An Introduction to THE BOOK (of Disastrous Events)

I was not tagged, I stole these questions from Kylie Scott because they looked like fun to answer.

[Here’s how it works:

  • Answer the 10 questions below
  • Spread the fun and tag other writers to participate.] <—I tag YOU Pikachu.

1. What is the title of your book / WIP?
the Liberation of Aurora Kale

2. Where did the idea for this book come from?

A lot of places, to be honest. I can’t pinpoint where it began… although the original version of the story did contain a bit of influence from the anime Fullmetal Alchemist (Hiromu Arakawa) and the anime/manga series Black Butler (Yana Toboso). The Steampunk genre was an influence, although the book is not openly Steampunk.

3. What genre would your book fall under?

Fantasy Adventure (Young Adult)

4. Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Indiana Evans as Aurora
Nicholas Hoult as Xandehr
Sam Claflin as Nineteen

5. What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?
A crippled gravedigger is reunited with a faerie-possessed childhood acquaintance who is trying to escape the influence of her Immortal guardians.6. Is your book published or represented?
Neither. It’s still in the editing stages.

7. How long did it take you to write it?

The first draft took me a month to write.8. What other books in your genre would you compare it to?
Hm… possibly the Laws of Magic series by Michael Pryor, a little bit of the Picture of Dorian Grey (not the same genre I know…), and perhaps a hint of the Belgariad by David Eddings… [Does the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen count?]

9. Which authors inspired you to write this book?

Michael Pryor, definitely, D. M. Cornish, probably many others that are not currently springing to mind.

10. Tell us anything else that might pique our interest in your book
Here are some selected facts, some of them may be lies;
-The hero and the heroine first met when she threw an encyclopedia at his head.
-One of the central characters is not referred to by his real name until the second book.
-Time travel is mentioned and possible, but not used.
-One of the characters is an Immortal woman of Indian descent who has bright purple hair and was almost single-handedly responsible for the French Revolution.
-The character Aurora Kale is named after one of my best friends, but in a roundabout way.
-The novel was originally called Sympathy/Empathy and I made a cover for it that can be found here.

Evil Love

When I was twelve years old, my favourite books were the Artemis Fowl series by Eoin Colfer. It was one of those rare moments when I had chosen as a favourite book a series that was aimed at my age group. I’ve been re-reading the series as the final book came out last week, going through one a day at the moment, at the time of me writing this post I’m on Artemis Fowl and the Time Paradox, which is, admittedly, not nearly as good as the earlier ones. My favourites are books 1-4 but I do enjoy the rest.

There’s a reason for this post. Okay… that’s a lie. There is never a reason for my posts. But there is a reason for my love of the Artemis Fowl series, even though I’m nearing twenty years old (and it’s not entirely that there is still great appeal in middle grade-teenage novels, Skulduggery Pleasant anyone?), and that reason is this;

The teenage criminal genius is possibly my favourite Archetype, in many forms. I particularly love the idea of the villain of the story as the main character.

And there’s that whole blend in the books of science-fiction and magic and wit and it just makes me happy.

*happy flailing/feels/indescribable writer joys*

It’s a theme in my current WIP, or at least the concept of the protagonist having villainous qualities. It’s a BIG SECRET and everything, but the protagonist, who we shall code-name Bill, has a role that is marketed as heroic but makes Bill more of a villain than a hero. I can’t say anything else because I’ve only just started writing it and urgh.

It’s late. I have work in eight hours.

I know, I know. Most disappointing blog post ever. I’m just really bad at this.

Buried Alive [RABBIT HOLE 2012]

This blog post has been a long time coming. And when I say a long time coming, I do mean that I promised that I would write it as soon as the event finished, and it finished… a while ago. And when I say a while ago, I do mean the first weekend in June.

The whole aim of the Rabbit Hole endeavour was for each writer in the team to write 30,000 words from 6pm on the Friday to 8pm on the Sunday Night. There were four teams (I think… don’t quote me), three in brick and mortar locations and one team that connected through Facebook and Twitter. The aptly named ‘online team’, of course. The team of which I was a part.

