The Liebster Award: 10 Question Blog Hop

Looks like my oh-so-talented wife tagged me in this blog hop. You should totally check out her amazing blog, as well as follow her on Twitter to get the most out of her current exploding career as a writer!

How does this work? Well, Kathryn supplied me and a few others with the questions and we answer them, then give some of our own. The blog hop continues and spins around, all magical like. Once you're done here, be sure to check out my compatriots: Maria Ann Green, Marisa Mohi, Constance Burris and Mari Farthing for their responses, as well as Kathleen S. Allen's original post that captured my lovely wife's attention!

1. WHAT IS YOUR WIP ABOUT?

My WIP is an expansion of The Magician (which I really need to get a page up for). In the original book, my main character is a robot who sold his soul to become a magician. As time has passed, he is beaten and feared regularly and has to make hard decisions, which include accidently starting the apocalypse and unleashing Lovecraftian elder gods.

Unfortunately, in this expansion, he does not succeed in his attempts to stop the errant god and instead is trapped for hundreds of years, only to be released upon a world that the god has not destroyed, but has remade in his image. My MC is determined to hunt down the god, only to be opposed by his generals who are made in the Magician's image. Think Lovecraft meets Legacy of Kain (which already had its fair share of Lovecraftian elements).

2. WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE LINE SO FAR?

I'm going to cheat a bit on this one:

"Magic." Its unblinking eyes stared at her. Its voice came flat and apathetic. "It's always been my dream."

3. WHAT HAPPENS IN YOUR FAVORITE SCENE FROM YOUR WIP?

Honestly, the original book was written for NaNoWriMo 2013, with all but the last six or eight thousand words written in twenty something days. The rest came after months and months of trying to jump start the story from where I'd left it. Eventually I finished it this past July, but most of the scenes are a blur. Rather than bog myself down with editing, I opted to soldier forward, give myself more scenes to play with.

Of those scenes, I'd say it was when XAV is legless, his wires trailing behind him like intestines as one of the generals tears apart the small outpost that XAV was brought to. He has no magic at this point (for the time being) and is trying to get to a scrap heap, in hopes that he will be able to put himself back together with the aforementioned /missing/ magic. It's a desperate struggle he fails at, until someone gets slaughtered near him and their blood fuels his magic - a new development for the novel - and he's thrown into the sky as the metal latches onto him. Just as he regains control, the general has disappeared, presumably off to warn the god about XAV's resurgence.

4. IF YOU AND YOUR MAIN CHARACTER WERE IN A COFFEE SHOP, WHAT WOULD YOU DISCUSS?

How to unlock his magic, which I'm afraid he'd tell me how much he'd sacrificed, how many ill fated deals, and that it really wasn't worth it. Maybe once he saves the world, he'll be more chipper.

5. HOW MANY REVISIONS DO YOU THINK YOU'LL GO THROUGH BEFORE YOU CONSIDER IT COMPLETE?

Well, shit. The Faithful has undergone five major revisions, with countless small edits here and there. I really need to know how the book actually plays out in a read through to fully know.

6. DO YOU FIND YOURSELF PUTTING PAST EXPERIENCES IN YOUR BOOK? GIVE AN EXAMPLE!

Not really. The most I can say is that there's a lot of concepts I've absolutely loved over the years that I'm drawing from and building on, but nothing really personal I can use. The biggest example of this is Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver: the opening of it deals with the main character being cast into an eternal pit of damnation, only to be resurrected centuries later and seeing how his brood have been destroyed and his brothers have changed. I absolutely love the idea of evolutionary horror, where you have an established world (which LoK: Soul Reaver did not do especially well) and then fast forward time and see how it has all crumbled.loB

7. WHAT SONG BEST FITS YOUR WIP? OR WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO AS YOU WRITE?

Mostly, I'm listening to Slipknot's newest album .5 THE GRAY CHAPTER, but the best artist for most of my albums is Nine Inch Nails. Several plot details have been inspired by the last half of the Fragile, as well as With Teeth.

8. WHO IS YOUR AUTHOR ROLE MODEL AND WHY?

I'm not sure who is the major one, but probably Patrick Rothfuss. I've met him during a three day conference and had several conversations with, though I ended up feeling like a fanboy more often than not.

9. WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR OTHER WRITERS?

Just push your way through the muck. There's always a part of your novel that will leave you feeling like the whole thing is a failure - just force yourself through that and come out the other end. You can and will finish your novel!

10. WHAT FICTIONAL CHARACTER DO YOU LIKE THE MOST AND WHY?

This is a hard one since I play with several genres. My initial thought was Shadow from American Gods. I love how stoic he is while being introduced to the secret world of gods. He adapts, eventually realizes how he's been played, but he deals with it in stride without extremes of emotion. Essentially, he's level headed and deals with the gods as best as he can.

Where do you go from here? Check out M. Weisberg's blog in the next few days for their answers to these ten questions.

1. What is your WIP about? 
2. What's your favorite line so far?
3. What happens in your favorite scene from your WIP?
4. If you and your main character were in a coffee shop, what would you discuss?
5. What does your main character's personal space (i.e. office, bedroom, etc.) look like?
6. If you had to choose a director to translate your story, who would it be and why?
7. What have you struggled with most while working on this WIP?
8. What is your favorite genre? Does this book fall into that category?
9. What are you listening to while working on this WIP? Or what album fits the story best?
10. How involved do you get on a first draft? Do you worry about things like theme?

Be sure to tag me if you continue with this blog, as well as adapting the list to your own questions!

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Justin D. Herd

Justin D. Herd is a purveyor of the weird and strange. He occasionally squawks at friends and family, but does so only under the cover of night. Okay, that's not true. He squawks in full daylight. Drinking games have been built around his peculiarities, but the truth of it is this: he is a loving husband, with two wonderful dem--children. One growls at things he likes, including pretty women. The other has started to learn hand-eye coordination. Neither had made it to the tender age of three. From there, things will only get more interesting. He spends most of his writing time either at a coffee shop or sitting at one of his many desks around his house. Any other place makes it nearly impossible for him to write. He uses horror movies and rock music to help get the juices flowing. His favorite authors are Jeremy Robert Johnson, Alan Campbell, Terry Pratchett, Justin Cronin, and Patrick Rothfuss. He consumes most of his books through audiobooks, but still loves his personal library and getting lost in the printed word.