The Next Big Thing

Normally I don’t go in for tagging-type blogs posts, but when my great friend Samantha Warren tagged me for The Next Big Thing I just couldn’t resist.  So here you go!  My next big thing….

What is the working title of your book? The Courageous Heart

Where did the idea come from for the book? It’s the third book of my Noble Hearts trilogy, so it would be fair to say that the idea came from the first two books, The Loyal Heart and The Faithful Heart.  Specifically, from the question how could someone who has caused so much trouble for so many people (Ethan) redeem himself and how could the person he hurt the most (Joanna) bring herself to forgive him?  It was also inspired by the true history surrounding King Richard I of England and the three months he spent in England when he returned home from the Third Crusade.

What genre does your book fall under? Medieval Historical Romance

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?  There’s an actor, Jason O’Mara, who I have always envisioned as Ethan.  He’s pretty awesome, if I do say so myself.  I couldn’t find any public domain pictures of him that I like and since I’m paranoid about posting images without permission and getting sued, if you click on this run-on sentence it’ll take you to his IMDB page so you can see what he looks like.

And I’ve always seen Joanna as Sophia Myles, especially as she looked in Tristan and Isolde.

This pic, however, is public domain

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?  Torn apart by betrayals that neither can forgive, bound together by a passion that cannot be forgotten.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?  Like my other books, it will be self-published.  I really love the process and the challenge of self-publishing, and although someday I would like to both self-publish and publish traditionally in tandem, I’m really happy with my self-publishing efforts at the moment.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?  That’s a little difficult to answer.  I started it in January of this year, got to about 16,000 words, and then stopped.  I stopped because Joanna told me I wasn’t ready to write the book yet.  True story.  So I set it aside and started writing what was intended to be a comical gay erotica story that turned into a serious character drama, A Man’s World (which I just finished last weekend).  Then in May my older brother Kelly died very suddenly of cancer that had been undiagnosed until the very end.  If you’ve read The Faithful Heart you know why that’s an important detail.  By the beginning of June it was time to pick up The Courageous Heart again.  I finished it at the end of July.  As I write this I’m on the third draft.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?  That’s hard to say because I have a slightly different take on the Middle Ages than almost anyone I know.  When I set out to write the series I wanted to tell the true story of the time period, which has been hopelessly bastardized by the Robin Hood legend.  I also set out to tell it in a style like the movie A Knight’s Tale.  It’s deliberately modern and anachronistic.  Does anyone else write that way?

Who or What inspired you to write this book?  Aside from history and the previous books in the series, I have to give credit to my brother Kelly.  He was an everyday hero, and as we learned when we went out to be with him in his last days, he was dealing with so much more than any of us knew while keeping a brave face.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?  I’ve included a couple of Jewish characters so that readers can get a brief glimpse of the fascinating relationship that the Jews had with King Richard.  In a world that was extremely hostile to the Jews, King Richard offered them protection.  It’s not something you see in your average romance novel.

The Courageous Heart will be out in early November!

Now technically you’re supposed to tag 5 people and get them to answer the same questions in a The Next Big Thing blog post.  I’m not actually crazy about tagging people because I never know who would be interested or not.  But if you’re reading this and you’re a writer and this sounds like something you want to do, consider yourself tagged!


One thought on “The Next Big Thing

  1. I love the cover of this book, Merry, and the way it coordinates beautifully with your previous title’s art. I may just take on the tag challenge as I am in need of such a challenge. So sorry about your brother. Mine passed in a similar way many moons ago. Wishing you peace and comfort. Take care and keep us posted. Glad you took the tag-challenge!

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