Up Next…

{this to pique your interest on what’s coming next on Apricotpie – after “Resurrection” finishes. I’m also adding in about my musical that’s slowly and barely underway but getting there. Thank you Mary for your inspiration here!}

What is the title of your next book or work?
– The working title for the book (somewhere between a book and a story, actually) is “David Judson, Midshipman,” but I’m not happy with that, mostly because it’s too much like “Mr. Midshipman Hornblower.”
– The working title for the musical is “Seed of Blood,” taken from the quote “the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church.” It’s also a little strange sounding so hopefully it will prick up some ears. 😉

Where did the idea come from for the book?

– Anna and I were watching Hornblower and I began thinking about how much a Christian would stand out in the Navy, and the story began developing from there – and it took a few twists and turns and ended up more about getting TO the Royal Navy than being in it.
– The musical started a few years back. I’m not sure exactly what triggered it, but all of a sudden it came to me, and I wanted to write a musical, and also had this idea for a story about the church during Nero’s fire… and the two fit!

What genre does the book fall under?
Both would be historical fiction.

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

– I don’t know many actors and actresses off the top of my head to know that. Freddie Highmore (at least the Freddie from when I was younger) would probably pull David Judson off pretty well, but I think David is a little more broadly built.
– The musical is a lot harder because there are more characters! Benedict Cumberbatch might make a great Valen Didus Rufus (or maybe I just like him a lot), but other than that I’m blanking since most characters are built off of people I know. I wish I could think of someone for Joshua, the pastor/father, but I can’t.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
– David Judson labors to make his dream of being an officer in the Royal Navy a reality, pushing past many obstacles and trials in his work, family, and friendships to come to a greater understanding of his desires.
– A centurion watches as a Christian family of five suffers through homelessness, martyrdom, forgiveness, and persecution after the great fire in A.D. 64.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
I’m not there yet at all… I don’t want to self publish, though. The musical I’d love for churches to be able to do at a low expense so I might just put it up somewhere – as long as being free doesn’t compromise copyright. 🙂 David may or may not ever go anywhere. If I were to publish it, I think I’d need to make it longer.

How long did it take you to finish the first draft of the manuscript?
– I had the idea for David a year before I finished the book, but writing itself took about three months.
– The musical… well, it will have been 2 years since inspiration in January, but only a few months since I started trying to write it beyond an outline.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
– David is similar to the Hornblower books by C.S. Forester, but with a Christian spin.
– Seed of Blood is similar to the old but delicious book, Quo Vadis.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?
– A lot of David came from watching Hornblower, but then the character began to take shape, looking like my friend Andrew and having a personality all of his own just waiting to be written. Once I had the idea, the push and inspiration was because I loved my characters so much!
– Quo Vadis loaned so much to the idea for Seed of Blood that I almost decided to write a musical for Quo Vadis – but decided against it because I didn’t want to be so tied down with someone else’s plot so started developing my own.

What else about the book might pique the readers’ interest?
– Hmmm. I love David so much because of who David is, but to those who don’t know David Judson that doesn’t mean much. I think the things David wrestles with are things we all struggle with: fear of man, disappointment, longing, family troubles, financial straights, and speaking the truth in love. And I will give a spoiler – David ends up fighting at the Battle of Trafalgar, aboard a ship that gets dismasted.
– Seed of Blood is full of challenging thoughts, about martyrdom, clinging to Christ, denying Christ, leaving the world behind… what makes me most excited about it is my character Valen Didius Rufus – a Roman centurion that’s close to Nero and then comes into contact with Christians and begins to doubt the worth of a life lived for pleasure when he sees the sacrifice and faith of the Christians. I’m expecting a lot of adventure – and heartache, but also joy.

And a publishing update: I sent off round one to publishers in August, and got 2 rejection letters, 2 “We-don’t-publish-fantasy,” and a bunch of silent rejections. I’m preparing to send off for my second round of queries in January. These are mostly to smaller publishers, although hopefully I’ll write P&R soon, but I’m waiting for an important email first. If you’re on Facebook, you can find me there if you search for A Thousand Daily Deaths under pages – if you can’t find it, leave me a comment here and I’ll email you the link.

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