The Next Big Thing

I’m jumping on the bandwagon for The Next Big Thing Meme today.

The Next Big Thing is a blog chain in which authors can answer a list of questions about their current or upcoming novel. I don’t think you should restrict yourself to novels for this, necessarily. If you’re working on a short story, novelette, or something else, consider yourself recruited to participate.

(Post a note in the comments with a link to your own blog if you choose to participate. I want to hear about what you’re working on!)


1. What is the working title of your next book?

Wake the Dead is the name of the first book in The Neverafter Sequence.

2. Where did the idea come from for the book?

The proliferation of teenagers in books with special gifts, special powers, special abilities, etc. that are unknown and suddenly become known to them pisses me off. These protagonists find themselves thrust into impossible situations, and most of the time they don’t even use their “gift”s to get out of trouble. They rely on someone or something else, and at the end, they walk away scot free.

It’s a trope I’m totally sick of.

I wanted to write about a character who was against the normative herd, a little bit of an outcast, and who above all did not want to be a hero. I wanted to write a character who experiences inner conflict about the decisions she makes, who makes mistakes, who suffers for them, and who finds herself in a situations where the possibility of prevailing darkness is an absolute reality. I want her success to be plausible, and if it’s not a possibility, then sacrifices must be made.

High stakes. Long histories. An epic villain. Great supporting cast. All necessary requirements for a good story.

I wanted to witness how she’d survive something that would change the world, and I wanted her to respond as a mortal would to the powers that are intent on fucking her over.

The end result was Eden Pearce. Age seventeen. New York born, but currently living in London. Wears her eye makeup like a soldier wears armour. She’s generally pissed off at the world, and she’s about to have a ton of trouble thrown at her.

The Circle of Lebanon at Highgate Cemetery, London

The Circle of Lebanon at Highgate Cemetery, London


3. What genre does your book fall under?

It’s a horror novel that dabbles in dark urban fantasy for young adult readers. I deal with supernatural elements, folklore, and lean on setting quite heavily, so it does carry elements that would situate it as a gothic horror as well.

4. What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

I haven’t found any actress who’s enough of a badass to portray Eden as of yet. (When I come across her, I’ll let you know.) The same goes for Graves and Fell, though I definitely see Iwan Rheon as Holt.

5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

I’m saving the pitchy-marketing stuff for the end. You’ll just have to wait this one out, I’m afraid.

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

I’m leaning towards self publication, but I might query to get my feet wet. (I like the prospect of complete control over the marketing and design of the books.) I’m not against either route, but the decision will be made when I have the completed work in hand and I can gauge if it might fare better entering the world through traditional means or otherwise.

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

Still working on it. 😉 I’ve been writing since autumn this year, and plans for the second book as well as three prequels have fallen into place in the meantime.

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

There is a little bit of Cassie Clare’s Mortal Instruments influence in here, a little Diviners, a little Anna Dressed in Blood.

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

9. Who or what inspired you to write this book?

I visited Highgate Cemetery in London a little while ago and fell in love. I started researching the area’s folklore and stumbled into a legend that offered the foundation for some of Wake’s backstory. The plot fell out of it, really.

Largely, I was taken with the atmosphere of the cemetery. There isn’t any place in the world like it. It’s a little magical, and very quiet in the way that cemeteries are.

It’s a lovely place to host a haunting.

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

Well, if a vampire, a werewolf, and a zombie were to walk into a bar… I’m kidding. The cast of characters is fairly large, and there is an extended cast with their own stories waiting in the wings. I’m really excited for them to share their stories with you, but it’s not yet time to give their secrets away.

I write about monsters, predominantly. I think there’s an interesting aspect to creature features when they’re held against humankind and the horrors that we’re capable of.

It’s sometimes difficult determining which is worse: us or them, but it makes for an interesting dialogue when one thinks it’s better off than the other.


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