Wednesday, January 9

The Next Big Thing

Happy 2013 all! Hope the title of this blog didn’t mislead you into thinking it was one of those January ‘How to be Less Lardy after Christmas’ articles. And even if you did click on it hoping for The Answer, stay around. This blog is far less depressing and if you don’t actually eat your reading device, it has zero calories.
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 set questions about their next book, and tags the person who first tagged them, plus at least 5 other authors.
I was lucky enough to be tagged by Dianne Ascroft, author of Dancing Shadows,Tramping Hooves: A Short Story Collection and Hitler and Mars Bars.
Dianne loves to lose herself in the past, particularly in stories set in Ireland and Scotland. Dancing Shadows, Tramping Hooves includes tales of outsiders who discover they belong, a humorous slice of life yarn, heart-warming love stories and a tale of taming fear. The shadows are on the wall, in the heart and clouding a woman’s memories while tangible foes tramp through the physical landscape. You can read Dianne's Next Big Thing Post here.
And now it’s my turn! Here’s my answers to the interview questions:
1) What is the working title of your next book?
The Blood of the Fifth Knight.
2) Where did the idea come from for the book? 
It’s the sequel to my current novel, The Fifth Knight, which is published by Thomas & Mercer. In The Fifth Knight, mercenary Sir Benedict Palmer agrees to help King Henry II’s knights seize the traitor Archbishop Thomas Becket. What begins as a clandestine arrest ends in cold-blooded murder. And when Fitzurse, the knights’ ringleader, kidnaps Theodosia, a beautiful young nun who witnessed the crime, Palmer can sit silently by no longer. He and Theodosia rely only on each other as they race to uncover the motive behind Becket’s murder—and the truth that could destroy a kingdom. (Note: The Fifth Knight can be found here on Kindle Serials. At this time, only US customers can purchase the serialized format. The book will be released in complete format by Thomas & Mercer in 2013).
3) What genre does your book fall under?
It’s a historical thriller with romantic elements.
4) What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition? 
I’ll aim high on this one. Jeremy Renner would make a great Sir Benedict Palmer, Scarlett Johansson an amazing Sister Theodosia Bertrand. That might sound a bit Avengers with chainmail but it works for me!
5) What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
The repercussions of Becket’s savage murder still echo- and the battle to save the kingdom is not yet won.
6) Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency? 
I am represented by the peerless Josh Getzler at HSG.
7) How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
It’s in progress. I always complete a detailed outline and synopsis first, which for me is the harder part.
8) What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? 
If you like Robert Harris’s Pompeii, Ken Follett’s The Pillars of the Earth or any of the Shardlake novels of C.J. Sansom, you should like this. And of course, if you liked The Fifth Knight, you should enjoy this just as much!
9) Who or what inspired you to write this book?
I studied Anglo Saxon and medieval English at college. I’ve always been intrigued by the story of Becket’s murder and his power struggles with King Henry II. That forms the basis of The Fifth Knight. But there are plot developments in that novel (which I can’t share because of spoilers!) that mean there are new, more deadly challenges for Palmer and Theodosia.
10) What else about the book might pique the reader's interest?
The Fifth Knight has been very well received by readers. I’ve had comments such as: ‘Anyone who enjoys historical fiction …will be sitting on the edge of their chair awaiting the next instalment,’ ‘Stayed up WAY too late last night reading it on my Kindle!’, and ‘Exceptionally well written and absorbing.’
Readers also really like my hero and heroine. They’ve made comments like ‘I find myself thinking about the fate of Palmer and Theodosia long after I lay my Kindle aside’, ‘Men like Benedict Palmer are a rare breed’, and ‘Finding both Palmer and Theodosia very interesting and likeable. Can’t wait to see how their paths twist and turn as the story progresses’.
And some readers are already asking for a sequel even though the serialized version still has one episode to go! When they post comments like ‘Hope you continue writing books like this!!’ and ‘I’ll be looking for any other works you have published’, then what can a writer do but oblige?
That’s it from me. You’ll see below the links to a group of five bloggers who will be posting their Next Big Thing on Wednesday 16 January 2012. They’re a fascinating group, spanning continents (how cool is that!) and a diversity of genres and styles. They are also representative of what’s best in the writing community. Dedicated and hard-working individuals, who still find the time to be supportive of other writers - and avid readers, too. Make sure you check them out!

Krishnadev Calamur is a writer by day and an editor in the evenings.
His debut novella, Murder in Mumbai, was published by the Penguin Group’s Dutton Guilt Edged Mysteries, a digital imprint. He lives in Arlington, Va., with his  wife and their dog.

James Bicheno is the author of In the Shadow of the Gods, an historical novel set at the beginning of the Viking Age (hoping to be available in all good book shops one day.) He is a published poet and has dabbled in playwriting. James has studied Creative Writing with the Open University and the University of Portsmouth, loves history and finding out about the past. He enjoys travelling and is a member of the Historical Novel Society.
Twitter: @Jim_Bish

Kellyann Zuzulo writes romance fiction about genies. Her most recent book, The Genie Ignites, is Book One of the Zubis Chronicles from Boroughs Publishing Group. Book two, The Genie Smolders, will be released soon. An anthology to which Kellyann contributed, titled Seven Souls A Leaping, was selected by Joyfully Reviewed as one of the Best of 2011

Ebba Brooks is a writer and creative writing teacher based in Prestwich, north Manchester. A former journalist, she has always secretly written made up stuff too, inspired by her childhood on the rural east coast of Scotland. She got an MFA in creative writing from Antioch University, Los Angeles in 2005 and started blogging after the birth of her second child.

Alrene Hughes is the author of Martha’s Girls, a family saga set in wartime Belfast – the first book in the Golden Sisters trilogy.  Inspired by a scrap book, photographs and half remembered stories,  it follows the lives of four singing sisters who dream of fame and romance in a city ravaged by the hardships and dangers of war.  Alrene was born in Northern Ireland and now lives in Manchester. Her poetry and short stories have been published in several anthologies.

Twitter @alrenehughes
Facebook   alrene hughes    



  1. Great news on The Blood of the Fifth Knight, Elaine. I can't wait! The fifth episode of The Fifth Knight arrived on my Kindle yesterday--like magic!-- and I'm glued to my e-ink screen.
    Wishing you much continued success!

    1. Thanks Kellyann- looking forward to your post next week!

  2. Very interesting! Linking to this on the Saturday Links post this week on my Author Blog.

    1. Thanks Rosanne- off to check your blog now!


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