The Next Big Thing | My Work in (little) Progress

Every now and then I seethe with envy as I see bloggers tagged and awarded by other bloggers, challenged to take part in a chain-blogging what-have-you. I thought of them as blackballing bastards that didn’t give me the time of day (I may embellish somewhat).

Until recently, that is. 


It is with great pleasure that I announce that I have been tagged by David Jón Fuller in what is called The Next Big Thing,  in which I am to tell you about my current novel-in-progress, in a friendly question-answer format.

What is your working title of your book?

Sand & Glass.

Where did the idea come from for the book?

I was sitting in a car driving past a wall somewhere and all of a sudden I had an image in my head of two girls in a hot air balloon flying over a large wall to see what was on the other side. The girls and the wall made it into the story but the hot air balloon has been abandoned.

What genre does your book fall under?

It is a post-apocalyptic fantasy. I’m hoping to impart enough “style” into it for it to be elevated to the status of “literary fantasy”.  There are no dragons in it, nor wizards in odd hats but there are monsters a plenty and a girl that discovers a magical ability involving sand, which comes in handy as she lives in a desert. There is also some sword fighting. There are portions that happen just before the world of the story is torn apart that would fall under more classic fantasy.

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

It is early days yet to be thinking along those lines. Lead is a young woman who must appear fragile but pack a kick. I’m thinking maybe Kate Mara, who is both those things in addition to being very pretty. There is a strong male character as well that I think Jake Gyllenhal would pull off well.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

In the last village of humans in the world, built against a giant wall in the desert from which water flows, a young girl discovers her will to survive as society falls apart.

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

I will make every attempt to get an agent and a publisher. I have no illusions of becoming the next E. L. James.

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

I am still working on the first draft, and it has taken me about half a year so far of intermittent writing. I am learning a great deal about motivation and effort along the way, as well as the need to outline outline outline.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Dune comes to mind, mostly because of the setting but also for the mix of styles (Dune is half sci-fi, half fantasy), and also because I think it is very well written.  Very little else comes to mind, perhaps The Handmaid’s Tale for the back-and-forth timeline way of telling the story. Just to be clear, I am NOT comparing my current work-in-progress to the brilliance of The Handmaid’s Tale. I’m merely saying there are some similarities in form.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

The writing style of Michael Ondaatje, and also the hundreds of crap books published every year. I can do better.

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

The world ended, and all that is left is a little village of humans trying to squeeze life from the desert. The village lies against the side of a giant wall, from which water flows out of a pipe. But what’s on the other side of the wall?
I was tagged by David Jón Fuller, who is writing a very interesting 80’s glam-rock werewolf book.

I have however been busy lately and haven’t given myself time to find people to tag next, but am doing so here. Rachel Lynn Brody, Barry Napier, Colin F Barnes, K T Davies and …. Stephen King (’cause why the fuck not?)

8 thoughts on “The Next Big Thing | My Work in (little) Progress”

  1. I admit that exploring the wall and pipe sounds more interesting than society falling apart. Perhaps it’s because the latter is so common in dystopia and post-apocalypse? Whereas your premise with the wall could lead to many possibilities I’ve not read before.

    Also, I dig your title, given what happens to turn sand into glass.


    1. I look forward to finishing the thing.

      Also, the wall is not a line, but bends back and forms an enclosure. But it is so high that no one from the village has been able to see the other side, and no doors have been discovered. Whatever is on the other side, is keeping them alive with the water that trickles out of the pipe.


  2. I got two blog awards – you were on my list for both but I thought your blog a bit ‘high-brow’ to respond :)
    I’m interested to hear about your book. I’m in the middle of my novel, a YA Sci-fi book about a young girl who becomes part of a world within our own.
    I should be writing now… *distracted*
    Anyway, hello! and nice blog.


    1. Hello right back.

      Well thank you, both for considering my blog AND for thinking it “high brow”.

      I also have a distraction problem, and Twitter is my biggest poison. Good luck with your book, I’ll certainly be checking out your blog.


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