The Next Best Thing Blog Challenge

Thank you Karen de Lange for tagging me for this fun challenge. Fellow blog travelers take a look at Karen's blog and let yourself be immersed in her world!  
Boy, I admit, this challenge took much longer than I anticipated, especially the one-sentence synopsis. I wrote it, rewrote it, changed it back.. I panted like a mad person. Still not happy with it, especially after reading other brilliant synopses, such as Mel's. Anyways, I decided to calm myself down with a sandwich. Still waiting for the muse to hit me. This challenge has been a blast, nevertheless! :)


1. What is the title of your book/WIP?
The working title of my WIP is Spellbloom, but I'm unsure as though to use it as the title to the whole series/book cycle.

2. Where did the idea for the book come from?
After years of serious fandom for the fantasy genre and writing bits and pieces of fantasy shorts, even longer shorts, and short long stories, one day last summer, as I was sitting on my balcony, drinking a cup of coffee with two sugar cubes: boom. Out of nowhere, there it was. I do remember minutes earlier, thinking about my dislike for Hogwarts (seriously) as the epitome for elitist principles of magic in contemporary fantasy; it may have led up to it. Then there was some sort of mental ignition.

3. What genre would your book fall under?
Contemporary fantasy.

4. How long did it take you to write it?
So far, a year, but I haven't finished yet. The storyline is lined up and ready in my head, it pretty much was from the beginning. I'm still thinking, systemic thoughts, how to make the "magic" part as logical and comprehensive as humanly possible, as for how the system works and what costs there are. And there will be costs in using magic.

5. What other books in your genre would you compare it to?
Definitely Lois McMaster Bujold's Beguilement, in the sense that there is a romantic story underneath a fantasy epos. What I especially like about Lois' fantasy books is that the use of magic is never a gimmicky placeholder for a lack of explanation... unlike "Hi, my name is Nicolas Cage, and as of now and for no good reason, you will be my wizard's apprentice. Here, let me distract you with this flaming fireball, tards!" 

6. What is the plot synopsis in one sentence?
In a world where magic is dangerous and needs to be tightly controlled, Guardian-trainee Kaley and Mage Nian are sent on a secretive, high-priority mission across the country by order of the Regent himself - unaware that the obstacles they will face, and the reason for the quest itself is more entwined with their own lives than they suspected.

7. What actors would you choose for your characters to play in a movie rendition?
My favorite question!

The fantastic Tom Hughes as Nian Thalur. I only saw him once in this movie called Cemetery Junction, but I was immediately smitten. He brings the right amount of rebel-emo-aggressiveness to personify a Destruction Mage.

Ellen Page epitomizes Kaley Evans, Nian's new Guardian. She is the voice of reason, smart, and a natural leader-figure. Maybe we'll have to cut her hair a little plus lighten it a nuance or two for this role.

Stanley Tucci - boy was he scary in The Lovely Bones, but I need exactly his kind of ambiguity and versatility for my character Aeron, Nian's former Guardian. He left his protégée for personal reasons.

Laura Linney or Mrs. John Adams as I like to call her is Morgen, a well-trained Guardian from the Academy, who can teach Kaley a lesson or two in leadership. They meet on the journey.

Eric Bana. I assured my husband that he doesn't need to worry, I won't run away with Eric in case I meet him during the movie production - but dear God I hope he never asks me to.
I thought he was fantastic in Munich - which is one of my favorite cities as well as one of Señor Spielbergo's top if not-so-famous movies. In my story Bana stars as Pador, the King Regent of Indova.

His name is Storm. He once was a powerful Mage. Now, he lives in a care home for elderly Mages outside the City. He suffers from dementia, but at times he still has good insight - and is quite the character. Since Storm has wild hair, Gene Hackman will need grey extensions for that role. I hope he's OK with it.

8. Is your book published or represented?
No and no.

9. Which authors inspired you to write this book?
Weeeeeell.... in short: everyone who ever made me feel welcome in his or her fantastic storyworld, across all genres and media. I never expected storydriven RPGs to have such a massive influence on me but they did, although books, movies and television do have the more prominent impact. There are of course some authors who left a more distinct imprint than others. I am referring to Philip Pullman, Neil Gaiman, Ursula K. Le Guin, Lois McMaster Bujold, Michael Ende, Piers Anthony, Frank Herbert, George R. R. Martin, Philip José Farmer and Douglas Adams.


10. Tell us anything that might pique our interest in your book.
I can't believe I'd use this as a selling point, but it is not a medieval setting. I repeat - is not. No one will die of rotten teeth in their mid 30s. And while I do understand the fuzzy Tolkienien feeling we all get when we see swords and messenger birds and horse-travelling, I didn't want any of that in my story. There will be other problems and restrictions my characters face, I think, more interesting ones. The limitations in my world don't have anything to do with the setting, but everything with the plot.

~Thank you for reading, and consider yourself tagged!~