I’m talking about my two new novels, one self published and the other traditionally published. Because why not? They’re the two books filling my brain right now.
1) What is the working title of your book?
Self Published: Fitting In
Traditionally Published: Secrets of the Artificer Mages
2) Where did the idea for the book come from?
For Fitting In the genesis of the story was the desire to have a story where women were the powerful, authoritative ones and men filled the roles usually given to women. That led to my flipping the gender roles, developing a world where that made sense and then realizing that the idea filled several novels instead of just one short story. I’ve got quite a few stories planned in this ‘verse. Fitting In‘s specific genesis was wanting to have a shy, demure, but exceedingly short tempered young man discover that he didn’t fit in with his family but that there was a place where he not only fit in but where he would be very happy. And then having him go forth and do what was necessary within his gender roles to get the life he wants.
For Secrets of the Artificer Mages the basic idea came from wanting to explore a post-apocalyptic world but not wanting it to be the standard post world war one that gets written so often. I really wanted to do something different so I set the story in a fantasy world where the apocalypse was a magical war that happened about a thousand to fifteen hundred years ago. I then mixed in the idea of secret powerful mages enslaving whole bloodlines to keep themselves alive because it was a fascinating idea. Coming up with my main character after that was fairly easy: he’s the one who escapes being enslaved like everyone else in his family and home town. And because I like writing sex I decided to make it an erotica story as well. I generally don’t set myself simple challenges.
3) What genre does it fall under?
Fitting In (and all the rest of the stories in this ‘verse) give me fits figuring out their genre! The world is SF-based, as in there is no magic, no healers, no suspension of the laws of physics. Muirin is a third generation colony world that’s forgotten that it was a colony world. However, they’ve forgotten so much and lost so much technology due to the god-like aliens that rule the seas of Muirin that it reads very much like Fantasy. Currently I plan on listing it as a Fantasy Romance/Adventure because I think that it will appeal to those readers more. Someday I’ll figure out what genre the stories fall under but I haven’t yet.
Secrets of the Artificer Mages is simpler to place in a genre. It’s a Fantasy Erotica novel with some strong adventure components.
4) Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Oh, goodness! That’s a terribly hard question for me. I’m afraid I don’t pay attention to most actors well enough to know their names. But for Cadfael (Fitting In) I’d want a very short (5′ 2″) Caucasian male with pale freckled skin, red hair and the willingness to play what amounts to a female role. For Juraj in Secrets of the Artificer Mages I would want someone like Tyler Posey as Juraj has dark skin, dark hair and would need to be played by a POC.
5) What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?
Fitting In: When Dana Cadfael, snappish younger son of the Dana Clan, is forced to go on a sea journey around the world for a major trade treaty the last thing he expects is to find not one love but two in a society that is so different from his own that his fitting in perfect is a surprise to all around him.
Secrets of the Artificer Mages: When Juraj flees from a forced engagement he doesn’t realize that it will start a chain of events that leads to his becoming one of the long-lost Artificer Mages and to his challenging the secret evil rulers of the world for his soul and the souls of everyone he cares about.
6) Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
Fitting In is being self-published, sometime in the first quarter of 2013. Secrets of the Artificer Mages is traditionally published with Forbidden Fiction Publishing though I do not have an agent, nor do I intend to get one. I don’t feel that agents are necessary for publication. Having a solid, exciting story is.
7) How long did it take you to write the first draft?
The first draft of Fitting In took almost exactly one month to write from start to finish in the later part of July and first half of August this year. I wrote practically nothing else during that time. In much the same way, the first draft of Secrets of the Artificer Mages took one month though that was written during NaNoWriMo in 2011. The first draft of Secrets was almost exactly twice the length of Fitting In’s first draft so I’m not sure what that says about my productivity.
8) What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
*laughs* I have absolutely no idea! The closest I can think of to compare to for Fitting In is Wen Spencer’s A Brother’s Price which is another matriarchal romance/adventure story. The worlds are completely different however. For Secrets of the Artificer Mages I truly don’t know. I wrote it in part because I couldn’t find any other stories like it.
9) Who or what inspired you to write this book?
I would say that Wen Spencer’s book (mentioned above) was definitely one of the inspirations for Fitting In but I was also inspired by some comments made by one of my favorite then non-professional writers Sabrina Deane. Her Slave Breakers stories inspired me greatly and the enjoyment I got from them encouraged me to write exactly what I wanted with no shame or regret.
Secrets’ inspiration was more in the lack of stories that had large numbers of POC doing things in fantasy novels, especially erotic fantasy novels. I wanted a different sort of hero in a different sort world so I went and created it. I’ve already got half of the first draft for the sequel to Secrets and a full first draft for a side novel set in the ‘verse so I’m happy that I did it. I’m looking forward to writing many more books and stories in this ‘verse.
10) What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
Fitting In: I’ve already published one novella in this ‘verse that shows Cadfael and his twin sister Anwyn as children. You can find The City of the Ladies here in my Store as both an ebook and as a TPB. If the writing goes as I plan I’ll bring both Cadfael and Anwyn to happy endings over the course of the next several books as well as exploring their family and the rest of that world. It’s a big world and I’m looking forward to writing in it, especially since there’s a lot of representation for POC and LGBT characters in Muirin.
Secrets of the Artificer Mages: As I said above, there will be a large number of POC in Secrets plus a lot of adventure. I tend to enjoy writing happy relationships where the characters support each other through difficult, nearly impossible situations and Secrets definitely fits that paradigm.
I can also say that both stories have happy endings since I find happy endings to be a must personally. I hope that everyone found this interesting. Thank you for reading and I hope that you enjoy my stories if you choose to read them!