Why hello there. I’ve been quietly muttering something about the fact that I am writing a book recently, so here we are today, ready to officially introduce it. Cait @ Paper Fury and Sky @ Further Up Further In host this feature (and this month is a special for NaNoWriMo). I’ve never actually participated in Nation Novel Writing Month before, mostly because November is an extraordinarily busy time (*cough*exams*cough*) and it just never works – but also because I think I’m a bit nervous at the idea of just sitting down and writing my book. This year, however, November is quite chill for me so I’ve decided to commit and write this beast!
I’m quite excited by this post, I must say. I’ve never really gone into detail at all about what I’m writing with anyone. But I think it’s time to start taking myself seriously. So without further ado, I present you The Fire Under the Mountain.
The questions . . .
What inspired the idea for your novel, and how long have you had the idea?
This book is my precious little baby – I had the idea when I was about 12 years old. I used to sit in the library at school with a little sketch book and draw all the characters and settings, etc. I actually found this sketch book a while back and it’s pretty adorable.
I originally wanted this book to be called “The Land of the Sha People” and the characters were 6 inches tall (or so), blue, and lived in trees that were all decked out with stairs running up the trunks and different houses all the way up, etc. Which I thought was not a bad idea, really. I even started writing chapter outlines. But that’s as far is it got.
And then the movie Epic came out . . .
And then Avatar came out . . .
And by the time I got around to developing this idea – 3 years ago – so I decided that small, blue people probably wasn’t going to work thanks to those movies (gosh darnit). I’ve recently been working on my idea again and now I have a fully fledged YA, Fantasy trilogy planned.
Describe what your novel is about!
At the moment, I like the sound of “The Fire Under the Mountain” so that will be the name of book one (the one I’m writing for this). My novel, as I said is fantasy. It’s set in a world (who’s name I cannot decide on for the life of me) not unlike our own. It’s multi-perspective because the world is divided into six tribes according to different elements. People from these tribes have powers pertaining to their elements and live separated from each other. This is because there’s a great war led by one of the leaders predominantly against another tribe (who just so happen to be dragon-shifters). So there’s a whole bunch of chaos and four young adults run away from their tribes, come together, and decide that something needs to be done about this situation.
What is your book’s aesthetic? Use words or photos of whatever you like!
Truth be told I’ve never been one for using photos, etc, to create an aesthetic. I never really take on what other people provide for their own stories via pinterest or something either. I’ve no problem with it, but I visualise everything mentally from the book and only the book whether I want to or not – the only images that will change are actors replacing the characters I’ve thought up if there’s a movie. So I’m afraid that unless I do some more sketching in the future I can only leave you with this:
It’s going to be a world where there are at least 5 different main terrains, whether on land, in the water, or above the clouds, and unique magic is in abundance. It’s going to be appear as this beautiful but corrupted world where war is noticeably beginning to detract away from its beauty. Characters also have distinctive appearances depending on which tribe they come from.
Introduce us to each of your characters!
I’ll introduce you to the four main characters:
Sharmay is the the main protagonist. She’s from the Earth tribe (each tribe has a name but to be mysterious, I’m not going to tell you what it is). She’s relatively rebellious and doesn’t like how confined she is within her own people because of the war. She’s an adventurer at heart but always puts herself out there to help others when she can.
Peter is my favourite (but shh don’t tell). He’s the son of the Air tribe’s leader and for various reason has run away with his best friend in tow, Mark. He’s good-hearted and has a strong personality. He’s doesn’t get along with his Dad, Luke, and wants to make things better in the world.
Mark is a fantastic guy – he would go to the end of the world and back for his friend. He finds himself sucked into this “save the world” plot and complains about a lot of things (but deep down inside he loves the challenge, really). He’s incredibly loyal and a beautiful idiot.
Because a book isn’t a book without a ridiculous character name. I haven’t actually decided on the spelling for this but it’s pronounced: WAY-hih-wah. Waihiwa is a bit of a free spirit who’s very clever and a fantastic friend. I don’t think the group would get very far without her.
How to you prepare to write? (Outline, research, stocking up on chocolate, howling, etc?)
That’s a good question. Usually I just feel spontaneously motivated to write and go crazy splurging it all out. I’m not good at planning when I’ll write so I usually trick myself into starting by opening my laptop, then opening the file to have a look, and the next thing you know I start typing. Oh, and talking to myself like a crazy person all the time tends to help get me motivated.
What are you most looking forward to about this novel?
Writing it! This has been waiting in the wings for so long that I’m super excited to finally commit to it. I’m really keen to see where the story is going to go (you see, I also don’t plan “everything” – I like to surprise myself).
List 3 things about your novel’s setting.
5 main different landscapes
What’s your character’s goal and who (or what) stands in the way?
My characters’ goal is to get out and see what’s really going on in the world and try to make it a better place. Being confined to each of their own tribes, they have a limited understanding of the war that’s being fought and they have to stand up against ridiculous odds in an attempt to bring peace and harmony back.
How does your protagonist change by the end of the novel?
Well that would be a spoiler, now, wouldn’t it?
What are you book’s themes? How do you want readers to feel when the story is over?
Friendship is probably going to be a big thing but I’d always wanted to make the book a bit of a subtle critique on war. I just haven’t decided whether that will be an obvious aspect or not. But the idea is to make the reader empathise with Sharmay over how stupid fighting is and its devastating effects.
And there you go!
Now you’ve been properly and thoroughly introduced to my book, so here’s to hoping that I can smash at least part of it out during NaNoWriMo 2016!