shaydchara: a pen and notebook (Default)
Sabrina Vourvoulias tagged me for this "The Next Big Thing - Work in Progress" chain-blog thing, so here it is. Of course, I'm also breaking the chain, so the wrath of the WIP gods (who do not exist) may rain down upon me. So be it.

Before I start rambling, I will say, do go and read Sabrina's blog post, and her novel Ink. It is one of the best books I've read in the past year.

Without further ado, my answers to 10 questions about a future book or a book that I'm currently working on.


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

The short version is just Carnival. The long version is The Carnival That Straddles Worlds.

It was supposed to be a short story. Then it was supposed to be a novella. Now it's more than 38k, and the ending will probably take more than 2k, so I guess it's busting out into short novel range. At least until a serious round of edits pull it back.

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

It was prompted by the Cool Bits Story Generator.

The prompt was: Your narrative is a supernatural thriller. It begins in other worlds. There is sex against a wall and a carny who meets an androgynous girl. It ends with candy.

A friend added the following commentary: This is a gritty, weird thriller about a carnival that straddles the worlds.

And the idea crawled into my hind-brain and wouldn't go away.

3. What genre does your book fall under?

Fantasy is probably closest, with elements of horror. It's not exactly a thriller, despite the original idea.

(There likely won't be sex against a wall, either. At least not in the 'on-screen' version. I have a feeling it'll get pegged as YA and that just won't fly.)

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

I'm not familiar enough with any child actors to cast Tif and Nate. And despite having a couple of weeks to think about it, I have failed to come up with actors for The Lady and the Owner. Hmm. Check back later?

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

To borrow part of my friend's phrasing:

This is a gritty, weird thriller about a carnival that straddles worlds, the people who inhabit it, and the children who become lost in it.

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

Don't know for sure yet, but probably neither of those. If I can convince it to be a novella, there are some magazines and/or small presses that might consider it.

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

The sad truth is that I started it in 2007, and it's still not quite done. I really want to finish the first full draft by the end of this year.

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

I don't really know what to compare it to. I worry that people might compare it to The Night Circus, even though it's not even remotely similar in my mind.

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

The prompt was the initial inspiration, and then the encouragement of my friends/alpha-readers on LJ/DW kept the words going (albeit slowly...).

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

It's an adventure story for gender-queer kids, and for those adults who wish they could have been more out than they were while growing up.


shaydchara: a pen and notebook (Default)
This month is the last month to read/buy Crossed Genres Issue 20 Lies, which includes my short story Carefully Constructed.

This wasn't my first short story sale, but it is probably my favourite, because it's set in the world of my (unpublished, under revision) novel. Jaz, the protagonist of "Carefully Constructed", is one of the main characters in the novel.

Other things of note:

Science In My Fiction is currently running their second annual contest. Get your submissions in before August 31st!

Kay's most recent blog post may be of particular interest to those plotting Off-Earth adventures.

CGP is also still open to submissions of spec-fic novels. Guidelines here.

And of course, the theme for this month's Crossed Genres Magazine submissions is Sidekicks & Minions. Get your subs in before the end of the month.

(If you're working ahead and prepping for July submission, remember the theme for July is Villains - but don't submit until July!)

And finally - CGP will be releasing Kelly Jenning's novel Broken Slate on July 15th. Spread the word! You can read the first 8 chapters online!


Oops, one more: In non-Crossed Genres news, Red Stone Science Fiction is running a contest as well. The identity-themed story contest runs until August 15.

I'm sure there are others that deserve a shout-out, but that's all I can think of right now.
shaydchara: a pen and notebook (Default)
A headline passed by on the PhysNews.org feed, which I meant to clip at the time, but didn't. I don't think it was this one, but that's close enough, and I can't find the one I thought I saw.

Point being... that walking improves brain connectivity and function, which was a realization I came to over the past year while I had at least two (if not four) ten minute walks as part of my daily commuting routine.

That time I spent walking, I also spent thinking, and plotting, and working out plot wrinkles, and composing drafts (which I haven't had time to type, mind you, but they're still drafted) of stories. It was a good habit, and one I will miss now that my commute is changing (for the better!). I'll just have to find time to work in the walks for another reason...

...Yeah, still considering the replacement puppy dog, too, although not seriously yet.

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Shay D.

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