Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Trick or Treat

All those affected by Hurricane Sandy, I hope you're doing okay out there! I am just fine over here in the DC area - I've had my fair share of experiences with intense storm systems, and my power even hung in there this time. And I don't have to go into work today, so I have some time to catch up on blogging.

Anyway. What even was this month, you guys? I had planned to celebrate Halloween the way I always do - by babbling about it all October-long - but life supremely got in the way. And by life, I mean a time-consuming new job, the sinus infection from hell (and subsequently, an antibiotic that made my symptoms worse and then made my tongue swell up), submission drama, more submission drama, and trying to find time to write all through this.

So to make up for the rec-fest that never was, we will condense it. Because I am holding Halloween right here on this blog, and inviting y'all to come Trick or Treat!

So here's how it goes. Ring my doorbell, and request a medium (movies, tv shows, books, webcomics, campfire stories, etc) and a scariness-level (anywhere from 'mildly creepy' to 'balls-out terrifying,' or just 'non-scary Halloween-themed' if lying awake at night isn't your thing.) You can throw in an optional detail if you so desire, such as your favorite thing that goes bump in the night. And taking your preferences into account, I will find some great Halloween entertainment for you. Because everyone knows the best part of Halloween is the stories we tell!

Ready, set, go!

Friday, October 12, 2012

The WIP Meme

... well, it was actually called "The Next Big Thing" meme. And I certainly hope so, but let's keep it a little less ambitious, shall we? ;-)

What is the working title of your book?Tick Tock. Some days I like it, and some days I'm sure I could do better, but today I think I like it.

Where did the idea come from for the book?
The setting, a town built around the ruins of a once-prosperous factory, had been on my mind for several weeks, as well as the desire to write a sort of Sherlock-and-Watson relationship between two teenage girls. It wasn't until I was marathoning Downton Abbey one weekend, that the class conflict aspect came into play, but once I decided to set the story in America, I had a little trouble figuring out how to make that aspect work. After a talk with my friend (in which she shot down most of my fledgling ideas), I remembered the old watch factory in the town I went to college in, and the rest was (alternate) history!

What genre does your book fall under?
YA historical/gothic horror - my first straight-up horror manuscript. Everything else has been fantasy, mystery, or paranormal.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
I don't tend to cast actors for my books, because I have fantastic artist friends who illustrate my mental pictures for me. But if you'd like to see my friend's AMAZING art of my two MCs, look no further.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Ooooh, I so do not have a good one-sentence pitch yet, but off the top of my head: "After housekeeper Nora saves heiress Claire from an attack by a vicious, unseen animal, she's offered a job in the wealthy Moreau household - as Claire's research assistant."

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
Err, hopefully represented. Its big sister manuscript, The Hungry Ground, has been in an exclusive revision situation for a little over a year now - but no one has seen the revised version other than Secret Agent Man and now some of his colleagues, and I only queried twenty-or-so agents to begin with, so HG still has quite a bit of querying life left in it if it gets rejected.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript? May we see an intro?
I'm still drafting! This is taking quite a while, because there was a big chunk of HG revisions in the middle of the early Tick Tock chapters. I wrote the first four earlier this year (in April, I think?) and wasn't too sure about it, but strangely enough, when I sent off my HG revisions and came back to it, it all clicked for me. I'm at about 45k of a projected 80k.

And the first line is: The scar was hard to see if you weren't looking for it.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
The Monstrumologist series - with less gore and more female characters, to be sure, but that's my most direct YA comparison. (Although Claire and Nora are the same age, as opposed to mentor and student.)

Who or what inspired you to write this book?
As I said above, Sherlock Holmes and Downton Abbey, and probably a bit of Tim Burton's version of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow for dreary Northeastern atmospherics.

What else about your book might pique the reader's interest?
It's got a creepy setting, a core mystery, some romance, a truckload of ambiguity, and two teenage girls bonding and hunting monsters. You know you want in!

And I tag anyone who wants to play. I hope to hear about your WIPs!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

It's the mooost wonderful tiiiiime of the yeaaaaar

... no, not that one. It's October! Time to celebrate creepiness wherever I find it! HUZZAH.

Alas, though I'd wanted to do a proper Horror Blogging Month like I did last year, between the new job and my WIP, I have no life. But I am hoping to supply y'all with as many goodies throughout the month as possible: creepy writing music, some scenery inspirations for horror stories, whatever good recommendations I can scare up, and maybe even some flash fiction. Who knows!

But even more fun, I am going to have myself a little horror/mystery/thriller/paranormal reading marathon! Here's my fabulous list so far:

THE CAVENDISH HOME FOR BOYS AND GIRLS by Claire Legrand (accidentally read it last month... womp womp.)

TEN by Gretchen McNeil (read it on a flight this weekend, actually)

THE DIVINERS by Libba Bray

LONG LANKIN by Lindsey Barraclough

GIRL OF NIGHTMARES by Kendare Blake (having devoured the first book of the duology, ANNA DRESSED IN BLOOD, last year)

And I'll probably stop there, lest I do nothing but read for the entire month.

I hope the rest of you are enjoying this time of the year as much as I am!

(And for those of you wondering about the revision status... it's complicated! It looks like I'll have to wait a bit longer for my happy ending, but I am moving forward - though not quite in a straight line. Cross your fingers for me?)