Recently, the wonderful C. Alexander London (Shipoopi to his friends) tagged me on Twitter to do something called “The Next Big Thing.” He had been tagged by the idea’s originator, Kate Milford. Basically, I take a moment to talk about what my next project is but I start by tagging three other authors in the hopes that they’ll pick up the mantle and discuss THEIR next project. So let’s start with that:
First, I tag Jeramey Kraatz.
Jeramey’s debut novel, THE CLOAK SOCIETY, is exactly the kind of book I would have been all over when I was that age. Largely because there was a very real chance I would have joined an organization of elite super villains when I was twelve if I’d had the chance. In the book, Alex Knight is training to be a full-fledged member of the Cloak Society so he can be just like his legendary super villain parents. But the opportunity to prove himself goes wonky when he ends up saving the life of a Ranger of Justice, the valiant do-gooders. And to make matters worse… he becomes friends with the girl he saves. Dun-dun-duuuuuun! Super fun book from a super cool guy.
Next, I’m tagging Geoff Rodkey. I snagged an ARC of his book THE CHRONICLES OF EGG: DEADWEATHER AND SUNRISE at ALA Midwinter earlier this year. It had a pretty cover and made promises about pirates. Now, I’ve never been a HUGE fan of pirates but I immediately became a HUGE fan of this book and Rodkey himself. DEADWEATHER AND SUNRISE is an amazing balance of humor and action that finds Egg, the titular main character, hiding in an archipelago of pirate-inhabited islands to avoid the assassins who inexplicably have it in for him. One of my favorite books of the year!
And finally, I tag Kelly Barnhill. Full disclosure: I know Kelly IRL and she’s wonderful. Honest. She first came on my radar with her debut book, THE MOSTLY TRUE STORY OF JACK but I’m here to talk about her recent release IRON HEARTED VIOLET. This is a book that truly turns the idea of princesses and storytelling on its head.
Violet is not your typical princess. For starters, she’s not what some would call beautiful. But she loves a good story and it’s this love that sets the book in motion as Violet discovers how powerful a tales can be when she goes in search of a forbidden story. I can’t say enough good things about this book. Just read it. I promise you won’t regret it.
OK, so this is the bit where I talk about MY next project.
Title: Well, it’s not 100% confirmed but the tentative title is THE SHADOWHAND COVENANT. It’s a sequel to THE VENGEKEEP PROPHECIES. I don’t have a cover to show. Yet…
Oy. Honestly, I’m not sure what I can reveal about the next project. Where I think of VENGEKEEP as a quest book, I think of SHADOWHAND as a mystery. A number of ancient artifacts have been stolen from the High Laird’s vaults and the most likely culprits—the elite thieves known as the Shadowhands—are vanishing one by one. What happened to the artifacts? Who is responsible for the Shadowhands’ disappearance? And why is a group of nomads being blamed for the thefts? Naturally, our boy Jaxter finds himself embroiled in the mystery…and not necessarily by choice.
What genre is the book?
Middle Grade Fantasy
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie?
No clue. Honestly, I’ve never given this much thought. Child actors grow so quickly that anyone I would pick now would be too old by the time a movie got made (if ever). Not a fun answer, I know. I’m a killjoy.
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
It will be published by HarperCollins in Fall 2013.
How long did it take you to write the first draft?
About 10 months.
To what other books would you compare it?
I don’t know that I would compare it to other books but I’ve been told that fans of Harry Potter would probably enjoy it. (Not my words.)
What else about the book might pique a reader’s interest?
If you’ve read VENGEKEEP, there’s a revelation about someone in Jaxter’s life that is rather shocking and is something he has trouble coming to terms with.