making books: a blessing of monsters internet progress
by Harry Connolly
I’ve been tagged by S.K.S. Perry to do this meme and while I normally ignore tags, I was planning to do this anyway. You can read his here.
What is the working title of your next book?
EPIC FANTASY WITH NO DULL PARTS, but it’s also probably going to be called THE WAY INTO CHAOS.
Where did the idea come from for the book?
I wanted to do an epic fantasy, and the idea for this book came from a particular visual/event that occurs early in the book.
What genre does your book fall under?
Epic Fantasy, but it’s not medieval.
What is the synopsis or blurb for this book?
A sentient, contagious curse brings about the collapse of an empire.
What actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
It’s a sign of my old age that I don’t know much about current movie stars. No clue.
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
Are those the only two options?
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
I started it in October of 2011 and finished on the day THE AVENGERS came out. (May 4th?) I rewarded myself with a matinee.
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
I homeschool my son and I wanted to start him on a long writing project. To that end, I bought a copy of Adventures in Fantasy by John Gust, which is a set of writing exercises to help kids think up and finish a fantasy “novel.” It also includes a number of terrific language lessons.
Because my son would never consent to do all those exercises by himself I did them with him, creating the basics of my book through those kid-oriented exercises.
Now, the way the book works, you create certain archetypal characters and put them through certain specific paces. To keep my own interest high, I fussed with and undermined the formula, sidelining the putative “hero” early and turning the sidekick and mentor characters into the actual heroes. We’ll see how well that works.
For his part, my son wrote a comic fantasy. I paid him a penny a word for it and published it on my blog. For such a young kid, he has a great voice.
I also wanted to deal with the idea of people who come from an empire, who don’t feel like they are particularly powerful within their culture nor do they think it’s fair that others see them as partly culpable for what the empire does, and what happens to them when they venture beyond the frontiers.
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Good question. No clue.
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
Humans are not the only intelligent species, but the other creatures are not the usual humanoid monster/elf/dwarf types. They’re different enough that the characters at first don’t even realize they’re intelligent.
The book also has a number of magic portals in it, but they aren’t a source of excursion for the protagonists to explore other lands. They’re a source of incursion. The humans are being invaded here.
Finally, the tech level here is pre-medieval. The warriors are not knights, they’re more like hoplites (although the setting isn’t ancient Greece).
No tags! If you want to do this yourself, go for it.