The Next Big Thing Blog Hop

“Next Big Thing”?  Hey–is this because I’m almost 6 feet tall?

Oh . . . I do crack myself up.  

So, my Twitter/writer friend, the incredibly talented E.M. Caines, asked me if I wanted to participate in the Blog Hop.

It was hard to decide whether to talk about the YA Contemporary Fantasy book I’m currently querying, a second Historical Fiction that’s currently on the backburner, or my new YA Fantasy manuscript.  I went with the new one—I’m about 15k words in.

What is the working title of your book?

It’s called JUDGMENTAL.  For now, at least!

Where did the idea come from for the book?

My mother randomly found a book about Brehon Law that she bought from our local library’s used book sale.  It had little blurbs about the laws that the Brehons were expected to enforce as the judges in Ireland for thousands of years, until the 1600s, when Oliver Cromwell and the English army outlawed certain Celtic practices.  This started me thinking about descendants of these Brehons who might have a supernatural interest in reviving Celtic culture. 

So I stole the book away.  (Thanks, Mom!)

What genre does your book fall under?

It’s Young Adult Contemporary Fantasy.

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

Ooh!  This is fun.

My main character, the narcissistic Rowan Conneely, looks like a young Sarah Michelle Gellar (think Cruel Intentions).Image 

Her love interest, Stephen Casey, looks like a younger Zac Efron.Image

 Rowan’s father, Jimmy Conneely, looks like Robert Carlyle.Image

 Niamh Lowry, local pubkeeper, looks like Melissa McCarthy.Image

 Moira King, Rowan’s Irish friend, looks like a young Minnie Driver.Image

 Brother Harris, the monk, looks like Donald Sutherland.Image

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

JUDGMENTAL is about a narcissistic 16-year-old New Englander who is sent to live with her estranged father in Ireland, where she discovers she’s the last of a line of Brehons, ancient judges who are now charged with bringing peace back to Ireland.  [Wow, this logline needs serious work—but this is all a Work In Progress . . . ]

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

I would love to find an agent for this book!  I am currently querying for THREE WISHES, my first-ever manuscript, and have learned so much in the process.  I’ve got two full manuscripts currently under consideration, and a few dozen queries still out, with more planned.  Even if nothing comes of that, I am truly enjoying writing and will continue to try to find an agent.

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

Dude!  I’m totally still writing.   🙂

I began this draft on February 15 and am now 15k words in.  At this rate, I should be done with the first draft in another six weeks or so.  I’m aiming for the end of April (arbitrarily).  My two earlier manuscripts I wrote as part of NaNoWriMo 2011 and 2012, so it was one month for each of those first drafts. 

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

This is a great question.  I’m still pondering that.  It’s a “low” fantasy, meaning there’s not a ton of world-building, and the landscape will be familiar to those who know western Ireland.

I know it sounds like hubris suggesting this, but I guess I’m feeling very Susan Cooper-ish (The Dark Is Rising) while I plot and write this book.  Her books, though, are probably more serious—and better-written!—than mine.  Also, hers are MG while this is definitely YA.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

Since I started writing my first book in 2011, I have found that ideas are coming at me from every which direction.  At times, it’s an effort to turn off the Muse.  Not that I ever want her to go away, of course.

Everything I read about querying said that I should have another project to work on to distract me from the waiting game.  So, for once in my life, I am following someone else’s advice!

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

What?!  Did you see the picture of Zac Efron up there?  Oh, you needed more.  Well, Stephen, the character Zac is going to play, (see how ambitious I am?) also recites poetry—a Celtic side-effect.

I lived in Clifden, Ireland for a year when I was 19, just a few years older than Rowan, my MC.  I’ve included a lot of detail about the place that I hope will make it really come alive.

To quote E. M. Caines, who tagged me in this sock BLOG hop:

And that’s it for the Blog Hop. I hope you enjoyed it and I didn’t bore you to tears.

This is the part where I get to tag some worthy authors.  So  – TAG! You’re it!

Please check out the blogs of: Sarah Faulkner, Joan Reeves, and Carissa Taylor to hear about their projects!


1 Comment

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One response to “The Next Big Thing Blog Hop

  1. Oh my gosh I SO need to read this WIP. I love/adore Susan Cooper’s series! The only way I could love it more is if it were YA…. and yours is!! Yesss!!

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