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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Next Big Thing Blog Hop



I’m honoured to be chosen to be part of this blog hop, and I’d like to thank Joleene Naylor  for tagging me to participate. This gives us all a chance to view releases from authors we admire, as well as introduce us to some works in progress.
This is the cover idea I am currently toying with.  I made it using a CreateSpace cover template and one of their stock photos. It may change but for now I quite like it.
I've also downloaded the CreateSpace Word template and am using it for the current draft of the book.  Its quite handy as it gives a good idea of what the final layout will look like.  

Ten Interview Questions for “The Next Big Thing” are as follows:

What is the working title of your book?
When I first started writing this story I called it Stoneflower.  Then I noticed a book in my local library called The Stoneflower so I decided to change it.  The current title Alcluith - Tears on Stone is a reference to the geographical location of the story.
Where did the idea come from for the book?
Many years ago I read a whodunit by Ellis Peters called The House on Green Turf.  The book starts with a group of young musicians spending a weekend at a country house. Woven into the plot are extracts of musical verse, including an ancient Scottish ballad.  The ballad itself has no relevance to the plot other than to set the scene of the gathering.  I found the story behind the ballad intriguing and thought it could be used as the basis for a novel.
What genre does your book fall under?
Without wanting to appear too pretentious, what I am hoping to emulate is the literary tradition of the Arthurian Cycle as well as tales such as Tristan and Isolde and Cuchulainn..  These stories and legends are all tantalisingly veiled by the mists of time - set during the turbulent and uncertain period following the withdrawal of Roman rule.
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
15-20 years ago I would not only have all the actors mapped out in my mind, but also the theme music and film locations.  Nowadays I've had a bit of a paradigm shift.  In the past TV was always the poor relation, but recently a number of high budget, well crafted shows makes me more inclined towards that medium.  I've mentioned before I'm a great fan of Downton Abbey, but in the context of my story what I would really aspire to is Game of Thrones (without the tawdry sex scenes that seem too self consciously bolted on).  I'm not in the same league and would also not want to give the impression that my story falls into the fantasy category, but that sort of top class production, creating an incredible sense of atmosphere would be brilliant.  A made for TV show has an intimacy and immediacy not easily achieved in a big screen movie and with the number of viewing apps available this medium is much more accessible.
I would leave the choice of actors to the professionals and the production team.  I've been pleasantly surprised by shows I've watched recently and I think someone relatively 'unknown' can make a character their own.
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Can a son - born to be king but raised in obscurity - return to avenge his father, reclaim his birthright and change the course of history?
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
Self published. A while back I sent a synopsis of this book to one of the big publishing houses in Dublin.  They turned it down - as you do with unknowns.  I would probably have abandoned it altogether if the new self publishing options had not become available.  I think they are great as they give people a voice who would otherwise remain in obscurity.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
I wrote it off and on over a period of years. (I gave a bit of background to this in a previous post.)  The draft I am working on is hopefully the final one - when I can get to it I've found it progresses surprisingly quickly - the trick is being able to make the time to write!
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Last week I published a post called Books That Have Stayed With Me and listed the 5 authors and novels that have made the greatest impression on me.  Amongst them are The Crystal Cave and The Hollow Hills by Mary Stewart.  Both have the myths and legends of Merlin and King Arthur at their core, but the stories themselves are anchored in the real world.  I'm trying to achieve the same effect - my characters and events are all completely fictitious, but the locations I have chosen are all completely real.  This gives the narrative a quasi historical reality that appeals to me.
Who or What inspired you to write this book?
I started writing purely for my own enjoyment, but as I've mentioned before, if I do get it published the dedication will be to my mother - no longer part of this world but always with me.
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
Hopefully the book will just be an enjoyable read and bit of escapism for anyone who gravitates towards this genre and era.
Two previous posts Some More Adventurous Scribbles and The Friendship and Inspiration of Blogging contain a much more in-depth synopsis as well as extracts, an explanation of the character's names and a link to the first chapter.
Ygern's Secret is another complete short story with a similar theme that I wrote many years ago when I was in my early twenties.

And last but by no means least these are the authors (and all round great people) that I am tagging.  They will be posting their blog hop entry on the 21st November, but you can always visit them in the meantime: 

7 comments:

Donna Yates said...

I love that cover! If I didn't know you, I'd buy the book just from the cover. You are certainly multi-talented.
I love the story too. I can't wait to read the entire book.

Roger Lawrence said...

Lovely striking cover.

Joleene Naylor said...

I like that cover and am looking forward to this one! :D

darlenefoster said...

Your book sounds great and I love the cover. Thanks for including me in the blog hop.

Barbara said...

Hi Sharon, I thoroughly enjoyed finding out more about your book,and it’s already on my TBR list!

Victoria said...

Super gorgeous cover..love the vibe and energy it carries! Congrats on everything..so wonderful reading and learning more about you..you are a wonderful spirit!
Shine on!
Victoria

Stephanie@Fairday's Blog said...

What a great post! I loved hearing more about your book and your writing process. The cover looks great! I am glad the final draft is going well- it can be hard to find the time to write! Wishing you much success. I can't wait to read this book. :)

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