I was tagged by author Goran Zidar to do the Next Best Thing Challenge. I don’t often participate in memes, but occasionally, very occasionally, I’ll be interested enough to join in. This, I think, is my first for the year – and it’s already August! When, pray tell, did that happen?
Here’s how it works:
  • Answer the 10 questions below
  • Spread the fun and tag other writers to participate.
1. What is the title of your book / WIP?

Deathhawk’s Betrayal.

It’s about – you guessed it – betrayal. Lots of it. ‘Deathhawk’ comes from the diminutive ‘little hawk’ applied to the protagonist by her enemy. More than that, and I’ll spoil something. 

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

Oh, boy, complicated! Way back in the 90s I had an idea for a story that evolved into a trilogy. I’d written the first two books when I had it assessed and the feedback was I’d used the wrong POV character! It was suggested I switch from Kain to the woman, Silair. But – but – but! I wailed. It’s not herstory. I couldn’t bear the idea of rewriting from her perspective, though once drawn to my attention I agreed with the problem. I resolved to find another solution, but recognising I was too close to the story, I set it aside and began something else.

That something else wasn’t Deathhawk’s Betrayal.

A few years after that, I wanted to start a new story. I landed on the character, Astarl, from the original story, and whom the editor said was ‘interesting enough in her own right to have her own story’. So I wrote one.

And thatis Deathhawk’s Betrayal.

In the process, I solved my original POV character problem, too!

3. What genre would your book fall under?

Adult High/Epic Fantasy

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

Aargh, what? I have no idea. Just hold on a minute while I think about it, OK?

Astarl – Emilia Clarke – she’s got the right kind of deceptive fragility to her appearance.

Aldenon – Dominic Rains – something of the darkly exotic handsomeness I allude to him.

Jeharv – Alan Rickman – totally got the voice for it, and can pull off sinister.

Danek – Jeremy Renner – I can see him pulling off Danek’s unique brand of evil-behind-bland.

5. What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?

When everyone she loves betrays her, Astarl must decide the cost of her loyalty.

6. Is your book published or represented?

Nope – I’m still finishing final edits, then I’ll start querying. 

7. How long did it take you to write it?

Yikes, how do you define write? Here’s the timeline:
  • Wrote 1stdraft – Feb 2009 – April 2009
  • Second draft – May 2009 – Sept 2009
  • Critique group – Sept 2009 – Feb 2010
  • Hiatus – Feb 2010 – April 2011
  • Further four drafts – April 2011 – Nov 2011
  • Rewrote Chapter 1 – Jan 2012
  • Beta readers – Feb 2012 – July 2012
  • Final revisions – July 2012 – ongoing. 
 8. What other books in your genre would you compare it to?

The Way of Shadows by Brent Weeks. Astarl is a bit like Vi – except damaged in different ways. Neither of them would handle the same situation in the same way. 

9. Which authors inspired you to write this book?

No one inspired me to write this book, specifically, but my inspirations are Robert Jordan, Terry Goodkind, Terry Pratchett, Brandon Sanderson and Brent Weeks. 

What inspired me to write this book was what I perceived as a lack of satisfying strong female characters in the genre.

10. Tell us anything else that might pique our interest in your book.

Anything? Hmm… I follow Terry Goodkind’s lead in doing absolutely terrible things to my characters, and then forcing them to rise to the occasion. The Black Moment is pretty terrible. Honestly, I couldn’t really think of a way to make it worse. But don’t worry, things do get better!

Oh, and I had to research how to kill a man with one blow to write this story. 

Although neither of those might pique your interest, depending. 

You’ve been tagged to join in the fun:



If you missed it, check out my guest post on POV Rules and when it’s OK to break them here

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