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The Next Big Thing – A WIP post

Thanks to my writing friend, Fran Wilde, I’ve been blog-tagged to talk about my current WIP (work-in-progress, if anyone isn’t familiar with the acronym). So, in an effort to infuse a bit of life into this flagging blog of mine, let’s dive in!

Ten Interview Questions for The Next Big Thing

1. What is the title of your book?

The Unfamiliars

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

A couple things. First, I was doing some mythology research for another novel and came across the topic of magical familiars (traditionally in the company of witches, wizards, etc.). My mind did that weird logic-leap thing it does occasionally, tacked “Un” in front of “familiars” and away my imagination went! I also had been thinking about all the various supernatural creatures that permeate fantasy novels these days–your usual vampires, werewolves, and such. I wanted to explore creatures that hadn’t really ever had the spotlight put on them, and familiars provide a broad spectrum to draw on for that purpose.

3. What genre does your book fall under?

Urban fantasy, for sure. Set in the modern day, with a bunch of supernatural familiars and a few humans as the main cast. It’d fall in the same category as, say, The Dresden Files or Twenty Palaces series.

4. Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Hoo boy. I am hardly the best person to have a discussion about actors. I’m about as knowledgeable in that area as I am about sports team–as in, entirely lacking. It’d be a diverse cast. The main character is a petite, dark-skinned woman (or at least looks like one most times), with sharp features and no specific nationality. So if you have suggestions, I’m open.

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

Jancy, a scorpion demon, is a loyal familiar to one of the more powerful practitioners in the world–until she encounters a band of rogue familiars determined to overthrow their masters.

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

I do have an agent with Folio Literary Management, yes, so it’ll go through there whenever it’s ready.

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

About 4 months, if I recall rightly. I’ve taken a break after completing it before coming back in for revisions.

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

As mentioned above, The Dresden Files (Jim Butcher) and Twenty Palaces (Harry Connolly) jump to mind. Any series where the supernatural exists alongside (though not necessarily in public knowledge) modern society.

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

Aside from the traditional mythology surrounding familiars, one of the big things for me was researching scorpions to add elements to the protagonist’s character. Quite fascinating and complex critters with all sorts of abilities that translate in fun ways into a supernatural context. They also have played some intriguing roles throughout cultural history, symbolically, medicinally, and otherwise.

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

My hope is Jancy, as the main POV, will come across as unique and engaging, what with her complicated nature and relationships. I also wanted to take a different slant on some of the romantic interest subplots that seem to pop up a lot in urban fantasies these days. You really want to cuddle up to a scorpion demon?

Include the link of who tagged you and this explanation for the people you have tagged.

Thanks again to Fran Wilde for looping me in on this. I will update once I hear back from folks with tag requests, since I don’t want to ambush anyone!

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