(I’m Not Going to Call it) The Next Big Thing

Jae of Lit and Scribbles tagged me in The Next Big Thing blog chain post. Yay!

What is the working title of your book?

WHEN THE CLOCK BROKE…

Where did the idea for the book come from?

It started out as a 100-word paragraph assignment on a writing site with the title ‘The Broken Clock’. I happened to write this at the end of October 2010 around the time when I was first acquainted with NaNo. What followed was a month of umming and erring, some plotting, mostly pantsing, not concentrating in my GCSE lessons whilst scribbling into a notebook (which, at one point, I lost for a week). Suffice to say, I didn’t complete NaNo. However, I was left with the beginning and middle of a story that I was in love with writing. By February ’11, I had a finished first draft of 65K words.

What genre does your book fall under?

NA romance with sci-fi elements.

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

Aidelle Masters is the main protagonist of the novel, being introduced to her new home as the novel opens.

Admittedly, this was hard. I had no ‘first choice’ for Aidelle, and although I have chosen Alex Kingston, this is as a ‘good enough for now’. Although, I’ve only seen her as sassy River Song in Doctor Who, I know Alex as a range broad enough – and she’s genuinely a brilliant actress to play a main character!

For looks, Alex was my first choice, in that she has a quirky look with those expressive curls. My main reason that I was hesitant to select her was because River Song exudes confidence and charm, the opposite of Aidelle, but, to be fair, I have also seen Alex act a feminine side, and I think she would be able to pull off Aidelle’s frequent uncertainty.

Aidelle is youngest of four sisters (and a brother), but, unlike them, she has an interest in the stars over the fashions of society. Even so, she’s aware that society ladies don’t think her worthy enough to marry Phillip, hence the reason she would rather like to be as pretty as her sisters. Behind the floaty exterior, however, is quite a smart young woman with crushed potential – and someone with a stubborn side. I reckon Alex could bring this out well, especially for the whole pivotal clock-throwing scene.

Alex is also a bit older than Aidelle, but what’cha-gonna-do-about it?

Phillip Costello is Aidelle’s fiancé: “more likely to lift a paintbrush than a rifle”. His education was in Philosophy, not war, and thus his individuality from his brothers unites him with Aidelle, whom he adores. For Phillip, I needed someone who would portray the neat, creative side of an introverted man whose biggest grievances are his own past actions. After much searching, I chose Matthew Lewis of Harry Potter Neville fame. I guess I could even picture Phillip with stubble in his darkest moments! Matthew has a soft face that would imitate a kindly heart.

I created Rion Costello (whose name recently underwent a makeover from the more traditional ‘Ryan’) before Downton Abbey came onto our screens, but, especially in the most recent series, I’ve been seeing him more and more resemble one of the characters, Thomas Barrow. They share a selfish nature that leads to mischief and manipulation – and both look good in uniform! As for Rob James-Collier, his square face and rough features are perfect for what I’m looking for in my bad guy.

Peter Costello is Phillip’s younger brother, a boy thrown into the man’s world of fighting when he is conscripted into war with his brothers, aged only fifteen. Even though he’s twenty for most of the novel, I needed an actor who looked particularly boyish for the contrast with Phillip. I found Logan Lerman through another writer’s blog, so I don’t know what he has acted, but he has the right sort of look for Peter. He’d have to lose any American accent, though. This picture, I felt, particularly shows Peter’s childishness.

I found Lucy Hale via Google. I don’t know much about her acting résumé, but she certainly looks the part to play Zara, the mysterious time-traveller who comes to Aidelle’s aid, bringing troubles of her own from the future. In Lucy, I see affection coupled with the aggressive modern style of Zara’s personality.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Separated by a twist of time, betrothed Aidelle and Phillip must match their wits against their doubts of a perfect relationship and a society fixated on image and money to reunite before they end up alone in a non-existent eternity.

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

Although I don’t dislike self-publishing, I’d much rather go for a traditional route of publishing. I’m not against ebook publishing, but only after physical copies have come out first (this is only added to by the fact that I don’t have an ereader).

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

Four months! It has taken much, much longer since to rewrite and edit…

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

Difficult. I’d like to hope that the novel will make people think, but it doesn’t fit into traditional romance or traditional sci-fi (the straight genres I rarely read).  I read a lot of Dickens whilst writing, so there’s bound to be purple prose and turns of phrase that are more towards his style. Because the book is set in a parallel world (not even called Earth), the mood of society is quite archaic.

Who or What inspired you to write this book?

As I said before, NaNoWriMo and a prompt were big parts of beginning this book, but I wouldn’t have thought to stop writing the previous book if it had not been for a fellow writer and my pen-friend, Katherine Hinzman. I owe her. Along the journey, I was also inspired by my knowledge of Star Trek and Doctor Who, which probably influenced the way time works in my novel.

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

Being psychic is a genetic trait! This leads to some accusations of madness and some troubles throughout, but I’m pretty proud of applying my knowledge of Biology/Psychology to this part of my novel.

Tag! They’re it!

In (to quote Jae) ‘blog-chain tradition’, I am tagging three others to give us some insight into their novels. I found it brilliant fun to answer these ten questions about my beloved novel, and I hope that you guys will, too! Thanks 🙂

Yawatta HosbyA Box of Thoughts, and Miriam Joy.

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13 thoughts on “(I’m Not Going to Call it) The Next Big Thing

  1. Oooh, so this begs the question, were you hoping for feedback on your first chapter a little sooner than Sunday? If you’re in dire straits I might be able to squeeze a little in before then. Let me know.

    Otherwise, Alex’s curls were exactly as I pictured Aidelle’s. Nice work! But since Aidelle is 20-something, I’d say call this NA. Most agents I talked to at my conference said the MC should be at most 18 if it’s YA, and better if they can be at least 17 to start a series. I wonder if we can pull some interest here… I’ll see what I can do.

    • Actually, that same matter occurred to me as I was posting (I’ve had two essays this week, so I’ve not been able to do any work on my pitch wars application *gasp*). Would that be okay? My first chapter is the one that’s been most rewritten and, sadly, the one I’m least confident with. I got your email, but since I can’t assess it on this current computer, you’ll have to wait to get proper replies.

      Yes: Aidelle’s curls! I needed someone with hair like that exactly. The one visual I wasn’t going to compromise on. Zara is technically supposed to have curly hair, but, in truth, I always imagined it tamed and sleeker like Hale’s.
      Aidelle is 20 exactly, but I’m being pedantic commenting on the ‘-something’. I only recently [today!] discovered NA genre, so I’m inclined to agree with you. Because Zara and Peter are more like teenagers, it could appeal to YA, but it’s more likely to appeal to NA audiences. Glad I got that sorted today!
      Pull some interest?

      • Yes ma’am, on Twitter. Do you have a Twitter account? You may want one. I’ll see if I can’t get Brian to help pull some mentor interest toward you as well. No guarantees. As for your first chapter, I’ll see what I can do. I’m going to email you first thoughts right now so you can be considering it while I put together actual feedback.

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