I was recently tagged in a blog hop by the magnificent Steven Montano. In the past, I’ve shied away from these kinds of personal posts because I felt a little silly talking about something that was nowhere near being ready for your eyes. (I am many things, but a tease isn’t one of them!) Now that I’m on the cusp of releasing my first novel, THE FOURTH CHANNEL, these types of blog posts are a little more relevant — and fun! I promise to do more of these to keep you updated on my projects and let you know when you’ll see more stories from me.
This blog hop started on She Writes, which is a writing community I belong to. The way it works is this:
Answer ten standard questions about your current novel in progress and try not to bore everyone in the process. Include some pictures if possible. Tag five other writers/bloggers by sending them an email and then add their links to the end of your interview post. Their answers should go up the week after.
So here we go!
1. What is the working title of your book?
My novel is called THE FOURTH CHANNEL. You can read the first chapter and also mark it on your Goodreads to-read list, if you like.
2. Where did the idea for the book come from?
I love playing with opposites — taking two things that don’t normally go together and combining them. I generally find that mixing opposites doesn’t result in an oil-and-water scenario. It’s more like mixing chocolate and peanut butter and you end up with an amazing, addictive candy.
The main character of THE FOURTH CHANNEL, Kari Hunter, whom you see in the cover above, is a perfect example. She hates violence and will avoid a physical confrontation at all costs. The irony is that she was born a necromancer, a magic user who must sacrifice people in exchange for ultimate power. Necromancers are skilled killers. There’s a sick art to what they can do with their knives.
Fun trivia: Kari was once asked to carve the Thanksgiving turkey. No one ate the turkey after watching her. Needless to say, she’s been forbidden to carve anything since.
3. What genre does your book fall under?
The genre is “Urban Fantasy.” The majority of the book takes place in Rochester, New York, and it happens in the modern day. I could tell you where else the book takes you but that would mean spoilers!
4. Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Ooh, that’s hard. When I wrote the book, I didn’t have any actors in mind. If I have to do this quickly, then I’ll say Kari would be played by Cobie Smulders.
Recognize her? She plays Canadian Robin Scherbatsky in “How I Met Your Mother” and Maria Hill in the movie “The Avengers”. But it’s mostly because of her portrayal of Robin Scherbatsky that made me think of Kari.
5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
My book is about the world’s worst necromancer and her talking sacrificial knives.
Okay, that’s not a synopsis. To be perfectly honest, coming up with a back jacket blurb was so excruciatingly difficult that I doubt I’ll be able to make a single sentence. When people ask me what the book is about, I give them that one-line answer and hope that there’s enough suggestion in there to pique a person’s curiosity.
But in case you wanted to see the full book description, it’s this:
For years, Kari Hunter’s fooled the world into thinking she’s just an everyday girl. Sure, she’s the lead singer of world-renowned band Vis Viva, but outside of that, she recycles religiously, is an avid supporter of the environment, and she’s a certifiable coffee addict. But Kari has a secret she keeps from her family, friends, and fans.
Kari Hunter is a necromancer.
The rarest and most powerful of all magic-born, necromancers are notorious for leaving a trail of sacrifices in their wake. But Kari isn’t interested in hurting anyone. She works hard at being as un-necromancer-like as possible: everyone she stabs gets a bandage and a lollipop, and whenever her sacrificial knives get too excited by the prospect of violence, she puts them in time-out… in her lingerie drawer.
But when an agent of voodoo master Ruairí O’Bryne catches Kari using her powers, her secret’s out. And if Ruairí finds out who Kari is, he’ll stop at nothing to make her his next sacrifice.
Coming up with that description was incredibly painful. Many thanks to Angela Wallace and Amber West for their help in bringing that blurb to fruition. And an extra shout-out to Angela for putting up with me while I was writing it.
6. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
My book will be self-published. This process has been long and painful, so I might go a different route for my next book. But for now, self-publishing is definitely the right thing for me to do.
7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
So long that I’m embarrassed to tell you. When I first started writing this book, I had no intention of becoming a published author. I had never finished writing a book before, and everything I had written so far was silly blog material, written solely for my friends’ enjoyment. So I wasn’t expecting much and, needless to say, I had no idea what I was doing. Every time I got within three chapters of the end, I’d start with a blank page and write it over. By the time I got to the third iteration of the book, I realized I had something special that I wanted to share.
8. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Great question. I like to say THE FOURTH CHANNEL is a cross between Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum novels and the Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter books, but without all the sex.
9. Who or What inspired you to write this book?
Honestly, I just wanted to write a story. I had no idea it was going to change my life, or that writing would become such a passion. I just picked a heroine and a villain (an Irish voodoo master — ha!) based on the idea of “opposites” and ran with it. I wanted to play with strange components that no one else would want to throw together. It worked.
10. What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
TFC (The Fourth Channel) starts with a little comedy and some silly conflicts. But before you know it, the situation has gotten incredibly serious. A couple of readers said they were surprised about how serious the book gets — they thought it was just going to be some “girl book” about a rock star chick and goofy knives.
I just smiled.
I like that the danger sneaks up on you and takes you unawares. I like that no one suspects how serious this book is until it’s too late. And then I hold you in my evil clutches. Or something.
The book is SO CLOSE to being done, guys. I wanted it done weeks ago, but it just wasn’t possible. I hate to say it, but it’s going to be another two weeks. We don’t have a professional editor at work on this thing, and doing it in-house takes a lot longer. The Spouseditor is being even more careful about this novel than he was about editing our post-apocalyptic military-demon VYAs. [ed: trying my best here.]
Sorry I’ve fallen off the blog bandwagon. I really do love blogging, so I promise to get back on the stick. I’ve missed hanging out with you guys.
Cobie Smulders photo courtesy of The Beautiful Ones.
11 thoughts on “The Next Big Thing Blog Hop: The Fourth Channel”
I have to emphasize answer 10 – the book really does sneak up on you. You’re having fun reading all along, but you hit some point and bam you really want to help Kari save the world.
We’ve also heard that the magic system is “sweet.”
Cobie is a PERFECT choice! Beautiful, feminine, and kick @$$!!! Yay!!!
Thanks, Tiff! I like how Cobie can play the serious and comedy roles. It fits. And she’s got a huge head of hair, which is so very Kari. 🙂
There are few people who write something that makes me think, “I’ve never seen anything quite like this.”
Jen does that.
And I mean that in the best possible way.
Thanks, Amber. That means a lot to me.
I’m super excited for you, Jen!
Thanks, Steven! And thank you for giving me the opportunity to answer these questions. This post was a lot more fun than I thought it would be.
GO JEN!!!! I want a copy by the time we’re back from Thailand!!!!
I swear you shall have one, my friend, or may the Birdemic get me. With a 50% discount.
Just finished the fourth channel. LOVED IT! Will there be a sequel?
Thank you, Nicki! I’m so glad you enjoyed it!
Yes, there’s a sequel coming. I’m working on it as we speak! Or type. Whatever. 🙂