The Next Big Thing
I’ve been tagged in the next big thing blog hop by the surreally hilarious Laurence Donaghy. I have the same list of questions that I have to provide entertaining answers to and then I tag two writerly friends. Oh well, here goes internet oblivion….
1. What is the working title of your next book?
It’s called ‘the one where Sharon’s writing fairy locks away her Merlin DVDs and uninstalls the youtube app from her phone and ties her to a chair until some words come out’. Maybe that’s a bit longwinded, though. We’ll go for The Young Moon instead. It’s the second of the Sky Song trilogy.
2. Where did the idea for the book come from?
As it’s a sequel, I suppose I have to say that the idea came from the first book! At the end of Sky Song, we left Jacob **Sound of a truck roaring past** so, The Young Moon picks up two years on from there. There was always going to be three books and each one continues the overall story arc. Sky Song was as much about Jacob’s dilemma over his life choices as it was about his battle with the bad guy. In The Young Moon there’s a whole bunch of different dilemmas around loyalties and who gets to choose who lives and who dies. Jacob gets faced with some really tough decisions and quite often has to deal with the consequences of making the wrong ones.
3. What genre does your book fall under?
If you wanted to be pedantic you could call it Young Adult fantasy. But there is a feel of realism about it, and I’m very influenced by magical realist works, so I suppose, in that sense, it’s not fantasy in the way most would think of that genre. There are actually a couple of my favourite TV shows that you could probably point to and say ‘like that.’ If you look at something like Life on Mars or Misfits, outwardly, the setting is very ordinary and mundane, but something extraordinary is happening just beneath the surface. I think that Jacob’s story is like that.
4. What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
This is where I come undone. Colin Morgan’s face just pops up every time – not because he looks remotely like any of the characters, but just because I’d make sure I was on set every day! This is a tricky question, though, because the main characters are all teenagers so the actors young enough to play them would probably be fairly unknown. I think for Jacob’s best friend, Luca, Jonathan Bailey (from CBBC’s Leonardo) would be pretty cool. For Jacob, I could really see Jeremy Sumpter looking right, although he may be a little old now as I’m still remembering him like he was in Peter Pan. Maybe someone similar. But if Colin Morgan would dye his hair blonde then he’d be a definite Jacob! Actually, for Ellen, someone who looks sort of like Katie McGrath would be good, only she’d have to look seventeen (sorry Katie!). Luckily I’m not a casting executive – my requirements would be pretty vague!
5. What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?
It’s bad enough writing an ordinary synopsis! One sentence? Ok. I’m totally rebelling with one and a half…
All Jacob has to do is cheat death, yet again, find another like him amongst the seven billion people that swarm over the face of the planet before Makash does, and thwart the prophecy that spells his doom. No pressure then…
6. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agent?
Sky Song is self-published so The Young Moon will follow suit. Unless some miracle occurs between now and March and an agent takes me on. What’s that you say? More chance of hitching a lift in the Tardis? To be honest, though, I’m quite enjoying self-publishing at the moment – it can offer a lot of freedom to a jobbing writer like me in terms of deadlines and creative decisions.
7. How long did it take to write the first draft of your manuscript?
If I have a good run at it, a first draft can take maybe 5 or 6 weeks. I don’t exactly remember how long The Young Moon took but I’d say it was around that. It’s the editing and fine tuning that takes a lot more time than that.
8. What other books would you compare this story to within the genre?
I genuinely can’t think of anything like it. That’s not me showing off my originality, it’s me showing off how woefully unread I am lately! There are lots of books that tackle ‘chosen ones’ with great destinies, but I don’t know any of them that do it in such a domestic setting with so much emphasis on the emotional impact of that. The only one I can think of that deals with it any similar way is Harry Potter, but Jacob’s story is nothing like Harry’s other than he does have a destiny that he can’t escape.
9. Who or what inspired you to write this book?
Oh dear. I have to say, again, that the first book inspired this book! Sky Song came to me as a vague idea about a little girl whose father watched the skies every night. She wondered why and it took her a few years to figure out that he was watching for someone, rather than something. The little girl turned into a teenage boy and the thing that came from the stars was his destiny. Then I started to think that if someone just pitched up at my door when I thought I had my life worked out and landed me with a destiny I hadn’t asked for, how would I react? That’s pretty much the heart of Jacob’s dilemma.
10. What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?
It features hot teenage boys. Am I allowed to say that? Oh… erm, then it has a very important message about friendship and… oh hell, who am I kidding, hot teenage boys is my USP!
Next it’s the turn of Emma and Jack…
Emma Adams is 21-year-old author of THE PUPPET SPELL, a quirky YA fantasy published by Rowanvale Books. She is currently studying English Literature with Creative Writing at LancasterUniversity whilst writing the sequel and also working on the creepy paranormal Darkworld series. Check out her blog about her writing journey, where she posts weekly updates and writing tips, and also regular book reviews and features.
Jack Croxall is a YA fiction author and science writer living in Nottinghamshire. He tweets via @JackCroxall, and you can find out more about his novel, Tethers, by visiting www.jackcroxall.co.uk
Look out for their Next Big Thing Q&As next week.