WIP Wednesday: Survey Thingy

Our bloggy friend Caroline Richmond tagged us for this WIP survey called The Next Big Thing, and you know how we're all for doing memes and the like. That and we love hearing what other people are working on. So we couldn't resist Caroline's siren call.


What is the working title of your book?
I suck at this title stuff. I always title things at the end, just like with every essay and term paper I've ever written. I've called this WIP "Asian NaNo" (because I started it as a NaNoWriMo) and "Luck."

Where did the idea come from for the book?
Weirdly enough, I was reading an article about the Kennedys (I forget what the article was about specifically) and thinking about the tragic and prominent deaths that have plagued the family.

This somehow led to the idea of a prominent family that was said to be cursed because their children always died young or at the cusp of their greatest achievement. And then I thought about how because this family was prominent, respected, and wealthy, people must also say that they're lucky. So I combined the two ideas and made them literal - the family was both literally blessed and literally cursed.

What genre does your book fall under?
Fantasy, my first and truest love! Uh, I guess YA?

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
I'm declining to answer this question because I'm just not very good at picking Real People to be the people in my head. Also, if I tried to do this right now, I'd end up staying up all night. So let's save me some sleep and stress and say SKIP.

I will say that most of the characters are East Asian-looking since the world is based on ancient China.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Augh, I hate summarizing things. Why are these questions so hard?! Uh, I guess...

When the family curse rears its head, Cian and his sister Tae embark on separate journeys to break the curse and save their family - Cian, in search of the Luck Demon and Tae, in search of their missing oldest brother.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
I'd love for it to be represented, but I'm nowhere near the querying stage. So we'll see...

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript? May we see an intro?
Uh, can I plead the 5th on the first half of this question? This thing isn't finished, especially because it had to be restarted a few times. This is what I get for being a pantser who insists on complicated storylines. :P This is the original opening, which may or may not change:

Cian searched for treachery in his shadow, but the dark figure against the wall remained as motionless as he was. It mocked him with its innocent mimicry of his posture, the hovering poise of his brush. He lowered his hand and watched the shadow do the same. Perhaps he was being overly paranoid, but he could never be too careful. Better to err on the side of caution, especially when one’s family is cursed.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
I suppose it's a little bit like Malinda Lo's Huntress in that there's a quest and it's set in an ancient East Asian kind of landscape and mixes Eastern and Western folklore. But otherwise, it's really not like it at all. Oh and there's a smidgeon of Mulan in here too, minus the awesome musical numbers (I know, bummer). Yeah, I'm terrible at this.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?
Like I said, I was thinking about the Kennedys, haha. But initial idea aside, I was fascinated by the the dichotomy of gift/blessing vs. curse, and I was thinking about Greek Mythology and gifts from gods (not always good; in fact, frequently not). I was also incredibly frustrated at the time by the presentation of an Asian-inspired fantasy land in a novel I had recently read, and so I thought I'd try my own hand at it (FYI, it's freaking hard to get it right). Beyond that, I love "family" as a theme.

Mix those things together and you get my WIP.

What else about your book might pique the reader's interest?
There are also sweeping vistas, a strange wild girl with red hair, a frozen glass sea, ancient secrets, the Luck Demon, and heart-eating beasties.

Source: viralblender.com



What is the working title of your book?
So far it's "Sanctuary", which is unoriginal but serviceable.

Where did the idea come from for the book?
I wanted to test myself with some first person POV since normally I prefer third person, and as long as I was doing that I wanted to try my hand at writing two different styles: a pragmatic, practical, cynical heroine and a starry-eyed deeply romantic love interest.

What genre does your book fall under?
Urban fantasy and I suppose YA, and I guess murdery mystery since there is a mysterious murder, and romance, possibly, yes, unconventional romance.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Like Krispy, I'm skipping this one since I rarely ever picture real live people as my characters.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
A;kldsja;fjsa I hate writing synopses!  Er, I'll give it a try.

Lammy lives in a little town called Sanctuary, where nobody is what they seem, the least of all Lammy herself--and when an angel moves into town and dismembered corpses start showing up at school, Lammy is the number one suspect.

