Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Tag . . .You're It!

I've been double tagged!  That's doubly flattering, because that means two lovely ladies were thinking of me!  Thanks to Krista McLaughlin and Mina Lobo for tagging me for "The Next Big Thing!"  If you haven't checked out either of their blogs, you're missing out!

Since I've talked at length about the project I'm working on now, and also about the manuscript I intend to finish immediately after that (so much work, so little time), I'll talk about the book I intend to work on in 2013.  This book is the first in a 6 book series.  I have the first draft of books 1-3 written, and a detailed outline for number 4 in addition to a number of key scenes.  The only reason I put that project on the back burner is that it seemed too big.  I felt like I needed to do a couple of stand alone things to clear my head and hone my techniques before diving back into that massive project.

So, I'll hopefully pique your interest by answering a few questions about the first book in this series.  If the revisions go well when I get back to them, I'm hoping you'll be able to find it on bookshelves not long after that!  And I'm not trying to sound overly confident, because I'm not.  I'm merely testing out the power of positive thinking.

What is the working title of your book?  The Minor War.

Where did the idea come from?  It's hard to say now.  I know I was originally inspired to write this series when I was 13, though at the time it was barely recognizable compared to what it is now.  Let's face it, when the idea originally came to me, I was nowhere near mature enough to write it.  That didn't stop me from trying though.  The inspiration likely came from the wide variety of sci fi books, films, and television shows I consumed as a kid.  I couldn't get enough, and I always loved the idea of settling new worlds and meeting alien species.

What genre does your book fall under?  Science fiction.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie?  That's a tough question for me.  When I write characters, I have a very specific image of them in my mind, and I don't find myself comparing them to actors as I visualize the scene. (Though my books each have their own soundtrack in my mind.  I may indulge in describing that some other time.)  Gretchen would have dark hair and be tall and quick, similar to Jennifer Lawrence in The Hunger Games.  I promise though, the physical parameters for this character came long before I ever heard of that series.  Ellen Page would also have the right look, though she might be a little short for the role.  Then again, what do I know?  As for the other characters, they would be wearing a lot of heavy makeup, so it's been difficult to visualize specific people in those roles.  I know one thing.  I should never pursue a career as a casting director.

What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?  Gretchen Taylor was never allowed to interact with the Kentari, but when she finds herself in need of help from a young Kentari man, she learns a secret about him that changes the trajectory of her life forever.  (There are so many things going on in this book that this doesn't really represent the entire book, but this sentence at least describes the conflict the main character faces.)

Will your books be self-published or represented by an agency? For this one, I think I'd like to try to find an agent.  I can't say whether I'll succeed or not, but since I've been working on this particular story for so long, I'd like to find it a special home if I can.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?  That's a tougher question than you might think.  If you're asking how long it took to get from idea to completed draft, 9 years.  Most of those 9 years were represented by my struggle to become a better writer. None of my initial drafts made it much past 100 pages because I didn't know what I was doing then.  The story mutated over time as a result of those early efforts.  If you're asking how long it took for this regeneration of the original idea to make it to a completed draft, maybe 9 months.  It's hard to remember exactly, since I was busy with college graduation around that same time.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?  A combination of things.  I've known I wanted to write books since I was in first grade.  My mom liked to write, and my dad was always reading.  Storytelling just became a part of my life.  My teachers started encouraging my writing, and they seemed confident that I could be a novelist someday.  So when the idea for this book series came to me, it never occurred to me that I couldn't do it.  Though it's given me some difficulties over the years, I still know I can do it.  It's only a matter of time and patience.

What else about your book would pique the reader's interests? Let's see: cute aliens, awesome telepathic and telekinetic powers, a world on the brink of civil war, a forbidden friendship that could lead to something more, and a decision whether to do what's right, though doing so would come with a host of personal sacrifices.  I can't elaborate on that last point any further, because that's getting into the next book.

Now I'm supposed to tag a few people for this honor.  Since it's been going around (not to make it sound like the flu, because this is far more pleasant than that) for awhile, it's hard to find people who haven't gotten it yet. Even so, I will do my best.  And if I pick you and you've already done it, feel free to simply take it as a compliment.  Let's be honest.  You all rock!

  1. Karen Elizabeth Brown
  2. Christine Rains
  3. Cherie Reich
  4. Michael Offutt
  5. Scribbles From Jenn
Okay.  Now, I normally do my Worldly Wednesday post today, but today is turning out to be busy.  However, I won't leave you with nothing.  I'll talk a little about how I selected the title The Minor War.  That deals with words and meanings, so it technically fits in with the day's theme.

Titles are important because they need to capture the essence of you book in a few short words, and sometimes even less than that.  The colony world on which the story takes place is called Terra Minor, so one word of the title immediately makes sense.  Terrorist factions of the Terran population have attacked the Kentari, with whom they share this world.  This causes great tension, but the Terran government doesn't want to go to war with the Kentari. The government struggles to hunt down the terrorists, but the support for terrorism comes from higher up than most people realize.  In this respect, the meaning of the title The Minor War is clear.

On the other hand, the main character Gretchen also deals with the inner struggle I briefly described above.  If she chooses to align herself with any member of the Kentari species, her deeply racist parents would be outraged.  At the same time, the new direction her life has taken appeals to her, and she feels for the first time in a long while that she knows who she wants to be.  In this case, The Minor War references this inner struggle.

Ultimately, I chose this title because it works on multiple levels.  I find it satisfying when a title is able to do that.


  1. Thanks for tagging me! I'll have to think about which book I want to showcase. The Minor War sounds great!

  2. I my goodness. L.G., I'm the one that tagged Mina Lobo with this! But I'll think of something. I want to give you a shout out. Your book sounds incredible. I love sci-fi *hugs and I can't wait to read it.

    1. I knew I'd probably end up doing something like this. It's so hard to keep track of these things sometimes. Oh well. You deserve the recognition either way.

  3. Thanks L.G., but I also was recently tagged with this honor. But I take it as a compliment that you would think of me. Since I already talked about my WIP, I probably won't do it again. Maybe I can use a different project or something. :-)

  4. That was really intriguing. I hate doing the one-line synopsis/blurbs too. A book can't be squished into one line! Thanks for the tag as well. I recently did this one myself.

  5. Sounds like an awesome series, can't wait until you get it out there! It seems like a really good story :)

  6. Interesting that you don't cast till after it's written.

  7. Hi! I nominated you for the Reader Appreciation Awards. Please, check my blog if you feel like participating.



  8. And aliens? Hot. There aren't many of books about them and there's so many about, say vampires and/or werewolves. It's time for alines to have their spot, too:D