Sunday, March 31, 2013

The Next Big Thing Blog Hop: 10 Questions about Noxumbra Manor

Emily Rachelle from Emily Rachelle Writes has nominated me to participate in The Next Big Thing Blog Hop. Thanks Emily! To participate, I have to answer 10 questions about my current work in progress, and so I shall.

1: What is the working title of your book?
Noxumbra Manor because that's where a good portion of the story takes place. I've also considered The Lady Lord, but my mom said that might sound like the main character is a transvestite, and I just didn't want to go there.

2: Where did the idea come from for the book?
The original idea spark came in the summer of 2011, when my mom asked me what my dream pen name would be.  I'd recently become infatuated with the name Gwendolyn, and I'd just seen the name "Copperstone" somewhere, so I said Gwendolyn Copperstone. That November, I used "Gwendolyn Copperstone" as my NaNoWriMo username. Well, Gwen wasn't happy just being a username. Before long, she'd evolved into a really flat, story-less character, who I decided should be a fantasy-set detective. When NaNo 2012 started to draw near, I decided I'd give Gwen a story. After some brainstorming, she was no longer a detective, but an heiress of an estate that someone didn't want her to have.

3: What genre does your book come under?
Fantasy and mystery, though I've removed pretty much all of the traditional fantasy story elements. So it's a mystery set in a world that doesn't exist.

4: Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Honestly, I've been so focused on writing the thing, that I haven't thought of this. Except for one character. If this were to be made into a movie, I'd want Ben Aldridge to play Lord Delstone, the guy I put in an unrequited love situation I refer to as The Nomance.

I do, however, have a Pinterest board with some pictures of character look-a-likes on it here.

5: What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? 
A young herbalist is flung into a world of mystery and deceit when she inherits an insolvent estate that someone doesn't want her to have.

I've very proud of this elevator pitch, since it placed in the top 25 finalists in the Go Teen Writers Pitch Us Your Story contest. It didn't make the top ten, but out of 140 contestants, one of the top 25 isn't bad.

6: Is your book self-published, published by an independent publisher, or represented by an agency?
None of the above. It's still in the Really Big Mess first draft stage. 

7: How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
I started it back in November for NaNoWriMo, and I typed the words "the end" a couple of weeks ago, but there's a bunch of stuff in the middle that I skipped over that I need to fill in. 

8: What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? 
I have no idea. You could say it's like a Dickens-ish or Austen-ish story set in a world that doesn't exist, but that might be kind of a stretch.

9: Who or what inspired you to write this book?
I needed a story to write for NaNo '12, and I wanted to try my hand at fantasy, so I chose this one over all my other ideas.

10: What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
Well, there aren't many fantasy-set mysteries out there (that I'm aware of, at least), and it's got lies and betrayal and scandal and secrets, and other good stuff like that.

If you have any other questions about Noxumbra, leave a comment and I shall answer them.

Now I'm supposed to nominate five other bloggers, but pretty much everyone else has done this already, so I nominate anyone who reads this and wants to give it a go. 

And a good day/night/morning/afternoon/whatever to you.


  1. Oh! I like this story!
    I recognized your pitch from the contest. Congratulations on making the top 25! I didn't make it that far. :)

    ~Robyn Hoode

    1. Thanks!

      Too bad about not making the top 25! I did a pitch critique swap with one of the other contestants, and she didn't make it either. Care to share your pitch?

  2. I think this was it. This is more of the pitch for my entire series than just the first book.

    "A boy who has been double-dipped into a fairytale world and cursed to be a dragon every night, fights to return his life to normal."

    The problems I had with writing this pitch was that (1)I realized the deadline for the contest was in an hour (so speed, not so much quality) and (2) it seemed like I was taking the wonderful book I had written and boiling it down so that we knew we were having beans for dinner, not chili (metaphorically speaking). It seemed like I was making my book dull.


    1. If you want a synopsis, I'd prefer to email that to you instead of post it here. :)


    2. An hour is so little time! Your story does sound fun, though.

      I'd love to read a synopsis. My email is lily(at)morenna(dot)com

    3. Thanks!

      I sent you the blurb I am working on for it. :)


    4. I got it! You're welcome.

  3. Noxumbra Manor sounds intriguing. I enjoy mystery, fantasy, and herbalism, so it sounds like it's right up my alley. My '11 Nano was about a herbalist, actually. (I really need to pull that book back out and rewrite it, because I like it ... it just needs serious work.)

    And congratulations on being in the top 25! I think you were one of the three I voted for ... but I'm not sure. I'm pulling a blank on the third pitch I voted for ... but yours sounds about right. My pitch didn't make the top 25 either - but after reading the ones that did, mine did pale in comparison.

    1. Thanks! It makes me happy knowing someone thinks it sounds intriguing.

      Yay for herbalist MCs! My '11 NaNo needs serious work too.

      Thanks for voting for my pitch, if indeed you did! What was yours?
      I've been entering GTW contests for the last year, and nearly every time the finalists blow me away, especially the 100ish worder ones. The two contests I've done well in only required one sentence.

    2. Mine was "When a teen girl discovers that her forgotten imaginary world is real - and dying - she must recover her lost memories and restore her land." I spent a good day or two trying to come up with that, too.

      If you want to read more about it, you can go to my Knitting blog (where I talk about everything but knitting, it seems ...) and find The Ankulen's tag. The book about the herbalist is called Infiltration if you want to check that one out as well. My list of labels is at the very bottom of my blog.

    3. Oooh, sounds fun! I'll be sure to check out your blog!