So there’s this meme making the rounds called “The Next Big Thing” where authors answer ten pre-determined questions about their current work-in-progress. I was tagged to respond by the incomparable A.M. Dellamonica. (And by the way, you can read her answers, about the new trilogy she’s working on for Tor Books, here.) My answers are below.

Make sure you read all the way to the end or you’ll miss the part about Nikola Tesla stark naked and covered in Nutella.

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

It is called The Unsteady Earth and it’s the sequel to The Warlock’s Curse, which just came out in October. It is the second book in the second duology of my Veneficas Americana historical fantasy series.

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

The central concept for this book follows on from elements I introduced in the first duology, The Native Star and The Hidden Goddess. Beyond that, it’s part of a much bigger project—a multivolume, multigenerational historical fantasy saga that follows a family of American witches and warlocks from the 1870s to the present day.

3. What genre does your book fall under?

Historical fantasy.

4. Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

This is always a very difficult question for me, as I’m almost completely unfamiliar with the current crop of Hot Young Things. The character of Jenny Hansen would certainly be played by a long-dead actress from the early 20th century named Lily Elsie—in fact, my cover artist Lee Moyer used a photo of this incredibly lovely woman in his artwork for the book’s cover. I have absolutely no idea who I would cast to play Will Edwards, the book’s protagonist—maybe my readers have some suggestions for me?

I do know that I would cast Matthew Goode as Will’s older brother, Ben. But then again, I would cast Matthew Goode as anyone, anytime, as long as the director didn’t make the unforgivable mistake of making him blonde. (Ugh.)

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

Humanity faces a vexing little problem when it discovers that the spirit of the Earth itself is not only sentient, but insane.

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

Both. While I will self-publish the paperback and the ebook versions, my agent (Ginger Clark) and my digital strategist (Steve Kasdin) will help me get the book out into the world, as they have done for The Warlock’s Curse.

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

Well, I haven’t finished it yet! But the 70k I have written has taken me about four months.

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

Hmm.  Well, we’ve got apocalypse, graveyard humor, personal tragedy, and ultimate redemption. Also politics, anarchy, intrigue, betrayal and family secrets. Oh, and revenge. Lots and lots of revenge. So … geez, I don’t know. The Manchurian Candidate meets The Prestige meets Reds meets Gone with the Wind meets …? The elevator pitch gets pretty bizarre pretty quick.

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

While I don’t always love reading Anthony Trollope (he can be just a bit turgid for my taste), I love the way he interconnected his novels, with main characters from one becoming secondary characters in another. I’ve always wanted to emulate that kind of broad-canvas approach. I love seeing characters develop within one story, while also seeing how their actions resonate down through subsequent generations.

10. What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

In this next book, readers will get to see Nikola Tesla STARK NAKED AND COVERED IN NUTELLA. (No, I’m just kidding. Nutella wasn’t invented until the 1940s. But that  might pique the readers interest, right?)

Tag … you’re it!

I am tagging in three awesome local writers to do a “Next Big Thing” post: Meilin Miranda, Simone Cooper & Kath Nyborg (though I doubt the latter two will get to it this weekend because of AmberCon). Looking forward to your posts, ladies!

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