Friday, August 31, 2012

Be Inspired

Sci Fi/Fantasy author Michael Offutt has tagged me in the latest meme sweeping the blogosphere— the Be Inspired meme (hence the logo on the left).  Participants are asked to answer a series of questions about their novel and then tag five other authors.  The reason I was selected, as he told me, was because it's a way to force me to talk about my book.  Every author, he says, should love talking about their book.

Which is true.

But here's the thing... I'm terrible at and terrified of talking about my book.  If you know me outside of this blog, you know just how bad it is.  Stammering and hand wringing and the setting of small fires in order to direct people's attention elsewhere.  And if you only know me though this blog you still probably know how bad it is.

But I think maybe I can handle the question format so let's just take this one question at a time and see what happens, shall we?

1.  What is the name of your book?

Oh, wait!  I know this one!  The novel is called Effigy.

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

Back in middle school maybe, my mother found for me a series of mid grade fantasy novels where an ordinary girl is accidentally transported into a parallel universe filled with magic and sword fighting and unicorns.  The series was called "The Secret of the Unicorn Queen" and it inspired me to write my own fantasy stories.  Combine that with my love of King Arthur, Robin Hood and double bladed battle axes, and I guess me writing this book was kind of inevitable.

3.  In what genre would you classify your book?

Epic fantasy, I guess.  Though I'm uncomfortable with the 'epic' part.

4.  Who would you pick to play your characters in a movie adaptation?

That question was answered in a blog post I did a while back where I cast most of the novel's most important characters.  You can check it out here.

5.  Give us a one sentence synopsis of your book.

One sentence?  But it took me eight months to write a four and a half page synopsis.  Oh well.  Here goes...

Queen of a land succumbing to a once dormant darkness, Haleine Coileáin aligns herself with her husband's enemy to bring an end to the evil, regardless of the cost— even if that cost is her life.

6.  Is your book already published?

No.

7.  How long did it take you to write this book?

I decline to respond to this question on the grounds that the answer is incredibly depressing and little embarrassing.  Let's just say I make George R.R. Martin look like Speedy Gonzalez.

8.  What other books in your genre would you compare it to?

Me?  None.  However, there are a few people out there who are not me nor related to me who have likened my book to George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire.  Which worries me. A lot.

9.  Which authors inspired you to write this book?



I don't know that any authors really inspired me to write this book but I think some have helped shape certain aspects of it.  For example, I really admire the way Philippa Gregory writes her novels (Seriously, you should read The Boleyn Inheritance) and Ellen Emerson White had a huge impact on how I construct characters.

10.  Tell us anything that might pique our interest in your book.

Uh... Yeah, this is going to be the hardest one for me.

Back when I was teaching English, my students always asked if the book contained swearing, sex and violence.  And the answer was always Yes, yes and yes.  (There's also sarcasm.  And talking unicorns.  Who are (occasionally) sarcastic.)  Interestingly enough, The Man's boss also asked the same questions.

This is also a fantasy novel that has appealed to people who normally do not read fantasy or do not like fantasy.  (And again, none of these people are related to me.)


Is that it?  Did I make it?

Well, there's the part where I'm supposed to tag five other people but I never do that part.  However, if you'd like an opportunity to talk about your book— or, if you're like me and desperately need the practice— please consider yourselves tagged.

Thanks again to Michael Offutt for including me in this meme and forcing me to stop ignoring my blog.  Be sure to check out his blog as well as his debut novel, Slipstream.  I'm about 60% of the way through it myself and I'm enjoying it.  Even if there are an awful lot of spiders to be found.  (And just so you know... one spider is one too many for my tastes.)

Have a great Labor Day weekend, everyone.

 
 




38 comments:

  1. I hate talking about my book too. But if my book was anything like yours, I'd be talking people's ears off about it. Seriously, sounds like a fantastic read. I know a good friend of mine that published her book a little over a year ago. It took her 10 years to write. Everyone goes at their own pace. (:

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    1. Thanks, Elise. That's really sweet of you to say. And I really want to tell you where I am on the ten year timeline but I think I'm going to plead the fifth instead. =)

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  2. Thanks for the chuckle this morning! I was tagged by Michael as well, but I only answered one question. And sarcastic unicorns? That could be funny.

