I got tagged for the Next Big Thing meme again, this time by Trisha Leigh. I figured since this version is a little different than the other one, I’d do it again – but this time I’ll talk about my baby, SHARDS. (If anyone is curious, here’s the reeeeally short one I did for my NaNo, FIRE.)
1) What is the working title of your book?
SHARDS. It was originally SHARDS OF MEMORY, but one of my CPs, Darcy, suggested shortening the title for some pretty awesome reasons that I totally agreed with.
2) Where did the idea for the book come from?
One of the first pieces that was in place was the reincarnation aspect, and I can’t say there’s anything in particular that inspired that. I got the idea to make Calanthe and Vantandal’s families merchants and bankers while I was taking my History of Medieval Italy class in college, and the rivalry between their families was inspired by the Wars of the Roses. As far as Calanthe’s whole journey of finding a way to assert power, I was inspired by medieval women like Isabella of France and Eleanor of Aquitaine, and trying to think about how they would’ve felt about being married off without having any say in the matter.
3) What genre does your book fall under?
4) Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Emily Blunt would be too old to play Calanthe, but she has the look that I envision for her.
Again, Henry Cavill would be too old for Vantandal (who is 19), but is how I picture Vantandal.
5) What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?
Not the heir her father wanted, seventeen-year-old Calanthe Mallea has one chance to be useful to her family when she’s sent to Nilea’s capital to marry the heir to the throne, and subsequently has visions of a young woman’s brutal murder that turn out to be memories from a past life.
6) Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
I intend to pursue traditional publication. I’m hoping to be ready to query early next year.
7) How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
I never actually completed the first draft, since things just didn’t feel right to me. The first draft that I actually completed was my second draft, and I wrote that during my last year and a half of college. My most recent draft took nine months, although I wrote most of it between the end of June and the end of July, since student teaching from February through June basically sucked out my will to live.
8) What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
I would compare it to Crown Duel by Sherwood Smith. Other people have compared it to The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson, although since I still haven’t read that, I personally can’t say for sure. I think in terms of its feel, I’d compare it to Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo – SHARDS is very much a fantasy story with a very historical feel to it. And this last one isn’t YA and is unbelievably out of my league, but the political struggle (and historical inspiration) is very similar to George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series (but without the incest!).
9) Who or What inspired you to write this book?
I started writing fantasy after I read The Lord of the Rings in 8th grade. So I feel like I should give credit to Tolkien. I don’t think this story in particular would’ve been written if I hadn’t taken all those medieval history classes in college, and if I hadn’t done most of my research in women’s history.
10) What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
It has cute boys 😉 But seriously, though, I feel like this story would appeal to people looking for a strong female character, but isn’t necessarily strong in the same way that Katniss is. I wanted to portray someone who is strong and survives by being smart, not sitting in trees picking people off with arrows. I mean, no offense to Katniss, but there are other ways to show strength.
I didn’t tag anyone last time, but I think I will this time. The five writers I’ve decided to tag are…