Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Next Big Thing - The Tower Broken

So the Next Big Thing is a chain blog. One of us answers ten questions then 'tags' five more authors to do the same one week later. I was tagged by Elspeth Cooper. I haven't tagged anybody yet. I plan to put a lot more effort into that very soon.

OK so here are the ten questions!

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

The working title is The Tower Broken, Book Three of the Tower and Knife trilogy.

2) Where did the idea come from for the book?

For this particular book, the ideas flow naturally from the first two. But the idea for the first book, The Emperor’s Knife, came from a reading of history. A prince of the Ottoman empire had been locked away for many years and brought out again when his heir-less brother passed away. He had been driven mad by his isolation, and eventually was murdered by his courtiers. Sarmin’s story is a bit different.

3) What genre does your book fall under?

It’s fantasy. Some call it “historical fantasy” which I consider to be an oxymoron – if it’s fantasy, it’s not historical. And while my society has some surface-y similarities to the Ottoman empire, it is not really based on any historical society or period. I would call it “adult fantasy,” but I think that implies something I do not intend . . .

4) What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

That’s not something I’ve really thought about. Most of the people in the story are multiracial so that’s a requirement. Also, Sarmin is supposed to look thin and sickly, while Mesema is supposed to look smarter than she does pretty. I don’t think movie casting would really do them right.

5) What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

For the third book, the synopsis would be: “Cerana faces down its historical enemy while a greater threat creeps through the desert towards the capitol city of Nooria.”

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

I am represented by Ian Drury of Sheil Land Associates (London). The book will be published by Jo Fletcher Books in London and Night Shade Books in San Francisco.

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

The first book took about six years. The second, a little less than one year. This one, a lot less than one year.

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

It has been compared to Sanderson, but I don’t agree with that. For people in terrible and desperate circumstances who want to do the right thing, I would compare it to Durham’s Acacia trilogy (though I found the first one so heartbreaking I haven’t continued on to book 2 yet). Mine is not as sweeping and epic as his, but I think the royal family and the tragic events compare.

9) Who or what inspired you to write this book?

Competition. Mark Lawrence and I started sending emails back and forth, trying to outwrite each other. After a few days it was clear that characters and a story were emerging.

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

It’s a fantasy in a non-Western setting with strong characters and a massive, world-ending threat. I’ve put as much richness and excitement into it as I could manage. I hope people enjoy it.


  1. So you're saying that Sarmin isn't eventually murdered by his courtiers? Bummer that ... but I'll read them anyway. I love the way you handle the scenes with the Many. Great writing. ;-)

  2. No no no, or at least, the end hasn't been written :) I'm glad you liked the Many.

  3. I'm 2/3 of the way through book 2 and am so looking forward to book 3!