Jill Archer, author of the urban fantasy novel Dark Light of Day (about a magical heroine and a demon law school), tagged me for this chaining online Q&A about one’s current work in progress. As it happens, I have two books in progress, one I’m drafting and one I just finished copyedits on. I’m going to talk about the copyedited book since I haven’t talked about it much and it’s the one that comes out first.
Next Big Thing Q&A
What is the working title of your book?
Where did the idea come from for the book?
It actually began as a sequel to another book I’d written. That book had a minor character named Lucien, a whip-smart, chess-playing amputee who stole every scene he was in. He was so charismatic that I knew I had to write a book around him, but the trick was going to be coming up with a heroine who wouldn’t be overshadowed by him. I figured she needed to be a chess player too, at least as good as he was. And then I wanted something totally out there and crazy, and I thought, “Hey, I’ll make her an assassin sent to kill him.” At first, the idea was kind of a joke (one of my critique partners even mocked up a joke cover for me), but the more I thought about it, the more I realized, hey, this could actually work. So I wrote a book about a chess-playing (female) assassin.
What genre does your book fall under?
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
I can never answer this question. I’m faceblind and have little capacity to even recognize most movie stars–they all look alike to me. Because I have difficulty telling characters apart, I seldom watch movies or TV and read a ton of books (or play videogames) instead.
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
It’s about an assassin who falls in love with the man she was sent to kill.
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
The book will be published as a Signet Eclipse (a Penguin imprint). I am represented by Alexandra Machinist of Janklow & Nesbit.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
Three months. I’m a fast-drafter. I spend more time revising and polishing than drafting.
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
It was originally picked it up as a romance that would appeal to “Game of Thrones” fans. I think it is pretty unique, but I have also heard it compared to Kushiel’s Dart by Jacqueline Carey.
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
As I said before, I was inspired to write more about Lucien because he was such a fun character in the previous book where he’d played a minor role. And once I invented Vitala, the heroine, she was even more fun!
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
What I loved about writing Gambit was writing a strong heroine who doesn’t need the hero to save her. The power dynamic shifts between Vitala and Lucien several times throughout the course of the story, and as often as not, she’s the one saving him (or preparing to kill him, as the case may be). These two come together as equals, and what brings them together is that Lucien, who has lived most of his life as the smartest man in the room, has finally met his match in Vitala.
Other authors with “Next Big Things”
These authors will be posting next week about what they’re working on. I hope you drop in for a visit!
Jessi Gage, a NOLA STAR and Heartbeat Contest finalist, writes paranormal romance. Her debut novel, Wishing for a Highlander, features a pregnant museum worker who travels back in time to 16th century Scotland, where she meets a Scottish laird who believes he’s too big under his kilt to be with a woman. Wishing will be out this coming January.
Julie Brannagh, a 2011 Golden Heart® finalist, writes contemporary sports romance. She is agented and going places!
Marlene Dotterer writes paranormals, including time travel, science fiction, faery and werewolf novels. Her novel The Time Travel Journals: Shipbuilder, about a physicist and a college student who accidentally go back in time and find themselves stranded in the age of the Titanic and in a position to prevent the famous disaster, is available now.
Arlene Hittle, a 2011 Golden Heart® finalist, writes contemporary romance. Her GH-finaling manuscript “Beauty and the Ballplayer” also won the FCRW Beacon contest.