If you’re looking for GUTGAA, it’s here–but this post is about the book I’m trying to get an agent for.

This post has been created as part of the author event ‘The Next Big Thing’. Fiona Philips halfway around the world in the UK was the one who tagged me so thank you, Fiona. The Next Big Thing is an ongoing process, hence the ‘Week 11’ in the title.  I am not going to pass it on, simply because I understand how exponentials work, and I’ve already blogged on how passing something on to 5, 7, and 11 people would work. Within the rules of this blogging event is the requirement to answer ten questions about your current work in progress, and that I’ll do. So, here goes.

What is the working title of your book?

Rescue Operation.

Where did the idea come from for the book?

It’s grown over at least thirty years, and parts go back a lot father than that. The insight that allowed me to put the bits into a single story line is less than 10 years old—I needed to change the sex of one character.

What genre does your book fall under?

Science fiction.

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

I have a problem here – I don’t know one actor from another! And I have two sets of characters. The R’il’nian-human hybrids vary in appearance, but the R’il’nai had somewhat smaller faces set lower on the heads, and were built relatively lightly. They also had metallic veining in their eyes. Those most important are:

Roi. He looks very human, except for coloring—bronze skin, white hair, and golden eyes flecked with metallic gold. Athletic, but in the sense of a dancer rather than strength. Maybe Fred Astaire /Gene Kelley in motion.
Derik. More R’il’nian looking, golden brown hair, skin and eyes, with gold veining in eyes.
Zhaim. Bronze skin, black hair, eyes ice-colored with silver veining. Looks very R’il’nian. Very handsome and vain of it, a clothes horse.

The second group is the Horizon slaves Roi adopts partly to salve his conscience at being unable to stop the slaving on Horizon. Horizon is a low-UV planet, and was preferentially settled by light-skinned people. The major problem with casting these characters is that they grow up and change during the six years of the book. They were originally imported as pleasure slaves, and the two younger boys were very “pretty” as children. All are attractive.

Tod: Blue-eyed blond with a devil behind the angelic façade, 11 initially and small for his age, but a genius with horses. He will never grow much beyond 5 ½ feet.
Crystal: Also a blue-eyed blond, crazy about horses at 11, but discovers boys. She is blind from a riding accident when Roi gets her.
Merle: She has a gene well known in other mammals that dilutes hair, eye, and skin color, so her hair is blue-gray and her eyes fawn. Very body-shy initially, wanting to cover all skin, and goes catatonic at the slave market.
Szhandi: Dark by Horizon standards and older than the others, about 16 initially. Secondary in this book, but plays an important role in the third book.
Timi: 2 years younger than Tod, copper-red hair, large hands and feet (which he grows into by the second book of the trilogy.) Good rider but lacks Tod’s ability to understand horses.
Maureen. Black, curly hair, more into dogs than horses. A young Elizabeth Taylor.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Roi Laian, the unwilling regent of the Confederation, is unable to get the Council votes he needs to reverse a decision on slaving that has led to an interplanetary war.

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

I’d like to go down the route of traditional publishing, hence with representation by an agency. I went the assisted self-publishing route with both my previous books and while they’ve won contests and excellent reviews, I’d like to go more traditional – possibly small press – with this trilogy.

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

I’m still editing. Some segments were taken over from things written 15 years or more ago. Actually about 3 months for the first draft once I decided how to put it together.

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

Story? None. The writers I most admire are Andre Norton, Anne McCaffrey and Mercedes Lackey, and their story-telling ability is what I aim for.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

The daily news, with events transferred to other planets. Not to mention dogs (especially my first dog, Derry, who inspired the telepathic pocket herders) and horses.

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

This book is actually the first third of a trilogy, all of which is written and now being polished. The whole trilogy deals with the war, slavery, and its eventual resolution. Parts of the third book are being blogged on Six Sentence Sunday. Snippets from Rescue Operation have also been posted on Six Sentence Sunday.


As I said above, if this had really been passed on 10 times, with each passage being to 5 people, close to 2 million people would be blogging this by now. I’m not going to try to find the blogs that haven’t had it yet, but if you feel inspired to use this blog as a template, do so. Comment that you’re doing so, and I’ll add a link (at least for the first five.)

Rules of The Next Big Thing

  • Use this format for your post.
  • Answer the ten questions about your current work in progress.
  • Tag five other writers/bloggers and add their links so we can hop over and meet them.