The Next Big Thing

Today, I’m taking part in “The Next Big Thing”, a little interview hopping from blog to blog as writers tag one another. I was tagged by Kim Aippersbach, a very sweet YA writer I met in a queue at SiWC.

The idea is simple: I have to answer 10 questions about my work-in-progress. Now that’s a problem: which one should I talk about? I have two NaNos, one blog novel and countless stories halfway through their first chapters. So I took a look at the questions and picked a project I would be able to provide answers for.

Oil and Boiling Water, my in-query-process novel, won.

10 Interview Questions for the Next Big Thing

1. What is the title of your Work In Progress?

Oil and Boiling Water. As in oil and water, but with some steam. *laughs* That is the reason behind the title; I’m not making it up!

Well… I guess I did…

Next question!

2. Where did the idea come from for your book?

Tatiana came to me, frustrated and holding her drenched petticoats tight around her so she could stump down Marriott Avenue. She was on her way to change the world. It was clear from the get-go. And she wouldn’t let me sleep, even though it was 2 am. So I got to my computer and typed the first chapter in an hour (2.5k that barely changed since). Then, since I had other projects in the works, I went back to bed, swearing to myself I wouldn’t touch it again for now.

But Tatiana and the pirates (wherever they came from!) had shouting matches in my head.

I’m not kidding! I have proofs! Here’s the original first chapter, and the first quotes, and then the other ones. Most of them are still in the book.

After all the tantrum, I gave in and wrote the damned book.

I’m not crazy. I swear.

3. What genre does your book fall under?

Steampunk. More precisely, steampunk without too many gadgets: Tatiana is inventing them! It’s an adventure with an element of romance, some politics, a whole lot of humor and a couple of fights. You’d be surprised how many uses a wrench has!

4. What actors do you imagine playing your characters?

Argh… That’s a tough one. I guess Tatiana is a brunette Kate Winslet or Drew Barrymore. And we need a male version for Damian, her twin brother. Suggestions?

Now Éloi, the love interest. Golden curls, blue eyes, chiseled jaw… must be able to speak French and pull off the rugged look… I’d have to go with Bradley Cooper.

And I’ll stop here before I give myself a headache with all the second guessing.

5. What is a one-sentence synopsis of your book?

The Three Musketeers meet Pirates of the Caribbean.


I’m not kidding; everything you need to know is in there! *laughs*

Alternatively, though it’s a lot less precise: “After yet another rejection from University on gender grounds alone, Tatiana convinces her twin brother Damian to trade the familiarity of Britannia’s court for the uncharted skies of pirate life.”

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

Currently submitted to Harper Voyager, 1 editor met at SiWC (both have full manuscripts) and 6 agents also met at SiWC (who have either 3 chapters or 50 pages.)

One partial turned into a full and one partial turned into a very satisfying rejection (as in, I get why the agent didn’t want it and the rejection letter was very kind and detailed).

So, hopefully, this one won’t be self-published. I may rewrite some of my blog novels or other stories and self-publish them, but that’s for another time.

7. How long did it take you to finish the first draft of your manuscript?

30 days. More precisely from November 1st 2010 to November 30th 2010. It was 90k long when I ended it.

8. What other books would you compare this story to in your genre?

See question 5. *laughs* And, don’t tell too many people, I haven’t read a whole lot of steampunk. I wrote the story as it came because that was how it had to be written. And now I find myself trying to fit it somewhere.

9. Who or what inspired you to write this book?

What? I’m supposed to understand the meanders of my mind? *laughs* You’re funny.

10. What else about your book might pique your readers’ interest?

If I haven’t piqued your interest yet, I haven’t done a very good job answering this interview. Guess you’ll have to read this fantastic tale of woman empowerment, meaning of family, engines and handkerchiefs! 😛


That wraps up my ten questions and now I have to tag other people. *evil laugh*

I call to the stand:

  • Tiffany (because I’m curious about her NaNo, mouhahahaha)
  • Suzanne Lazear (because I’m always curious about her next project)
  • Ryan Derham (because he’s posting six sentence every Sunday so that project ought to be big)

Plus, the three of them are fun, great and lovable. 😉


About Aheïla

Somewhere in Quebec City, Aheïla works as a Game Design Director by day and writes by night. Known for her blue hair, unyielding dynamism and tasty cooking (quails, anyone?), she’s convinced “prose is the new crack”. She satisfies her addiction daily on The Writeaholic’s Blog and weekly on Games' Bustles View all posts by Aheïla

7 responses to “The Next Big Thing

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