The Next Big Thing

The Next Big Thing is here! Or the next thing, or, the something. Last week Guy Adams tagged me in his next big thing blog. So here’s how it works: an author answers the ten questions below on her blog and then tags five authors/unfortunate victims to do so the week after. Answers on a postcard please…

1. What is the working title of your next book?

OSIRIS. (I’m cheating slightly because it’s already out in the US, but is forthcoming in the UK.)

2. Where did the idea come from for the book?

I wrote a novella called The Last Balloon Flight, a kind of fairy tale about a journey across a flooded world. I read Six Degrees: Our Future On A Hotter Planet, by Mark Lynas. Somewhere between the two came the idea for an ocean city in a drastically altered world, and the characters just came out of that

3. What genre does your book fall under?

Science fiction or speculative fiction.

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

Adelaide is very beautiful and slightly evil in the beginning, but mellows as the book progresses. I have to cite the gorgeous Alexa Brown for Adelaide (who, for the record, is about as far from evil as you can imagine but here she is looking suitably epic in a trailer we made for the book:

 

Or, someone like Emily Blunt. Susan Sarandon would have to be Adelaide’s mother, because everyone needs Susan Sarandon in a film. And I can see Matt Smith working well for her brother Linus.

Vikram, my hero, is quite young but, as all central protagonists must be tortured, he has been through a lot. Shazad Latif, who was in the later series of the BBC’s series Spooks could work very well

5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

In a divided ocean city cut off from the rest of the world, miscreant socialite Adelaide meets revolutionary activist Vikram – and consequences ensue

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

It’s published by Night Shade Books in the US and is forthcoming from Del Rey UK in February 2013.

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

About 12 months.

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

I always hate this question – people have (very kindly) told me it has echoes of China Miéville’s The City and The City and Paolo Bacigalupi’s The Wind-up Girl, but I’m not sure either of those is quite apt. It might make more sense to cite my influences – writers like Philip Pullman, David Mitchell, Margaret Atwood, to name a few.

9. Who or what inspired you to write this book?

I had a very cinematic vision of the ocean city and I knew it wouldn’t go away until I found out who lived there.

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

My friend Katy has just instructed me to say that it is a bodice ripper.

[This is a lie.]

[But there are shiny pyramid towers and waterbikes and underwater cells and coral tea and other things.]

And the authors I hereby tag for next week’s posting are:

Elizabeth Amisu. Writer, reviewer of film and fiction, and a lecturer in Film and English, Elizabeth was a winner in the Southend Literary Festival in 2010 and the MigMag.co.uk Short Story competition in January 2012. The first installment in her fantasy series The Sarcerdos Mysteries tells the story of Caelara, a young girl whose difficult existence with her alcoholic father is turned upside down when she discovers she has the power to manipulate the elements. But all will change when Caelara discovers the mysterious Sarcerdos Institute…

Bradley P Beaulieu. Brad is the author of The Winds of Khalakovo and The Straits of Galahesh, the first two volumes in his fantasy series The Lays of Anuskaya, published by Night Shade Books, and if you go to his website you can view funky interactive maps of the Lays world and other shiny things. In addition to being an L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future Award winner, Brad’s stories have appeared in various other publications, including Realms of Fantasy Magazine, Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show and Writers of the Future 20.

Betsy Dornbusch. Betsy’s epic fantasy novel Exile is forthcoming from Night Shade Books in February 2013. Betsy also launched her urban fantasy series Sentinel this year and has edited ezine Electric Spec for the last six years. Her short fiction has appeared in numerous print and online venues and in anthologies Tasty Little Tales and Deadly by the Dozen. She also does cool things like snowboarding, a fact of which I am immensely jealous.

Kameron Hurley. Kameron probably needs no introduction for lovers of genre fiction: her Bel Dame Apocrypha series has been published by Night Shade Books to widespread acclaim and she’s been nominated for a fair few awards along the way (and is the winner of a much coveted Golden Tentacle Kitschies Award for debut novel). Good news if you’re in the UK: Del Rey UK will be publishing the first in the series, God’s War, in 2013. Huzzah!

Colin Tucker. Writer and screen-writing coach Colin Tucker worked on award-winning television productions in the 70’s including PORTRAIT OF A MARRIAGE and AMONGST WOMEN. After retiring from producing, he switched to teaching at the London Film School while continuing to work as a script advisor. His short story THE GOAT won a Global Short Story competition earlier this year. His novel DOUGLAS BROWN RUNNING DOWN, is, in Colin’s words, ‘a freewheeling journey in the company of a chaotic mind’. (I’ve read some of it, and it’s awesome, and not quite like anything else I’ve read.)

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