I can’t play nice like the other kids, so I changed the questions about my work-in-progress for this mini-interview when I got tagged by buddy and fellow VP alum Nicky Drayden. Luckily for you, it’s not November, so you won’t have to hear about the fancy locks + monsters + run-down mansion story again.
Instead, you get to hear about my brilliant YA novel with goblins, assassins, a lost prince, a jerk prince, an even more jerk queen, and a steampunk fanatic whose DIY skills are suddenly more important than Etsy sales–they’re the only thing that can save his life.
Ten (Modified & Illustrated) Interview Questions for The Next Big Thing
1. What is the title of the work-in-progress that you’re hoping will get you Rowling/Meyer/King money?
Princes of Iron
2. Where did you steal this idea?
From every fairy tale where the protagonist and antagonist have mutually exclusive goals.
Also, back when I hated The Labyrinth (before I had Bowie Fever) I remember despising Sarah not only for being such a whiny little turd, but for wasting the opportunity to rule a city of goblins. I wanted to rule a city of goblins, and the first thing I would do would be to eliminate their annoying king so I was actually in command instead of just his extremely charming and glitter-encrusted catamite.
3. What genre does your manuscript wear like a coat, and what’s the shockingly skimpy & alluring genre that shows up once you open the book?
YA portal fantasy is the coat, with a tantalizing dark fantasy negligée beneath. (It also has scandalous ripped-up reader expectations.)
4. Which actors would you kidnap and force to play your characters in a movie rendition?
I am so sadly disconnected from pop culture that I had to use the “Demand Answers At Gunpoint from a Friend” option that you get on Who Wants To Be a Money-haver. I sent the following paragraphs (personals ads from the main characters) to my friend & Clarion West littermate Carlie, and she gave me lists of actors to choose from for each, because she’s fantabulous!
5. When someone demands to know about this brilliant project, what’s the one sentence you give them?
To keep himself alert for attempts on his life, the Goblin Prince appoints an inept “Royal Assassin,” but the human teenager he chooses turns out to be less inept at calculated violence than either of them expected.
(Second, cheaty sentence: And it’s a good thing, because when one of the Prince’s enemies calls up an ancient evil to swallow the goblin realm, Skylar is their only hope.)
6. If it doesn’t get repped/bought by an agent/editor, are you going to trunk it or self-publish?
I was thinking I’d stow away in a rocket and pee it onto the surface of the moon, word by word. I’ll eat lots of beets so it will show up better. You know, unless I get lucky and catch an agent when they’re not too busy to hear my forty-seven minute pitch and agree to represent me just to get me to shut up.
7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
Technically, I’m still writing it, since my revisions are major. Since I started writing it in 2003, this is officially the slowest project I’ve ever worked on. My goal is to finish my first round of revisions by or during Rainforest Writer’s Village.
8. What other books in the same genre do you hope people will compare your story to?
I can’t mention teenagers tangling with fairy royalty without people blurting “Tithe!” or “Wicked Lovely!” at me, which is fine by me. I’d love to be at that party! And this is exactly what it would be like:
9. Who or what inspired you to write this book?
Liselotte Eriksson’s art, bad eighties fantasy movies,* and your mom, in that order.
* See #2
10. What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
Ooh, how about this: I call bullshit on poser steampunk. You know you want to find out what that means and exactly how offended you should be.
Include the link of who tagged you and this explanation for the people you have tagged.
My VP classmate Nicky Drayden tagged me, and you definitely should read her post–it has sentient tofu in it. (Inorite?) She said I had to post my responses within a week of being tagged or she would send someone to bust my kneecaps. I thought long and hard about who I would tag, but ended up choosing based on who I was most likely to win against in a Jell-O wrestling match:
Carlie St. George, a writer and cinema fanatic who would definitely survive longest in a horror movie
Cassie Alexander, a nurse who is also a secret agent, known best for her urban fantasy series about the supernatural ward at a hospital
Shell Flower, a superhero who writes every kind of fantasy and accompanies her blog offerings with optional theme music
Fenmere the Worm, an illustrator, comic artist, and writer who is creating a picture book that doesn’t target any specific age group
Kim Neville, a writer whose work is even more likely than mine to contain mischievous faeries (though maybe hers won’t pee on a crystal ball)