I was recently tagged by Sean Cummings to participate in The Next Big Thing, where authors answer ten questions about their current works in progress. If you haven’t read Sean’s post about what he’s working on now, jump over to his blog to take a look. It sounds awesome–how could you resist an apocalyptic young adult tale featuring zombies?
In turn, I tagged three excellent writer friends. K.A. Laity has already posted about her weird noir project. (And she’s such an amazing writer she’s been tagged three times now to share her “next big thing.”) I’ve also tagged Keith Pyeatt, award-winning author of “horror with heart,” and J.R. Turner, whose urban fantasy Redemption I called “a heady mix of action, thrills, and sizzling romance.” Watch for their posts on November 21.
So thanks, Sean, for asking me what I’m up to with my writing. Here’s what I had to say:
What is the working title of your book?
Hellhound. It’s the fifth book in my Deadtown urban fantasy series featuring demonslaying shapeshifter Victory Vaughn.
Where did the idea come from for the book?
Because I’m writing a series, everything that’s in this book comes from two things: Vicky’s story as it’s unfolded so far and the overall plot arc that will finish with book six.
What genre does your book fall under?
Urban fantasy. I try to write the kind of urban fantasy I most enjoy reading, with tons of action, some humor, and a touch of romance. There’s also some darkness as Vicky struggles with her own fears as she races to save others.
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
This question always gives me trouble, because the characters are like real people to me, and I’ve never been able to match them up neatly with actors. Keira Knightley or Emma Watson (in a few years) could probably play Vicky—but that’s mostly because they both look good with hair that’s short, like hers. I think of Vicky’s werewolf boyfriend Kane as looking sorta like a decades-younger Richard Gere, but keeping the silver hair Gere has now. And my mental image of Pryce, Vicky’s nemesis and demi-demon cousin, looks a little like Cillian Murphy. See? I’m really bad at answering this question.
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
When some of Boston’s zombies turn murderous, Vicky must find out what’s causing the killing spree, while trying to prevent a demon war and outrun the pack of hellhounds on her trail.
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
I have an agent. The publisher for this series is Ace. Some time next year, I hope to self-publish a collection of Deadtown-related short stories, including a novella-length prequel set during the zombie plague that created Deadtown.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
Probably about three months, if you don’t include some breaks related to pressures of the day job (which is also writing, but mostly related to technical and educational topics).
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
I don’t like to make direct comparisons because it feels presumptuous. So I’ll say that if you like to read fantasy series set in a modern urban environment that show characters with special powers trying to save the world while dealing with the problems of everyday life, you’ll probably enjoy my books.
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
I’d been reading a lot of urban fantasy and thought it was a fun genre that I’d like to try writing. Several things came together to launch Deadtown, the first book in the series—a blog comment that no one besides you can “wrestle with your own personal demons,” my background in medieval literature with a long-standing interest in Welsh mythology, a joke that zombies improve any book (and that was before Pride and Prejudice and Zombies came out), and a desire to use Boston as a setting. And so Vicky Vaughn—a descendent of the Welsh goddess Ceridwen who lives in Boston’s paranormal-only district and kills other people’s personal demons for a living—was born.
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
Hellhound features a book that doesn’t want to be read, a teenage zombie fashion entrepreneur, and a wisecracking guilt demon that may or may not have an actual conscience. Not to mention a pack of actual hellhounds.