in about 4 months, which is technically the second-fastest I ever wrote a full novel draft. I NANO’d the first 53k, and I basically kept the momentum up. I did most of the research in December and January, when I took it from generic fantasy world to the end of the Viking age. I was finishing up my paramedic course, so I was editing the manuscript in the back of an ambulance because I knew I was going to meet an editor that May, and I wanted the manuscript to be ready for then. I had two other manuscripts ready to go, but one of the editors there wrote historical fantasy herself, so I figured I could get her to help me hash out character names. Before I had my meeting I did my research on Burst/Champagne, and ToO seemed like the title they’d be best suited for.


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

Guy Gavriel Kay is my favorite writer of historical fantasy – and I don’t think I should be comparing myself to him quite yet. Let’s say that I aspire to write something like Last Light of the Sun or Tigiana.

There’s a lot more that needs to be placed, but I’ll list the following as inspirations for ToO’s main story:


Gawain and the Green Knight

Deirdre of the Sorrows


Brunhilde and Siegfried


I better give a shout-out to Tokien’s Lord of the Rings, too, but not in the way most of you would expect it.


Who or what inspired you to write this book?

One too many “All fantasy is crap/easy”, this time with a friend who likes the genre. I decided I could attempt to do something a little deeper than normal to prove that just because it’s genre, doesn’t mean that it’s all nonsensical escapism. I also picked the focus to be on a love story, because I usually put that stuff in the back ground.

Or it’s Rashomon with Vikings. Take your pick.


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

Honestly this novel has more mass appeal then most of my other projects. And I don’t mean in the lowest-common-denominator way, either. I think because I put the focus on the story, and that because I emphasized on perspective and interpretation, it’ll be interesting to see what people think and if readers start taking sides with the main conflict, because I never some questions directly. I’d hate to be the guy who writes the Cole’s Notes on this one. 


I like how I wrote this entire long post and barely talked about the plot at all! 


My apologies if I blog this twice in a row / Tesseracts 16 Event

29 Nov

Me + Technology = Fail

Bitten by Books is having a discussion with the various contributors to Edge’s latest Tesseracts anthology for the next 24 hours, starting at noon central time today, so it’s been live for just over an hour now. I’m going to try to pop my head in when I can, but I’m on pager time so I’m flaky until at least after 4pm today (which, as some of you are already aware, means el squatto in terms of being off at a regular time but, what can I say, I love what I do). I’ll definitely show up tomorrow morning unless the snow knocks out the internet connection and I don’t make it back to Winnipeg.

Check it out if you have the time; I’m humbled to be with such an amazing group of writers and artists. I’ve been reading the Tesseracts anthologies for years now, so let’s just say the experience has been kinda surreal.

29 Nov

First Author Promotion

20 Nov

Hey guys – we’re going down to the wire on Tower of Obsidian’s launch; I naturally have been busy in real life, but expect a few updates after Thursday.

Here’s the first link to a bit of interview/promo:

Hello world!

19 Nov

Welcome to! This is your very first post. Click the Edit link to modify or delete it, or start a new post. If you like, use this post to tell readers why you started this blog and what you plan to do with it.

Happy blogging!