The Next Big Thing

I’ve been planning to re-launch my blog for a while and recently when my friend Wayne Wyrick tagged me (here’s his blog), it seemed like a perfect case of synchronicity. It’s always fun to talk about your newly birthed (or still gestating) fiction baby, right? So here goes . . .

What is the working title of your book?

Where did the idea come from for the book?
I’ve had a strong draw to Egyptian history since I was a child. I could never get enough of anything having to do with mummies, pyramids or the Nile River. I found a way to work all those things into this story.

What genre does your book come under?
Middle grade steampunk adventure.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Phoebe is eleven years old when the book takes place, so realistically, we’d be talking about someone younger than that now….since I’d have no say in casting anyway, I’d pick Elle Fanning. She’s already too old for the part, but when she was eleven she would have been a great choice.
elle fanning (1)

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
When eleven-year-old Phoebe Fogg stows away on her father’s airship expedition to discover the Lost Library of Alexandria, she comes face to face with a villain who has sinister plans for the Library’s secrets.

Is your book self-published, published by an independent publisher, or represented by an agency?
I’m querying agents, and have received several requests for the full manuscript. (I’ll keep you posted as things progress)

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
About six months, but I spent almost a year working on an outline.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Two of my favorite steampunk authors are Scott Westerfeld (Leviathan series) and Kenneth Oppel (Airborn series) both those series are YA, with more complex stories than mine, but the I’m looking for the young readers who will go on to love those books.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?
One of my Vermont College classmates did a lecture on steampunk during our graduation residency in January 2011. Growing up, I’d been a fan of the Wild, Wild West TV show & liked the Will Smith movie, plus, I was a fan of Firefly. I didn’t really know the genre had a name until Linda started talking about doing her lecture on it. When she mentioned mixing Victorian and sci-fi, my writer mind started doing backflips – it sounded like so much fun!
At the time, I was working on a historical mystery and I wanted to wrap that up before diving into a new project. I started reading steampunk. At the time there wasn’t very much steampunk for kids, but I devoured everything I could find (even a lot of adult steampunk) I kicked the idea around in my head and started gathering ideas. I really started writing the first draft around April 2012 and finished it up in the fall and then took another few months revising.

Over the coming year, I intend to use this blog to share more details about the people, places and things that found their way into my story. I hope you’ll come back!

In the meantime, I am tagging my long-time critique partner, Steve Wedel to talk about his Next Big Thing and the other Big Thing this spring is the Oklahoma Writers Federation Conference with 37 fabulous speakers – check out the lineup on their website.

2 comments for “The Next Big Thing

  1. September 22, 2013 at 2:38 pm

    What a great interview! I would really like to start reading some steampunk – any recommendations for beginners?

    • September 22, 2013 at 8:09 pm

      The Leviathan series by Scott Westerfeld is what really got me hooked. It’s a very interesting alternate history of the beginnings of World War I.

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