Monday, March 25, 2013

The Next Big Thing: A Shadow Story

2012 Mock Book Cover

I've been tagged by Carissa Taylor in the Next Big Thing Bloghop, a meme that asks authors questions about their current WIP. You answer the questions, and then you tag 3-5 more writers to answer them, inspiring the bloghop. Since I can't answer most of these questions for my WIP yet, I'll answer them for the book I'm querying. Tagging will come at the end.

What is the working title of your book?
A Shadow Story
Lividia first design 2003

 Where did the idea come from for the book?
Many places, but initially from a character I was creating to play Changeling: The Dreaming (tabletop roleplay game). She was a sluagh named Lividia. I never used her for the game, but instead she got her own story, and a completely reworked past.

What genre does your book fall under?  
YA, specifically YA Victorian Fantasy

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

Lividia 2009
Lividia Blackwell (Anne Hathaway - Les Miserables)
Lividia is a repressed bookish daydreamer who lost her mother when she was five years old and lives under the over-protective hand of her father and the soft coddling of their housekeeper Mabel. Her story starts when she begins dreaming about a mysterious man in a blue tailcoat surrounded by living shadows. Struggling with her father's expectations and her mother's wild blood, Lividia realizes her flaws might become the greatest strengths she has.

Boogeyman (Jesse Spencer - House M.D.)
Boogeyman 2010
Lividia's Boogeyman is her childhood protector and friend, the guardian only she can see. He's a messenger, a guide and a catalyst for the journey Lividia will embark on in the second book.

He is gentle, protective, patient, enigmatic and fiercely loyal. His flaw: Lividia is the only thing that matters to him.

Nephenia Blackwell (AnnaSophia Robb - The Carrie Diaries)
Nephenia, Lividia's younger cousin, is the complete opposite of Lividia in every way. She is socially adept, musically talented, petite, blonde, and pretty. She is also jealous, haughty, deceptive, materialistic and spoiled. Her strength is her piano playing, which rivals the best musicians of her time. Her weakness is her jealousy and her bad temper. She is jealous that Lividia is engaged to a handsome, affluent gentleman, and angry that Lividia doesn't seem to appreciate it. While Lividia is ill-suited to Victorian high-society, Nephenia sparkles in it like a diamond in a tiara.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
A Victorian girl must uncover the truth behind her mother's death and escape her engagement to an otherworldly cad by unravelling clues her mother left behind.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
Repped by an agent.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
Since I didn’t work on it steadily, but off-and-on, it took me roughly a year. There were months I didn’t write at all. I didn’t have a ‘first’ draft when I was done, but chunks of writing that’d been through different stages of revising along the way. It was a ‘frankendraft’.

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

It has some of the mystery, along with the Victorian time period and the low romance factor, of The Poisoned House. It has some of the magic and suspense found in Splintered

Truthfully, I have a hard time comparing my book to other YA novels, which is why I wrote it in the first place. It has a girl who reminds me of an older Alice, a premise reminiscent of the movie Drop-Dead Fred, and the whole story is drenched in an atmosphere that smacks of Tim Burton.


Who or what inspired you to write this book?  
first boogeyman sketch 2003
I wanted to write a book about a girl who didn’t want to give up her belief in the unseen just because she was growing up. The book was originally about keeping your childlike awe and imagination in the face of life’s disappointments and mundane trials, then I decided to add to it all the elements I love, together in one YA novel (series). 

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?  
Victoriana, a curious and clever female MC who seeks adventure instead of romance, a touch of mystery, imaginary friends, old keys, locked doors, faerie magic, and beings that can manipulate shadow. I also hope they like the color green.

Now for my tags (check out their awesome blogs!):

Hope everyone has fun with this!


  1. YOU ARE SUCH A TALENTED ARTIST OMG! :O That boogeyman sketch at the end there is so chilling!

    I love Victoriana, so I'm going to sit here and wait (not very) patiently for the day you announce ARCs are coming out ;)

  2. Wow, this sounds great. I'm looking forward to seeing it in print!

  3. Your story sounds fascinating, Donelle! I love the illustrations too, especially the boogeyman sketch from 2003. (That spinal column! Awesome.) And thanks for thinking of me and my WIP too. I actually did this meme not that long ago. Here's the link to my post: Next Big Thing :)


I'd love to hear what you have to say!

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