So, I’ve seen this on a few blogs. No one tagged me for this, but I wanted to do it anyway. So there. It’s a collection of questions about you as a writer and your latest work in progress, so I thought I’d spend a little idle time and answer there, whether anyone’s interested or not. Because I love these things. Here we go!
What is the working title of your book?
Serpent in a Cage (potentially with The Asyentai Chronicles or The Age of Return involved in there, too)
Where did the idea come from for the book?
Sometimes, when you’ve been working on a book for as long as I’ve been working on Serpent in a Cage, it’s hard to pinpoint exactly when inspiration struck. The first draft, which was completely and entirely different and nothing like the current incarnation except for the presence of I think two characters (out of a very large cast!), was written when I was in sixth grade, but it was such a different tale then that I don’t even know if I could count it. But, in my mind, the world that SiaC opens up to the world started when I was ten years old, in a memory that’s as vivid with meaning as it is hazy with detail. I hold in my mind traipsing around Mission Creek Woodland Park in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan, pretending to be characters from the DragonLance book series, when all of a sudden, the characters started to change a little and become slightly different, and they grew from there into the vast world of Aryneth…A world of my own, a world yet unknown, a world that has stuck with me ever since and hopefully will for a very, very long time.
What genre does your book fall under?
Serpent in a Cage is definitely a fantasy novel, which is still hard for me to unabashedly admit since college tried to get it through my head that genre fiction is bad. I’m tempted to talk about how it’s more character driven with fantastical elements, and that’s true, but, I’m going to put down my foot, toss back my head, and proclaim, “Yup. It’s fantasy. Deal with it.”
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Since the cast of Serpent in a Cage is so large, it would be hard to cast most of them, so I’ll stick with the three main ones. I know, visually, the only ones I have in mind for Locke Mandrake Battarack and Gilferen Allok are models who have questionable acting skills, though one of the Phelps twins could do a good run as Gilferen. For Auferrix Ferrore, I can’t help thinking Frida Pinto would be glorious if it turned out that we can rough her up a bit and make her more bad-ass.
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
A plot to save a captured princess should be easy enough, but the Battaracks are about to discover a world that goes much, much deeper than they would have ever expected.
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
Self-published, baby! I always imagined myself trying to traditionally publish the Aryneth series, but now the thought is almost anathema, unless any publishers just happened to want to take it over because it’s doing so awesomely, lol, /dreaming.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
The ‘first draft’ in its completed form took me probably about four years to write, from the time I sat down with the new approach and dedicated myself to finishing it. I believe it was completed sometime in 2009 or 2010, and I started to revise it in 2011, only to discover I wanted to completely rewrite it. I’m still working on the second draft, though it’s going quite well. These dates are mostly just guesses; I’m feeling too lazy to look into the actualities of it.
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Oof. That’s a tough one, since I try my best to keep myself from being comparable to other tales in this genre. I want it to be more like A Song of Ice and Fire, a big sweeping epic, but it’s not (yet). I suppose I could compare it to The Wheel of Time in that there’s the unlikely hero, the big prophesies, etc, etc, but again, I wanted to break the mold with Serpent in a Cage in that the first book is really a pretty simple tale, and it’s not a sweeping epic, though it will be…eventually. In that respect, I’d almost compare it to The Hobbit, in that it’s the little bit that starts up a much bigger thing later on. The style and the structure, though, I think, still lends an awful lot to the DragonLance books that originally inspired it so many years ago.
Who or What inspired you to write this book?
You can tell that there have been a great many books to inspire me along this path, and that this book is a long time in the making. But if I had to attribute this book to any one source of inspiration, I would have to say my father. It was through his own love of books, passed down to his eager, starry-eyed daughter, that I was able to discover and embrace this incredible power to create. Thanks, Dad.
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
Besides the fact that it’s awesome? Aryneth to me is a complete world, fully realized and exceptionally detailed, and I should like to think that it’s a world people will enjoy getting lost in. The characters are all unique, but relateable, on several levels. They’re regular people, in a fantastical world, in an extraordinary situation. To me, that’s what fantasy is all about, and I really hope I’m able to accomplish that feeling of wonder and relateability through Serpent in a Cage and the subsequent epic to follow.
I’m not going to tag anyone for the questions because no one tagged me. I’ll just leave it to whoever wants to talk about their upcoming works to tackle if they so desire!