Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Next Big Thing

I'm happily nervous to be participating in the NEXT BIG THING Blog Hop! In case you haven't heard, aspiring writers and published authors have been answering ten questions about a work in progress or a recently published novel. Since I don't have any of the latter, and I'm in the boggy middle of my current WIP (i.e., can't answer questions about it yet), I'll answer them about Running Down the Dragon, the novel I'm currently querying.

Huge Major Thanks to The Writer Librarian, AKA Karen McCoy for asking me to participate! Since I am even later to this party than she was, I will leave it open for anyone who wants to participate. If you want to be tagged, please let me know either by commenting below or by sending an email to the address in my profile (the super original LauraHughesAuthor at gmail address) and I will update this post with your details and links to your blog.

What is the working title of your book?

 It's changed a few times, but it's currently Running Down the Dragon. It was originally called Dragon Hunter, and before a few rounds of edits, it was a finalist in Janet Reid's Liz Norris Pay It Forward Contest under that title. Then I found out Dragon Hunter had a lot of weird baggage (google it, if you're interested).

Where did the idea come from for your book?

 I was writing a high fantasy series (which was the first attempt at writing a novel I ever made), and realized I wanted to write something that took place in a world more like the one we all live in, with a few major exceptions. I'd just finished the first draft of the second novel in my currently-shelved old series, and decided to try something completely different. It was terrifying, because I wasn't sure I even had another original idea in me until I dreamed up Thalia, the main character. Once I knew who she was, everything else flowed from there.

What genre does your book fall under?

 This is one of my major problems. It's most easily classified as "speculative," but that's such a broad umbrella. It's also a crime thriller, a race against the clock to stop a serial killer. I've been told by some folks that it's not really urban fantasy, but neither is it a standard thriller (you know, since the main characters are shapeshifters who can use elemental magic). I usually call it a crime thriller with urban fantasy elements. Or an urban fantasy with crime thriller elements. Or maybe an urban thriller with crime fantasy elements? Nah, that's just silly.

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

 I might be the only author on the planet who hasn't even thought about it. I really, truly haven't given it a single moment of thought. I've looked through pictures of models and actors for inspiration on the way the characters look, but as far as playing them on film, I haven't a clue!

***EDIT: It occurred to me I could at least give you an idea of how I see Thalia:

The lovely Tonia Sotiropoulou.

What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?

 It's two sentences. I cheated:

Thalia Drake, U.S. Military and world's last dragon, must stop a serial killer from exterminating shapeshifters. But stopping him means exposing the dangerous secret she's hidden for thousands of years - her true identity.

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

 I'm currently querying agents, so hopefully it will be represented by the Most Awesome Agent On Earth (aka the agent who loves the story as much as I do, whoever you are).

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

 I don't even remember! Six or seven weeks maybe? Once I started writing, it all sort of fell into place. It's been through about eight months of editing, though, so it's a far, far cry from that first draft!

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

 I have called it the love child of a Patricia Briggs novel and NCIS.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

 My need to keep writing, despite the fact that I didn't want to keep writing my first series at that time. I had to test my limits, to find out if I could write something else entirely.

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

Who would've thought this was the hardest question to answer?

I'd have to say uncovering Thalia's history. She's been alone in the world for centuries, even though she's been surrounded by folks that adore her. When she watched the only other dragon she knew slaughtered in battle, she knew the only way to save herself was to hide her identity. Almost no one knows her real form, and if they did, she fears they would kill her just like they did the rest of the dragons. There are good reasons dragons were exterminated in the past. There's also the difficulty of fessing up to centuries of lies. How could anyone ever trust her again? She's kept herself emotionally isolated for centuries, until a killer sorcerer's spell accidentally unmasks her to the one person who might be able to help her.

 So, who's next? I don't know! You tell me? Is it YOU?


AND WE HAVE A TAKER! The Next Big Thing will be Alexander Pierce, and on Twitter as @RedAntisocial. Be on the lookout!


  1. Loved the concept for your novel right away when you entered my pitch workshop a few months ago, so it's great to find out more about it! Good luck with the querying :)

  2. I like the new title a lot! And wow on your time frame for this one, very impressive!

    1. Thanks! I haven't touched it in a few months, so hopefully it really is done. I have a feeling there are more revisions in the future, if I dare look at it again!

  3. This is the first I've seen of "The Next Big Thing Blog Hop". Those are good (tough) questions and great answers.

    Six or Seven weeks to write the first draft. Wow! It took me twice that, and that was after a month of evenings spent outlining.

    There are a few questions on there I couldn't really answer about my book either. Such as the working title (BookB doesn't really cut it :P) or the actors.

    You're definitely not alone in not having thought about that one. Now I'm going to have to do a google image search to see if anyone out there matches what I have in mind.

    1. Thanks! I wrote the first draft quickly on this one, but I've never been able to duplicate the feat! It seems that each successive novel takes me longer to write. I think it's spending time editing, querying, and everything else slows down the writing process. I've been working on the third book in this series since April, and I still don't have a full first draft! O_O

  4. Late to the party here too, but love, love, love your premise! Please let me know when it gets opped (and it will) so I can read it. Double wows on the timeframe--i think it took me a almost a year (maybe more) to draft TRISKELEON, and even longer to edit. What's your efficiency secret? Maybe I should try kicking that perfectionist habit I have. :P Love your post, and thanks again for letting me tag you! :)

    1. Thank you so much! And you can read it any time you want. :D

      I think my efficiency secret at that time was I had a lot of free time on my hands, and no other projects to edit/read/write/query/etc. I spent every day sitting and writing and writing. There's no way I could duplicate the feat now.


Tell me all about it: