The Next Big Thing

The extraordinarily talented Lawrence C. Connolly tagged me as part of the Next Big Thing blog hop. Before I get to the questions that are a part of the blog hop, I want to say a few things about Larry.

Jamming at World Fantasy 2012

I met Larry my first term in the Writing Popular Fiction program at Seton Hill. He’s one of the instructors there and all of the three-hour long modules I took with him were fabulous. I particularly remember taking Character and Dialogue, which really drove home how important it can be to shape your characters through what they say as well as what they do. He also had a great class on how to write and publish short stories.

The next time I saw Larry, I think it was at Context in Columbus. Not only did he remember me, but he introduced me to the folks that he knew. That’s just Larry. Heart of gold and a heck of a lot to teach writers, both new and old.

And he plays a mean guitar. When I was a World Fantasy in Toronto, I watched him jamming with MaryAnn Harris, Charles de Lint, and Patrick Nielsen Hayden (Larry’s on the far right in the photo).

He’s also quite a writer. His short stories have been published everywhere, and his Veins Cycle books are fast-paced dark contemporary fantasies (i.e., they’re horror). He’s been nominated for a Bram Stoker award.

In short, he’s awesome, and I’m glad I can call him a friend and a teacher.

So, now on to the Next Big Thing! Here we go:

What is the working title of your book?

Strong in Spirit is the current working title. I’m rather fond of it, as I think it describes the protagonist, Vasil, rather well.

Where did the idea come from for the book?

It’s a sort of sequel to Close Quarter, but not directly. It follows what happens to Vasil, who is a waiter on the Cruise Ship on which Close Quarter takes place. He gets tangled up in the battle between the vampires and the fae Silas and his companion Rhys.

After that adventure, he finds that his life is completely changed. So the idea comes out of Close Quarter, tangentially. What is it like to discover that the world isn’t what you thought? What happens when you can’t run away from your past anymore? The book deals with Vasil coming to terms with his religion, his heritage, and his previous life before he joined a cruise line to get away from the problems in his life.

Oh, and there’s a sexy half-fae name Altan, a corrupt fae  prince, and daemons. ‘cause you know, life needs to be interesting.

I have a more direct sequel to Close Quarter planned, tentatively titled No Quarter Given, which continues Rhys and Silas’s story.

What genre does your book fall under?

Erotic Paranormal Romance

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

Atesh Salih
Vasil probably looks a bit like this. Including the angst.

I have no idea.

I kind of now picture Vasil as this guy from the guys I picked out for my header.

Though at the beginning of the novel, Vasil is clean-shaven. I could, however, completely see him growing a beard, given time.

Altan is a half-fae of Turkish decent. I sort of picture him as a cross between the Turkish pop star Tarkan and the model Atesh Salih.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

After being bitten by a vampire and healed by a fae, Vasil Kutsera must learn to control his new-found powers, or die at the hands of a secret society that protects humans from the supernatural.

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

Neither. Close Quarter was published by Loose Id, an erotic romance e-publisher. I’ll be submitting Strong in Spirit to them, and if all goes well, they’ll publish it.

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

I’m not finished yet, but It’ll probably take 3-4 months total, baring life throwing me a curve ball.

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

Well, Close Quarter, of course. I’d like to think of myself as a monstrous child of Anne McCaffrey, Jim Butcher, Lynn Flewelling, and Guy Gavriel Kay, but that would probably horrify all parties.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

This one is totally my editor Venessa Giunta’s fault. She put the bug into my brain about Vasil as a main character, and I couldn’t say no.

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

Strong in Spirit is set in Istanbul, which is a beautiful, modern, ancient city with so many cultures imbedded into its being, that it can make your head spin. I suppose that’s the other inspiration—the city of Istanbul and the magic you can find in its streets.

I’m supposed to tag other authors to continue the hop… so I’m going to give you Regan Summers, Erika Lindsen, Chelsea Mueller, and Gavin. They should have their posts up in about a week or so, but in the meantime, check them out!

New Look!

Well, new banner! Isn’t it lovely? I can’t stop staring at it and smiling.

It was made by the wonderful Erin Lark, who besides being an all-around nice person and awesome author, also designs covers and things like headers!

I chose (and bought) these stock photos and she worked magic to put it all together.

The city in the photo, by the way, is my own beloved Pittsburgh.

What do you think? I still can’t stop smiling!


Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

I hope everyone’s holidays were enjoyable. If you didn’t get a chance to check out the New Year’s Kisses party at Kay Berrisford‘s  and Tara Lain‘s blogs, head on over. There’s still time to enter to win prizes, as the contest is open until the 7th.

As for me, I’ve been working on the my next book, which is a sequel of sorts to Close Quarter. We leave Silas and Rhys for a bit to follow what happens to Vasil after the events in Close Quarter. I’ve tentatively titled the book Strong in Spirit and it takes place, as I’ve said previously, in Istanbul.

I’ll be doing The Next Big Thing blog hop soon, so I’ll have a bit more about the book then. In the meantime, I’ve been going through old vacation photos from my trip to Turkey for inspiration.

The first photo is of the Spice or Egyptian bazaar. There are several such bazaars in Istanbul, both open air and cover like this one, including a book bazaar.

The Spice Bazaar

The second photo is of a cruise ship on the Bosporus. Vasil isn’t working for the cruise line anymore, due to… uh… stuff happening (poor guy). But he’ll see reminders of his previous life fairly often, as the Bosporus is a busy shipping lane.

Cruise ship on the Bosporus (Boğazı).

The third photo is of old and new buildings along the strait. Istanbul has been a major city more more than 1,700 years, so you get an intermingling of styles, all built on the bones of the previous city.

Buildings along the Bosporus.

The fourth Photo is of the Hagia Sophia or Holy Wisdom, the great Basilica that Justinian, completed in 537. It was the third church on the site and was in continuous use until 1453, when it was converted to a mosque with the conquest of Constantinople by the Ottoman Turks. It became a museum in 1935, with the founding of the Republic of Turkey. Vasil is faithful, in his own way, so the Hagia Sophia does hold some meaning for him.

Hagia Sophia.

The last photo is a view of the Asian side of Istanbul from the Topkapı Palace. Istanbul is a beautiful, huge city.

View from the Topkapı Palace.

It’s hard to believe that it’s been 10 years since I traveled to Istanbul. I’m ready to go back… if only in a book this year. Hope you’ve enjoyed a little peek at where Vasil will be spending his days. Though, he might be too busy to enjoy the sites… we’ll see.