The Next Big Thing

The Next Big Thing

What is The Next Big Thing? It’s a blog hop initiated six months ago by Toby Neal, who tagged five other writers. That chain wended its way to YA fantasy author Heidi Garrett, who tagged me.  (By the way, the second in her Queen of the Realm of Faerie series just came out – The Flower of Isbelline.) 

The rules of the blog hop are simple:
1. Mention who tagged you, and link to their post.
2. Give the rules.
3. Answer the ten questions below.
4. Link to several more people.

So, with no further ado, my answers.

1) What is the [working] title of your next book?

I’m working (slowly) on two follow-ups to my novella The Speed of Winter, tentatively titled The Loss of Summer and A Heading for Fall. One will be book II, and the other book III, but I haven’t decided which yet. But A Heading for Fall is furthest along, so let’s go with that.
2) Where did the idea come from for the book?The Speed of Winter (itself inspired by UNDP’s Human Development Report for Mongolia) is about a desperate Earth sending out colonization ships as a backup plan to keep the human race going. As I wrote SoW, which is pretty grim, I realized that I wanted to tell the stories of some other, happier ships, and of those who stay behind on Earth. Plus, there were all those extra seasons lying around. So, SoW became the first of the Four Seasons quintet. As I thought through potential moods and titles for the books, A Heading for Fall just emerged naturally.

3) What genre does your book fall under?
Definitely science fiction, though soft SF – it’s about people, not technology.

4) What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
I’d say Rutina Wesley for Hadiza. Dule Hill for Albert. And while I’m name-wishing, why wouldn’t Morgan Freeman play Hadiza’s grandfather, even if it is a small part?
5) What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
A young Rwandan girl dreams of flying, and eventually becomes the pilot of an arkship meant to colonize a far-off planet.

6) Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?SoW was self-published, and I think I’ll stick with that until the series is done.
7) How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
Still working on it!

8) What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
That’s a tough one. I’m not saying it’s sui generis, but I can’t think of anything offhand. Certainly SoW was inspired by Heinlein’s Orphans of the Sky, but I don’t write that much like Heinlein. I’d like to think there’s some mix of Arthur C. Clarke, early Orson Scott Card, and Stephen Donaldson going on.

9) Who or what inspired you to write this book?
The book will actually be two novellas – one about young Hadiza and the trip to the planet “Fall”, and one some time afterwards. The first part came out of my plan for each book to have a different mood. The second part was originally by a scene in Algis Budrys’ story “The Nuptial Flight of Warbirds”.

10) What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?
The first part of the book takes place in Rwanda, and draws on a couple of years living there. In the backdrop of the story, I posit some political changes and territorial shifts. They were meant to be projections, but some of these are actually happening already. It may be that by the time the book is finished, they’ll be more description than prediction.

The next next big thing
So, who’s up next?
Mike Ormsby –