The Next Big Thing Blog Hop

You can never know enough about a writer, I find. Curiosity consumes me. What drives someone to write? How do they do it? Does it come easily or is it an exhausting process? These are the questions most of us have to answer in pretty much every interview, the ones which are often so overdone, we don’t even stop to think as we type up the reply.

But you know what? You’ll learn much more about a person when you read about their work. Ask an author about their work and their eyes light up. The tone changes, there’s a fire behind those words. Try it. I often buy the books because I like the person.

So, how did I get here? Through an author I admire.

Bruce Blake – you’ll find him in my Awesome Authors Gallery – contacted me and asked if I’d like to take part. Thank you, Bruce. This whole thing originated on the She Writes site, as far as we could work out, and is designed to raise awareness of our work, or work in progress. We do that by answering ten questions about it. We graciously thank the person who nominated us, and tag five other authors whose work could well be that NEXT BIG THING.

That bit was easy. Now for the scary part:

Q1: What is the working title of your book?

Blood is Power. I can do more than that – I can show you the provisional cover.

Q2: Where did the idea for the book come from?

I have a ‘thing’ about injustice. I find it easy to see a golden nugget in every living soul, and I don’t believe in judging people. Nick Hunter, the protagonist in my story is someone most people would stay away from, someone they might fear, someone they would most certainly judge, if they knew his story. In the Hunter trilogy I wanted to delve deeper into the human mind and, in a way, I wanted to give someone like Nick Hunter a second chance. What happens to him does not define him. He lives his life by his own rules and would turn Heaven and Earth upside down and inside out to protect his loved ones. Unlikely as it sounds, he is a hero.

Q3: What genre does your book fall under?

Action thriller.

Q4: Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Ah! You got me there. I watch so few movies, and so little TV, I barely know who’s who. I do learn a lot from my teenage kids, though, so let me try. Tequila would be played by a blond Angelina Jolie, Maxi would be Emilie de Ravin, and Nick… oh, Nick… Matt Damon or Brad Pitt maybe. It’s hard to tell. When I see Nick Hunter in my mind, I don’t see the face. I see the soul.

Q5: What is the one sentence synopsis for your book?

An ex-contract killer has to face old demons in order to make his family safe.

Q6: Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

I’ll self-publish this whole series.

Q7: How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

It took me six weeks, part of which I was working full-time, to write way more than I could fit in one book. Two days after I thought I’d finished I realised I had enough plot for three books. So then I had to take the initial story and split it. It took one week to have Blood is Heavier ready for publication, back in May. I’m still working on Blood is Power. I’m allowing two weeks to make sure the plot is solid, and then two more weeks for re-writes, edits and formatting. Yes, I work fast. I can become a little obsessive about a project.

Q8: What other books would you compare this story to, within your genre?

I would liken my style to Dean Koontz in as much as the storm brewing in my novels affects the characters and those in their immediate vicinity only. It’s Armageddon, but only for them. The rest of the world goes about its business oblivious to these few people’s predicament. The Husband and Life Expectancy would be closest, I think.

Q9: Who or what inspired you to write this book?

Human nature. I am fascinated with human nature. I’ve been watching people and piecing together their reactions and mannerisms so I could understand why they did what they did or said what they said since I was a little kid. It’s got easier over time, but it never lost its appeal. I could watch people all day and not get bored. That and my probably-mistaken belief that I could right some of the injustice in this world. I just couldn’t resist Nick Hunter. I had to tell his story.

Q10: What else about your book might pique the readers’ interest?

This book will make Blood is Heavier read like a bedtime story, by comparison. The villains only spoken about in book one make a full-on appearance now. Confident that his family is safe in Tequila’s care, Nick pulls out all stops to hunt down and punish every person responsible for killing his parents and kidnapping his son. He uncovers a ring of human traffickers with chilling connections into slavery, drugs and the manufacture of a certain type of pharmaceuticals, whose business dealings are right out of every human being’s worst nightmare. And it’s all legit, it seems. What can one person do, one person against a global, corrupt, yet well-oiled machine?


Now that I’ve said just enough, I’d like to pass the torch to five deserving authors, and let them tell you all about their work. Their posts will bear the same title and will be live on or around 14 November. Here they are:

Maree Ward-Russel

Kristie Haigwood

Kristine Cayne (you’ll find her on my Awesome Authors Gallery, too)

Emily Guido

Emma Meade

14 Replies to “The Next Big Thing Blog Hop”

  1. How very cool! Best of luck on self-publishing! I love Emilie de Ravi, by the way. Haven’t heard much about her since Roswell went off the air. Out of curiosity, do you use an editor or beta readers once you’re done with a book or do you simply rely on yourself?

  2. I have a bad habit – I edit as I write. I have a major problem moving on unless I’m pretty damn sure the whole manuscript is as near perfect as can be up to that point. I don’t even start a new scene until I’ve read the previous chapter(s) and I know there are no repetitions, the grammar is perfect, the sentences have a consistent rhythm, and the paragraphs are the right size for easy reading. This can be time-consuming and sometimes I rush through scenes, and have to fill in the gaps on a second run-through.
    When the whole book is finished I read it again, with the mindset of a bad-tempered nit-picker. I have a set of beta-readers who read my books, too, and all the time it’s with them I check it and check it and check it again.
    An ex-editor, friend of mine, read both my satire and the Hunter trilogy (when it was still one very long book), and she didn’t hold back.
    I would love to be able to say I rely on myself only. In a way, I do. I firmly believe I am my worst critic. If I am not satisfied with my writing, no one gets to see it. But I have been known to miss things, so I would say a minimum of two beta-readers (the no BS kind) would be essential.
    I would probably feel extremely exposed if I didn’t have someone else pick through my book before it’s ready to be unleashed on the readers.

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