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[livejournal.com profile] cafenowhere tagged me to answer ten questions about my current work-in-progress. (She tagged me just before I left town, so I apologize for the delay.) A lot of great folks have participated and I'm stoked to be part of it.

Ten Interview Questions for the Next Big Thing

What is the title of your book?

Like [livejournal.com profile] cafenowhere, I've written two books of a trilogy. The first book is Form and Void; the second is Face of the Deep. These are just working titles, but they give the stories some shape in my head. I think of the series as The Genesis Consortium series.

Where did the idea come from for the book?

I had a dream about the characters. One about Mobius, a major character in the second book, and one about Lethe, my protagonist. Not at the same time, but the second dream was just before I decided to try National Novel Writing Month. So, The first draft of Face of the Deep was written for NaNoWriMo, and finished shortly thereafter. The feedback I got from it was that my protagonist was unlikable -- basically, she cursed and was willing to consider violent solutions to her problems. I thought the same readers would not have blinked at a male character doing those things, and it really annoyed me. The prequel became all about showing how she got to that place.

What genre does your book fall under?

Because the main character has a special ability and the tech is still near-future-but-close-to-now, I'd have to go with Urban Fantasy. Not sure it fits -- no vampires or werewolves -- and it has a sort of thriller vibe, but that seems closest.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

I really have no idea. One major character is called Cyrus Kane, which makes it obvious to those of you who know me that Christian Kane was a bit of a template for him. He's probably a tad old for the part, though.

What is a one-sentence synopsis of the book?

Arrested for a series of brutal murders she did not commit, Lethe Maya fights for her freedom and is soon caught up in a power struggle between a government agency that exists to control people with shifting abilities like hers and a mysterious cabal known only as the Genesis Consortium.

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

I'm going to start querying agents after the holidays. We will see.

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

About four months for Face of the Deep. Form and Void took at least two years, but I was not working on it constantly. (During that time I moved house twice, homeschooled my kids and generally had a crisis about whether I'm really cut out for writing. The answer came when I realized I couldn't stop.)

What other books would you compare this story to in your genre?

Both stories have some themes in common with The Hunger Games, but a very different plot, beyond the main character making a regrettable decision to protect a family member. People in power are scapegoating shifters, so it has a mildly dystopic feel. The mystery element is a product of my love for the works of Val McDermid, Barbara Vine (Ruth Rendell's more twisted pseudonym) and the mystery/crime genres in general. The killer for whose crimes Lethe is arrested is akin to a female Hannibal Lecter crossed with a T1000. None of those are technically in my genre, but there you go.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

It came out of my frustration with passive heroines in teen urban fantasy. I wanted to show that a girl doesn't need someone to rescue her, and even when bad things happen that she can't prevent, she doesn't lose her agency. I wanted a heroine with some fight, even if she starts off as a sheltered suburban girl whose worst problem before the story starts is a bad hair day. I wanted to make a character who is tougher than she knows.

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

It's got mutants, shady and powerful corporations in bed with government agencies, a possibly ancient conspiracy, a sweet young thing who tries to lose her virginity and fails spectacularly, and a synesthesiac female serial killer with, like, knives for hands.

Include the link of who tagged you and this explanation for the people you have tagged.

I linked to Lisa at the top. I feel weird tagging people, but I would love to hear what you guys are working on, so feel free to snag this. Please talk about any creative project you're working on, be it short story, poem, novel, novella, anthology, collection--anything. It's a good exercise.
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posted by [personal profile] asato_muraki at 01:46pm on 05/05/2011 under , , , ,
I've had a full day already and it's just past lunchtime. O_O

First, I walked to the coffee shop to meet my friend Andrina (a usual Thursday thing). We had some fruit tea and a chat.

Went home and set back out on a bike ride with the hubby. We went on the levee, which was a first for me.

But that's not my Thing. My Thing for today is that it was the first time I've ever ridden my bike somewhere for lunch. Back in Georgia, I'd go to the bike trail and ride 30 miles, but it just wasn't safe to ride on the streets. People routinely rode their bikes on the sidewalks, and no one got ticketed for it. The cops knew it was a self-preservation thing.

So, biking has always been recreational for me, not actual transport. In New Orleans, this is no longer the case.

Photographic Evidence )

I loved the excursion so much that we spent lunch talking about how to trick out my bike for doing the food shopping and the like. The weather is about to get unpleasantly warm, but early morning and late evening rides will still be doable for most of the summer. It will only be rare mornings when heat stroke will be a risk (though midday heat stroke risk is fairly high by June).

