December 19, 2012

Blog Hop: The Next Big Thing

Lists of questions are often used as conversation-starters on the Internet. Lately, this is the string that's been running around my circle. Each writer answers these questions about her book, and then passes the baton, as it were, to five more writers. Pretty soon everyone who ever even thought of writing a book will be tagged.

Robynn Tolbert, author of Star of Justice, tagged me as part of a string of authors promoting their Next Big Thing. Her post went up last week; now it's my turn.

1) What is the title of your next book/work?
© Anyka --

Alara's Call, Book One of The Prophet's Chronicle

2) Where did the idea come from?

I had a kind of vision -- almost like watching a movie -- of troops riding through a gate, flags flapping in the wind. I started writing to find out who those troops were and why they were there. There's only a bare vestige of that scene -- the flags -- left in the book.

3) What genre does your book fall under?

"Sword Opera," which is like fantasy only without the magic, elves, and dragons. Thank you, Caprice Hokstad, for coining this term.

4) What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

I have yet to see any actors who could play the heroine, Alara, or the hero, Dorrel. The only role I've been able to cast so far is Alara's mentor, General Rariden, who will be played by Harrison Ford.

5) What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Alara is called to prophesy to world leaders -- starting with her father.

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

Agents seem utterly unwilling to represent this genre. They say there's "no market" for that, but since I know plenty of people who read this genre, I know that what the agents really mean is "the market for that is too small to be worth my time. I am hoping to place the manuscript with a small press that doesn't require agent representation.

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

A few months, but it was horrible, and sat in a drawer for ages before I took it out again and rewrote it. Several times. Eight, actually.

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

The Blood of Kings trilogy by Jill Williamson
The Legends of the Guardian King series by Karen Hancock
The Duke's Handmaid by Caprice Hokstad
Prophet by R.J. Larson
Daughter of Prophecy by Miles Owens
Star of Justice by Robynn Tolbert
Amberley by Mary Elizabeth Hall

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

The aforementioned vision. And, I like to think, God. At least, I hope this book honors the gift he's given me.

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

Although most fantasy worlds are medieval (you can thank medieval expert J.R.R. Tolkien for that), Alara's world is more like 19th-century Europe. And although there's some swordplay, it's more about political intrigue.

I'll tag P.A. Baines, who has already done his homework, Ralene Burke, Diane Graham, Avily Jerome, and Will Ramirez. Yes, I picked all New Authors' Fellowship members. Because a fellowship sticks together.


  1. Here I thought you'd post about Hope and Pride. Glad you're not giving up on Alara. She has a lot more to say, I'm sure.

    1. She does indeed. I thought about putting H&P instead, but since you and everyone else in the chain is writing SpecFic, I figured I'd stay in that vein. And I do still have hope that Alara will find a home.