Sunday, September 23, 2012

The Next Big Thing blog hop

I thought I'd been laying low in the blogging world recently, but clearly not low enough. This month, I got tagged twice for the Next Big Thing blog hop, first by the lovely Steph at Steph Across the Border, then by Pam Godwin and Pam is not the kind of woman you say "No" to. Not when she has you in her sights. So here goes...

The idea of this blog hop is to answer ten questions about my WIP, then tag some more victims.

I think you've heard enough by now about Ghosts of Innocence, so I'm going to introduce my next WIP instead.

1. What is the working title of your book?
Tiamat's Nest.

2. Where did the idea come from for the book?
I honestly can't remember. I wrote the first chapters three years ago as an experiment. I had been querying Ghosts (first time around) while working on a sequel, but I was having second thoughts about investing time in a sequel if I couldn't launch the first book. I was looking for a project that would take me in a fresh direction. Somehow the story emerged from a mixture of Oxford University, computers, and climate change.

3. What genre does your book fall under?
Science fiction.

4. Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Tricky. I only ever envision my characters as themselves. I have never tried to cast suitable actors - to my mind, they are all way too "pretty" to be credible as ordinary people.

5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
In a world battling lethal climate change, a reclusive professor discovers that the environmental disaster was deliberately engineered, and fights to save himself, his family - and the rest of humanity.

6. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
Undecided at this time. I will likely try the traditional route, because I love books on shelves and want to see mine amongst them.

7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
I am still writing it. That's what "Work In Progress" means! OK, ignoring the three-year lapse since writing the opening scenes, I'm aiming to complete a rough first draft in six months.

8. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Another tricky question. The one that comes to mind is "The Pelican Brief", because of the parallels (researcher uncovers environmental conspiracy and flees for life pursued by all sorts of deadly nasties) but (a) That's not sci-fi, and (b) I would not presume to compare my writing with John Grisham's.

9. Who or What inspired you to write this book?
I get so steamed up by the deceitful strategies used by climate change skeptics to demonize scientists, I wanted a way to vent. They are so full of a "climate change conspiracy" when in reality the people with the most to gain from any conspiracy are the energy tycoons. The heart of this story is the awful consequence of a successful "business as usual" conspiracy.

10. What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
Gory deaths, virtual worlds, and a vengeful artificial intelligence.

Now I am passing the tag on to the following wonderful writers (hoping you haven't already been tagged):

Jean Davis
Carrie Butler
Crystal Collier
Jennifer Burke
Stella Telleria


  1. Hi Ian .. congratulations on the awards .. and for querying via stalking agents! Just seeing if this will go through as I usually can't comment via embedded comment boxes ... but perhaps 'things' have changed ..

    Delighted you enjoyed the post on the BBC and the Olympics coverage - and quite understand your feelings re any other coverage - the Brits are spoilt with the Beeb ..

    Cheers Hilary

  2. Eek! You tagged me. =) *doing a happy dance* <--Okay that clearly illustrates my YA bias.

    Your WIP sounds exciting. I'm not sure how much a stomach I have for "gory deaths" (cue Tale of Two Cities), but the whole engineered environmental disaster, I'm curious as to what angle you take on it. Oh, and I'm with you on the stupid scientist hyping up false data to prove global warming. Grr. Darn politicians and their forced agendas.

    Hey, I haven't said this yet, but I'm wishing you the best on your querying. My spreadsheet looks about like yours at the moment. Let's see who can land an agent first, eh? On your marks, get darn gun just jammed. *sigh*

  3. Hilary, the BBC is a model for broadcasting, it's a shame some people can't see beyond the $$ signs.

    Crystal, most of the deaths actually happen "off stage" so it leaves a lot to the imagination. And glad to hear your spreadsheet looks similar. I was wondering if I was just strange :) Good luck with the querying!

  4. Thank you for the tag, Botanist! I participated in a similar meme a couple of weeks ago, so I'll just link to that here. :)

    Your answers were very intriguing! I love science fiction, so I can't wait to see it published. Thanks for sharing!

  5. LOL, Carrie, I missed that post - sorry :)

  6. Your book sounds really interesting. I am not a huge Scifi fan but I am looking forward to finding out how you go about achieving your dream of gettting it published

  7. Hi Ian .. I've just see (9) .. the why you wrote the story - so now I'm even more intrigued and when you finish - looks like you have one reader!

    Cheers Hilary

  8. Mynx, a long way from thoughts of publishing yet. Right now I'm looking forward to getting it finished :)

    Hilary, I keep coming back to #9 too, every time I get bogged down and disheartened with the writing process this thought gives me a little kick up the pants.

  9. Hi Ian,
    Ah yes, getting 'tagged'. I've been 'tagged' so the blogging authorities can make sure I don't go past my blogging or commenting curfew. Thus, I must hurry, based on this time zone.
    Anyway, congrats, I think, on your being tagged. And good luck to the recipients of said tagging. I really am intrigued with your synopsis of your book. Rather timely and provocative.
    Have a great weekend on Vancouver Island.

  10. Gary, I guess this tag is going to keep me chained to this project until the sucker is written :)

  11. Nice insight. I started reading without my glasses, but went and grabbed them when I thought I read Pam had you in her tights. Ohhhh... SIGHTS.

  12. The part about virtual worlds intrigues me. And do you reference the planet Tiamet at all? Sound like a really cool premise.

  13. LOL Charmaine. I wonder, does that say more about your mind than your eyesight? :)

    Shell, no reference to the planet at all. In fact, I had to look that up. The name came purely from the Babylonian goddess of chaos, and is simply a name given by the online gamers to a dangerous avatar that pursues them in the online underworld.

  14. Thanks for the tag! I needed a push for my next blog post.

    Sounds like a interesting WIP you've got going there. Certianly sounds like something far different from Ghosts. I wish you luck with it. :)

  15. Jean, thanks. It is a very different story, which was the idea. Didn't want to get trapped in Shayla's world.

  16. 32 days behind, just wanted to say this sounds like a great WIP. You gonna push it through CC? You had me at the title. Then you mention gory deaths. Uh, yeah, sign me up!

  17. Thanks, Pam! I do plan to push it through CC eventually. It was such a great process for tightening up Ghosts. That probably won't start until next spring though - assuming all goes well with the draft.


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