I entered the weekend with apprehension and EXCITEMENT. I stretched my fingers, warned my family, and roped in a friend to help me on the Saturday, I was ready. I was entirely ready to devote my time to my work and my words. I was willing to be a slave.

Because it’s been so long, I can’t say exactly how many words I wrote per session, but I can tell you of the things that we found most useful.

Heat packs.

Heat packs.

HEAT PACKS ARE THE MOST AMAZING INVENTION EVER. Especially when you are hunched over a keyboard and I started to get this tension pain in my lower back which I tend to get whenever I’m concentrating on something. (It’s a problem that I no longer have now that I have an external keyboard and my laptop screen is elevated by Sabriel, 100 years of Solitude, a Neal Stephenson novel and a volume of Gaiman’s Sandman. But at the time it was Pretty Srs Stuff.)

Writing towards the same or similar target as a group of other writers at the same time is the best motivator ever. Seriously, it’s why I always reach my target during NaNoWriMo and never at any other time. It’s why I managed to write 30,000 words over the course of two and a half days, but it took me two weeks to write the remaining 15,000 words of the novel.

It reminded me that I seriously need to push my fellow writer friends into action and form a writer’s group. Writing is not as solitary an occupation as it seems, despite the fact that a lot of it… uh… is.

It’s nearing midnight, I should probably wrap this up before I lose all coherency.

Here’s what I remember;

I remember angering a man in the local library on Saturday when I got really excited and loud about how Nikola Tesla was alive during 1892 and I began to explain to my friend who he was and how he and his work has impacted the Steampunk genre and so on and so on. My friend then stopped me, reminded me that I was supposed to be writing and so I couldn’t start on an enthusiastic explanation of Jules Verne and his contribution to the science-fiction genre.

I remember going out with my friends on Saturday night and being able to talk about nothing but my novel. I remember my friends being very patient. VERY PATIENT. Every writer needs patient friends. Despite the fact that mine forgot that I was with them later on in the evening… but that’s another story.

And you know what? 30,000 words in one weekend is exhausting. But I did it, I actually probably wrote more than 30,000 words if you count every tweet and Facebook post that was made in the process. I won’t brag (I want to… but I won’t). I was one of the faster writers in the group (it’s not bragging if it’s mostly true… right?).

My favourite compliment from a fellow Rabbit Holer was definitely; “ARE YOU JESUS?”

Romances

I’m using my manuscript as a mousepad.

Apologies to my manuscript.

The thing is; my manuscript and I have a very complicated relationship. It lies about in front of me with a silent begging scream. “EDIT ME!” It cries. I stare at it sporadically, occasionally with suspicion, and then sit a cup of tea on top of it and ignore the fact that I’ve only edited the first four or five pages and there are still about one hundred to go.

Here’s what I’ve done so far;

I wrote the first draft over a month. I wrote approximately 30k of the first draft over one weekend. And yes, it was as insane as it sounds. My hand cramped, my fingers went numb, my laptop started emitting smoke and sounds of terror (one of these is a lie). I’m actually getting this tension pain in the small of my back just at the thought.

(Separate blog post to follow about that particular weekend.)

I printed the first draft (It was exciting!).

I scribbled words such as ‘ARGH!’ in coloured pen and wrote snarky notes to myself in the margins (those were a slight surprise… and oddly welcome). I edited that manuscript until it lay weeping in a pile of tattered pages on my desk.

I then buried it in forgetfulness. It was used as a mousepad. It waited, patiently and impatiently, while I watched many, many episodes of Young Justice and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and then cheated on it by writing in very small cursive on a formerly blank notebook that I hugged wholeheartedly before opening and marring with blue.

I spent a weekend putting the scribbled editing notes into Scrivener… and now it is once again being used as a mousepad. It doesn’t seem to do anything when I stroke it, and croon at it, and rest my head on it (it is surprisingly comfortable), and yet… the editing remains undone.

Why are there not magical editing fairies?

SOMEONE GET ME A MAGICAL EDITING FAIRY! QUICKLY NOW!

And yet, the manuscript remains as it is. So perhaps I should stop bemoaning the tragic state of my relationship with it and give it some attention. Although knowing me, I will probably continue to procrastinate with the help of television on DVD and the internet.