Catherine Stine's IDEA CITY

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Monday, September 17, 2012

The Next Big Thing!

I've been tagged by the lovely Rossandra White in a blog game called The Next Big Thing, where you answer questions about your work in progress or a new piece, that you'd love to become the next big thing! For me, that's the sequel to my futuristic thriler, Fireseed One. So, here goes:


What is the working title of your work-in-progress?

Children of Fireseed. Or I may just totally get away from that title to something like Sun Chimeras. Chimeras are beings comprised of two very diverse genetics. Too obscure? What about Scarlet’s Fire? Here’s an even better idea: why don’t you all help me think up a title? Best one gets the person a free, signed copy of the book when it comes out, and a $25 gift card too. First read the story summary, and then email me with your awesome suggestion at kitsy84557 AT gmail DOT com.

Where did the idea come from? 

Since it’s a sequel, it naturally takes the Fireseed One story a few more giant steps forward. The main character is Scarlet, the girl with three missing fingers from the Fireseed cult in book one. It’s now eight years later, so Scarlet who was seven is now fifteen. Her love interest is Armonk, the boy from Black Hills Sector in book one, who Varik made the prosthetic leg and arrow for. I wanted to follow those kids and others who had the bad luck to grow up in the Hotzone, and to see how they fared as teens. They meet up at a place called the Greening, a quirky boarding school in the desert, at Skull’s Wrath. It's run by Nevada Pilgrim, the artsy lady caught up in the nefarious ZWC terrorist group from book one.

What genre does your book fall into?

It’s teen sci-fi. It can also be described as dystopian, or a futuristic thriller. It’s set on earth in 2097.

What actors would you choose to play your characters in a film version?

My main characters are younger than most of the actors I usually think of, but let me try. Carey Mulligan or Mia Wasikowska would make a good Scarlet, as they have that innocent, dreamy look, while being powerful. Scarlet is compellingly stunning, and rather unhappy about it, as it tends to attract too much attention from the older men in the cult, which yes, is creepy. (She escapes in the first scene!) Either Logan Lerman or David Kross would make a good Armonk. He’s mysterious, raven-haired, and a talented hunter, with a vulnerable, private grin that makes you really want to know what he’s thinking.

Write a one-paragraph summary

If everything about you changes, what remains?
Fifteen year-old Scarlet, long-pledged to the much older Stiles from the Fireseed desert cult, escapes with only a change of clothes, a pouch of Oblivion Powder and her mute little brother, Thorn. Arriving at the Greening, a boarding school for orphaned refugees, she can finally stop running. Or can she? The Greening is not what it seems to be, and as the students care for its secret Fireseed crop, they experience frightening physical changes. When George Axiom, of Vegas-by-the-Sea offers a huge cash prize for the winner of a student contest, Scarlet and Armonk are hopeful they can finally help their families back in the struggling sectors, but when Stiles comes to reclaim Scarlet, and Thorn disappears, the world as Scarlet knows it, is changed forever.

How long did the first draft take to write?

I’m still at it. It’s a work-in-progress!

What other books would you compare this to, in your genre?

This treads newish ground in the genre, in terms of strange human hybrids. In terms of sensibility (not plot) it is similar to Rossi’s Under the Never Sky.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

It’s a natural extension of the big questions in Fireseed One. How do we live in a forbidding future environment? When we are terrified and our backs are up against the fire, how do we avoid the urge to take sanctuary in false refuges like the Fireseed cult? How can humans extend the limitations of the human body to be best suited for extreme heat? Lack of food and water? When one is not entirely human can one retain humanity and compassion? Can one love?

What else about this story might pique the readers’ interest?

The sweet romance between Armonk and Scarlet.
The deadly struggle between the students of the Greening for power and answers.
Dr. Varik’s diagnosis of the unsettling changes in Thorn, Scarlet and Armonk.
Thorn's amazing creation, after being overlooked as mute and slow.
The future-fabulous playland that is Vegas-by-the–Sea.

And now, I will tag a few more writers, whose new works deserve an extra-special look, and just may be the next big thing! Look out for their posts in the next few days.

Helen Mallon
Donna Galanti
Kelly Hashway

Oh, and I'd love for you to give your opinion on my sequel title on your way out. Thanks!

32 comments:

  1. Scarlet's Fire sounds good to me, but I'm terrible at coming up with titles. Will think on it. Another book to look forward to reading, because I enjoyed Fireseed One.

