Tuesday, December 18, 2012

"The Next Big Thing" Blog Hop

I've been invited to take part in a blog hop titled "The Next Big Thing." This is a chain of blog posts in which authors answer specific questions about their work-in-progress. You can go forward or backward along the chain, and we authors hope you'll see something that will spark your interest. Maybe you'll  want to subscribe to an author's blog to stay tuned for his/her upcoming book.

My invitation to be the next link in the blog hop came from Adam Blumer, who writes meaningful suspense. Read about his current project here: http://www.adamblumerbooks.com/2012/12/12/the-next-big-thing-blog-flop.

Okay, enough prelude. Here are my answers to the questions forwarded down the chain of lily pads:

What is the working title of your book?

The Next Fithian. What is a Fithian, you ask? My main character wonders the same thing. He's never heard the word until he hears the pronouncement that he has been chosen to become the next Fithian. (He is told the previous Fithian was killed, so a new one is needed.)

Where did the idea come from for the book?

The impetus for the story came from Michael Ross, who then worked as editor of Breakaway magazine. I had written quite a few stories for Breakaway, all in various genres, so Michael had a solid understanding of how my imagination works. He telephoned one morning to ask me to develop a fiction story that would be fresh and different, but especially "big" in concept. He didn't constrain me to any genre. It could be fantasy or sci-fi or something else, as long as the story was big. While driving along a highway and mulling this request, the kernel idea for a series of short stories titled "The Next Fithian" materialized in my brain.
Rankin, captured! But what's the deal with his hand?

What genre does your book fall under?

I'm gearing the novel version for a YA audience (knowing full well that adults read YA, too), and the genre is speculative fiction in the sci-fi vein. 

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

 I didn't make up these questions, but this one is especially appropriate because some fan mail declared my story would make an awesome movie as Breakaway began printing the first installments. To play Rankin, my young and reluctant hero, I would choose an actor who looks like Damian, the youngest member of the Celtic Thunder singing group. (Damian, however, speaks with such a thick Irish accent that he wouldn't be the ideal choice. Sorry, guy!) To play Theena (the object of Rankin's romantic feelings), I'd choose Jennifer Lawrence of Hunger Games fame.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

When a Boeing jetliner explodes, a teen guy is sent into an alternate dimension, where he receives a rare title and a gigantic assignment.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

I have no interest in self-publishing. I'm currently watching several literary agencies to see which agent might be a good fit for such a story.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

The first draft is still in production, about 3/5 done. I'm anxious to complete it, but don't want to rush the story.
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Tough question! In essence, if you blend 1/3 Star Trek, 1/3 Hunger Games, and 1/3 the biblical Book of Acts, you'll get a result close to The Next Fithian.

Who or What inspired you to write this book?

As stated above, I give credit for the initial push to Michael Ross. However, I pray over each chapter as I write them, and may God get the glory.
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

Like most stories that especially captivate me, Rankin is a regular guy. He's a 17-year-old Christian. In an instant when he expects to die, he utters a "final" prayer, and God honors that prayer with the most incredible reply imaginable. Rankin isn't perfect. He goofs up and often doubts himself, making him a hero we can all relate to. Will he succeed or die trying to fulfill his mission? Let's find out together!

Thanks for reading. I hope that next week you’ll visit my friend, Jay Faubion, and learn about his upcoming suspense novel. Jay has devised a fantastic story that immediately caught the interest of agents and editors. Here' the link:  http://www.christiansuspense.com/the-next-big-thing/.


  1. Your new story sounds interesting. I'll be looking forward to reading it.

    1. Leah, thank you for stopping by! I recall how you posted a nice review of Gunner's Run on your blog about half a year ago. Always fun to hear from you!

  2. Very cool, Rick! And yes, Gunner's Run was awesome! This is a really cool idea. How does one get invited to a Blog Hop?
    Hope all goes well!
    - Randall Allen Dunn

  3. Randall, thanks for visiting, and thanks for the kind words about Gunner's Run.

    As for the blog hop idea, I can take no credit. I hadn't heard of it until Adam Blumer invited me to follow his turn. Jay Faubion (whom I invited to follow me) tells me that this "Next Big Thing" blog hop began as the idea of his agent, Linda Glaz. Of course, if an author doesn't get invited, you could always start your own with a different slant, different questions. Blessings to you!

  4. Cool, Rick! Sounds like it will be a fun story!

    1. Thanks for the visit, Jill. Especially fun when other YA authors drop by!