A Next Big Thing Blog: Ten Questions About My Book

Blog Hop: easier agreed to than done

A Next Big Thing blog hop is a giant game of tag to help readers discover
authors who are new to them.

 

Jackie Treehorns (The House on the Rock)
kern.justin / Wedding Photos / CC BY-NC-ND

Naomi Williams, one of my former creative writing instructors at U.C. Davis Extension, tagged me several weeks ago to talk about my current writing project as part of the hop.

I said yes, of course, but it has taken me until now to actually answer the 10 questions involved. Believe me, this project is easier agreed to than done.

Another part of the “blog hop” is to tag several other writers to repeat the process, something even more difficult for me than answering the ten questions.

Would my blogger buddies thank me for being invited, or put me on their now-you-owe-me-big-time lists?

Links to the sites of the bloggers who answered to the affirmative (thank you, dear friends) are listed at the end of this post.

So here we go! A Next Big Thing: 10 Questions About My Book

10 Questions About My Book
Chapters/Scenes for Between Now and Forever

What is the working title of your book or story? Between Now and Forever is the title of my current project, the fourth (and hopefully final) novel in a series called The Between.

What is a one-sentence synopsis of your book? When Marjorie Veil takes on a class of thirteen-year-olds with psychic abilities that surpass her own, she realizes playing solitaire isn’t the only game in town; she can get a lot more creative with the cards she’s dealt by putting a little heart into the game.

I know, that’s two sentences. Using a semicolon is cheating.

Where did the idea for the book come from? A combination of things, actually. My original idea, thirteen years ago, was to write one novel about a woman’s search for spiritual and emotional freedom.

Then I came across two books by Kenneth Meadows, Earth Medicine and The Medicine Way, about the hidden teachings of the Native American Medicine Wheel and the shamanic path to self mastery.

A Next Big Thing: 10 Questions About My Book

I was blown away and ended up using four of the directional paths in the Native American Wheel to map out my protagonist’s journey. The lessons she learned on each path became a separate novel.

  • Between Will and Surrender: East, the path of illumination and clarity
  • Between Darkness and Dawn: South, the path of love and trust
  • Between Yesterday and Tomorrow: West, the path of introspection and transformation
  • Between Now and Forever: North, the path of wisdom and knowledge.

The last of the four directions turned into my fourth and current novel, which I will publish first as a frame for The Between series.

What genre does your book fall under?

Oh dear, here’s where the story gets interesting, or depressing, depending on how you look at it.

When I delved into the exciting and fascinating worlds of shamanic paths and, later, psychic children, I had no idea I was digging myself into a deep hole, when it comes to the way books are classified by agents, publishers, and book sellers.

A Next Big Thing -10 Questions About My Book
A fraction of my research books

You see, while marketing my books to agents, I discovered there was no genre – and supposedly no market – for stories about shamanic paths and psychic abilities. Not in fiction anyway.

My novels are spiritual, but not religious. They have paranormal elements, but aren’t science fiction or magical realism. They highlight a woman’s journey, but don’t fit the genre of women’s fiction because of their spiritual/paranormal elements. I could go on, but I think you get the picture.

I later discovered a book category called visionary fiction, an exact fit for what I write.

Unfortunately, this genre is not recognized by the gatekeepers. Back to square one.

I tried marketing my novels as upmarket fiction, women’s fiction with paranormal elements, and fantasy, but grew frustrated because none of these categories were a good fit.

I finally resorted to calling my work what it is, visionary fiction, regardless of the consequences.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition? My protagonist is a triplet. So the actor playing the lead role would have to play three parts—a tough job. If Cher Bono were twenty-eight, she’d do a fantastic job.

That’s as far as I’ve gotten in the movie rendition fantasy.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency? Ha. For the reasons stated above, my first novel will be self-published. Agents currently will not take on visionary fiction. If Between Now and Forever or visionary fiction catches on, I may be able to find representation for future novels.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript? The rough drafts of my novels came fast and furious. I’m talking about three months each. But then, oh my…the revisions and rewrites. Did I mention I started writing my first novel thirteen years ago?

10 Questions About My Book

What other books would you compare this story to, within your genre? As far as I know, there is no other published stories like mine. Another nail in my coffin, right?

However, I am a founding member of Visionary Fiction Alliance, a website dedicated to promoting visionary fiction. I’ve noticed increased interest in this genre by readers and writers alike. Maybe visionary fiction will become the next big thing!!!!

Who or what inspired you to write this book? Well, book one inspired book two and book two inspired book three and book four…

Seriously, the article on my website, A Word from My Protagonist, explains what inspired me to write book one. The rest followed, as I pointed out above.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest? Seven of the characters in Between Now and Forever are Indigo Children.

People in the metaphysical world believe that a large percentage of the children born today—labeled as Indigo Children, Transitional Children, and Children of Now—have special gifts, including psychic abilities.

Any more questions? Really? If so, click: FAQ.

Links to three other authors answering:10 Questions About My Book

Rosi Hollinbeck
Jo Chandler (Her blog debuts March 11, 2013 at 4:00 PM)
Lee Lopez

These bloggers may not have their 10 question posts up yet, but their sites are definitely worth a visit.

As always, thanks for stopping by.

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