Friday, November 9, 2012

Birth of a Novel

Write, so I was supposed to post a progress report for Birth of a Novel, but two annoying/upsetting things happened. First the kid got a stomach bug, and second, like the complete idiot I can be, I caught the puck during my Wednesday night hockey game. Wait, no, let me say that again: I caught the puck with my hand on the part of the glove that’s worn through from overuse. I didn’t break anything, but two days later and still hurts. I didn’t do much typing yesterday (part of my NaNo word count was actually from the day before and I just hadn’t reported it).

Right. So back to Birth of a Novel.

As it turns out I’ve been tagged for the next big thing a bunch of times, but I haven’t done it. Since the birth of a novel blog hop is just getting started I thought today would be a good day to pass it along.

1. What is the working title of your book?

THE PRINCESS SINGULARITY and I can’t decide if it’s the greatest title ever or a complete failure of nerdity. The previous title was ACCIDENTAL GODMOTHER, but one agent said “I think I’ve read this already.”

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

The idea for this book came after my daughter fell in love with Cinderella. On the fifty bazillionth watching of it, I thought about how funny it would be if there was someone whose magic was always destined to reproduce plot points from stories with similar spells. For instance, if the mage needed to get somewhere in a hurry, but didn’t have a cart, but she had a love sick girl and some mice, she could recreate the carriage and dress from Cinderella to get a ride to the nearest town or village. The only problem is that at that inn or village, for whatever reason, there would be a prince there, and he would fall madly in love with the girl (not the mage). Because of this chance meeting the whole region would be destabilized politically, and so on and so forth. It’s changed a lot since then, but that was the start of it all (hence the original working title of Accidental Godmother).

3. What genre does your book fall under?

Genre, you prickly thorn in my side. So if this were a perfect world, I could say YA fantasy. But this isn’t a perfect world, and people tell me “Oh, those themes make it MG, or this is too mature for YA, so it has to be adult.” So right now, I’m writing with a genre in mind, but I’ve read enough YA to say, it’s not like your typical YA because it doesn’t revolve around a romance. Sure there’s some in there, but my story is about defeating an evil wizard who wants to take over the world (for some very valid reasons, mind you). My book is a lot of action and adventure in a magical world (and our world, too).

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

I know he doesn’t do bad guys, but—absolute swoon—Neil Patrick Harris.
The villain would of course be married to Cate Blanchet… And these are the love interest’s parents.

As for the main character, I think Selena Gomez would do a great job with it. Although, Anne Hathway from Princess Diaries wouldn’t be a bad choice either (but she is getting a little old to play a teenager).

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

I suck at this, but here it goes:
When Tessa’s best friend is kidnapped by an evil wizard who has mistaken her best friend for Tessa, she has to hunt down the evil wizard and steal back her friend.

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

The first draft of the manuscript took 12 weeks. This draft, a full rewrite, has been a hot and cold affair which I’m working on for NaNo (To NaNo!)

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

This is another one of those things I’m supposed to be good at, but actually totally suck at. See my big problem is that there’s not a lot of adventure YA. There’s a crap ton of romance in weird settings, but not a lot of adventure. So to compare, I’d say if Jim Butcher got together with L. Frank Baum and George RR Martin to write a book featuring a teenage girl, this would be it (note that I recognize the fact that L. Frank Baum did write a book about a teenage girl, but he didn’t have voice like Mr. Butcher… not that I do, but you know what I mean).

And I think that right there is why I have such a hard time comparing my books to other books, I feel like I have no right to say my book is what you would get if you had a book with voice by Butcher, politics by Martin, and world building by L. Frank Baum.

8. Who or What inspired you to write this book?

What inspired me to write this book was that I was going completely insane. No, really I was going COMPLETELY INSANE. At the time, my little girl was only 8 months old, and I had exactly one day of child care, during which I had to teach a five hour class and get as much research done as possible. So on this one day off from raising an 8 month old, I would arrive at work wrangle analytical equipment all morning, and teach all afternoon (often without lunch). Anyone who’s ever done the kid thing knows what I’m talking about, no sleep, I was actively doing research and writing my dissertation and teaching. I had the equivalent of three fulltime jobs. I was going insane. Then this idea for a novel struck struck like lightning. I had to write it.  

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

Who doesn’t want to see the prom queen break out a giant sword to go chop off the wizard’s head? Or how about an MC who decides to turn herself into a dragon to take out the wizard even though she knows it’ll probably kill her?

So yeah, this is a silk, swords, and sorcery book. And I wrote it because I haven’t been seeing nearly enough of these in my life. (that should tell me that they don’t sell well, sigh.)

As for who I tag:

I’m tagging everyone on the Birth of a Novel Blog hop. And if you want, feel free to sign up, just go here and jump on the linky.


  1. You know what you would like? The Shifter series by Janice Hardy. It's MG, but it's an adventure fantasy with a female main character and an interesting twist on a standard fantasy trope.

    I just love reading this "behind the scenes" on books, especially books I love. I am totally doing this with my book, I am glad you tagged me (and everyone else in the Birth of a Novel blog chain).

    1. I'm such a big fan of the Next Big Thing Meme. I only hesitated doing it because I knew I would take forever. That and it was getting ridiculous to post back to all the people who'd tagged me (and some of them several months ago! I'm such a bad blog award winner too).

  2. Yay! So glad you're NaNoing it. I hope it's helping you work through your rewrite.

    I messed up a couple of fingers on my right hand yesterday while at the barn... it's making typing a little challenging today. Ugh. Hope your hand feels better soon!

    1. Oh, I hope your hand feels better. When I hurt mine my first thought was "Oh crap, how will I type?" I needn't have worried so much, they're just cranky and stiff, so it's back to NaNo.

  3. I hate trying to fit my work into a genre, or fit a genre into my work. Glad your hand is getting better!

  4. i just wrote a lengthy comment but the captcha blasted it!
    summary, hand better! love princess, i remember similar, love the hockey in you!

    1. ARRRGGGH! Blogger Captcha!!!!!! I've turned it off three times! It just hates me. I'm going to write to Google now. ::Pissed dyslexic girl is writing mean letter because my settings reset every time they f@#%# with Blogger!::

  5. This sounds super fun! I totally love it!

  6. A swordfight at a prom? Excellent dude.

  7. You can catch a puck too? Wow, I'm impressed!

  8. This sounds like a fun book!

    I'm sorry Mr. Linky isn't cooperating with me and I don't know how to fix it on my blog.

    I did however do this same meme in October. You can find it Here


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