My Turn at the Blog Hop: The Next Big Thing

by | Oct 16, 2012 | Blog | 1 comment

A writer friend of mine, Chris Ward, author of The Tube Riders, tagged me in something called a “Blog Hop,” which is a cool new way for writers to talk about their work, support other writers, and help readers find new writers they might not know about. So, in the spirit of self promotion AND goodwill to man (and woman), I happily accepted the baton, so to speak, and will play along. To do so, I will begin with adhering to the format, which appears to be posting the Blog Hop title, the rules, the questions (with answers) and the links:

BLOG HOP — The Next Big Thing

The rules for the Blog Hop are as follows:

1. Give credit to the person/blog that tagged you
2. Post the rules for the blog hop
3. Answer these 10 questions about your current WIP (work in progress) on your blog
4. Tag five other writers/bloggers and add their links so we can hop over and meet them

Ten Interview Questions for The Next Big Thing:

What is the working title of your book?

I’ve got two works in progress, books 2 and 3 of The Galactic Mage trilogy, which launches the series of the same name. Book 2, Rift in the Races, is no longer a working title, because the cover art is done. Too late to change it now, even if I wanted to, which I don’t. Book 3, which I am working on while my editor works on RitR is called Citadel, and that’s definitely a working title. It might stick, but very possibly not.

Where did the idea come from for the book?

The whole trilogy is sort of one idea. It was originally seeded like twenty years ago by a movie called October Skies, which is a movie about a kid from a coal mining town who invents rocketry, committing to his passion and going against the grain of his local culture. Being a fantasy and sci-fi geek, I thought it would be cool to write about the guy on a planet with magic being the first one to figure out how to get into space. Book two and three are the continuation of that idea as success with the development of magical space travel leads to encounters with other races in the galaxy.

What genre does your book fall under?

It’s both science fiction and fantasy. It’s got space ships, lasers, intergalactic travel, mechanized battle-suited marines, tactical nukes and all that, plus it’s got dragons, orcs, wizards, centaurs, swords, fireballs, castles and all that kind of stuff. All in the same book. Fun, I say!

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

That’s hard to answer, though fun to think about (a good question for Facebook, I bet). I don’t keep up with television very well, and am pretty bad about remembering actors’ names until I’ve seen them in lots of stuff, which means they have a few years on them. Actors playing the main characters for my story would have to be young, since my two main characters are both in their early twenties. I think someone like Jake Gyllenhaal would make a good Altin Meade, but he’s in his thirties I’m sure, so too old. Plus, when I mentioned him to my wife and daughter, they both had cows and told me I suck at casting. So, there you go. My daughter suggested I poke around on IMDb, which I did, and I found two that would work pretty well. This guy, Connor Paolo looks perfect for the part, and in watching this interview and a movie trailer with him in it, I think he could certainly pull it off.

Connor Paolo

For Orli, I actually thought of Jennifer Lawrence, the actress who plays Katniss in The Hunger Games would be great, and poking around on IMDb, I still couldn’t find anyone else who seemed more qualified. Lots of people I saw could probably do a great job with her though, so mainly, I’d just want someone for her, or for Altin, who loved the role and really wanted to pour themselves into it. I love these characters, so my only hope would be that the actors that took the roles did too.

Jennifer Lawrence


What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Epic adventure on a galactic scale where frustration, fear and ego pull the stings of power, making planetary obliteration a real possibility for more than just one world.

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

Doing it myself again, although I got some nibbles from New York agencies and even foreign publishers on book one, so, if the right offer comes along, I’d be happy to expand distribution into places I can’t get to on my own.

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

Three months for the first draft of Rift in the Races. I have 180 pages (50,000 words) for Citadel so far, which I started three weeks ago. I’m hoping to have that first draft done by the end of November or at least by Christmas time.

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

Because it’s two genres together, but stays true to each separately, there isn’t one I can think of that fits too well. I’d say you’d probably have to go back to Pier’s Anthony’s Apprentice Adept series to get something kind of similar. In my mind, at least as far as setting goes, it’s more of a shuffling together of old-school fantasy like the Lord of the Rings and old-school science fiction like Star Trek or Battlestar Galactica.

Who or What inspired you to write this book?

Probably my mom reading me The Hobbit when I was little started me on the road to this, and my dad was big sci-fi guy, so we always got to go see the space movies when they came out. I read a lot as a kid in those genres and just never stopped loving them.

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

The fantasy angle of my story is NOT kiddie fantasy. It’s a “realistic” story about hardcore stuff happening to real people on real worlds where really bad things happen, even to nice people, and sometimes a character’s best effort isn’t enough. Where it is funny, because humor is a big part of my life, it’s the kind of humor that happens in the real world, hopefully what readers will think of as clever and genuine rather than cartoonish or silly. I really tried hard to make these next two books in the series intense. I can only hope I carried it off.

And the writers I’m tagging are:

Steve Hammond, author of Rise of the Penguins (coming soon). His blog:

Thomas Pryce, author of Unnatural Selection. His blog:

Aya Katz, author of Vacuum County. Her blog:

J.A. Huss, author of Clutch. Her blog is:

Ethan Jones, author of Arctic Wargames. His blog is:

So that’s it, my official first Blog Hop blog entry. It was fun to do, especially the casting the movie thing. Good stuff. Thanks again to Chris Ward (don’t forget to check out his books and blog) for inviting me to play along. I hope a few of you folks who make it this far down my post will go have a look at these other writers’ work and blogs as well.

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