Choosing the Next Writing Project

So this weekend, I finally re-read my novel that I started years ago and had planned to jump into finishing for my first completed novel, adding a B-plot from the point of view of the other nation involved. And the bones of the six and half chapters I have written are very good. The world I’ve created is rich in detail, and when I incorporate the mythos that I introduced in The Cephalopod Maid, it will be even more full.

Then last night, I had a dream that sparked an amazing story idea, one that is exciting and timely with metaphors to our modern education system and the progression of our society, one that is maybe more marketable due to the protagonist being a teenager. And now I’m wondering if I should follow the new idea and see where it leads or stick with my original plan and file the new one away with the many, many other novel ideas I have. I don’t know. Somehow this one feels more timely, a more urgent story begging for my attention, but my first novel is looking askance at me and asking why I’m going to shove it aside once again.

It is a tough decision to make, but one I need to make soon because I have to write SOMETHING soon. There are words in me waiting to come out. After spending time polishing and editing the last draft of my graphic novel, it feels like it has been way too long.

The Creature – a pencil sketch

Not sure where this guy came from. I started out vaguely drawing a shell-shape last night, and then it morphed into his head and the body soon followed. Maybe he’ll end up in a story someday, or maybe not.

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Copyright 2015, Kat Micari

“There are no happy endings because nothing ends.”

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My second favorite movie growing up was The Last Unicorn. My father had this huge collection of CED movies, and this was one that got played a lot along with my top favorite movie The Wizard of Oz. When I was older, the book by Peter S. Beagle that the movie was based on became one that I read over and over again. The Last Unicorn is rather dated (can we say soundtrack by America?), but there are wonderful, beautifully-written life lessons liberally sprinkled through the entire story. Obviously I most felt akin to the Unicorn/Amalthea as a little girl, but the wry humor and truth in Schmendrick’s dialogue always appealed to me and that is who I took the quote in the title from.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the works that influenced me very early in my life, and I’ve been wondering why some stories pulled me in more than others and remain with me even decades later. Do we build our foundation of our own truths from the myths and fairy tales we’re most drawn to, or is the groundwork already inherent within us so we find the stories that we most need along our way? I don’t know, but it’s interesting to consider.

The Cephalopod Maid is released!

My short story The Cephalopod Maid is now available!

The Cephalopod MaidDescription: Born half human and half alien, K’mana watches humanity from deep in her underwater home while her father slumbers. Time passes, and K’mana grows bored with being no more than a distant observer. Emerging from her isolated aquatic life, K’mana transforms herself to be able to explore. She once lived in fear of her human blood, but after spending a day on land, K’mana discovers humanity’s greatest attribute.

Download for $.99 US.
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So again, this is one of those stories that, like Penumbradoesn’t fit neatly into a category. It’s somewhat of a fantasy romance with a basis of science fiction, but if I ever follow up and do the novels that would come after, it would push fully into the scifi genre. I can’t ever do things the easy way, can I?

Also, it contains the first sex scene I’ve ever written, so it’s worth picking up just for that! The scene is rather PG in writing (I don’t go in for “throbbing members” et al), but still quite steamy, in my opinion.

If you read it, let me know what you think! And if you review short stories and want a reviewer copy, drop me a line for that, too.

The Next Big Thing Blog Hop: Kat Micari on her as-yet untitled novella

I’ve been tagged to take part in The Next Big Thing Blog Hop, a way of connecting writers together and driving their readers to new material and new writers.  I was tagged by my amazing writer friend Peter Tarkulich.  You can read his answers here.

What is your working title of your book (or story)?

My novella currently is without a title, but hopefully inspiration will strike on the next pass of edits!

Where did the idea come from for the book?

I wrote a short story over a decade ago, and the main character stuck with me for a long time.  I also really enjoyed playing with the writing style.  After percolating in my brain for a long time, I realized the character needed a chance to grow more.

What genre does your book fall under?

It is an urban fantasy, and while I didn’t set out to do so, falls nicely into the YA genre.

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

Complete unknowns for the leads, although I’d love to see Cillian Murphy as Kristoph (the villain), and maybe I would have Christopher Plummer for the Controller and Kathy Bates for the Birdwoman.  I’ve never really given it much thought before.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

I really haven’t perfected the elevator pitch yet, but here goes: “A disenchanted young model living alone in the city finds herself drawn into a strange reality where magical beings battle for humanity’s future.”

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

I will be self-publishing this and an illustrated poetry collection at the same time (soon!).  I’m not ruling out ever working with an agency, but at the moment, I am trying the self-pub route. 

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

Longer than it should have!  Seriously, it took about a year.  I’ve been working under massive time constraints, which is why I went with a novella-length story rather than continue plugging away at my novel.

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

I really don’t like to compare books.  It makes me feel nervous and superstitious.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

I started out wanting to write the story of a young woman’s internal journey into finding personal strength and depth of character.  She does find inner strength, but the outcome isn’t quite what she expects it to be.

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

All of my magical creatures hide themselves in our modern day world, some in very unique ways.  There is one chapter in particular where I chuckled out loud writing parts of it.

And now I’m supposed to continue the hop, but I again don’t like to call anyone out.  If anyone wants to pick up the mantle of the survey, please do so, and I’ll edit this blog to include a link to your site!