Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Next Big Thing

I’ve been tagged to be part of the Next Big Thing, a round robin promotion intended to introduce readers to a diverse range of new fiction. While I write historical romance and fantasy, the writers I’ve tagged write very different sorts of books:

Blaze McRobb writes horror/paranormal fiction and is also a great supporter of other writers and artists in general.  Visit his blog at:

Cindy Keen Reyners writes paranormal romance and cozy mysteries. Her Hedge Witch series is a delight! Her blog is:

Michael Shay writes literary fiction. His short stories set in the modern West can be quirky and entertaining or stark and deeply moving.  Discover his blog at:

As for me, here are my answers to The Next Big Thing questions:

1) What is the working title of your latest release?

The Silver Wheel

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

I read about a body found preserved in a peat bog near Lindow, England. This was a healthy, aristocratic young man who had been strangled, had his throat cut, been bludgeoned and then pushed into the bog. Because the body dates from the time of the Roman conquest of Britain, some researchers have surmised he was offered as a sacrifice to petition the Celtic deities to aid the British in their battle against the invaders. Reading about this discovery immediately started all sorts of plot ideas spinning in my mind. The story ultimately expanded far beyond the bog body incident, as the adventures of my three young characters came to embody the very essence of Celtic culture and religious belief.

3) What genre does your book fall under?

It’s a historical novel with paranormal elements, sometimes referred to as historical fantasy.

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

I’m afraid I don’t watch enough movies to answer this. But Sirona is petite, blond and ethereal, Cruthin is lean, dark and strikingly handsome and Bryn is a brawny, auburn-haired warrior.  Probably not easy to cast in this era.

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

In Celtic Britain, a young seeress risks her life and her immortal spirit trying to change the course of history and save her homeland and her people from destruction.

6) Is your book self-published or represented by an agency?


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

The first draft took a year. I then revised for ten more! Although the characters are the same, the story I ended up with bears very little resemblance to the original draft.

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

Morgan Llywellyn’s novel The Druids, has a similar theme, although it’s set in Gaul (France) rather than Britain and takes place earlier in history. Interestingly, I hear she’s written a book on the Roman conquest of Britain that will come out this next year.

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

Along with the Lindow Man bog body, “shaman”/poet Jim Morrison was the inspiration for Cruthin, the charismatic fellow student of my priestess heroine Sirona.

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

Queen Boudica, usually portrayed as a heroine and great leader of the Celtic Britons, is a villainess in my book. You have to consider that she was married to a Roman for many years, long enough to have adolescent daughters. In that role she lived a life of wealth, comfort and leisure. It wasn’t until her husband died and she realized that as a woman she had no rights under Roman law that she decided to lead a rebellion against the invaders. Although there’s no way of knowing if all the bad decisions were hers, the way things played out, thousands of Britons died when she led them into pitched battle with the Romans. It can be argued that if the Britons had continued with the guerilla-type warfare they had successfully used in the west, the Romans might well have become discouraged and left the island.