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    1. I personally think it's very funny. Of course, I always find myself to be hilarious so...

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  3. Just visiting from AYWN and found your post amusing. Sounds like an interesting read!

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    1. I haven't forgotten AYWN. It just got bumped to Monday. Or maybe Tuesday, depending on how the weekend goes.

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  4. Great stuff. Glad to get a little snippit of the process.

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    1. Thanks, Rusty. I appreciate you stopping by.

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  5. Ha! I hear you, MJ - I don't like to talk about my book, either. Although, I think it depends on who I'm talking to - there are people who are truly interested and enthusiastic and really want to know more about it. And then there are the blank stare people. Those are the ones who make me want to crawl into a hole. Gulp.

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    1. Oh yeah, the blank stare people are horrible to talk to. But I can't talk to the truly interested people either.

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  6. You're so totally funny, M.J. Pretty soon you'll be visited by Sir Poops and Hair Ball. They're looking for new nosh.

    Hugs and chocolate,
    Shelly

    http://www.shellysnovicewritings.blogspot.com/
    http://secondhandshoesnovel.blogspot.com/

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    1. I'd be honored by a visit by the dynamic duo. I've missed reading their posts.

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  7. Aww! Well, I'm glad you opened up and talked about your book. The sarcastic unicorns definitely piqued my interest. :)

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    1. Now I'll have to worry that they're not sarcastic enough. =)

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  8. yeah, epic has new connotations nowadays...
    can i get a pronunciation guide for the queen's name? ha ha
    sarcastic talking unicorns? SOLD! seriously! i cant wait to read it! i love your wit!

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    1. I'm actually planning on including a name pronunciation guide in the book whenever I do get it out.

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  9. Unicorns have never interested me. Sarcastic unicorns, on the other hand, are apparently on my hand and let me tell you, unicorns are HEAVY. Ow.

    They also make me want to read Effigy even more.

    By the way, you might make George R.R. Martin look like Speedy Gonzales, but you make me look like Slowpoke Rodriguez. Yep, both R.R. and I now resemble cartoon mice.

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    1. Then you might like my talking pegasus character. He's super sarcastic and he can fit in your hand.

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  10. MJ, I enjoyed the into to your book. Your comment on your writing speed made me chuckle. Enjoy the weekend.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by today. It's much appreciated.

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  11. Wait! No! You can't have unicorns!
    No, I can't tell you why.
    Shut up!

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  12. Sounds like a great read! Glad you shared. :)

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    1. Thanks, Dana. I appreciate you stopping by.

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  13. I love epic fantasy. If its anything like Martin, you've got a real winner!

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    1. I don't think it's anything like Martin and it worries me that people have made that comparison. It's too much pressure.

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  14. Oh, your novel would appeal to me. I love Robin Hood and Arthur stories too. I've tried to incorporate that same spirit into my novel, even though it's a futuristic, post-apocalyptic story.

    And I wouldn't worry about comparisons to George R. R. Martin -- unless they are about appearance. Then you can worry. :PP

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    1. There's a new show starting up this fall that gives off that kind of vibe (to me anyway). Revolution or something like that?

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    2. And I don't think the comparisons are about appearance... I don't have quite such a full beard.

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  15. It sounds like an awesome story; I like your one-sentence synopsis!

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    1. Thanks. I was tempted to write a Proust type sentence in order to get more into it but I thought I probably couldn't pull that off.

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  16. Yeah, I have trouble summarizing my projects, too...much less writing query letters!
    Some Dark Romantic

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    1. Yeah, I guess the good thing about the self publishing route is not having to write query letters because I sucked at it.

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  17. AWESOME!!
    Jolene is totally intrigued...

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  18. Yes. I am eagerly awaiting this book coming into the world. And yes, I am not a big fantasy reader but I loved that H so much. And the talking unicorn.

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  19. One of my short stories has a talking unicorn. He's a bit of a fratboy. Something about talking unicorns is just awesome, right? (Don't worry, that story's not going anywhere.)

    I've quite enjoyed Philippa Gregory, and am sure I'd enjoy anything quasi-inspired by her character-building style.

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