I’ve been tagged by the lovely Rossandra White in a blog game called The Next Big Thing, where you answer questions about your work in progress or a new piece, that you’d love to become the next big thing! For me, that’s the sequel to my futuristic thriler, Fireseed One. So, here goes:
What is the working title of your work-in-progress?
Children of Fireseed. Or I may just totally get away from that title to something like Sun Chimeras. Chimeras are beings comprised of two very diverse genetics. Too obscure? What about Scarlet’s Fire? Here’s an even better idea: why don’t you all help me think up a title? Best one gets the person a free, signed copy of the book when it comes out, and a $25 gift card too. First read the story summary, and then email me with your awesome suggestion at kitsy84557 AT gmail DOT com.
Where did the idea come from?
Since it’s a sequel, it naturally takes the Fireseed One story a few more giant steps forward. The main character is Scarlet, the girl with three missing fingers from the Fireseed cult in book one. It’s now eight years later, so Scarlet who was seven is now fifteen. Her love interest is Armonk, the boy from Black Hills Sector in book one, who Varik made the prosthetic leg and arrow for. I wanted to follow those kids and others who had the bad luck to grow up in the Hotzone, and to see how they fared as teens. They meet up at a place called the Greening, a quirky boarding school in the desert, at Skull’s Wrath. It’s run by Nevada Pilgrim, the artsy lady caught up in the nefarious ZWC terrorist group from book one.
What genre does your book fall into?
It’s teen sci-fi. It can also be described as dystopian, or a futuristic thriller. It’s set on earth in 2097.
What actors would you choose to play your characters in a film version?
My main characters are younger than most of the actors I usually think of, but let me try. Carey Mulligan or Mia Wasikowska would make a good Scarlet, as they have that innocent, dreamy look, while being powerful. Scarlet is compellingly stunning, and rather unhappy about it, as it tends to attract too much attention from the older men in the cult, which yes, is creepy. (She escapes in the first scene!) Either Logan Lerman or David Kross would make a good Armonk. He’s mysterious, raven-haired, and a talented hunter, with a vulnerable, private grin that makes you really want to know what he’s thinking.
Write a one-paragraph summary
If everything about you changes, what remains?
Fifteen year-old Scarlet, long-pledged to the much older Stiles from the Fireseed desert cult, escapes with only a change of clothes, a pouch of Oblivion Powder and her mute little brother, Thorn. Arriving at the Greening, a boarding school for orphaned refugees, she can finally stop running. Or can she? The Greening is not what it seems to be, and as the students care for its secret Fireseed crop, they experience frightening physical changes. When George Axiom, of Vegas-by-the-Sea offers a huge cash prize for the winner of a student contest, Scarlet and Armonk are hopeful they can finally help their families back in the struggling sectors, but when Stiles comes to reclaim Scarlet, and Thorn disappears, the world as Scarlet knows it, is changed forever.
How long did the first draft take to write?
I’m still at it. It’s a work-in-progress!
What other books would you compare this to, in your genre?
This treads newish ground in the genre, in terms of strange human hybrids. In terms of sensibility (not plot) it is similar to Rossi’s Under the Never Sky.
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
It’s a natural extension of the big questions in Fireseed One. How do we live in a forbidding future environment? When we are terrified and our backs are up against the fire, how do we avoid the urge to take sanctuary in false refuges like the Fireseed cult? How can humans extend the limitations of the human body to be best suited for extreme heat? Lack of food and water? When one is not entirely human can one retain humanity and compassion? Can one love?
What else about this story might pique the readers’ interest?
The sweet romance between Armonk and Scarlet.
The deadly struggle between the students of the Greening for power and answers.
Dr. Varik’s diagnosis of the unsettling changes in Thorn, Scarlet and Armonk.
Thorn’s amazing creation, after being overlooked as mute and slow.
The future-fabulous playland that is Vegas-by-the–Sea.
And now, I will tag a few more writers, whose new works deserve an extra-special look, and just may be the next big thing! Look out for their posts in the next few days.
Oh, and I’d love for you to give your opinion on my sequel title on your way out. Thanks!