Thank you, Aker @ Futuristically Ancient for tagging me! Read hers here.
Rules: Answer ten questions about your current Work In Progress on your blog. Tag five writers / bloggers and add links to their pages so we can hop along to them next.
What is the working title of your book…
The Deep. I’ve already got the cover designed in my mind and hope to collaborate with illustrator John Jennings (that’s one of his afrofuturistic images above).
Where did the idea come from for the book?
My last novel, Ship of Souls, was set to be published in February 2012 and my editor asked me to consider writing a “Kindle Single” to help promote the book. I wrote a scene in which the female teen protagonist was nearly raped and that later became the foundation for a book told from Nyla’s point of view. I always knew that I wanted to write a trilogy—three novellas about the three friends (D, Nyla, and Keem) from Ship of Souls. Before I even finished that novel, I woke up one morning and heard someone ask, “Are you sure you’re fully human?” And I knew that The Deep would be about “the gift” Nyla inherited from the mysterious mother who abandoned her as a child.
What genre does your book fall under?
That’s hard—I think in a couple of years Willow Smith could play Nyla. I don’t see enough young black men on screen to be able to cast Keem or D, but I see kids on the train everyday who could fill those roles.
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
When Nyla find herself at the center of a battle between good and evil, she must learn to wield the astonishing power she inherited from the mother who abandoned her as a child.
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
I’d like to keep working with Amazon Publishing. My last two novels were published by AmazonEncore but my editor has moved to a new imprint and there’s a new children’s/YA editor here in NYC whom I haven’t met yet.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
I don’t have a finished draft—I’m at 32K words and expect to wrap up by 35K. I don’t really write drafts. I take notes and write bits and pieces for a few months and then I sit down and pull everything together. I went to London for Xmas and wrote two thousand words, then I returned to Brooklyn and wrote 20K words in January. I’m hoping to finish up by the end of February. I revise, of course, but the manuscript gels fairly quickly.
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
I don’t know if I’ve read anything like this. I guess the mother-daughter dynamic could be compared to Parable of the Talents—The Deep shares that complex issue of legacy.
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
Nyla’s a fun character—she was my favorite in Ship of Souls, though I really tried to write an appealing male protagonist. Her feistiness, the way she questions her attraction to boys, her unique history (she was raised on a military base in Germany), all made me want to feature her in another book.
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
This is perhaps my most explicitly feminist novel for young readers, and I suspect some will say it’s too dark for teens. But I love to write about the way teens handle power, and I want readers to see Brooklyn in a way they’ve never seen it before.
Below are my tags of other authors: