Sunday, November 4, 2012

The Next Big Thing

I haven't yet mentioned my writing on this blog, because that wasn't the purpose I had in mind for it. But my friend tagged me in her blog, and if I don't carry forward the tag (pay it forward?) I imagine the consequences will be as calamitous as if I didn't pass on a chain letter. (Remember chain letters? Did you know they used to be actual letters that you sent in the mail?)

I'll answer the 10 Questions about my Work In Progress that I'm supposed to, but the most important thing to take away from this post is the link to my friend's site, where she talks about her WIP (and it sounds way cool and I wish she'd hurry up and write it), and the links to the writers I'm going to tag, because they'll have way cool WIPs to talk about, too.

So, first go to Kim Neville's blog. Was I right? Isn't that the greatest idea for a story?

And now, here are

10 Interview Questions for the Next Big Thing

1. What is the title of your Work In Progress?

I don't know yet. I call it Arin, because that's my main character's name. (I may or may not have named her after Aerin from The Hero and the Crown.)

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

A half-page scene I wrote in a notebook several years ago, in which a boy is listening to his grandfather telling stories about the days when people lived in shining towers and flew through the air in giant metal birds. The boy doesn't believe his grandfather. He has to go take care of the rabbits, that keep trying to escape. I had the image of a farm in the Fraser River valley, inland from Vancouver, at a time when the climate is dry and almost desert--a great contrast to what it is now. Eventually the only thing I kept from this scene was the climate. And the rabbits.

3. What genre does your book fall under?

Post-apocalyptic YA. But NOT dystopian. I'm trying to imagine a very real future scenario, when oceans have risen, temperate climates have gotten warmer and drier, weather has gotten more extreme--and I threw in some earthquakes and volcanic eruptions just to make sure society would completely crumble. But it's not going to be depressing or bleak. People are resourceful and will come up with all sorts of interesting ways to adapt. Think steampunk except with eco-tech. Eco-punk!

4. What actors do you imagine playing your characters?

Um. Hadn't really thought about this. It's a good exercise in character development! Arin's best friend, Chelse, is a young version of Karen Gillian crossed with Julia Sawalha in her role as Lydia in Pride and Prejudice--gorgeous, fearless, impulsive, and completely selfish. Kennan could be Matthew Lewis as the older Neville Longbottom--lanky, a bit awkward, but very nice, and good in a crisis. He's hopelessly attracted to Chelse. Arin is harder. A young Sissy Spacek, but with brown hair. (That just shows how old I am!) Okay, more contemporary: Caitlin Stasey, from Tomorrow When The War Began (which is based on a wonderful book of the same name, which anyone who liked The Hunger Games should go find right now). But without the Australian accent. Naive but practical, fragile-seeming but with a core of steel.

And Arin has a younger brother who could easily be played by a young Macaulay Culkin.

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

That would require me to know what's going to happen! I reserve the right to completely change this, but so far:

A girl caught stealing water is forced to spy on (or maybe for) a group of saboteurs determined to start a war over the Pipe that carries the Fraser River south to Seattle.

6. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

Um. I have to finish writing it first.

7. How long did it take you to finish the first draft of your manuscript?

See answer to 6. My last novel took me five years. I'm hoping to cut down on that somewhat.

8. What other books would you compare this story to in your genre?

I'm thinking Little House on the Prairie meets Kenneth Oppel's Airborn. Not sure about the airships, though. (I'd like airships, but where will they get the helium?)

9. Who or what inspired you to write this book?

As soon as I started thinking about what Vancouver might look like in 100 years or so--assuming the worst climate change predictions come true, and we run out of oil, and the whole fragile structure of our society comes tumbling down--I came up with a whole cascade of political, economic, and social ramifications that are a lot of fun to play with. Essentially I've been reading all the dire warning books and deciding, gee, this is probably going to happen at some point in the near future. What will that look like? But I have faith in the human race: I don't think it will be dystopian. I think it might be kind of cool!

10. What else about your book might pique your readers' interest?

I think I've come up with a (reasonably) plausible explanation for why there won't be electricity in my future world, but people will still have technology, so it will be fun to come up with non-electric ways to do all the things we currently need electricity for. (Did you know that London used to have a network of high-pressure water mains all through the city to supply hydraulic power to factories, workshops, building sites, etc?)(Does that not give you all kinds of steampunky ideas?)('Cause, it was actually steam powered. Unlike airships.) (Which are just too inherently cool not to include, whatever the genre is called.)(But I don't think there are any helium repositories anywhere near Vancouver, darn it all.)(I wonder if they could pipe it from somewhere?)(There may end up being a lot of pipes in my novel. Would Pipe make a good title?)

That's it for my WIP. Now it's time for my taggees to answer these questions and post on their blogs. Give them a week or so, and then go check out

The purple-haired KT Wagner, at Northern Lights Gothic

The blue-haired Aheila, at The Writeaholic's Blog

(I should totally dye my hair.)


  1. Thanks for sharing your WIP, and I do agree about Kim N's WIP--it'll be AMAZING.

    That said, I feel like a 2nd grader fidgeting, just can't sit still. I want to read a finished draft of your novel, darn it! So hurry up and finish!! ;)

  2. Yes, do write this novel soon please! Also, I think you would look very nice with pink hair.