Onward to the interview!
Ten Interview Questions for The Next Big Thing:
1. What is the working title of your book?
It's called NEVER, NEVER.
2. Where did the idea come from for the book?
I was hangin' out on Twitter in September (as I often do) and I saw this tweet from an agent who said that she would love to see a fairy tale retelling from the villain's POV. I was like, "That's brilliant!" And went through all the fairy tales and classics I could think of. I know Peter Pan isn' really a fairy tale, but it IS a classic. And I loooove Peter Pan. But I love Hook even more. Thus, the idea for writing a Peter Pan retelling from Hook's POV was born. (And seriously, if anyone has read the original Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie...that's some crazy dark stuff. Like, Peter's half a villain already. Just sayin'.)
3. What genre does your book fall under?
Adult Upmarket Retelling
4. Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
So, I've been really excited to get to this question!
James Hook: Ian Somerhaulder.When in doubt, ALWAYS pick Ian Somerhaulder.
Tiger Lily: Roseanne Supernault. (No idea how her acting ability is, because she's pretty new/ unknown. But she looks just like Tiger Lily in mah head.)
Last but not least, Peter Pan: Paul Butcher. Look how cute that kid is. But also, in this book, he's not so nice...so...like...evil cute.
5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Ummmm...Imma cheat, mmkay? 3 sentences. Just 3 little sentences...
As a boy, James Hook is enticed away to Neverland by Peter Pan, who reneges on his promise to take James back home, and who, when James starts to grow up, (which is against the rules) tries to kill him. James is forced to run to the pirates, stepping naturally into the role of their Captain, and he falls in love with Tiger Lily, a woman who cannot deny her attraction to him, but whose heart belongs to the boy who took James' hand, his family, and his life. He struggles not to let hatred and anger overtake him, and to be a man in a world that hates men
6. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
I'm determined to go the agent route. Kudos to all you self-pubbers out there! But, agency is the path for me (Hopefully!) ^_^
7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
I edit as I draft, so by the end of all that, it took me around 10 weeks.
8. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
I'd say Wicked (except that the writing style is completely different) because of the villain aspect, and with a whisper of Lord of the Flies.
9. Who or What inspired you to write this book?
See the answer to number two...but also, I love the idea of villain backstories, knowing where they came from and what introduced that darkness into their lives. No one is wholly good or wholly evil, and I love the struggle between right and wrong, and the idea that the villain has a life and hopes and struggles and love, too.
10. What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
Hmmmm, well, you'll certainly see an angle of James Hook you've never seen before, as well as the darker side of Neverland. I tired to stay as true to JM Barrie's original story as possible, just bringing out the dark bits of Peter that he already introduced. There's also a very central romance in the story, one that ends up being a catalyst for a lot of the changes in Hook. (Gotta love the hot, sexy bad boy love story, right?)
Below is a sample from the book. This is a scene involving Tiger Lily (who is of age..no Disney Tiger Lilies here, peeps.) and the Captain...
“You’re a fool, James Hook.”
James held his hand out to her, then brought it back. He was at an absolute loss, and found that he was in something of a panic.
“Tiger Lily, I am truly sorry,” he said, the deepest kind of fear washing over his face.
She did not turn, and he stood, breaths shallow, staring at her back in the clearing. This was ridiculous. Managing a crew of pirates, he did with ease. But managing a woman was something else entirely.
“Where have you been?”
James blew out a breath. He would not lie to her.
Jealousy flashed across Tiger Lily’s face. She unfolded her arms and walked toward him.
Her voice lowered and she stared up at him, eyes wide and unblinking and pensive.
“You’ve finally done it, then.”
“Become a pirate.”
“I have always been a pirate.”
Tiger Lily suddenly turned away from him and cocked her head. She was staring at something through the trees, something that James could not see.
“Do you hear that?” she whispered.
She did not answer. She simply walked toward the sound that James couldn’t hear, and he could do nothing but follow her. It wasn’t long before James picked it up as well. The sound was haunting and beautiful, like nothing he had ever heard. He knew in a beat that it was the mermaids.
The lagoon was quite a ways away, too far away for their voices to reasonably carry, but mermaids had a way of doing impossible things, James found. Their voices were ethereal and smooth, like they came from the spirits of bells. He wondered if Tiger Lily was even aware of his presence anymore. She walked slowly and sat in the eaves, wrapping her arms around her knees. Then, she closed her eyes and tilted her face toward the sky, entranced and smiling softly. His breath caught when her saw her that way, and he stopped walking.
James stared at her, the music encasing him. But, he did not fall under the sirens’ spell; he was too mesmerized by the woman before him. The moons had just risen, bringing a soft glow to her face, silhouetting her body. James was pulled toward her, and when he reached her, he held out his hand. It trembled just slightly as he waited for her.
She opened her eyes and stared up into his. The coldness was gone, replaced with a sort of enchantment. And she gave him her small hand. He pulled her up and drew her to him, heart racing as he pressed her body to his. He slid his hand down to her waist and to the small of her back. Then, gaze never breaking hers, he drew her arm gently out and encircled her hand with his hook. She did not shrink away from the cold metal; she just wrapped her fingers around it.
James stared into her eyes and stepped. She stumbled a bit and he smiled. Then, he stepped again, and she followed. They spun in slow circles around the clearing, moons illuminating everything. James lifted his hook and spun her once, then brought her to his chest, closer than she’d been before. He could feel her heart beating against his, and he was at once petrified and at peace.
It was a dark waltz, made of haunting voices and forbidden touches and hidden desire. James pressed his fingers into her back, and led her in the dance. Then, he brought his face against her cheek, intoxicated by her nearness, relishing the sweet scent of her. His long hair fell into hers, and they tangled together. James did not know why this pleased him so.
“Your hair is longer,” Tiger Lily said, and her voice was hoarse.
“Long hair is the mark of a pirate and a fiend,” he whispered low into her ear. “Both of which I am.”
Thus far, those tagged next arrrrrre:
Tabitha Martin- YA Fantasy- Song of the Phoenix
Tabitha Martin- YA Fantasy- Song of the Phoenix
Let me know if you'd like to be tagged! Thanks for reading!