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  2. I stink at titles so I will refrain from making any suggestions. It's best not to fill your mind with something horrible. :)

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  3. Thanks for tagging me, Catherine. I love the description of this book. Very intriguing.

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  4. Scarlet's Fire sounds exactly like a title I would pick up. Your book sounds incredibly interesting.

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  5. Scarlet's Fire sounds exactly like a title I would pick up. Your book sounds incredibly interesting.

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  6. Scarlet's Fire sounds exactly like a title I would pick up. Your book sounds incredibly interesting.

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  7. Scarlet's Fire sounds exactly like a title I would pick up. Your book sounds incredibly interesting.

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  8. Scarlet's Fire sounds exactly like a title I would pick up. Your book sounds incredibly interesting.

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  9. I just finished reading Unwind by Shusterman, so I'm really getting into Dystopian and books that makes you stop and think. I like Scarlet Fire too.

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  10. Your inspirations for this series sound intriguing, Catherine.

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  11. Tiffany, I had to laugh that you weighed in all of five times on Scarlet Fire! I'm kind of liking that one too. Bev, I'm glad you liked Fireseed. Ednah, yes, Shusterman's plots are cool. Suze and Kelly, thanks for the kudos. Kelly, I'm looking forward to your Next Big Thing post.

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  12. Thanks for tagging me! I'm honored and all that! I like repeating "Fireseed" in the new title for branding purposes. "Children of Fireseed" sounds a bit cliched to me. I love "Chimera" but it is an obscure word. ...Actually, Scarlet Fire is great because it has the name reference subtly in it. Good luck with the writing!

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  13. Thanks, Helen, looking forward to your Next big Thing post, and your news!

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  14. Logan Lerman is a hot hot hot young actor. Dayummm...that's a good choice. He has entire Tumblr's dedicated to his smilin' mug. I agree with everything you said about Eminem. So cool that you love his music too.

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  15. Michael, Nine Mile, need I say more?!

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  16. Love all these questions to be answered! And the "greening" - love that! So much imagination here. Really looking forward to this one! FIRESEED ONE was a world all its own.

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  17. And forgot! P.S. Super thanks for tagging me..now I better get busy with my questions!

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  18. Donna, yes, I want to hear all about the sequel to A Human Element. Thrillers, anyone?

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  19. Awesome that you're working on the next one, Catherine. It's the year of genetics for me ... lol ... brilliant we have the same science inspiration.

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  20. Yes, M Pax, it's "in the air" like a windborn mutant virus. Ha!

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  21. I like Sun Chimeras.I didn't know what chimeras meant before you told me, but it sounds exotic and combined with the word sun I just got an image of bursting flames in my head. (This could be because I'm weird).

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  22. A boarding school in a desert sounds fresh. I like Carey Mulligan, I think she'll make a wonderful Scarlet. Lots of luck with this WIP, Catherine and thanks for sharing juicy bits of it with us!

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  23. Thanks, Claudine. And Beth, I like the word chimeras too. Mysterious.

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  24. I have the word "chimera" on my "list of words I have to put in a novel" and now you have beat me to it, !! Ha! Nice post, Catherine.

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  25. Sounds like it's going to be a great book. Sorry, I'm not much help on the title.

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  26. I LOVED the way you described your characters! Really neat learning about your book too!

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  27. I'm so excited to learn more about your WIP. I'm really bad with titles too, but I like the suggestion of keeping "fire" in the title. Scarlet's Fire, Fireseed's Children, Fireseed 2: Electric Boogaloo... :)

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  28. Adrianne, Electric Fire Boogaloo?! Hahhahaha. I do agree that I ought to keep Fire in the title.

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  29. Wow, what intricate, intriguing world-building! That's not my forte, so I really admire it in others' work. I think Scarlet's Fire is a nifty title.
    Some Dark Romantic

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  30. Thanks, Mina! I think it's settled that I'll use the name Scarlet in the title, and not use Children of Fireseed, which someone pointed out was vaguely cliched. You guys are awesome!

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  31. I like Scarlet's Fire. It ties in with Fireseed, but sounds like it carries the story forward.

    I think I'm in this hop, but I'm not sure. I seem to have a couple of hops confused. Another sign that I'm overdue for a vacation. Great post, Catherine.

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  32. Scarlet's Fire sounds like a fantastic title. I loved finding out about the sequel and the series sounds great! Wishing you much success!
    ~Jess

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