Work in Progress Challenge


I was recently “tagged” by Julie Catherine in a book interview of sorts. I am glad to have this opportunity to share information about my work in progress and send my thanks to Julie Catherine and to all those down the line who continue to pass this challenge along.

1. What is the title of your book/WIP?

I have many works in progress but my baby is In the Shadow of the Dragon King.  It is the first in the Chronicles of Fallhollow saga trilogy.

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

I’ve always had the story crawling around in my mind since I was young.  My dad was in the army and like a silly child, I envisioned his work as romantic, like the knights of medieval times.  Of course I always loved a fantastic fairy tale where knights and princes would come to the rescue of a fair damsel.  I always knew I wanted to combine the two together and have a young person lead the way as the knights and their army fought dangerous beasts like dragons.  The hero would always have magical folk to help (and hinder) along the way.  In 2003, I revisited an old manuscript I started years ago and piddled around with it part-time.  Then, in 2010 after I lost my job, I threw my entire being into finishing it, which I did in July 2011.

3. What genre would your WIP fall under?

Most definitely on the cusp of Young Adult/New Adult high fantasy.

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

Wow, you know, I’ve thought about this a lot and I keep coming back to the same folks.

David:                  Nicholas Hoult
Charlotte:        Alexandra Daddario
Lily:                     Natalie Portman
Slavandria:     Olivia Wilde
Eric:                    Cameron Bright
Sestian:            Jeremy Sumpter
King Gildore:      Craig Parker
Queen Mysterie:    Roselyn Sanchez
Trog:                David Wenham
Seyekrad:      Paul Rudd

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

To keep him from being murdered, a passive seventeen-year old boy is kidnapped from his world and forced to fight a war steeped in sorcery.  His price of failure:  the annihilation of the girl he loves…and maybe a world or two.

6. Is your WIP published or represented?

Not yet.  It’s been to a publisher who came back and said they would consider it if I made some changes.  I’m making changes.  🙂

7. How long did it take you to write?

I’ve been at this off and on since 2003, but I seriously set my mind to finishing it in 2010.  I put “The End” on it in July 2011.

8. What other WIPs within your genre would you compare it to?

If you mean what other novels are out there like mine, I don’t think there are any.  I’ve read a lot of YA fantasy, but I don’t recall reading ones similar to this.  I’ve been told there are elements of Iron Fey meets Narnia meets Lord of the Rings with a whole lot of me mixed in.

9. Which authors inspired you to write this WIP?

I don’t think any authors inspired me to write this particular novel.  The story has always been in me.  It just took a long time to come out.  However, there are many authors who inspire me to write like: Raymond Feist, J.K. Rowling, Cassandra Claire, C.S. Lewis, Julie Kagawa, The Brothers Grimm, Hans Christian Anderson, Lewis Carroll, and Charles Perrault.

10. Tell us anything else that might pique our interest in this project.

As an army brat, I was lucky enough to travel a lot when I was young.  I actually lived in Germany for two years and during that time, I got to see a lot of castles and visit many medieval locations.  The romanticism of the medieval times always stayed with me.  It seemed all the stories I wrote while growing up were centered around castles, dragons, faeries and magic.  The older I got, the more entrenched in Arthurian legend I became.  I became obsessed with Merlin, Arthur, Gwynevere, and Morgana, and began reading anything that was similar.  I knew when I finally wrote my novel, it would be steeped in the same sort of myths and legends, and take place in castles I envisioned and made up in my mind.  Without a doubt, there would have to be dragons and sorcerers, mages and magic.

But I also spent many years in the south, making Georgia (United States) my home.  While living in Georgia, I traveled all over the deep-south:  Tennessee, North Carolina, Virginia, South Carolina, Alabama, and came to know and love many places and people I encountered.  When it came time to write In the Shadow of the Dragon King, I knew I wanted the story to take place in two worlds existing side by side, sharing much of the same landscape, and I wanted my protagonist, David, to live in the mountains.   Some of the most beautiful land in the world is located in the mountains of Tennessee, Virginia, and North Carolina, so I naturally picked a center spot of all three states.  I created the town of Havendale which is a stone’s throw from Kingsport and Bristol, Tennessee, two very real cities.  It’s a perfect backdrop for David’s story and it’s been a lot of fun creating two ‘worlds’ to accommodate his adventures.

One final thing …

Tag, You’re It:

As a final step of this Work In Progress blog post, I’m supposed to tag other writers who are then “it” to make a blog post of their own.  I’ve chosen three blogging buddies I know who are working on something:

Jennifer M. Eaton

Julie Reece

Terri Rochenski

I hope they choose to participate in this challenge.  You should really stop by their blogs to find out.

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13 thoughts on “Work in Progress Challenge

  1. Jenny, I’m delighted you decided to do the work in process challenge – and I loved hearing about your ‘baby’ – sounds awesome! Sending you lots of positive energies for the best possible outcome – I’d love to read your book! ~ Julie 🙂 xox

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  2. Ha! You are the second person to tag me for this. Yes, I am going to do it. I’ve written it and scheduled in in September (cause I needed three open days) I’m wacky that way, you know.

    I can’t wait to get my hands on the published version of Dragon King. You might even get a Monomaniacle Middle Grade review!

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  3. That sounds so awesome. I think books that come to fruition from so many years of daydreaming and writing and research are the best kinds. Good luck with the changes you’re making. I’m sure the publisher will be pleased!

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    1. Thank you for your vote of confidence! The way I look at it, there are lots of publishing fish in the sea. If my baby doesn’t fit with one, it will find a home somewhere, of that I’m sure.

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