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

I'd love to be represented by an agency but I have to, you know, finish writing the book first before I can even start thinking about queries.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript? May we see an intro?
I wrote a decent chunk for NaNoWriMo last year and then have sort of been working on it off and on, in between other projects.  This is the current first paragraph, subject to change:

When I was born, my mother abandoned me because I was a freak.  She'd only gone about ten feet before she thought better of it and decided that freak or not, I was her daughter.  She came back for me—and then started to worry that I'd never lead a normal life looking the way I did.  So she did what she thought was best and gave me away to people better able to give me the childhood I deserved.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Hmm. I guess it's a ltitle bit like Team Human by Justine Larbalestier and Sarah Rees Brennan in regards to playing with some YA tropes, and maybe a little Percy Jackson in the way that there's magic and monsters not readily seen by normal people.  It's probably like other books too but none of them readily spring to mind.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?
I'd say that at its furthest backest farthest roots, this story came about due to my frustration with reading crappy YA romance where it's Troo Luv at First Sight Because of Destiny, and also the way that stalker behavior and alpha male dominance is styled as hotness.  I also like it when characters lie to themselves or think one thing while acting differently.  All this gave me the basis for the main characters, and everything grew up around them.

What else about your book might pique the reader's interest?
Our down-to-earth heroine takes issue with the fact that the angel sent to spy upon her town is convinced that theirs is a destined meeting.  She also has a BFF with a curious aversion to sunlight, a loving and supportive mother who knows exactly what her adopted daughter is, and a serious sweet tooth.  Some say the way to a man's heart is between the ribs; the way to Lammy's heart might well be her stomach, but will our angel-in-disguise figure this out before Lammy permanently sends him back to Heaven?

And we tag these writers to share their Next Big Thing:
Wistfully Linda
Emy Shin
Yahong Chi
Julie Dao
Lori M. Lee


Lori M. Lee said...

Both your wips sound awesome. Fantasy is my most well-loved genre, and Lammy sounds like someone I'd really like. I hope I get to read these someday!

Thanks for the tag!

Yahong Chi said...

Alz, I'm in love with your WIP. Seriously. I adore the idea of playing with YA tropes, your angel character sounds hilarious and I want to know more about this supportive mother.

Krispy, Asian fantasy? I'm sold. And the juxtaposition of blessing/curse just makes it even better. Also, the name "Cian" is awesome. As are heart-eating beasties. :D

Caroline Tung Richmond said...

I love the sound of both of your WIPs!

Alz, yours sounds deliciously spooky and I love the play on angels. Krispy, ASIAN FANTASY FTW!!! Also, I love how you got the idea from the Kennedys. :)

Ali Cross said...

Ha! I want to read both these books! Great answers, guys! I loved hearing about them!

Golden Eagle said...

I love the sound of both WIPs. The intros were very intriguing!

Emy Shin said...

Krispy: I absolutely LOVE the sound of your WiP. There definitely need be be more Asian-inspired YA fantasy.

Alz: Your heroine sounds so, so, so awesome. And I absolutely adore the cynical main character / starry-eyed love interest combo (I explored it in one of my many incomplete WiPs).

If either of you ever need a beta-reader, I'd totally love to read. *nudges nudges*

Connie Keller said...

Wow! Both your WIPs sound great!! Can't wait to hear more.

Anonymous said...

Both your wips sound very intriguing. I wish you much luck and hopefully one day they will be available in bookstores. :)

Katy Upperman said...

Aaah! These both sounds AMAZING! I'm so intrigued by both of your WiPs, and I look forward to the day that I can purchase both books in stores. Best of luck on BOTH of your projects! :)

Julie Dao said...

Your books sound full of AWESOME! Thanks for the tag, ladies... I'll be doing my post a bit late. Sorry for the delay, been sunning myself on vacation ;)

linda said...

AHHHHH I am an idiot and somehow missed this post! And didn't even realized I'd been tagged! And tried to get you guys to do the survey even though you'd already done it! Gah.

BUT BUT BUT I'm so glad I discovered my mistake despite the overwhelming embarrassment because your WIPs sound AMAZING! Love the intros especially. Love Krispy's Asian fantasy idea and love Alz's pragmatic, cynical protagonist. PLEASE LET ME READ THESE.