Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Be Inspired - Tagged by Autumn

Man, I love the fall. Football. Baseball. The weather cools off. I came outside this morning, just after 5 AM, and there was frost on the windshield of my car. The air felt crisp. My dog hurried with her business. Autumn is my kind of season. Jeans and hoodies. Craft beer. Great sports.

Anyway, I got tagged in one of those things. You know, those posts that people tag you in? I was tagged by Michael Offut, and I then proceeded to forget about it, as I often do, even though I kind of wanted to do this one. I've wanted to talk about this book for a long time. So, then I got tagged again, by Adam Heine (who was tagged by Authoress) and I realized I better just do it, before I forget (reading back over the posts, these might be two separate post-chain tags, but whatever, I'm combining them here).

The idea is to answer some questions about your WIP. I'm not going to talk about my current WIP, because I'm still drafting, but I will talk about my last WIP, which is technically still in progress, because I haven't sold it.

So that's an image of The Eight Principles of Yong up there, separated into individual strokes. The character means 'permanence' in Chinese Hanzi and Japanese Kanji. East Asian Calligraphy features prominently in my manuscript WARRIOR-MONKS.

Now, to the questions:

What is the working title of your book?


Where did the idea come from for the book?

Well, I actually went to reform school as a teenager, and one day the thought occurred to me: what if I wrote about that experience, except I made the school (mostly) cool, instead of some place you would want to run away from? Except, the kids do still want to run away, at least at first, because they're punks.

In what genre would you classify your book?

I call it YA Rural Fantasy, which is obviously a play on Urban Fantasy, but works, because it applies. It could also fall under Contemporary Fantasy or Magical Realism, but I don't worry too much about putting things in neat little boxes.

Who would you pick to play your characters in a movie adaptation?

This is going to sound like blasphemy to some of you out there, but I really don't think about this much. Do I think about my books being made into movies? Hell yes. But I don't think much about the actors, which is pretty odd, because my mother was an actress and my father was a stage manager. There is one character in my book I would love to see played by Ken Watanabe, or maybe Hiroyuki Sanada.

Give us a one sentence synopsis of your book?

A reluctant juvenile delinquent must achieve knowledge of self and let go of resentment amidst magic and martial arts at the world's strangest reform school.

Is your book already published?

Nope. Still working on getting an agent. Considering shelving this one for a while if the last full I have out comes back with a big R.

How long did it take you to write this book?

Write? I must assume you mean draft, because while I haven't made any changes in months, I won't consider it done until an editor has paid me for it. It took me just under a year to draft.

What other books in your genre would you compare it to?

None. I'm not trying to be a pretentious ass-hat, but I've never read anything like this. I suppose it's a little like Harry Potter, because there is a special school, but the similarity ends there. I suppose it's a little bit like Stormdancer, by Jay Kristoff, because it's a YA Fantasy steeped heavily in Japanese mysticism. But really, I haven't read a book like this.

Which authors inspired you to write this book?

I've wanted to write a novel ever since I was a little kid, so I guess J.R.R. Tolkien. It always comes back to Tolkien for me.

What else inspired you to write this book?

Well, other than my own past experiences, mentioned above, it was my love of Eastern thought, and things like tea, Zen, Japanese swords, Yoga, meditation, martial arts, and kicking ass.

What else about your book might pique the reader's interest?

Well the setting is mostly absolutely authentic, because I actually lived in that part of the world as a teen. Also a lot of the story is based heavily in the truth of my own life. Other than that, there is a lot of awesome magic, weapons, martial arts like Kenjutsu and Aikido, and there is even some kissing, for the ladies.

Now, as far as actually tagging other people like you're supposed to, I'm not into it. I don't like tagging people, because I don't like leaving anyone out. And besides, I'm no good at following up to make sure they do it, anyway. Also, this post is way too long already. Happy Tuesday!


S.A. Larsenッ said...

Loved this! I knew a bit about this story already. But for some reason, I got a different image when I read 'strange reform school.' That is so intriguing. Can't wait 'til this one is on the shelves!

Steve MC said...

Rural fantasy punks kicking ass between meditation and mysticism?

My kind of book!

Karen Baldwin said...

Rural fantasy? Ha! LOve it. And actually, I think I have a manuscript in my drawer.

Elise Fallson said...

Cool! I've got a similar post lined up...got tagged with this one a few times too. I'm glad you decided to talk about your book because it sounds awesome, it really does. I hope you get this published soon, I've got a soft spot for martial art related themes. Would you consider self-publishing?

Suzie F. said...

I must be living under a rock, cause I haven't heard of this blog tag.

Your novel sounds very cool. Good luck with the agent search and with your new WiP.

JeffO said...

Sounds pretty interesting, Matt. Thanks for sharing.

Sarah Ahiers said...

oooh! Yes on the Ken Wattanabe!
But also, i'm with you. I have a real hard time picking actors to play my characters. I rarely give it any thought (usually just when one of these posts pop up) and when i do, i draw a blank

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Looking forward to reading it next. Don't give up on it. Maybe look for a publisher instead.

Donna K. Weaver said...

I love the sound of your book, Matt. As for identifying actors to play characters, I don't think about that either.

Michael G-G said...

Matt, every time I read about your book, I think "what a kickass story!" I hope one day to be cracking open its covers (no Kindle for Luddite me) and savoring it. Keep the faith.

Cassie Mae said...

Oh yay! Some characters kissy in this :) You can guarantee I'll read it, haha!

Carolyn V said...

Fall's my fav too!!! So glad it's here.

Your book sounds great! Tolkien is an amazing writer to be inspired by.

Katie O'Sullivan said...

Great post - your story sounds way cool. And hope you're celebrating JRR's 75th anniversary of publication today ;-)

D.G. Hudson said...

Sounds interesting, Matt. There's something intriguing about eastern beliefs. Perhaps it's the dedication or just the fact that it's so different from our in-your-face culture.

Good luck with the subbing. Listen to Alex, it's worth a try.

Nancy Thompson said...

I was recently tagged, as well. I enjoyed it, as I enjoyed learning more about WM. and yeah, what Alex said, don't give up if you don't find the right agent. There are many small pubs out there & they're always looking for great new talent.

Christine Danek said...

Don't give up on it. It sounds way to cool, and I want to read it. :)

Ted Cross said...

Are any of the characters from your book based on people you knew in reform school?

Kristin Lenz said...

Reform school, rural fantasy, tea, martial arts - I'm so intrigued! Best of luck with your submissions and your new WIP too.

Anonymous said...

You had me at Ken Watanabe.

Old Kitty said...

Well you had me with your one sentence synopsis! How do you do that?!?!? Yay! take care

Carrie Butler said...

I love the concept. I'm really hoping this gets picked up by an agent and/or publisher soon! :)

K. M. Walton said...

Like everyone else commenting, I too think your book sounds interesting. Keep writing and never stop believing it will happen.

Paul Joseph said...

I'm definitely intrigued by the setting, and the entire reform school piece, but you probably already knew that. And like those above, I look forward to reading this one day.

Traci Kenworth said...

I like the sound of your story. It does sound unique and I wish you the best with it. As for Autumn, I, too, like the "cool off" period between the heat of summer but dread the coldness of winter. But it is the most beautiful time of year--so colorful and alive like an artist's painting.

Michael Offutt, Phantom Reader said...

Huzzah! I loved reading this. And I agree that the setting is frickin' awesome. I can't wait 'til it's published.

Margo Berendsen said...

Everything about this sounds awesome. It's esp. interesting to here that it's based on your own experience in reform school. Stormdancer is on my short list to read, and then yours (grin)