Writer T. James' Exploration of Words, on the Internet.

The Next Big Thing Blog Hop

I was asked by talented writer of thrillers and paranormal tales, Sandy Coelho, to take part in this blog hop, which started on the She Writes website.

(If you’re an author I tagged for this blog hop, your instructions are at the end of this post.)

Ten Interview Questions for The Next Big Thing:

1. What is the working title of your book?

This blog hop caught me at the beginning of the project, so I only have a working title: The Making.

2. Where did the idea come from for the book?

The original idea came from a rough short story I wrote over a year ago, as background and a prequel to the novel I was working on at the time (now on hold, as it needs a full re-write and major fixing). I don’t want to give too much away at this stage, but the central plot arc is based loosely on a story from Greek mythology.

3. What genre does your book fall under?

Although inspiration came from the Classics the setting is high fantasy, although elves and dwarves are notable by their absence. (At least at the moment—I’m still planning, so anything could happen.)

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

For the lead, I’d need a younger Cate Blanchett (for the character’s cooler, regal aspect),

Photographer: Paul Cush. Reproduced under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 licence.

crossed with a younger Helena Bonham Carter (for the character’s hidden rebellious and quirky side).

Photographer: David Torcivia. Reproduced under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 licence.

(I’m sorry ladies, but although I admire your acting skills, the character is in her late teens—if my book is unbelievably successful and you have daughters, I’m willing to give them first dibs during casting…)

As for the rest of the cast, I’m still getting to know them. I can introduce you formally when they are more than pen-pals.

5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Arrgh! I haven’t finished planning it yet, so this is subject to change:

“An epic fantasy tale of betrayal, corruption, greed, intrigue, loss, hope and new beginnings—peace balances on a knife-edge as a city state and its young Queen struggle to fight the rot within and avoid war with its barbaric neighbour.”

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

It will probably be released by independent publisher, Writer and Author Press.

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

I’ll tell you when I finish, but as I’m only 2,500 words in it will be some time.

8. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Obviously, every epic fantasy pays homage to Tolkien, but the setting and characters will be different—if I can achieve even a little of the depth and involvement present in his writing then I will be happy.

9. Who or What inspired you to write this book?

I had an original idea for a fantasy story I wanted to write, but I needed some fictional history to ground the events and characters in their reality. The idea for this story came as I was researching mythological tales looking for ideas, and I thought I’d found something I could add my own twist to.

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

I’m hoping to be able to fill out the setting and characters so that they become real for the reader, and they care about what happens. My aim is to avoid writing schlock fantasy.


Thank you to Sandy for thinking of me—if you like reading thrillers, YA, or paranormal books then why not pop over to her blog, check out her work, and maybe buy some. ;-)


If you’re an author and I tagged you for the Next Big Thing Blog Hop, here’s how it works….

Rules (the “rules” below are not mine, I am simply the messenger):

Use this format for your post.

Include an introduction to your interview post and a link to the person who tagged you for participation.

Answer the ten questions about your current WiP (Work in Progress). Include pictures if possible.

Tag one to 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.

Your blog post would need to be up XXXXXXXXXXX. I’m going to break a rule here: it’s your blog, so schedule it when you like, just let me know via email so I can link to it here… 

If you are on She Writes, you put the post up there too.

Your blog post should be labeled: The Next Big Thing Blog Hop.


  1. Rich Weatherly

    Congratulations for being tagged by Sandy Coelho for, The Next Big Thing Blog Hop.
    I agree with your comments about her writing.
    Sandy made a great choice in selecting your blog :)

    • T. James

      Thanks for dropping by, Rich – I know you are a busy man, but then that is to be expected from a Man of Mystery. It looks like your main character, Craig Wells, will be in trouble for a while yet… ;-)

  2. Marianne Su

    You had me at Helena Bonham Carter. Sounds like a fun project!

    • T. James

      I’ve grown up watching her in many films, and she always brings a quirky edge to her characters that would be ideal. I hope this story turns out to be fun to write, because it’s going to take me a long time!

  3. Chrissey Harrison

    Sounds like a great project. I’m intrigued to know what myths and legends are making their way in.

    Will it still act as a prequel for your other work in progress?

    • T. James

      Cheers, Chrissey. I can’t disclose the actual myth or I will give away the ending. As for whether I’m going to incorporate any others – at this point I think I have enough story to be going in with, but if I need to add more twists later I may research some other ideas.

      As for being a prequel, if it works out I’m hoping writing this story will work as a key for unlocking the one I got stuck on. With a more defined world and history I’m hopeful I can find the focus the potential sequel currently needs.

  4. Sandy Coelho

    Hello TJ!

    The beginnings of your story are intriguing – now get to work!! So I can read it :)
    Thank you for your generous compliment, you are a gifted writer, whose prose I enjoy tremendously. I wish you ever success with your upcoming WIP – please keep us posted.

    Cheers ~

    • T. James

      Thank you, Sandy. I wrote some more yesterday, so do I get my treat now? PLEASE? ;-) Progress is slow to steady, in part because I’m character and world-building as I write. So far the character/hallmarks of the two main civilisations have been outlined, and let’s just say they don’t exactly have a comfortable relationship. There’s also a couple of villians, a Queen, and several cameo characters that have been added to the mix, but still much to do. I’ll let you know how things are going every now and again.

  5. Gareth

    Nicely done TJ, thats part of the problem with fantasy, you think you’ve got a lot of things sorted and suddenly find a huge glaring omission within that needs to be fixed so that it makes sense.

    Best of luck with it and a great interview, as usual your sense of fun and humour comes through.

    • T. James

      Hi Gareth. I know what you mean about glaring omissions. Fortunately you can populate fantasy worlds with all-powerful beings like the Great Pink Onion-Headed Sky Dragon. This miraculous creature will pop into my story and fix whatever problems there are – ‘cos it’s magic, and all powerful. I’m sure my readers won’t mind – I may even design a line of t-shirts… ;-)

      Back to reality, and you’re right – an author has to be careful to maintain internal consistency in a story so as not to lose the reader. I think I’m OK so far, but then I’ve barely started.

  6. J.A. Campbell

    Great blog. Good luck with your current WIP and have fun with the research for your fantasy when you get to it.


    • T. James

      Thanks, Julie. One of the great things about researching for a fantasy story is the sheer breadth of things you end up looking at: everything from smelting and sword-making to the mating habits of the Great Pink Onion-Headed Sky Dragon.

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