***

I had to do my Thing early, because one of my NOLA writing groups has a meeting tonight with a guest speaker (a local literary agent), and I'm driving a carpool. :P That's also a new thing for me - driving a group to Mid City.

I feel as though I have become Action/Adventure Olivia.
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posted by [personal profile] asato_muraki at 09:02am on 29/03/2010 under , ,
As sorry as I am that my friend and GC blogger Pearce had to have laser surgery last week, it sure has been a boon for GC. She's the sort of person who has trouble being still, so her recovery has generated a lot of cool stuff for GC.

First up is When Did Parents Become So Lazy? which is all about why ratings systems are nobody's friend, and why overprotected children become whiny emo Death Eaters.

That article makes me happy on so many levels. Pearce is not a parent, but she has a firm grasp of teh free range philosophy, and why giving kids some freedom to make mistakes when they are young gives them the tools to make better decisions when they are older.

Also, if you think your kid might catch TEH GAY from Lady Gaga... Oy, I'm not even going to go there. Lighten up, folks. Make the effort to raise thoughtful, caring men and women and stop fixating so much on who they might do it with. Because that's just creepy.

***

Still ridiculously happy for Ty Frank, who co-wrote a novel with Daniel Abraham and recently sold it for bookoo duckies. I can't hardly wait to interview him, and get all pimpy on GC. This book will be a great fit for GC because the lead female character is awesome. (I haven't finished reading it yet, but woo-ee.)

***

Hitting the beach with the unschoolers today. I'm actually feeling very good about the home schooling path I've taken so far. I appreciate the unschooling philosophy and all, but... On Friday I happened to overhear a girl a little older than Wee Boy counting the times she skipped rope, and she literally could not count to a hundred.

Now, I get that forced, coercive learning can suck the fun out of the really cool, natural high of discovering information on your own. But dood. There are some things people need to know whether it interests them a lot or not. So I give my kids tests and worksheets and stuff. Sometimes they whine about it. But they can freaking count to 100. I'm just sayin'.
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posted by [personal profile] asato_muraki at 09:40pm on 28/03/2010 under
So, a writer buddy friend of mine from way back when (though we've kept in touch) emailed me last week to let me know he's sold his novel. He co-wrote it with an established writer and they got six figures for a three book deal. (YEEEE-HA!)

I've been running around, grinning like a crazy person, trying not to blab it everywhere and name-drop like crazy. So, like, I decided I'd post here and squee, but not mention any names, since I don't want to steal his thunder. I just figured if I started throwing his name around it might get to people he knew before he had a chance to tell them.

Two days is enough time to do your braggin' ain't it?

***

About nine years ago, he wrote his very first short story ever, and posted a link to a public forum. I emailed him to ask if he wanted a critique and to also say that I thought he shouldn't give it away fro free like that. ;) He loved my critique and ran around telling everyone I was the best editor ever. *snrk* I don't think he ever sold that story, but he did sell subsequent ones. For ages I was one of his critical readers, and happy to do it. He used to tell me he could hear me in his head, going "snip, snip" when he used more words than he needed. :D

Last month he sent me the novel, and I could tell right away this was the one. It's awesome. I've been reading it for as long as I can stand to sit still and stare at the screen, since I don't have an ebook reader yet. It's about 1000 manuscript pages, but worth the saddle sores.

***

Anyway, he's promised to give me an interview and stuff for GC, and an ARC if possible. I'm so excited! This is a total game-changer for him. I feel an almost maternal pride, which is funny, I guess. I always feel a bit like this when I get to see my friends succeed, and I can be all "I told you so! Nyah!"

It's kind of amazing that I'm not jealous, but I'm really not. I sort of feel vindicated. All those times he told me, "I'm not a writer" and I said, "The HELL you say!" and kicked him in the booty. So when he emailed me about the deal and said, "I r a reel riter now" I felt VERY excited for him, and VERY smug.

:D
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posted by [personal profile] asato_muraki at 08:45am on 02/01/2010 under , ,
Amalia the Savage posted about the No-Kiss Fest over at GC today, with a tribute to the Han/Leia UST in Star Wars. We had had some talk of more people posting or being involved in this fun blogosphere exercise, but I got so caught up in my internet issues I forgot to mention it, let alone remind everyone it was coming. *headdesk*

Ah, well. There's no kissing in Form and Void, and I doubt whether there will be any 'almost kisses' either. Okay, I lied. It has a kiss, I think, but it's not a romantic or sexual type of thing, so it wouldn't count.

***

Went biking in the park with the boys yesterday. Wee Boy is still having issues with steering in somewhat populated areas. Our bikes have been put up for over a year, and we just got his fixed, so there is an issue of practice. We went by an empty parking lot opn the way, and he did fabulously, but on the actual trail he'd get nervous when people walked or rode past us, and his steering would veer. He accidentally veered at a fellow giving his son a piggy back ride and almost hit him. Eeep. In trying to avoid them, he would have driven into the lake but for a well-placed bench. Poor lamb is a bit beat up.

Also, he has a terrible bruise coming out on his cheek, which I think is from his dental work last week. Either from the numbing shots or from him accidentally biting his cheek while it was numb. It looks like he's been punched or something -- a little ring of blue in the middle of his cheek. Poor baby.
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First off, a Happy Birthday to [livejournal.com profile] celestial_diary!!!

Photobucket

I know the time difference makes this a bit late in teh day for you, but I hope it was a great one!!

***

Oh, if any of you took advantage of the free download of Shatnerquake!, check out More Bizarro Book Titles for Free Download. Most of them appear to be in very poor taste, but you never know.

Also, Amalia The Savage's Letters series heats up a bit with Theseus to Helen, in which she grapples with the characters' relative ages and the attendant squick for modern readers. We're going to try to finish up the series by the end of the month, so the pace will be picking up a bit.

I'm also going to publish things more often, because one or two a day is not keeping up with the massive amounts of wonderful things people have submitted. :)

***

It's been so much fun seeing the stuff you guys write about! Or, yanno, [livejournal.com profile] micehell's Sunday Picspams. *fans self*

I've also found some lovely new things through the ol' flist, like Free Range Kids, which I totally love. Oh! And a very insightful and awesome article with Useful Tips for writing sex scenes, In love as in war by Elizabeth Bear. Right on!

I just want you to know that although I don't always comment, I love hearing about your lives and your families. As I said, you guys make me happy. :)

Now for my life ramblings )
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posted by [personal profile] asato_muraki at 09:27am on 28/09/2009 under , , ,
Well, over at GC, our dear Pearce has been offered a sweet deal to get in pre-release movie screenings, so YAY!. Then I was out of the loop for a bit and didn't publish her latest review until yesterday. *facepalm*

At least it's up now. Pandorum - We're All Gonna Die Without Thorazine.

***

I did accomplish stuff this weekend, though. I got the next bit of HMOWK off to the betas (both special volunteer and regular), polished up a story to submit to an actual market this week (eeek), and had a good chat with [livejournal.com profile] hominysnark about our novel projects (Wheee! More Silvertongue!).

***

Finally caught up with the BFF on Skype. She's concerned that she might not be able to bike to work much longer, because the huge amounts of snow they get in Rochester would make it dangerous. I had a moment of disconnect, because damn the weather isn't still in the 90s here. The high was Ninety-Two Degrees Fahrenheit yesterday. It's the end of September, people! In Atlanta it's been in the mid to high 70s for weeks (with floods, yeah, but the temperature is usually about that by this time of year). It got me thinking.

My new life plan includes finding a way to live in Vancouver in the summer, New Orleans in the winter (well, okay, we'll need to get here before Halloween, because I doubt I'll want to miss Halloween in NOLA) and spring and the temperate fall in either Georgia or the southern Appalachian mountains. That means I'll need two semi-permanent addresses and at least a cabin somewhere.

This might take me a few years. *sigh*

In all seriousness, though, I need to spend some time in the Pacific Northwest. It appeals to me a lot.

***

Went to the French Quarter yesterday. Nearly died in the French Market (which is an open-air market sort of like a Flea Market). Bonded with Wee Boy near the statue of Joan of Arc, talking about her story. He also really, really wanted a quill at this one place (partly because of the Harry Potter connection) but then really seemed to geek out on the calligraphy sets. Good thing, because today is his birthday. :) His hand writing is terrible, so if he digs calligraphy, it can only help that, right?

