The Next Big Thing

There are the books everyone has heard about: Twilight, Hunger Games, Fifty Shades of Gray. But what about all those books written by people you’ve never heard of? Some of them are treasures, just waiting to be found, and that’s what this blog hop is all about: the books you might not have heard about, but that you might end up loving.

“This blog hop is like a game of tag. One author posts and tags five other authors who link back to their website the next week and then tag new authors. If you follow the blog hop long enough, you’re bound to find some books you’ll love! Maybe you’ll even discover a book that ends up being the next big thing.” – from previous Next Big Thing Blog Hop posters

Color Mage front cover

This blog hop asks questions to help you learn more about an author’s upcoming work. Lots of talented authors have posted before me, most recently Denise Verrico, who tagged me to post this week. Denise is the author of four novels in the urban fantasy Immortyl Revolution series, and also a collection of short stories. You can read her blog and last week’s Next Big Thing post at

Thanks, Denise, for thinking of me for this week’s post! And now, here’s some information about my current project:

1. What is the working title of your book?

Anne Marie: Sword of Jashan. It’s a sequel to Color Mage, which was published last September.

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

Anne Marie: This answer holds true for Sword of Jashan and for my first novel, Color Mage. Both of these stemmed from thinking about power. Lord Callo, the main character in Color Mage, has mage power he doesn’t want – in fact, he is rather afraid of what he might do with it. All those in power around him are corrupt, often using their power brutally. He doesn’t want to be like that, but doesn’t see any way not to be seduced by that ability if he uses it. Needless to say, all the powerful people around him have other ideas. Callo must resort to an unusual kind of strength to avoid being co-opted into their schemes.

3. What genre does your book fall under?

Anne Marie: It’s a sword-and-sorcery variety of fantasy.

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

Anne Marie: I have no idea! I never cast my characters while I am writing their story. My characters are only themselves — if I put a real actor’s face to them I would hurt my process as I develop the characters and story. And I am still writing, even after Sword of Jashan is completed … I wouldn’t dare cast them until I am finished.

5. What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?

Anne Marie: Fleeing from King Martan, Callo rides to warn the boy heir that Ander’s life is in danger as the King seeks to clear Callo’s way to a throne he does not want.

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

Anne Marie: Sword of Jashan will be published by Loconeal Publishing. It is scheduled to be available in August.

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

Anne Marie: It’s complicated! I actually wrote a few chapters of this novel a couple of years ago, then stopped because I wanted to focus on something else. I resumed writing this in March, thinking I would pick up where I left off, and was surprised to find that my characters had other ideas. Most of the novel is completely different from that first attempt. So, the first draft of this most current version was written between March and June of 2012.

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

Anne Marie: It’s a sword and sorcery fantasy, so — I suppose other fantasies based in renaissance-level worlds that still have a feudal type of system.

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

Anne Marie: I’ve always wanted to write, and always loved fantasy. This particular storyline was born with a vacation to the Outer Banks several years ago. I admired the lighthouses, and started imagining what it would be like if they were used to defend the seaside towns against magical attack instead of warning of dangerous rocks. I wondered who would be stationed at these towers, and what would keep them there. It’s changed a lot since then, but that’s how the world of Righar was born.

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

Anne Marie: It’s a good story! An adventure about Callo trying to stay true to his vows while protecting Kirian and the young Heir, Ander. About Kirian — will she be forced away by Callo’s misuse of his power? And about a new character, a 15-year-old boy, who must decide whom to trust as he begins his journey to the throne — and to maturity.

Thanks again, Denise, for tagging me for this week’s post! I’ve tagged another author who will be posting next week. I hope you’ll visit her blog – one of the cool things about this blog hop is so many different authors have posted about very different kinds of work. If you keep checking it out, you’re bound to find something you love.

Next week:

Addie King is a full time lawyer and fiction writer. Her most recent novel is The Grimm Legacy. She is also a contributor to the  Triumph over Tragedy anthology for the victims of Hurricane Sandy. You can read her blog here.

Hope you check out Addie’s blog and find out more about her work!