Beverly McClure, my sponsor for Next Big Thing. If you visit her NBT post, you can follow the links to other writers you might not know and would enjoy discovering.
Ten Interview Questions for The Next Big Thing:
Where did the idea come from for the book?
Probably from the Seven Voyages of Sinbad. I discovered some of the wonderful middle-eastern mythology such as genies, rocs, evil viziers, and so on. When I decided it would be fun to play with the idea of genies, I did some research. I was disappointed to find that they're actually evil creatures. On the other hand, Disney's Sinbad had the Robin Williams version of a genie, who was anything but evil.
What genre does your book fall under?
Definitely fantasy. You can get that from the title. It is appropriate for middle-grade readers and up.
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Oh, this is fun. I've never checked for actors, mostly because I always envision Pixar making an animated film from the book, but I'll see if I can find some matches for the main characters.
Mila Kunis is getting a little old to play a 15-year-old, but she has a great look and could totally be Setara.
I'd definitely cast Ian McKellen (aka, Galdalf) or Morgan Freeman in the role of Abu Nuwas, the old storyteller.
Like I said, I think in terms of animated for the book. It would certainly be less expensive for special effects. Flying horse, merman, dragons, demons, a genie that can look like anything at all. Animation is definitely the way to go.
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
A girl, a genie, a couple of demons; what could go wrong? (Notice how I cleverly used a semi-colon to make my logline into a single sentence.
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
While I have self-published, "Setara's Genie," was published in September by MuseItUp Publishing. MuseItUp is a small publisher that does not require agents to submit. Personally, I think the role of agents is shifting in the turn toward ebooks. The major publishers are the slowest to take hold of the new technology, and will end up making themselves irrelevant unless they get with the concept of low-priced books for everyone to carry around on their ereader of choice.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
Oh, about 25 years. Setara did begin as a short story titled "Cadida and the Djinn." I not only changed the main character's name, but added six more adventures for the girl who finds herself the master of a not-so-helpful genie. After I wrote all seven adventures, I put them together into a single volume using the frame story technique of 1001 Arabian Nights. What's good enough for Scheherazade is good enough for me.
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Uh, um, well. Really, there aren't any. Hey, I went to Amazon and looked, but the only middle-eastern fantasy I found are retellings of what are essentially fairytales. That's not what I've done. So, if somebody comes up with any comps, let me know.
Who or What inspired you to write this book?
I think this is answered earlier. The 1960s Seven Voyages of Sinbad inspired me to look into the wealth of middle-eastern mythology. It's not been used as much as Celtic or Norse myth, so it seemed a good way to go.
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
Next week (October 17th), please visit the Queens of the Deck.
Oh, look! We've got an Ace up our sleeve as well.