Saturday, December 29, 2012

Next Best Thing Author Post

Eee, I've been tagged as a "Next Best Thing" author!  You know what that means?  I get to spill about my new book!  I don't normally tell you guys what I've got in the works, but this gives me an excuse to gush without being fat-headed... :)

What is the title of your next book?

The book that I currently have on submission with publishing houses is called NEXIS.  (Yes, I spelled it that way on purpose).

 Where did the idea come from for the book?
Well, let me think…The slight Cinderella aspect came from my agent mentioning that she was looking for a Steampunk Cinderella story.  I immediately got an idea for a Cinderella who doesn’t just lose her shoes, but her legs too…and she gets fake legs from a Godmother character.  That was the tiny seed that started NEXIS…I really don’t know why it developed into a cyberpunk.  Though I know a lot of people are rolling their eyes about more dystopians, I promise I wasn't following trends!  I started writing this before the SF/Dystopian outbreak in YA and before I read Hunger Games, plus I think it's different enough to stand out among the crowd.

What genre does your book fall under?
YA Cyberpunk – which is computer/virtual-based science fiction with dystopian aspects.  This story in particular has a virtual gaming aspect that draws heavily on fantasy aspects.  There’s also a healthy dose of romance too. :)

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Good grief, I really have no clue…I suppose that’s good cause then I won’t be all disappointed if it becomes a movie and I don’t get my choice cast.  I just want the cast to look like the main characters and to be awesome actors.  But, I do have inspirational pics...

 In NEXIS, they drive pods which are automated cars that drive on hover-tracks (think glowing ribbons of highway floating over the city).  Ella's step-sisters, Starla and Sadie, have "chimera" pods.
 This lovely gentleman, though I have no idea who the heck he is in real life, would be Guster (Ella's love interest in the game and the "thief" character).  Guster is the fox character in The Tricksters while Ella is the spider.
 Ella goes to the G-Corp ball in a dress of her own designing.  In Evanescence, Ella's domed city, they wear Neo-Baroque fashions with futuristic highlights such as this amazing fibre-optic material.
These would be a collection of Aspen Cyr's Aristocratic cronies.  The costumes would be a little bit more Neo-Baroque in my mind, but I like the boots and the headpieces, these would definitely be something that an Aristocrat in Evanescence would wear.

This would be a a good rendition of Ella in the game.  Ella would have slightly darker skin.

If you'd like to see more NEXIS fashion, technology, and people-inspiration I also have a pinterest board with more o.O

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
After a tragic accident kills her computer programmer father and causes her to have both of her legs amputated, Ellani (Ella) Drexel finds solace in her father’s virtual reality role playing game, NEXIS, but Ella soon learns that NEXIS is more than just a game.
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
 NEXIS is currently represented by my agent, Louise Fury of the L. Perkins Agency.  And, like I said, it’s on submission with publishers so I hope it will sell soon.

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

 Lets see…I got the original idea in August 2011 and wrote up a couple of chapters that month.  Then it got shelved until November 2011 when I picked it up again.  I finished the first draft in January 2012.  Did edits throughout the next few months and it went on submission in August 2012.

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

There are a lot of little things that make this book similar to aspects of many different books and movies.  When I first wrote up the pitch, there weren’t a lot of YA cyberpunk books published -- I think CINDER was the closest comparison, even though I believe they’re quite different -- so, I had to cobble together a comparative world from other genres and media.

This was the beginning of my editorial pitch:

Imagine a domed city, similar to those in ShukĊ Murase's Ergo Proxy, and create within it a divided class system, similar to that in Andrew Niccol's Gattica.  Within this domed city exists a virtual reality game that is so advanced that playing is truly like being part of the game -- much like the holo-net in Caprica.  Also within this city is Cinderella, except instead of losing a shoe, this one has lost her legs.  Cinderella's father is dead, she is shunned by a society similar to Suzanne Collin’s Capitol in The Hunger Games, and her step-mother has locked her up and is slowly starving her to death.  Hoping to escape her cruel fate, Cinderella chooses to play the game.  Like Sam in Tron: Legacy, she is sucked into her father’s digital world and, consequently, her father’s battle. Similar to Case in William Gibson’s Neuromancer, she is forced to go against established society for the sake of a cure to her ailment but, like Ender in Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game she ends up hurting others as a result of the “game” she plays.  The story you are imagining is NEXIS.

It also has a slight Scott Westerfeld's Uglies/Pretties etc. feeling to it...

Who or What inspired you to write this book?
 Like I said, it was originally overhearing my agency’s call for a Cinderella Steampunk that got my mind reeling.

What else about your book might pique the reader interest?

I believe that NEXIS is a book that appeals to a wide range of readers in both age, gender, and genre tastes.  While it is in simple structure a Cinderella story, there is a lot more to this story than princes and balls.  I've got my leg-less Cinderella who loses her father and is abused by her step-mother and sisters, but it pretty much stops there.  This novel has a very deep examination of social morays, normative beauty, our technological future, the human condition, and what someone must do to discover who they are and how they can change the world.  At the same time all this seriousness is going on, there's a light-hearted playful aspect to it as well -- there are dead-pan robots, futuristic domed cities, fire-spouting dragons, Minotaur infested labyrinths, and suave thieves to be had!  I'm very excited about this novel and I hope that it sells so that you guys can *hopefully* be excited about it too!

Tagged authors (I will update with links when they post their responses):
Stella Price
Emily P. Bush
S.L. Lewis
Carolyn Turgeon
Aaron Rosenberg


  1. This sounds really interesting! When do you plan on having it published? It really sounds original! I love the idea of a Cinderella steampunk and the virtual reality aspect (I have only read one book so far about virtual reality).

    1. Hi Lola,
      Thanks so much for your interest in the book! I don't have a publication date because a publisher hasn't purchased it yet. Hopefully, a publisher will accept it soon and then I can let you know when the concrete publication date is. Just as a clarification NEXIS is a cyberpunk Cinderella, not a Steampunk. I just got the idea from a Steampunk request. Not to be picky, I just don't want you to expect steampunk if you ever pick it up. :)

    2. Sorry I confused the two genres, Cyberpunk is indeed a different genre than steampunk. Please let me know when you know a release date, I am certainly interested in reading this :).

  2. It sounds like a great project. You certainly know how to push boundaries and keep readers on their toes. Let me know when Nexis is due to come out, I would love to read it,
    Eve A. James

  3. Sounds great! By the way, the name of the guy in the picture is Alejo Sauras. He's a Spanish actor. ;)