Blog Hop: The Next Big Thing


“I’m rather embarrassed to admit, but what exactly is a blog hop?” was my first reaction when I was nominated by talented author, Jack Croxall. His debut novel, Tethers, reached the top ten historical children’s stories on Amazon upon its release and I’m currently reading it now. When I was told exactly what a blog hop was, I almost jumped at the chance to take part. Answer some questions about your upcoming novel, why – yes please!

Although, I must admit I think I’m going to cheat a little. My next project, The Caseworker’s Memoirs, will be released in late Spring 2013, but my feature length YA Fantasy novel, The Black Petal, is in the trusted hands of a professional editor at the moment and as of yet, has no release date. But as quite recently, I’ve talked about The Caseworker’s Memoirs an awful lot, I think I’ll delve into my fantasy world and tell you a bit about The Black Petal.

What is the working title of your next book?

Well obviously I’ve already given that away; The Black Petal, but it does start off a magical trilogy and I’ve already planned the next instalment, which I’ll be getting underway within the next few months. The Black Petal refers to a unique flower that is prophesied to summon a powerful God that can grant you unfathomable power.

I’ll also reveal the working title of the second instalment of the trilogy – *whispers* The Golden Lyre. I’ll let you do your own research into that one :0p

Where did the idea for your book come from?

I’ve always been a huge fan of both the YA (Young Adult) and Fantasy genres and I suppose as I’ve always dreamt of becoming a real writer, those particular genres were a no-brainer for my own stories.

I also studied Classical Civilisation in 6th Form (college) and I’ve always had a love for mythology of various ancient civilisations. I felt at the time that traditional and classical myths were something that many people were losing touch with and I wanted to tell a story that not only captured the teenagers of today through adventure, but also reinvent some of the more, forgotten let’s say, myths of the Greek and Norse people.

What genre does your book fall under?

It’s got to be YA Fantasy, hasn’t it? I suppose the trilogy as a whole will have an epic sort of feel to it, but that most certainly is a stretch at the moment – especially since the second and third books aren’t even written yet.

Who would play your characters in a film?

What a curiously fantastic question! I’m going to have to have a think about that one.

You would say that although the book has two definite central characters; each character has an important and vital part to play. For Blake, the Victorian Assassin, I’m afraid I have no idea whatsoever. He simply formed himself as I wrote.

As for the two teenagers, hmm. This is an older teenage book and so I would need actors that could pull off sixteen year olds. For Jack, our teenager from the present, it could be Transformers actor Shia LaBeouf. I think he is a fantastic actor, full of vigour and able to pull off emotional scenes too. For Lucia, our crimson-haired blind girl, it most certainly could be Saoirse Ronan, who played the younger Briony Tallis in Atonement. From what I’ve seen she is an exceptionally well varied actress.

There are far too many other characters to go through, but one is definitely worth a mention. Queen Danika of the Valkyries is such a mentally ambivalent character who can switch from callous to seductress without a second thought. She would be a really interesting character to play and I think an actress such as Jennifer Garner or Eva Green could certainly pull her off. (Is that thinking too blockbluster-esque?)

What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?

The Black Petal is the first adventure in an exciting new trilogy that combines both magic and myth; and with war looming on the horizon, surely there can be only one winner?

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

Good question! The Black Petal has been with me for some considerable time and it’s always been my intention of giving it the best start in life. I have paid and worked with a professional editor and hopefully I can attract the attention of a fantasy loving agent or publisher.

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

Can you believe it – it took six years! Extremely slow, for many reasons I may add, but now that I am properly organised and am writing regularly, hopefully The Golden Lyre will be considerably less.

What other books would you compare this story to in the genre?

As a reader of a wide variety of books, you’d think this would be an easy question to answer, wouldn’t you? Well, I absolutely love Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials and I’d have to say that it is clear that he has influenced my work. But as my story also features mythology, do you think I’d get away with saying it can compare with some original Greek myths too?

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

To be completely honest, I’d have to say, quite selfishly, that my own perseverance played a big part. I was never an A-Grade student and there is a certain view that only the extremely well educated can write good books, and I wanted to prove to people that no matter what your background or education is, you can still become whatever you put your mind to.

But as I’ve already said, I do honestly feel that myths of old are becoming forgotten, for whatever the reason may be. There are some myths and especially characters from myth that are only known to the well-researched individual. It’s about time they get a new lease of life, don’t you?

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

If magic, war and adventure isn’t enough then there is plenty more to get stuck into as well!

I feel that The Black Petal can appeal to almost anyone who loves a good story. I think that no matter your age, gender, background, sexuality … you name it; there is something for you in here. There is a struggle for freedom, a need for revenge, a love blossoming, a power struggle, a point to prove. It includes loss and addiction – is that telling too much :0p

You can read the full synopsis here if you like?

Now for the next victim *ahem* willing participant, I’m going to nominate American Author, Elizabeth Guizzetti, who if you all remember, wrote the brilliant Sci-Fi novel, Other Systems. With a second book in the series due and an intriguing new fantasy novel entitled The Martlet; I am looking forward as to what she chooses to talk about. You can visit her blog here and why not check out The Martlet trailer below to see what you can expect from this highly exciting author in the near future.

How cool does this look!

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