Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The Next Big Thing

Litfest Pasadena, 2012

I've been tagged by best-selling thriller author and former Pasadenamanian Dianne Emley to participate in "The Next Big Thing," an internet meme where authors share what they're working on. Big thank you to Dianne! She's been a friend to PDP since the beginning, and was the first author I profiled here.

The deal is I answer a set of questions about my novel, Camelot & Vine, then tag someone else to answer the same questions about their book next week on their own site or blog. Here we go:

1. Where did the idea come from for the book?
Some years ago I spent most of a summer in England, studying acting at Oxford. I fell in love with the country, its ancient architecture, history, and legends.

2. What genre does your book fall under?
I'd call it "historical time travel adventure." There's no such genre officially, but not every book fits a genre. A bookstore would probably shelve Camelot & Vine under general fiction, or maybe even fantasy.

3. Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Update: We decided in comments not to reveal this, because people will picture the characters their own way. Although if you read the comments you'll see who I picture as King Arthur.

4. What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?
A failing Hollywood actress heals her past and finds her future when she falls through a gap in time and lands in a Dark Ages war camp, accidentally saving King Arthur's life.

5. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
I'm publishing the book under my own label, Boz Books.

6. How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
The first draft only took a few months. The other drafts took forEVER.

7. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
The closest thing I can think of is Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. There's no "onstage" sex in Camelot & Vine, though, so if you want sex with your time travel, Gabaldon is a must-read.

8. Who or what inspired you to write this book?
I have a strong desire to visit ancient times, to really see history, and I wondered what it would have been like to know someone like King Arthur, had he existed. Because I can never know, I immersed myself in 500 A.D., studying it and visualizing it as completely as I could.

9. What else about the book might pique the reader's interest?
I set most of the story atop Cadbury Hill, an iron age hillfort in the Somerset region of England. Legend says Cadbury was "Camallate." There's archaeological evidence of an early sixth century settlement on the hill, with a wall, a great hall and a church. We don't know if King Arthur existed, but if he did, the Cadbury settlement would fit. Using real places and real history made the story feel authentic to me.

That's the Q&A. With this Saturday's Bookmarks on PDP, I'll introduce you to Kate Wong, the talented artist who designed Camelot & Vine. We're going to reveal the cover!

My final task with "The Next Big Thing is to introduce you to Kat Ward. Kat is the owner, editor, and head writer at Hometown Pasadena. She's also a novelist. Her "Next Big Thing" post goes up next Wednesday, January 23rd. Be sure and visit her.


Clifford Beshers said...

Boy, now I'm going to have to think of a novel so I can write the first line.

llandudnopictures said...

Great idea, and great answers!

Petrea Burchard said...

Cliff, I think you should make it cryptic, but as John says, "know your ending."

Thank you, Geoff. I think I've seen some of these from your side of the pond. It's going around.

TheChieftess said...

WooHoo!!! Getting closer and closer!!!

dive said...

One more question: When can we buy it?

LOLfromPasa said...

Your photo blog is so much more! I look forward to what follows.

Petrea Burchard said...

I downloaded the prototype from CreateSpace today. It's looking good!

Dive, in answer to your question (and I said this to Chieftess earlier today), everything takes longer than you think it will. Please please please, end of January.

Thank you, Lauren! I try to stick to the CDP plan and add a little of my own.

altadenahiker said...

What fun! I have an essay all packed and ready to go regarding the best first line in a work of fiction, but I keep fiddling with my opening sentence.

Birgitta - FOTO* said...

I will check immediately for my first line ;)

Bellis said...

Interesting way of doing an interview sort of thing, and I like your replies, but I wonder if the one about the movie casting should be dropped? I'm just not seeing Sean Bean as King Arthur. MY Arthur (the one in your book) is so much more handsome. :0)

Petrea Burchard said...

I wonder if we put too much emphasis on the opening sentence, Hiker. Few of us are Gabriel Garcia Marquez. If your first sentence makes me want to read the second, the second leads me to the third, and so on, that's the task.

Hi Birgitta! Please do!

Bellis, I think you're right. I'm taking it out. I'm still bothered by the Cold Mountain cast.

Speedway said...

Now that my first is done, I'm trying to go on to the second. I think I've done my part, then get to sort out niggling little details I thought were settled months and months ago. *Sigh.*

I have a bunch of first sentences, all legit, but I guess the "right" one will make itself known as the story evolves. Maybe all of them should appear at appropriate times? As transitions? Hell, if I know.

Susan Campisi said...

I'm confused. In what comments will we see who you picture as King Arthur? Where does Bellis get Sean Bean? Cold Mountain cast?

Maybe cutting down on coffee today wasn't a good idea.

But I love the interview and can't wait to read the book.

Petrea Burchard said...

Speedway, my first sentence wasn't the first thing I wrote by a long shot.

Sorry, Susan, I updated item 3 after Bellis' comment:
"3. Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Update: We decided in comments not to reveal this, because people will picture the characters their own way. Although if you read the comments you'll see who I picture as King Arthur."
I had mentioned I'm reading "Cold Mountain" and though I didn't see the movie I know the cast and it's getting in the way of my enjoyment of the book's characters. I don't want to get in the way of anyone's enjoyment of C&V!

Speedway said...

I suppose there will be lots and lots of sentences before the "first" sentence shows its little typeface.

Katie said...

Such fun to read more about your writing of Camelot and Vine! It must have been fascinating to spend time in 500 AD while you were doing your research. Historical time travel sounds like just my kind of genre. Can't wait to read it!

Susan Campisi said...

Ah, thanks for clarifying. I agree with you picturing an actor when reading changes the reading experience.

Petrea Burchard said...

Speedway, har!

Katie, I hope you like500 AD as much as I do. Plumbing is a problem, but the food isn't bad.

I don't picture actors when I'm writing, either, Susan. I've created complete people in my head who look like themselves.

Ms M said...

Fun interview -- and a good build-up to your novel's "coming out" party! I'm looking forward to reading it!

Petrea Burchard said...

Thanks, Ms. M! Been working on the Kindle upload today. I amlearning A LOT.

Paul Parten said...

If we can get "Camelot & Vine" out by the 31st of January I'd consider it to be one of the best birthday presents I've gotten!

Petrea Burchard said...

Me too, Paul, and it's not even my birthday.

postie said...

Let us know when its released. Id love to read it

Petrea Burchard said...

Don't you worry, Postie, I'll be quite vocal about it. And, Amazon willing, it will be soon.

Margaret said...

Oops. I think I was supposed to do this too.