The Next Big Thing Blog Hop

January 8th, 2013

Rules of The Next Big Thing Blog Hop Chain Engagement

This is a blog chain that originates from She Writes.  Each writer answers a series of interview questions and posts them on their blog or website while also linking to five other writers.  Those writers then answer the questions, post and include links to five other writers and so on and so on.  If you happen to fall short of five peeps, that is cool.  Just run with who you have.

On to the interview…

What is the working title of your book?  Following the idea of the my first book, Apprentice Cat, I decided to name book 2 Journeyman Cat.

Where did the idea come from for the book?  I’d already decided that there had to be at least two more books following Apprentice Cat because who would want to leave a character at just the apprentice stage? The idea for the story came from watching my daughter play and thinking about how terrible it would be if the bad guy from book 1 decided to use children in his war against humankind. From there it was just a little research and letting the muse throw plot devices in my lap until I had an outline to use for the first draft. Thanks to NaNoWriMo, I now have that first draft sitting on a virtual shelf cooling off while I throw myself into the next project.

What genre does your book fall under? I categorize it as Christian fantasy, but it would easily fit in YA/NA. It’s not your typical Christian fantasy because there isn’t any overt references to God and there’s a lot of magic. Besides that, I can’t say I’ve ever read a Christian fantasy with a full cast of talking cats either. However, there are definite Christian themes running through both Apprentice Cat and Journeyman Cat.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition? That’s a good question. Obviously the cats would be CGI, but the humans? The only real person I actually thought about casting in a role was Patrick Stewart as Master Jalen.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? Toby, a magic-wielding cat, must choose between saving his human partner or losing his father forever as he races to capture a feline terrorist determined to enslave humans.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency? It will be self-published just like Apprentice Cat, with an audio book coming out sometime after the release of the print and ebook editions.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript? Two months — and that was a lot shorter time span than for the first book. I think I’m getting faster. 😀

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?  Harry Potter, of course, and Erin Hunter’s Warrior series, but I’d say the greatest influence would be Mercedes Lackey’s Last Herald-Mage trilogy. I also patterned much of the cats interactions with humans on Joe Grey and Dulcie from the Joe Grey mysteries.

Who or what inspired you to write this book? The inspiration was a long time in coming. Book 1 was originally a short story I published on writing.com that grabbed the attention of some people who wanted to publish it in their magazine. The deal fell through, but I was left with a burning desire to tell the rest of the story. That was back in 2003, so when I finally decided to do this self-publishing thing for real, Apprentice Cat was the first fiction book I sat down and worked at. Journeyman Cat was the natural follow-up.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?  If you’ve ever caught a cat staring at you with narrowed eyes and wondered if they were secretly planning to enslave you and everyone you knew, you might want to read this book. Then again, maybe not.

Unfortunately, by the time I got around to doing this post (which is among the last regular posts, so sign up for my newsletter for sneak peeks and awesome specials), I wasn’t able to tag five other writers. They’d all been tagged about a dozen times already. 😀

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And The NaNoWriMo Craziness Continues…

November 6th, 2012

It hasn’t been easy, but I’m managing to stay up on my NaNoWriMo goals of 1,667 words per day. I don’t think I could do it if I didn’t have this nifty little gadget. (Yes that is an Apprentice Cat ceramic travel mug.) Of course, there have been some issues with it.

Modern technology is a wonder — when it works.

The first hurdle was figuring out how to keep the virtual keyboard from popping up. After some research I discovered an app called Null Keyboard. Of course, it doesn’t work unless you remember to select it from the shortcut menu. 😉

The second initial hurdle was figuring out where to save my documents. For some reason I wasn’t able to save directly to the folder I have in my Dropbox for this book. *shrug* It’s an irritation, but I decided to save my work to the external microSD card, then move it to Dropbox later. From there everything seemed to be working just fine, so I thought I was ready.

On the first day of NaNoWriMo I decided to give my new tablet with bluetooth keyboard a try. Thank God I only typed a couple paragraphs on it because when I plugged the tablet into my laptop to move the document over, I discovered 195 words were missing. Not a huge deal, but still irritating because I had to try to remember what they were.

I should have taken more time to figure out what had happened because the next day I lost about 400 words. When I opened the document on my laptop my entire day’s work was gone. The document was blank.

After some hysterics, which my poor husband had to endure, I discovered the preview on the tablet still showed all those words. At least I could re-type what I’d already done. Time consuming, but not impossible.

You would think I’d give it up after that, but this is not a cheap piece of equipment and I bought it specifically for this purpose. I was determined to make it work the way I wanted it to. (Hubby calls it stubbornness. :D)

So the next day I spent over an hour checking and re-checking ways to save my work and move it to my laptop without losing even a single period. What I discovered was that the microSD card was bad. 😛 Thankfully I had another tucked away at the back of a desk drawer.

I think I’ve got the bugs worked out at this point, though I’m saving to both the tablet documents folder and the microSD card, then emailing everything to myself as soon as I get to a wifi hotspot just in case.

What craziness have you run into during NaNoWriMo? How did you figure out a work around?

NaNoWriMo: When Writers Disappear

November 2nd, 2011

desk photoIt’s that time of year again. It’s the month when writers disappear into their caves only to be glimpsed during brief moments of foraging and a quick run for a caffeinated beverage.

What’s the deal?

That’s right, folks, it’s time for NaNoWriMo and yours truly will be joining the hibernation this time. While I’m not actually participating in the event, I will be using this time to make a big push toward finishing my WIP.

What that means…

For the rest of November I’ll only be posting on Toolbox Saturday. Come December, I’ll get back to our regularly scheduled program.

Important upcoming giveaway…

I believe prayer is an important part of life, especially during Advent and Lent. I also know that sometimes we get stuck in the details and make having a conversation with our loving Creator more difficult than it needs to be. That’s why I wrote Simply Prayer, to give you some tools to break through what’s holding you back.

With that in mind, I’m giving away a free copy of the Simply Prayer ebook during Advent (Nov. 27-Dec. 26) and during Lent (Feb. 22-Apr. 9).

Watch here for more details or follow me on twitter (@virginiaripple)

Photo by gudmd.haralds