Big Boy bought some red sealing wax and a pentagram seal to use on his soul contracts. Did I mention that he wrote up a form contract, and persuaded many of his friends to sell him their souls for ice pops or the bits of his school lunches he didn't want? He keeps them in a file folder labeled "Souls." I wonder if I should be worried about that...
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posted by [personal profile] asato_muraki at 11:43am on 12/03/2009 under , , ,
This morning I woke up early, with this huge Waning Gibbous moon shining on my face. My first thought was, "Golly that's bright, but lovely" and just after that, "I bet it smells like some chick's face in a bad fantasy novel."

Then I woke my hubby up with my giggling.

***

My friend who sent me the book called a couple days ago, and we talked. She had bought the anthology with my story in it, read it and said it was different than anything she'd read before, but that she enjoyed it. So, I guess that's good. It had also inspired her to dig out a story of her own that I had commented on some years ago. She made a few reasonable changes I had suggested and sent it off straightaway. That made me happy, because she's talented and I hope she writes more.

***

Had a nice morning chat with my BFF about the website -- she's decided to contribute and was very excited to see it taking shape. She's a physician and super-smart and all, but she has zero egotism -- an uncommon paring of characteristics, mayhap. In any case, she encouraged me to be "more arrogant" which made me giggle. I suppose I do need to grow up and start being more confident about the things I can do. It goes against years of social training, though.

***

GeekaChicas is plugging right along. I continue to be amazed at the number of people who've shown an interest what's going on, and possibly to being a part of it. If anyone wants to be added to the "What's up with GeekaChicas" mailing list, send me a private message with your email address, and I'll add you. :)
Mood:: 'amused' amused
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I'm still going to like you, even if you vote for that blinkered idiot By Scott M. Roberts

We argued for months about taxes and war,
Immigration, abortion, and the needs of the poor,
The bailouts and handouts, and moral decay,
What should we give, and what should we pay

But I’m still going to like you,
I’m still your good friend,
Even if that stupid ratfink
Wins out in the end.
I really don’t blame you
For putting him there
You’ve wrecked the economy,
But, bud, I won’t care.

Of course I really will blame you, if you decide
To turn on good graces with words that are snide.
It would be just like your party, to throw that away
Bunch of supercilious, panty-waisted, bigoted, propagandist, whiny, co-dependent, elitist, MORONS.
Still I say,

I’m still going to like you,
‘Cause I know who you are,
And deep down inside you
You think I’m a star.
It must be really deep down
‘Cause that smirk on your face,
Makes me want to punch you
And vandalize your place.

Why can’t we get along? Why so much rage?
I heard that your candidate likes to date underage!
And he eats little children, and spits on the flag–
He plays Warcraft on dial-up to induce server lag.

I’m still going to like you
Through the next four year term
Even if you waste a vote
On that grimy, spineless worm.
I think you’re upstanding,
But you haven’t got a clue
And even if you hate me,
Even if you really really hate me
Even if you look upon me with a disgust that amounts to absolute detestation
(Props to you, Mssrs. Gilbert and Sullivan, wish you were still with us today)

Even if you hate me,
I’ll still be liking you.
Mood:: 'amused' amused
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posted by [personal profile] asato_muraki at 03:07pm on 07/09/2008 under , ,
Once again, I am ill. Head cold, I think. This is becoming tiresome.

Spent a good portion of the day doing pick ups for Big Boy's video book report/interview with [livejournal.com profile] sarah_prineas. The sound seems to be the major issue, as some of Big Boy's questions faded out here and there, and getting fresh sound has been odd, since the energy of the actual interview was so great. Even with the restaurant noise in the background, much of it is better than what we've been getting at home doing the commercial and odd voice-over bits.

We've run out of time, partly because I am sickly and slow, so we'll be putting everything together this week. We had hoped to do it all last week, but ongoing homework issues ate up Big Boy's time most days, and we're lending only technical assistance -- this is HIS baby. Homework first, you know. We've been consistent in our rules for him, and that is the main thing.

Still, it was great fun to come up with biscuits that were "like eggs -- hard on the outside and soft and runny on the inside." Hee! All of us enjoyed our 'work' today, which is cool.

***

I would like to take a moment to acknowledge to everyone how grateful I am for all of Big Boy's teachers this year. They are keeping their expectations high, and I think this is the best thing for him. I feel really blessed that he has such dedicated teachers. I think we are well on our way to helping him conquer his organizational issues. It may take all year to see the fruits of our labors, but it will still be worth it.

***

Now we just have to get haircuts for them and pick up some vitamins, then to dinner with the lovely [livejournal.com profile] darlingviolenta and [livejournal.com profile] decon1313.

Even feeling sickly, today has been good. :)

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