The Next Big Thing

The Next Big Thing involves writers sharing their next writing project and linking to other writers. I was tagged by my Clarion South classmate, Angie Rega.

What is the working title of your book?

The Zero Dragon.

What genre does your book fall under? 

Young adult fantasy.

What is a one page synopsis of your book?

Kenji’s brother has been poisoned by a shadow dragon.  Only the touch of someone whose heart has been replaced by a star can save him. The stars are hidden within Red Dragon Monastery, home of fanatical warrior monks. Kenji is fifteen years old, has trained to be a librarian and has never fought a battle. But he would do anything to save his brother. Red dragons have numerical engines for hearts and the monks use them to create equations which can reshape reality. Kenji must undergo a brutal training regime and break the encryption on his dragon egg before he can become a monk and gain his own dragon.

Where did the idea come from?

I had been reading about the sohei – Japan’s warrior monks and wanted to write a monkpunk novel.

What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

Ken Watanabe or Hiroyuki Sanada for Kenji’s uncle.  Chiaki Kuriyama or Aya Ueta for Yuki.  Sonny Chiba for the Abbot.  I’m not sure about who could play Kenji.

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

After I’ve finished the next revision, I’ll send it out to agents and publishers.

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

About a year and a half.

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

The novel follows the tradition of a young protagonist undergoing magical training (a la A Wizard of Earthsea and Harry Potter) blended with a feudal Japanese inspired setting (Tales of the Otori). It also mixes in the hacker ethos of Snow Crash.

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

The world’s magic system is based on numerical properties.  The monks control their dragons by feeding them encoded sequences of rice.


For next week, I’ve tagged Steve Turner and Jason Hargenrader

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