Saturday, September 15, 2012

Tag! The Next Big Thing!

GUTGAA has been so amazing and it is only the second week! Why is it so amazing? Because I've met some awesome people and think I finally get Twitter. That being said, these wonderful new connections have led me to be tagged by the wonderful Jadzia (what an awesome name, right?) for The Next Big Thing! So...on with the questions!

What is the title of your book?
Heirs of War, Prophecy Ordained. Heirs of War is the series title.

Where did the idea come from?
Wowzers...it was almost ten years ago when this idea first came into fruition in my writerly head. I wanted to create a story about the spiritual relationship I shared with some of my family members as we all began to explore Paganism as a religion. It's more about the spiritual bond we all seemed to share at that exact moment in our lives--we were all so in sync that we seemed to represent each side of the pentacle (Earth, Air, Fire, Water, and Spirit). Then I came up with the prophecy and it all sort of blossomed from there. I put the story aside for a good five years because it just wasn't flowing right and the characters didn't feel right and then last year I picked it back up, made some massive changes, and it all came together. Like magic.

What genre does your book fall under?
I was marketing it as Young Adult, but honestly I feel like New Adult Epic Fantasy works better. Why? Because these girls are going through a serious transition in their lives from being essentially carefree teens to literally having the weight of the worlds dropped onto their shoulders. They aren't kids anymore. They are growing into adults. They have responsibilities. And they don't just rise to the occasion--that sort of maturity and growth doesn't come overnight. It is a challenge and that is the heart of the books is watching these girls as they grow into their leadership roles. Also, age comes into play. While the twins are seventeen (almost eighteen) when the story starts, the other girls are older. Rhaya is 19. Isauria is 20. Terrena is 24. And by the end of the series I think the twins will actually be around 20. Haven't mapped to book five yet, so don't quote me on that. :)

What actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie?
Picture time! This is actually part of my process. I "cast" the characters in my head and tweak the descriptions of the actors as needed to fit the characters better. I have a pretty big cast list (which you can view on my Pinterest account) but I am going to stick to just the people introduced in the chapters I posted on my blog.

Ariana: Brenna O'Brien

Zelene: Emma Stone

Isauria: Alyson Hannigan

Rhaya: Zooey Deschanel

Terrena: Anne Hathaway

The Cynewards:
Varrick: Gerard Butler
Liam: Hugh Jackman

Raemann: Simon Baker

Kenward: Viggo Mortensen

Tate: Michael B. Jordan

Kyle: Chase Crawford

Garrett: James McAvoy

Sheridan: Kristen Bell

Nandalia: Catherine Keener

Arland: Gary Oldman

Kellen: Julie Delpy

See what I mean about having a huge cast list? Those are just the people introduced in the first five chapters. What can I say? I have a lot of voices in my head. A lot.

What is the one two sentence synopsis of your book?
 I had trouble coming up with a query under 300 words and you want me to tell you in two sentences?? Pfftt...You guys are about to get the long version because condensing the plot of an epic fantasy that has five main characters...well, it's hard.

Ariana thinks that prophecies are overrated. She doesn't see why they are any different from what she has read in the back of Seventeen Magazine. She doesn’t realize that the pentacle-shaped birthmark on her wrist marks her as the foretold fifth daughter of the most powerful bloodline in all the worlds and the key to an ancient prophecy. 

Ariana has led the life of a normal teenage girl on the cusp of adulthood; ignorant of the sisters she has been separated from since birth. She has never even crossed paths with her twin sister Zelene. Zelene is quite the opposite of Ariana with a life that belongs in the plot of the most tragic of Lifetime movies. The twins know nothing of Estridia, the world of their birth, or the war that has been raging on for generations that they are destined to end. But they are about to find out.

Ariana is captured by enemies that intend to sacrifice her in order to gain her power and destroy the caste system the worlds follow. Zelene is taken back to Estridia where a loving family welcomes her and she is reunited with the three other girls of her generation.  Rhaya is easy-going and carefree with an uncanny ability to read people. Isauria is more timid and shy, having spent years focusing on the magical world she has been dreaming of--and is now discovering to be real--rather than making new friends. Terrena is duty bound, the only one raised with the knowledge of her true identity as she lived her life on the run with the warrior blood-bound to protect her for life. 

Together they make up the prophesized five but without Ariana as the fifth they are doomed to fail, leaving the worlds to be ripped apart by war. Now the girls must decide whether or not to find a way to rescue their missing sister on their own or leave it all to fate and vague prophecies. But when they find that the good guys are proving to be not so good and the bad guys seem to have the wrong methods but the right ideas, where does that leave them?
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
A question I am currently debating. It is still undergoing edits and I do have a wonderful cover artist/model working on cover art in case of self-publishing, but I am still attempting to get representation. It's hard to market an epic fantasy series that is 145k. I'll most likely end up self-publishing and then still seek representation as it (hopefully) sells. I've read that it can't hurt to self-publish (as long as the MS is ready). 

What else about your book will pique a reader's interest?
 I love my characters, so it's a pretty character driven story. I was told by one beta reader that it has a little bit of everything--fantasy, action, political intrigue, romance, humor, etc. So I like to think there's something for everyone to like. :)

And now that I have written the longest blog post known to man (or me, rather), it is time to tag some people! Not sure how many I am supposed to tag but I am going to go with three from my following pool!
Epic Robot Danni (my CampNaNo cabin mate!) 
Donna L Martin's On The Write Track
Cynthia's Read is the New Black


  1. Thank you, Mara, for thinking of me. I am honored you have tagged me. I hope you get a chance to check out some more of my posts. Good luck with GUTGAA!

    Donna L Martin

  2. Haha! That was a long post. :D I love that the idea actually started 10 years ago, and that is an awesome cast you have. I love most of those acters/actresses. Great post, Mara!

  3. Hey Mara! Thanks for tagging me- I'm so flattered. I actually don't have a working novel at this moment that will allow me to answer those questions. But I enjoyed going through your responses. You have some good actor picks.

  4. Haha, I like your (long) list of characters, very epic fantasyish :) It's nice to see how you picture them. I've said it before, but I think your book(s) sound(s) brilliant!