The Next Big Thing — Matt Archer Blade’s Edge

It’s Friday Rambles time on Monsters and Mayhem and today I’m participating in a fun author blog hop called The Next Big Thing. I was tagged for this exercise by the super-talented Teresa Frohock  (if you haven’t read Miserere: An Autumn Tale, what are you waiting for?!), and I’m excited to participate.

So, what’s my next big thing?  I have a sequel to Matt Archer: Monster Hunter coming out!

What is the working title of your book?   Matt Archer: Blade’s Edge

Where did you get the idea for the book?  I originally wrote the first book as a short story for my son that grew into an adventure tale about a teenager who fights monsters. The deeper I got into the “mythology” of the tale, though, I realized I had a series on my hands. But with all the “I love vampires” fiction out there, I thought it would be fun to have a straight-up “I’m going to kick demon butt” book aimed at YA readers, particularly the guys.

What genre does your book fall under? Young Adult Paranormal/Adventure

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

Matt:  The younger version looks a lot like Joel Courtney from Super 8, but as he matures over the course of the series, he grows into someone more like Liam Hemsworth (at age nineteen).  If central casting can find an amalgam of those two guys, the movie for MA2 would be set!

Uncle Mike:  I’ve known who would play Uncle Mike from the get-go—Michael Trucco. His character on Battlestar Galactica, Sam Anders, partly shaped Uncle Mike’s personality.  It doesn’t hurt that Trucco looks almost exactly how I’d picture Uncle Mike.

Ella:  I need a redhead with a great smile and a somewhat no-nonsense attitude. Rachel Hurd-Wood fits the bill. She’s lovely, but the look in her eye says, “I might just be up to something.”

Mamie:  She’s easy – Hailee Steinfeld. There’s just something about the way she played Mattie Ross in True Grit that screamed “Mamie” to me. She’s tough, smart, strong-willed and goes her own way.  Mattie is certainly stronger and more outgoing than Mamie, but at the core, they are very much alike.  Plus, Hailee can rock a pair of pigtails!

Master Sergeant Schmitz: This might sound odd, but after seeing JGL play a cop in The Dark Knight Rises, I realized that Schmitz sort of resembled Joseph Gordon-Levitt in my head. He’s not a perfect match, but close, especially the mannerisms and the nervous energy.

Will:  He’s the tough one. I need a big, dark-haired kid who looks like he has it all, but doesn’t have a huge ego about it. I need a guy who would give his best friend the shirt off his back, the keys to his car…and help him hide a monster’s body in the woods.  And so far, I haven’t found the perfect actor.  Any thoughts?

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? Wow, lets see:

Saddled with a supernatural knife–and its consciousness in his head–Matt Archer’s fight against monsters, demons and other nasty creatures goes global, making his double life as a normal teen even more difficult than before.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?  Self-published (late December/early January release)

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript? The first iteration took me about six-seven months, but the editing, rewriting and polishing has taken much longer. I actually finished the first draft in late 2010, and here it is, two years later, and I’m finally wrapping it up.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? People have compared it to Percy Jackson, but the mythology, level of “darkness” and age level is fairly different.

Who or what inspired you to write this book? Primarily my son, and other tween/teen guys who weren’t interested in YA paranormal romance…but who wanted a fun adventure to read.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest? There are really big revelations about the nature of the knife itself, along with some significant family drama and more romance in this book than in the first (Matt has a girlfriend!). There’s still a lot of adventure, including a few trips to India and Afghanistan to take care of some really freaky monster infestations. Matt has to grow up a lot, and it’s tough for him.

Next up, I’ve tagged five awesome authors to participate and tell you about their Next Big Things:

Kari Ramadori writes all kinds of cool stuff, include YA, middle grade urban fantasy, and science fiction.The first book in her Olivia’s Realm series, Olivia’s Field (Olivia’s Realm), is out now and later installments are on the way!

RebeccaHenderson is a YA writer I met through Crits for Water. I had the opportunity to read her wonderful YA From the Tea Village. She used her experiences living in China to write a gorgeous work about a young girl from a rural village seeking higher education. It comes out next spring — be on the lookout!

Sarah Gilman is a paranormal romance author with a thing for wings–Angels. Her debut novel, Out In Blue (Return To Sanctuary) is an amazing, romantic, sexy read.

Elizabeth Hull (writing as C.N. Lesley) is a romantic fantasy writer who is also one of my first critique partners from our days at OWW. She’s been a constant friend and teacher as I began working on the Matt Archer series. Elizabeth’s debut novel, Darkspire Reaches, is coming soon from publisher Kristell Ink. I read this novel in beta version, and it’s amazing. If you like sweeping romance, magic and Wyverns, add this to your “to read” list.

Kelly Jo Crawley   is a fantasy writer who just made her NaNoWriMo goal of 51,000 words in November! Whew, that’s a lot of words for a busy mom with a full-time job, but she made it!  She blogs about life with her kids and is a really fun follow on Twitter! Get to know this awesome lady!

Well, that’s it for me!  Until next week, stay safe and keep watch for monsters. : D

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