Poet Ivy Alvarez, whose latest book Disturbance is forthcoming by Seren Books in 2013, invited me to participate in this self-interview blog meme called The Next Big Thing, where I get to share a little more about my next big thing, my novel-in-progress.
Writers participate by answering several questions (about their book/blog/their writing), and then tag 5 other writer friends to post their own “next big thing” the following Wednesday. Ivy’s instructions were for me to post by or before Wednesday, 19 December. In consideration of the holiday, I asked my five authors to post by 31 December.
What is the working title and genre of your book?
Maganda’s Comb is the working title for my urban fantasy novel set in a contemporary NW town.
Where did the idea for the book come from?
Maganda’s Comb emerged from a snippet of a Filipino folktale that attributes lightning to Maganda, the First Woman in Tagalog tales. The folktale says that as Maganda combs her hair, the sparks create lighting that reaches from the heavens to the earth. From this image came a series of questions – what if a US-born Filipina had Maganda’s comb? What could she do with that elemental power and why would she need it?
Which actors would you choose to play the characters in a movie version of the book?
I’d like to see a relatively unknown FilAm actress to play Corrie but it would be cool if Hugh Jackman or Russell Crowe would play Dominick. But that could be because I have Les Miz on the brain right now.
What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?
Confronted by an ancient, deadly evil she has accidentally released, Corrie must use her wit and heritage to hunt and stop the demon Dominick before he kills again.
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency or publisher?
I hope to find representation and a traditional publishing house for Maganda’s Comb, however, I’m open to the possibilities that come my way.
How long did it take to write the first draft?
Stories roll around in my head all the time, so it’s hard to pin down exactly when an idea becomes a project. I completed a full draft of Maganda’s Comb during NaNoWriMo in 2005, which means I cranked it out one in 30 days.
What other works compare to your book?
Maganda’s Comb would be shelved near titles such as Someplace to be Flying by Charles de Lint, American Gods by Neil Gaiman, and Seventh Son by Orson Scott Card.
What or who inspired you to write this book?
Urban fantasy stories have been both my guilty pleasure and my writing compulsion since I was a teenager. The novels of Charles de Lint, Neil Gaiman, and Orson Scott Card expanded my idea of ‘reality as we see it’ yet I wanted to see myself in their stories. If I lived in a magical world where spirits walked among us and unseen powers could be tapped, what would I do? Corrie is my alter-ego in this fantasy world, someone a little naive about her heritage and the world in which she lives, but also strong and capable. Maganda’s Comb is the first of what I hope are several novels set in and around Jessup’s Cove, a place where magic and heritage blend into high adventure.
What else about your book might pique interest?
Maganda’s Comb leans heavily into Filipino myths and the FilAm immigrant experience. Very few books, fiction and non-fiction, center around Filipino history and my books provide a glimpse into one person’s perspective of FilAm culture.
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Cathy Adams, author of This Is What It Smells Like
Karina Cooper, author of The St. Croix Chronicles
Cami Ostman, author of Second Wind
Judith Pullman, author of two self-published chapbooks Encounters with the Pane of Reality and Markbody