Tag Archives: the next big thing

An Attack of “The Next Big Thing”

One interesting part of being part of an active critique group is when there’s a blog hop, sometimes everyone around me ends up doing it.  My friend  Michele Shriver first tagged me with “The Next Big Thing” last month (11/7), only Nanowrimo combined with the actor question in this blog hop meant that I never finished it.  She was really low key about it, so afterwards I just said to myself, oh well, and kept typing.


On 12/12, another friend, Katie Stewart also tagged me with the same blog hop. I was going to get it together… but didn’t. And then, right before Christmas, what do I find but that Kelly Walker has also tagged me with this.  So, taking a deep breath, I decided to actually look up child actors and finally do this.  Here goes:

What is the working title of Your Book?

Much Ado About Villains

Where did the idea come from for the book?

Shakespeare.  Which ought to be obvious from the title.  But to be fair, there’s also a healthy dose of JK Rowling and JRR Tolkien involved as well.  This is a Harry Potter spoof that draws on high fantasy cliches and popular culture as well, and I can’t think of a better thing to meld that with than Shakespeare, honestly.

What genre does your book fall under?

Comic fantasy or satire.  It’s upper middle grade or younger YA too, I suppose, but I always take that for granted in a book. The book has it’s own full story, so it’s not a strict satire, but can come close at times.

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

This is the question that tripped me up most, because I have no idea what child actors are around anymore.  All my former choices are far too old now. But after some net searching, I have decided on Dakota Goyo for my lead MC, Danny.  For his supporting friend, Daisy, I discovered a huge shortage of 13 year old black female actors.  This saddens me, although Willow Smith, daughter of the famous Will Smith is happily the perfect age.  Even harder was finding an Asian actor at 13 for Aun, Danny’s best friend and sometimes rival. After searching google images to find someone current and not a former child actor, I found Korean Seo Yeong-joo-I who looks the part.

At least the older students were easier to pick, I decided Sarah Hyland for Queleria, the beautiful girl Danny and Aun fall in love with, and Kenton Duty for Demigorth the popular boy who steals her attention.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

I’ve just written 50K this past Nanowrimo, but I’m still not done with my first draft.  I think I need to rework the outline and then fit the scenes together in a different order and rework them also.  The novel is being difficult, sigh.  I’m hoping to hash it out though over the next couple of months.  My goal is to have a full first draft by the beginning of March.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Book one started as a mix between the play “A School for Scandal,” “Harry Potter,” and “A Series of Unfortunate Events.”  I wanted to bring in some new elements, although Harry Potter satire will be a major part of the series as a whole, and the style of the sequel will be the same as book one (A School for Villains).

Who or What inspired you to write this book?

“Dark Lord Academy” started as a series because of talking about Harry Potter with my brother Jonathan. I’ve always enjoyed doing satires, and writing about an evil magic school, where everyone becomes villains sounded like hilarious fun. I wrote the first novel for my brother as a Christmas present, and somehow along the way during revisions, it turned into a six book series. I suppose it was villainous that way.

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

Well, let’s see… it’s got demon horses that breathe fire and like eating coal as a treat and run gymkhana courses, a teenage demon boy who secretly listens to chant and drinks holy water, and true love Shakespeare style (yes, death is definitely included).

As so many people have tagged me with this, I don’t have anyone to tag back, and figure it’s run its course by now anyway… but if you read this and want to adopt it, drop me a note and I will next Wednesday promote your blog as if I tagged you.