The Next Big Thing is a Q&A for women writers. To do the Next Big Thing, a writer answers 10 questions about their current work and then tags a few other authors who will share the status of their own WIPS. My answers are below, with writer friend links to follow:
1. What is the working title of your book?
2. Where did the idea for your book come from?
As with much of my writing, COVENANT came to me in a dream. In this case, not just the idea, but the cast of characters and much of the plot as well.
In the dream, I was a renowned psychic. Like the famed medium Jane Roberts, I had a spirit guide that used me to teach people of the spiritual realms. Unlike Jane (so far as I'm aware), I also had tremendous psychic powers that I used to heal and teach.
(There are many Jane/Seth books available, for those who might be interested in learning more about her:)
Anyway, I was very old - like, VERY old, and traveled everywhere with my own personal bodyguard, a young, handsome ex-military man who adored me. I was on a bus with some of my devout followers, headed to a retreat that would be held in a ritzy D.C. hotel. When we arrived at the hotel, I told my bodyguard "I will die tonight, and it will be your fault, but I forgive you," then proceeded to beat the shit out of a rapist with my awesome psychic powers.
When I woke up, I recorded the dream in every detail. I always planned to do something with it, but at the time I was neck-deep in writing my first novel, TO THE TOUCH.
I finished TOUCH in October of 2011 and began experimenting with new short stories. I thought at first that COVENANT was only a short, but as the wordcount kept going up it became clear that I had a novel on my hands.
3. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
A spiritual retreat in a Washington D.C. hotel descends into chaos with the attempted assassination of renowned medium and spiritual leader, nonagenarian Rachel Grant, by a rival cult of powerful and power-hungry psychics.
4. What genre does your book fall under?
I consider COVENANT to be an urban fantasy.
5. What actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
I haven't mentally cast my Rachel, yet, but I basically wrote Gerard Butler as Rachel's bodyguard, Alex.
I envision a red-headed Saoirse Ronan (The Lovely Bones) as Caitlin, Rachel's young protege.
I've considered a softened Angela Bassett and an Angelica Houston-type for two of the other female leads - not that they are perfect matches, but they give a pretty good mental picture of what I'm going for.
6. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
I would prefer to be represented by an agent. I'm waiting for that match-made-in-heaven relationship.
7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
Four months. Shocking, considering that TO THE TOUCH took me seven years.
8. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
It reminds me of some of the fantasy/horror books by Dean R. Koontz that I devoured in my early teens - Watchers, The Servants of Twilight, and so on, that tend to weave some supernatural elements and romance with an action/adventure plot.
COVENANT is also similar to Kate Morton's The Forgotten Garden in that it tells two (or more) parallel stories in staggered chapters. Half of the chapters depict present-day events; the other half portray episodes from Rachel's life, starting with the miraculous recovery of her husband, Gerald, in a military hospital in 1943.
(photo courtesy of U.S. Food and Drug Administration)
9. Who or what inspired you to write this book?
Well, aside from the dream that delivered the idea, my grandmother (who turned 91 this year) has been an inspiration for my main character. I have modeled some elements of Rachel's life on Nonnie, especially her relationship with her husband.
The dedication of the book will read: For Nonnie, who wondered why I couldn't just write a good love story.
10. What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
I think this book will have something for everyone: action, romance, history, and literary style. And if that's not enough, there's a ninety-seven year old psychic who can kick ass. I mean, really. :)
I want to thank my friend and critique partner Joanne M Reinbold for inviting me to participate in The Next Big Thing Blog Hop. Be sure to visit Joanne's blog where she answers the same ten questions about her work in progress, DING DONG BELL.
Next week be sure to check out the authors I have tagged:
Karin Marie has written under Savannah Hendricks and Karin Cameron. She was once a nanny, among other exhausting jobs. She holds a degree in early childhood education, criminal justice, and has fifteen published stories to her name. Some of her work can be found in Highlights High Five, Stories for Children Magazine, knowonder!, Reunions, and Hollins. Karin’s manuscripts can be located in editor’s and publisher’s slush piles. You can follow her blog at http://theseashellsoflife.wordpress.com/
Emilie Peck is a freelance writer and blogger who specializes in learning disabilities, crafts, alternative medicine and the paranormal. She currently writes for hubpages.com as ESPeck1919. A born wanderer, when she’s not writing nonfiction, she’s dabbling in sci-fi/fantasy stories or creating accessories out of whatever materials she can get her hands on." http://alternativewiring.blogspot.com/