Gods, my first ever meme, courtesy of Andrew Reid.  He tagged me in the Next Big Thing alongside these guys which made my jaw drop:

Den Patrick. Writer, bookseller and dude with coolest dimples ever!

Tom Pollock. He has a book out already.  Buy it.

Icy Sedgwick whom I don’t know personally but she sounds like my kinda girl.

What is the working title of your book?

Grimm Tales: The Blackhart Legacy

Where did the idea come from for the book?

I was standing in Forbidden Planet, in the comics section, ogling the Hellboy editions and dreaming of adding them to my Sandman collections when Mark strolled past, clutching a copy of the Punisher and stopped, turned to me and said: “What if Hansel and Gretel did not stop at the first witch?”

This was back towards the end of 2009 / beginning 2010, before there was even a hint of any of the current fairy tale movies or tv shows we now have on our screens.  I remember staring at Mark in the shop and taking out my notebook and writing down the question.  I had only recently discovered Fables so I was terrified that whatever I came up with would reflect the story-strands contained within Bill Willingham’s fantastic graphic novels.  So I stopped reading them.  I brainstormed and filled notebooks with ideas and concepts and re-read favourite fairy tales and researched stuff like string theory and pagan rituals untill I couldn’t think straight.  Then I sat down and wrote Grimm, as I call it.  Basically, as everyone calls it.

What genre does your book fall under?

Contemporary urban fantasy for YA readers – please note I say “readers” here, alluding that it might be kick-ass enough to be cross-over.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition? 

Uhm. *nose twitches*

This is actually really hard – I’ve not given any thought to this although I do have pictures of the kind of “look” I have in mind for my characters.  So I’m cheating and adding those instead of choosing actors to represent them.

Kit Blackhart
Thorn
Aiden
Megan Blackhart

And there are more characters – and some inspiration I worked with can be found over at my pinterest board here.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? 

Yikes.  This is hard.  Can’t I just say it’s: Labyrinth meets Hellboy? No.  Okay, well, here it goes:

No, I can’t.  Here’s what I’ve got instead:

A rookie monster hunter. A fae prince on the run.  A doomsday cult.  Just another day at work at Blackhart Manor.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency? 

“We” have an agent and agency looking after us – it’s Juliet Mushens at PFD.

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

Four months – first draft.  Another three to add more words…and a lot of faffing around to get it shipshape.

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

Grimm is all about people like Mike Carey’s Felix Castor books, American Gods by Neil Gaiman and Holly Black’s Tithe.  It’s urban fantasy without the sexy, with a lot of gore and violence.  It’s Hellboy without the PG12 rating.

Who or What inspired you to write this book?

I have been reading urban fantasy for as long as I can remember without really realising what it was.  When I encountered my first urban fantasy in the shape of Charles de Lint’s books I was stunned that he could take mythology and rework it in contemporary urban settings.  Apart from Anne Rice, no one else had ever made me sit up and take notice like this.  I’ve never ever looked back.  People who inspire me are numerous, the names I’ve mentioned above but also Ilona Andrews’ novels – no books have ever taught more about world-building than her Fate’s Edge books. Holly Black and Melissa Marr rock my world and Jane Yolen, Midori Snyder and Ellen Kushner and Ellen Datlow guided me with their novels and anthologies and I lost my heart to the Borderlands.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

I have a wonderfully strong female character who is fallible and lovely and kick-ass and tough and insecure.  Her word is her bond and with only a bit of training behind her she tries to save the world, but most importantly, she tries to save herself and her new-found family.  It’s set against a big framework but it’s a very personal story about family, friendship, loyalty and getting on with it, regardless of personal cost.  Or uhm, that’s what it’s about in my head, at least.  It’s also about this world that’s been separated from ours at the dawn of time and how thin those barriers are and perhaps we humans should realise that we’re being watched, and those watchers aren’t necessarily the good guys.

What stage is your book at now?

It’s currently with Juliet for approval!  So, whilst Juliet is poking holes in my theories, I’m throwing myself into working on something completely different and I’ve slightly fallen in love with my MC.

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My choices for this meme to be spread like a virus is:

Jo Wyton – Jo was longlisted and subsequently shortlisted on the Undiscovered Voices competition and I’m super excited to learn what she’s been up to.

Caroline Hooton – this is entirely personal for me, as I’m dying to know what Caroline’s working on! SCBWI pal and twitter chum, tell us!

Danie Ware – we know her as the face for Forbidden Planet but her debut Ecko Rising is out now & I want to know what else she’s up to.

Sharon Jones – Sharon’s debut novel is out next year and I’m dying to hear more about it.

Okay guys, you’re it! meme-away!

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