A friend and editor colleague of mine, Belinda Pollard from Small Blue
Dog Publishing, tagged me in her post, about the Next Big Thing chain blog (or blog tiggy, if you like).
Some months ago, I also had the pleasure of beta reading Belinda’s debut novel Poison Bay (a breathtakingly fast-paced and original eco/wilderness thriller, which is still with a publisher, fingers crossed for her). The idea is that each blogger answers some questions about one of their books, either already published or a work in progress, and then links to several more authors who are also writing or promoting novels that just might be “The Next Big Thing.” Each blogger links to the author who “tagged” them and the authors they “tagged” thus creating a chain of author awesomeness that can never be broken.
I’ve decided to use it to tell you all a little bit about my latest release, Cruxim, and to link to some incredible indie chicks, who, believe
me, are fabulous writers and are well on their way to already being The Next Big Thing! Amedeo is Cruxim — an immortal dark angel who knows neither his purpose nor his past, save but to feed on the supernatural beings that plague the earth. When his one weakness, the girl and novice nun Joslyn, is taken and turned by his enemies, Amedeo vows never to rest until evil is expunged from his world — even if that means killing Joslyn along with her vampire brethren. On his quest, he meets Sabine: a guardian. Half-woman, half-lioness, she is a Sphinx who has been protecting humans from vampires since the dawn of time. But when she fails in her task of protecting a young boy, she is relentlessly pursued by her evil employer, Dr. Claus Gandler, a scientist collecting a sideshow of freaks.
What is the title of your new book? Cruxim, which is apparently an anglicised version of a Baltic mythological character, the Kresnik, or “dark angel.”
Where did the idea for the book come from? A few years ago, I invested in a writing workshop at the Byron Bay Writer’s festival. It was run by Stephen Lang, author of An Accidental Terrorist, and in it he showed us all a photographic of a gothic tower and asked us to describe it using all of the senses. I wrote the first few paragraphs of this story, which sat there for several years until I found it scribbled in a notebook and considered expanding on it. I had the idea of making the person in the tower an angel, but I also love mythology, so I wanted to make his love interest something a little unusual. I settled upon a Sphinx, a creature represented in the mythology of many cultures as having the head and breast of the a woman, the wings of an eagle and the body of a lion. As I was searching through mythological creatures, I read about Kresniks and decided to explore making my hero that: an angel whose mission was to kill vampires. But what if someone dear to him became one, how would he handle that when his mission is to kill them all? And the rest of the story sort of just fell into place.
What genre does your book fall under? I would say gothic paranormal romance. Romance is a big part of the story, and the protagonist Amedeo is constantly torn between two women, Sabine and Joslyn, but he is also conflicted about what is morally expected of him and about his mission in life. He spends a lot of time exploring the fine line between man and beast, and what it means to have principles. I like my men just as I like my novels: dark and impossibly conflicted—and Amedeo is certainly that.
What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition? I haven’t really given too much thought to actors. I do have “pin ups” that I’ve stuck on my Scrivener corkboard, but most of them are models. I would say maybe Johnny Depp for Amedeo the Cruxim or Jason Momoa (but that is just because I totally have the hots for him); neither of them seem quite right. I found a male model Gil Soares who kind of looks the part. Amanda Heard for blonde, leonine Sabine, and Odette Justman (with blue contacts) or Emily DiDonato for dark-haired blue-eyed Joslyn.
Will your book be self published or do you have an agent/publisher? Cruxim is self-published only because I am terribly impatient and waiting the 18+ months it usually takes for a publisher to get a book on the shelves (or kindles) drives me little nuts.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript? Ummm. Years. I think I wrote the first chapter in 2006, and I am just about to complete it … so … way too long. But I am so close to finishing it and I’m really proud that I was able to take this little snippet and grow it into something much bigger.
What other books would you compare your book to within the genre? I kind of see it as being an antithesis to the sparkly vampire genre, and while it would be hubris for me to compare myself to some of these authors, I hope it lives up to gothic romances such as Anne Rice’s Interview With the Vampire series or Elizabeth Kostova’s The Historian, or even Stoker’s Dracula.
Who or what inspired you to write this book? Byron Bay Writer’s Festival … it just took a little while to grow into what it is today. But I also showed some to an editor friend of mine who is a big fan of Charlaine Harris, and she really liked what she read of it, so that gave me the impetus to keep going. Having a baby also inspired me to stop making excuses and finish it, because every mother knows that mums have no time to procrastinate!
What else about the book might pique a reader’s interest? At one point, my winged Cruxim and Sabine, his Sphinx lady-friend, are captured by Dr. Gandler, who runs a freakshow. So as well as a cast of Cruxim, Sphinx, love-struck vampires and evil torturers, I have a fat lady, conjoined twins, a dwarf and a wolfman. There are also some fantastic locations, such as Paris, Provins and the Ile de Re in France, Meteora in Greece, and Barcelona, Spain. I’m aiming for a December release, all going well. But you can add it to your To Be Read list on Goodreads before then, and check out the first chapter in the Indie Chicks 50 First Chapters Anthology, or visit www.cruxim.com And now, I’d like to introduce you to some of the other Next Big Thing authors…