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The Next Big Thing Blog Hop is a chance for authors around the world to tell you what they’re working on. The author answers 10 questions about their next book, and tags the person who first tagged them, plus at least 5 other authors. So, I was very happy when I was tagged by Jennifer Allis Provost: http://www.jenniferallisprovost.blogspot.com/2012/10/the-next-big-thing-blog-hop.html So here goes…

 What is the working title of your book? Owl Light. I stumbled across the word while reading, and instantly fell in love with the idea of a group of tales united by their connection to the dusky time of owls. Of course, coming from a background in art and creative writing, I had to toss in a few theme-appropriate poems and illustrations.

Where did the idea come from for the book? Each of the stories had their own beginning place. Often a scrap of folklore or fabulously strange news article inspired me. The mermaid story began with an article about a girl born with sirenomelia or Mermaid’s Syndrome. There’s a Day of the Dead story which includes lots of traditions that are used today – but it’s set in the far future on a distant world. And there’s a different take on the Rumplestiltskin fairytale. The remaining stories feature a clockwork owl, a selkie, a trow and his faithful buggane, ghosts, a future-seeing margay, the Daughter of Winter, an ancient sea giant, and other magical folks.

What genre does your book fall under? Speculative – which means that each tale is either fantasy or science fiction, though I did add in a couple of ghost stories. A little darker in tone than my 2011 collection, The Greener Forest, Owl Light is still Young Adult appropriate.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition? Since there are a dozen tales, there are lots of characters to cast. There are a couple of characters Johnny Depp would be perfect for. I can see Cate Blanchett, Dakota Fanning, Jennifer Lawrence, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Cicely Tyson in some of the female roles. And Nathan Fillion, Alan Rickman, Elijah Wood, Christopher Walken, and Warwick Davis in some of the male roles.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? Owl Light dares the reader to step into a world where owls wake from slumber, shadows appear where shadows ought not be, dreams change to nightmares, and dawn is more distant than you know.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency? Owl Light will be published by Cold Moon Press. But because CMP is a small publisher, as the author/illustrator, I have to take a lot of responsibility for promoting the book.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript? Some of the stories were written a year or 2 ago, and some last week. I think a collection of stories begins to come together before an author realizes she’s writing a book. Then, once she’s determined to pull a book together using her short fiction, the author focuses and writes additional tales that complete the overall concept of the collection.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? Perhaps a collection of stories from Charles de Lint or Neil Gaiman or Andre Norton would have a similar vibe. Of course, these writers are so amazing, I can only dream of reaching their level of skill.

Who or What inspired you to write this book? Owls and moonlight! As I write in the beginning of the book: “In Owl Light, that darksome time when creatures of the shadows move amongst us, how easy it is to believe in the mysterious and magical.”

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest? Several of the stories have won awards, including a Writers of the Future Honorable Mention. I’m the book’s cover artist, and in the print version, there are over a dozen black & white illos of mythic creatures that populate the stories. And I did lots of research on owls to add in accurate details about these amazing nocturnal birds.

And now, on to some wonderful writers and their Next Big Thing (I’ll post direct links as soon as I get them):

Douglas Cobb- http://douglascobb.wordpress.com/2012/10/23/the-next-big-thing-blog-hop-article-douglas-r-cobb/

Laura Shovanhttp://authoramok.blogspot.com/2012/10/the-next-big-thing.html

Dianne Gardnerhttp://dragontargeseries.blogspot.com/p/next-big-think-blog-hop.html

Christine Stewarthttp://www.therealwriter.com/my-weblog/2012/10/the-next-big-thing-blog-hop.html

Fernando WordPimp Quijanohttp://thewordpimpspits.blogspot.com

Craig Alan Loewen- www.literary-equine.livejournal.com

Tami Coxhttps://www.facebook.com/spiritsofgettysburg?fref=ts  (Scroll down to Oct. 13 entry)

Thanks for stopping by. Feel free to make comments and ask questions.

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