Blog Hop! The Next Big Thing: The Martlet

We are taking a break today from the Faminelands talk so I can be part of this Blog Hop! First I want to thank the talented author Dan Thompson for nominating me to  be part of this blog hop. His next project, The Caseworker’s Memoirs, will be released in late Spring 2013, but his feature length YA Fantasy novel, The Black Petal, has no release date as of yet. Check out his post about The Next Big Thing: The Black Petal.

What is the working title of your next book?

My very next release is a graphic novel entitled Faminelands #3: Mareton’s Curse which comes out in ten days at Emerald City Comic Con, but I am going to focus on The Martlet because it is my next written novel.

Where did the idea for your book come from?

First of all, I love epic fantasy and horror, especially vampires, elves, and other mystical long-lived beings. One day, I thought about what if a being with a life span of a 1000 years might decide that it is just not enough time. And I came up with a character than was supposed to be in Faminelands an elvish nobleman who turned into a vampire. But he never fit. So I had to cut him and consider I would write about him another time. This character became Lord Roark.

Character Sketch of Lord Roark

Character Sketch of Lord Roark

Then I began thinking, what if the spirit is eternal, but the Universe is random. Though most inhabitants of the Universe believe otherwise, the prior life has no bearing on Resurrection. It is chance in this Universe. Your spirit might go to any one of twelve diminsions which are referred to as The Realms. Roark decides he likes being a Fairsinge nobleman, so he does not want to Resurrect.

Then Roark’s story began to develop into Kian’s story. Kian is Roark’s consort. I did know it would be a homosexual relationship, but I felt that Kian was a good counterpart to Roark. Kian and Roark love each other, so much that they would never be parted, not by death.

Them the book began to shift as the other characters came into view…Mira and Eohan. Mira is Roark’s neice and someone he can teach and love as a parent loves a child. Eohan was a colleague and Kian’s protector first and the men became friends after Roark named Kian his consort.

Then I knew it wasn’t just this one insane guy, there was four people. Four people can make anything seem almost normal…

Lady Mira as a grown woman. 

What genre does your book fall under?

I consider this epic fantasy, but there is some horror and science fiction involved.

Who would play your characters in a film?

Hugh Jackman would play Eohan. His looks are similar to how I imagined him and how he played Wolverine and his relationship with Rouge is similar to how Eohan looks at Mira during her adolescence. He is her weapons master, yet even when tasked to be a “parent”, he is still a friend.

Now the rest of the actors would have to dye their hair in tones of auburn, but Ryan Reynolds can play someone who cracks jokes while killing vampires so I think he could play Roark who cracks wise while Kian experiments on the corpses. He too can joke around with a child in the dangerous scene as he did in Blade 3.

Kian is a hardest role to fulfill because young actors are generally pretty and who ever would play him would be losing a lot of weight. Maybe Zac Efron.

For Mira we would need at least two actresses, maybe three. (She begins the novel as an infant, five year old, a prepubescent child of eleven/twelve, and then a young woman between 18-23) Emma Rigby would be a good choice as the young woman. She definitely has the look. My mom mentioned Jennifer Lawrence.

What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?

The Martlet is an epic tale of friendship and betrayal about four assassins who play with necromancy on the side.

Will your next book be self-published or represented by an agent?

Choice C: Neither. I don’t have an agent, but I would like it to be traditionally published. I have sent it to 48Fourteen as they published Other Systems. It has not been accepted as of yet.

How long did it take to write the first draft of your manuscript?

1 month. All first my drafts take 1 -2 months, but they are in horrible shape. My entire process takes seven to nine months before I send it out to a publisher.

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

RA Salvatore’s The Sellswords Series: Servant of the Shard, Promise of the Witch King and The Road of the Patriarch follow the wily drow mercenary Jaxele.

Andrazej Sapkowski’s Witcher Series deals with some of the same issues, but in a completely different way.

Stan Nicholls’ Orcs books and and have about the same level of violence and humor.

Though it is horror novel: Anne Rice’s  Interview with a Vampire shows the immorality of their lifestyle pretty well.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

Aistiu_spaceIt wasn’t a who or a what. It was a when. As I said, I had this idea for awhile. However I wrote The Martlet after I finished Other Systems and had a rough draft of Other Systems #2. Other Systems is a cerebral adventure. Abby and the crew of the Revelation is simply a survey team, not warriors. They don’t get into battles. (Readers may remember the crew runs from danger more than once.) In Other Systems #2, Ellie uses her mind to keep her from getting in trouble. Also Other Systems really deals with “good but flawed people.”

So I wanted to write a book that was a swashbuckling adventure with a quest to defeat death. The main characters kill people and steal bodies. They drink blood in order to stay young. Avarice defines them.

I wanted to see if I could write evil characters that people loved as much as they loved the characters in Other Systems. It would be challenge and I love to stretch my skills with a challenge.

So to make characters that people might want to read about, they need to be more than just cold blooded killers. The quality that they share with the readers is love: romantic, filial, and fraternal. The other attribute Roark and Mira share is a sense of duty to their family. Roark is the third born and in noble Fairsinge society the third born generally vows to live by valor to improve the reputation of their Plas (House) with deeds of service and gallantry. And since Roark’s morals are off, that is how he sees himself. He believes if he defeats death his Plas will be safe forever.

The story begins with one of Roark’s experiment gone awry. Wanting to see if it is possible, Roark, Kian and Eohan to direct a soul into the body of his elder sister’s new baby.  Orla wants to keep the baby, but her husband who has no interest in eternal life, thinks the child should be drowned in the Expanse. In a moment of sentiment, Roark suggests that he raise the child to be a Martlet to take the place of the third born son that Orla lost in battle. He does not give Orla or her husband time to argue. He takes the newborn with him and demands yearly child support payments for her upkeep.

Roark, Kian and Eohan might be evil, but they are not sadists. They are not abusive to her or anyone else–because that wouldn’t be fun to write. They dote upon her. They make it clear she must become a Martlet in order to have a place in her family. If she does not, her mother’s husband will probably kill her. This is a real threat to her well being. Mira is going through puberty before she ever steps in her Plas to take her vow as a Martlet. He believes she should join the Guild as he did and become an assassin so she can live a better life than a poor knight errant scraping by on the pitiful allowance they receive as Martlets. However Mira has seventy-five years of warrior/assassin training before her uncle allows her to do a job without himself or Eohan beside her.

The reader understands Mira’s want of love from her mother and her devotion to the uncle who raised her. And most importantly they will see why when Roark dishonored by the Guild and Eohan is turned into a zombie, Kian finds the knowledge in order for Mira can save them. They are a family unit.

What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?

The Martlet has so many things that personally I think are fun: assassins, big ships crossing the Expanse, pirates, slavery, misdirection, zombies, helpful demons, elves, uncaring universe, true love and dimensional physics.

Check out The Martlet Webpage and/or LIKE The Martlet Facebook Page for updates!

Now for the next participant in the Blog Hop, I’m going to nominate Author, Candace Knoebel! Her award winning debut novel, Born in Flames, has had wonderful reviews and Book 2 in the Series in on its way. Check out her blog next!born-in-flames-final

3 responses to this post.

  1. It’s been ages since i lost myself in a true epic fantasy novel. I can’t wait!


  2. […] Other Systems, has received great review and even an interviewed from me! Check out her post, Blog Hop! The Next Big Thing: The Martlet to find what her next big thing […]


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