I appear to have got involved with some sort of devious meme called the Next Big Thing, and have been tagged by the redoubtable Tom Lloyd in his post here. So conjured, I can but obey. And, because I am always on the look out for opportunities to give away snackies, my Next Big Thing what I wrote is going to be, for this purpose, the novel planned to come after the last Shadows of the Apt:

1)     What is the working title of your next book?

I’m going to step beyond the current series, as that’s all planned out, and go for “The Guns of the Dawn”, which (after several others came and went) is the current working title.
2) Where did the idea come from for the book?

The original title was “The Woman’s War”. It’s about a girl in a fantasy world that’s similar to our 1800, getting drafted into a vicious civil war. That idea kind of sprang full-formed into my head, and it all went off from there.
3) What genre does your book fall under?

Heroic fantasy. It’s a war story, it’s about what people and nations do under stress, the good and the bad, plus a bit of romance. Magic and Muskets (and surely that’s an RPG, if not an off the wall regency novel).
4) What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

Been watching a lot of Downton Abbey recently, so Michelle Dockery for the lead role of Emily Marshwic. Mark Ruffalo for the sinister bureaucrat Cristan Northaway. Rutger Hauer (or Stellan Skarsgard?) as the enemy leader, the infamous war criminal Doctor Lammegeier. Robert Carlyle as tattooed scout and general lunatic Master Sergeant Mallen.
5) What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Jane Austen meets Bernard Cornwell by way of Ursula le Guin. ‘Nuff said.
6) Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

I’m very ably represented by Simon Kavanagh of Mic Cheetham & Co, and the book will be published by Tor UK
7) How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

About 9 months

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

“Guns of the Dawn” looks at some of the issues of progress and bad government that my series Shadows of the Apt deals with. There is also a lot of the sort of desperate camaraderie that you see in other “backs to the wall” war fantasy – Erikson, Gemmell, Abercrombie.
9) Who or what inspired you to write this book?

Did you not get the tagline? Once I had *that* I couldn’t not write it.
10) What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?

It’s an epic fantasy with a female lead set in an alternate 1800. It’s fierce, it’s gritty, it’s tragic, it’s cynical. It’s different.

I now get to tag some authors who I will mercilessly expose to the whole New Next Big Whatnot or whatever it is I’m doing so: Sophia McDougall, Paul Cornell, Adam Christopher, Rob Shearman, I choose you! (1)

On another note, some short stories to be found in print:

A new adventure for Walther Cohen is Lost Soldiers, which can be found in Spectral Press’s Thirteen Ghosts of Christmas.

My Tisamon story, Fallen Heroes, will be appearing in the Newcon Press Sampler available next month from, by weird coincidence, Newcon Press.

Another Shadows of the Apt story from here, Spoils of War will be appearing in the charity anthology Triumph Over Tragedy for the benefit of the victims of Hurricane Sandy, and I think that link also serves as a donations point for the project as well.

Finally, Civilian Reader has an interview up here

Blimey. Busy week.

(1) Anyone taking me up on this is also contractually obliged to leap out of a plastic egg to fight some little dayglo plastic muppet at my discretion.

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