Thursday, October 11, 2012

In which I address the "Next Big Thing" Meme (because Mike Allen tagged me)

My friend Mike Allen, who blogs over at Descent into Light tagged me, among others. I'm supposed to answer ten questions about my work in progress, so I'm going to use the book I just finished revisions on.

So here goes:

Ten Interview Questions for The Next Big Thing

1. What is the title of your book?
For Love, For Power.

2. Where did the idea come from for the book?
This book came to be as a result of a trilogy I had written. I had written about the downfall of a complex caste society, and I found at the end of it that I had a lot of unanswered questions about the society before it fell - how people lived, and why the nobles were so unhappy (because I was convinced they were unhappy) and how a society in decay managed to keep itself operating. The book was born out of my desire to delve into the intimate operations of this decadence, and also to explore the adolescent psychological development of some of the characters who played large roles in the later story as I had imagined it. Part of this also stemmed from my desire to get past the archetypes of "good ruler" "bad ruler" "nobility" "servant" and "undercaste" and really try to expand these traditional fantasy roles into a sociologically, anthropologically, and psychologically accurate environment, as if they were real (or perhaps science fiction).

3. What genre does your book fall under?
The book is definitely fantasy, but skews toward the science fictional in its advanced technology and in the scientific underpinnings of its events.

4. Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
I love to try casting my books, though I'm limited in my knowledge of current actors. Here's the best list I've been able to come up with:
Tagaret (protagonist): Kevin Michael McHale
Reyn (Tagaret's friend): Chris Colfer
Della (Tagaret's love interest): Molly Quinn
Nekantor (Tagaret's insane brother): D.J. Qualls
Lady Tamelera (Tagaret's mother): Miranda Otto
Aloran (Lady Tamelera's servant): Harry Shum, Jr.
Grobal Garr (Tagaret's father): Alfred Molina
Sorn (Garr's servant): Viggo Mortensen
The Eminence Herin: Will Smith

5. What is a one-sentence synopsis of the book?
A young nobleman battles his insane brother to keep him from seizing power.

6. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
I'm represented by the Grayson Agency, and I hope Ashley will be excited about this book!

7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
It took just over two years. That is, if you don't count the first time I tried to write it and only got 40% through before it ground to a halt. The world design took a lot longer.

8. What other books would you compare this story to in your genre?
It's something like Kushiel's Dart by Jacqueline Carey, only without the S&M; also something like The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin, but without the gods/magic system.

9. Who or what inspired you to write this book?
As I mentioned above, it was initially inspired by questions about a trilogy I had written. However, I was also inspired by deep social issues that I've been encountering recently, such as the paradoxical effects of politics, the experiences of oppressed women, the question of sexual preference, and the question of how one can begin to recognize the effects of social privilege in one's life.

10. What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
Three things, I think. First is that it takes place in a glittering cavern city with an ancient history. Second is that including Nekantor's point of view meant I could write an obsessive compulsive paranoid sociopath from the inside (fun!). Third is that we get to peek not only into the noble viewpoints, but into the viewpoint of Aloran, the servant. Members of the servant caste are high-ranking personal servants with a very different view on service and selflessness from what you might expect, and they consider themselves fortunate not to have been born into the nobility!

Include the link of who tagged you and this explanation for the people you have tagged. Mike Allen tagged me, as I mentioned above. I have a few people I'd like to tag, too: Lillian Csernica, Janice Hardy, Dario Ciriello, and Doug Sharp. Tag - you're it!


  1. This sounds like a very interesting take sociology and anthropology! I'm interested in those topics too and also intrigued by the idea that one of your characters is an obsessive compulsive paranoid sociopath! I may have known one or two of those in my life.


  2. This is still going around? Now that seems highly interesting. Everyone is doing it these days. Love the whole process.