Monday, December 10, 2012

Next Best Thing: The Constant Tower

1. What is the working title of your next book?
The Constant Tower
2. Where did the idea come from for the book?
I had a dream of a world where its inhabitants are transported every night across the planet. So when they woke up, they never knew where they were. In the dream, someone said, “But the tower is constant.” 
3. What genre does your book fall under?
Heroic fantasy/alternate world setting.
4. What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
For Nahas, my nature-blessed warrior king (with the physically-disabled way-too gentle son:  Ben Cross, Jason Statham, or Julian Sands. For his right-hand man: Julian Sands or Jason Statham.   
5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
A boy cannot go on a journey.
6. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
It will be published by Wildside, the small traditional publishing company that also published my first novel, Wind Follower.
7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
About five years. I tend to procrastinate or to get lost writing other things.
8. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

  • I don’t know if there’s a book that plays with the notion of moving unstable worlds as Constant Tower does but it’s “sword and soul” so it’s got a lot of heroic fantasy things.  It’s a bit like N K Jemison’s series.
  • It’s a bit like Stephen King’s “The Stand” because  the hero is physically disabled and doesn’t believe he’s the hero.
  • It’s a bit like the Lathe of Heaven — for some of the characters— because each night they have to adjust themselves to the world they find outside.
  • It’s a lot like the climate change debate, and debates about helping the poor; the characters don’t really care that their world is falling apart.
  • There are Unfleshed spirits and demons so it’s very like some of C S Lewis’s stories.
  • The relationships in the clan we spend the most time with involve marriages where one woman has two husbands. In that way, it is like Sylvia Kelso’s Amberlight trilogy.
  • It’s an adult novel but there are strong young adult elements  and there is a search for the constant tower. So there is a kind of Lloyd Alexander vibe to it.
9. Who or what inspired you to write this book?
I tend to like writing about disabled or wounded people. I got to thinking: There are so many emotional and physical crises people go through in fantasy stories and what if one couldn’t go away and flee the castle? And what if we had a hero who was emotionally, physically, and psychologically not cut out to be a hero? What if a warrior-king's sickly son struggled with his destiny while his clan warred with an enemy clan with whom he strongly identifies? What if he is a priest-physician of his people and he has to become a warrior? And what if there is an ancient myth which tells of a mythical Constant Tower that can change the world but he doesn’t believe in such nonsense?
10. What else about the book might pique the reader's interest?
Here’s my blurb:  Fifteen year old Prince Psal, the son of the nature-blessed warrior-king Nahas, should have been named Crown Prince of all Wheel Clan lands, but he was born sickly and “damaged” with a clubfoot. A priest-physician of his people, Psal lacks a warrior’s heart. Still, he desires to earn his father’s respect and become a chief within his clan. If not, he wishes to escape his clan altogether. But his love for Cassia, the daughter of his father’s enemy and his petulant and “weak” personality are working against him. When war comes, and he challenges his clan on the atrocities they commit, his chances of rising to chief become even more difficult. And now, outside the longhouse, the mysterious towers —which the clans use to challenge the power of the nightly third moon— are rebelling.  The king’s longhouse has become Psal’s prison. Psal is a prince who cannot go on a journey. Since the going forth of the Creator’s ancient curse, the power of the night has ruled. But a prophecy exists  — not that Psal believes in such matters— of three great ones who will restore the night. Could Psal and his mysteriously fellow-studier be those great ones? What exactly is required of him? And would he be willing to lose his father’s waning respect or throw himself out into the night to find his destiny?
Here are the excellent writers who you’ll hear from next. Hope you enjoy their writing as much as I do.
Carole McDonnell holds a BA degree in Literature from SUNY Purchase and has spent most of her years surrounded by things literary. Her writings appear in various anthologies including “So Long Been Dreaming: Post-colonialism in science fiction,” edited by Nalo Hopkinson and published by Arsenal Pulp Press; Fantastic Visions III" anthology published by Fantasist Enterprises; “Jigsaw Nation” published by Spyre publications, “Griots: A Sword and Soul anthology,” edited by Milton Davis and Charles Saunders, “Life Spices from Seasoned Sistahs: writings by mature women of color,” “Fantastic Stories of the Imagination” edited by Warren Lapine and published by Wilder Publications. Her reviews appear in print and at various online sites. She lives in New York’s Hudson Valley with her husband, two sons, and their pets. Her novel, Wind Follower, was published by Wildside Books. Her other works include My Life as an Onion, Seeds of Bible Study: How NOT to Study the Bible. Her collection of short stories, Spirit Fruit: Collected Speculative Fiction, is available on kindle.
To learn more about Carole, visit her:
Twitter: @scifiwritir

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