The idea for the Work In Progress Challenge came from Kat Richardson via her blog post of the same vein which I happened to see via ye olde twitter. Since I started this website at the beginning of the year, I think this will be the most I’ve openly talked about the novel I’m writing. Putting it out there a bit will help kick my pants into gear and get some momentum behind me.
What is the title of your work in progress?
Where did the idea for your WIP come from?
This came about from the adoption of my “Write what you know, not who you know” philosophy to writing. The novel I attempted before Amity had a main character just like me and it got real screwed up by that. When you’re essentially writing yourself, it’s easy to overlook details and thoughts that you shouldn’t. You skim over things because you’re so familiar with them. This is why two of the three protags are women in this book. By being different from me, it makes me stop and think. I wrote a thing about writing women characters a while back.
When I started doing the earliest notes for Amity, I thought “Well just what kinds of things am I an expert at?” 1) I work in a shipyard. 2) I know stupid odd bits of history. 3) I like pirates. 4) I happened to be in Ireland when I committed notes to paper. Bam. Done. The scenario for the world Amity takes place in is like the American Revolution meets the Irish Troubles in space. I have elaborate rationales as to why space is dominated by the UN and China and the small players stuck between them. A key part of the history of this universe is how the American Revolution was funded by privateers/pirates funded mostly by Connecticut and Rhode Island. I’ll spare the further history tangent, but it’s there and it’s pretty cool actually. I lifted the pirates as freedom fighters concept for Amity.
What genre does your WIP fall into?
Space opera with some swashed buckles for good measure.
Which actors/actresses would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
This question is harder than I expected it to be. The only one that comes easy is maybe Lucy Liu as Kimiho Okano. She’s got the bad ass wisdom needed. It took a while for me to come up with the perfect actress for my main characters, but Nicole de Boer would probably be it. If you know who that is without Google, consider it more nerd cred. She played Ezri in the last season of Deep Space Nine. She could be Bernadette. I don’t even have a clue who would play Tomas de la Vega.
What is the one sentence synopsis of your WIP?
Shipyard worker Bernadette Hastings is minding her own business welding on the Navy’s newest starship when she’s shanghai’d by pirates and thrown into battles not of her own choosing but too personal to run from.
Is your WIP due for publication or represented?
Ha! I wish. Finishing has to happen first.
How long did it take you to write?
Ugh. It’s been in progress longer than I want to admit. I’m on Act Three though and my goal is to finish by my birthday. That means I have about seven weeks to go. I’ve already arranged to take the day off of work so I expect I will be frantically writing til my hand falls off so I can get to the end before.
What other works in your genre would you compare it to?
I haven’t really read any other space opera pirate tales. I think there’s a bit of A Thousand Words for Stranger kind of feel with the adventurous planet hopping.
Which authors inspired you to write this WIP?
I think that an author can’t help by be influenced a little bit by everything he or she reads. Even if it’s bad you can say to yourself “Not gonna do it like that.” More direct inspiration in regards to Amity? The aforementioned Julie Czerneda series. There’s a bit note from David Weber too. Whenever I read an Honor Harrington book, I get this extra kick of momentum. Harrington is a strong protag, albeit a different type of protag than the more “morally diverse” world I’m going for.
What else might pique our interest in this WIP?
For all that this is the most open I’ve been with talking about Amity, (in fact, I think this is the first time I’ve even used the title on this blog) there’s still some aspects of it I’m reluctant to talk about openly. But I will give a more proper back of the book style blurb…
Bernadette Hastings, welder shanghai’d by pirates. Claire Tew, pirate given a quest on the dying breath of her mother. Tomas de la Vega, intellegence agency investigator sent into deep cover on no notice. Hunted and hounded across space on the Amity, the weight of a rebellion balances on their shoulders whether they know it or not.
What is a useless tidbit of information about your WIP?
The pirates and the ship itself were named after actual pirates from Rhode Island. Thomas Tew was a privateer in the employ of the governor of Bermuda turned proper pirate. His ship was called the Amity packing eight cannons and a crew of forty six. He took an Arab cannonball to the stomach in 1695. In my WIP, Claire Tew is his descendant and has a family crest modeled after his flag.