The Next Big Thing

The Next Big Thing…

The idea of this is that a writer puts up a post on his or her own blog answering ten questions about his/her work in progress, and then “tags” three – or five, depending on which version you see – other writers to do the same. Then, the writer posts a link to his/her “tagger” and to the people he/she is “tagging” so that readers who are interested can visit those pages and perhaps discover some new authors whose work they’d like to read.

I was tagged by Prue Batten, author of:

The Stumpwork Robe ‘As exquisitely crafted as the sumptuous wedding robe from which it takes its name…’

The Last Stitch ‘Inventive, playful and beautifully written…’’

A Thousand Glass Flowers  ‘A sweeping gorgeously written tale…’

Gisborne: Book of Pawns  ‘Mesmeric and exact storytelling…’

And soon to be released The Shifu Cloth ‘A young woman, a message woven into rare cloth made of paper and silk, a man who seeks not just the woman but his identity – for these cousins, only time will tell if what makes a curse, breaks a curse.’

Prue’s writing fascinates me; with a writer’s eye capable of delivering microscopic observation, and a talent for capturing tone like no other, the resulting read brings hypnotic satisfaction. 

The writers I have tagged in my turn appear at the bottom of this post.

What is the working title for your book?

Kimi 2 – rather bland I know. I had so many ideas for a title along with multiple tagline concepts that keeping the working title simple was a must. The eventual title: Kimi’s Fear won the vote from my beta readers. Keep it simple, they said.

Where did the idea come from for this book?

The main thrust and subplots were a natural progression from Kimi’s first outing. When Kimi’s Secret ended the cast hung around and my mind would wonder and wander along the various threads; what happened next, to him to her to the situations, and so Kimi’s Fear practically wrote itself.

What genre does your book fall under?

I dislike pigeon holes, but I guess it’s a fantasy mix of sci-fi and paranormal with a hefty dose of madness.

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

This is a good and relevant question because the technique I use when imagining my scenes is to place actors or celebrities in the various roles; a technique which enables easy yet solid imaginings, and so, for me, those scenes and characters come alive in my head.

Mr Purse, magical proprietor of BoZone: Middling’s boutique for all things Balancerish, with his eloquent manner, quirky ways, his quiff and bent nose, is played by the lovely Stephen Fry.

Phenate Thrawn, an Elemental Balancer Supreme, so in tune with the atoms of Mother Nature that she merely has to sing to make the earth move, with her hair a thrash of bracken and brambles, legs like sticks and a body of spade-shaped leaves, Phenate would be none other than Helena Bonham Carter.

Adept Charles Babbage, overweight, deformed, in dark suit and with monocle, was, in my imaginings the inimitable Sir Patrick Moore.

Big Sue, (Sue is a man) a slightly camp Scottish giant with OCD, and was superbly acted by Billy Connolly.

Stella, two years older than Kimi and Kimi’s new best friend and mentor was imagined as Lily Cole.

Adept Blavatsky, with her wool suit bursting at its seams and her scathing tongue was portrayed in my mind’s eye by the brilliant Kathy Bates.

Adept Patina was bionic woman Lindsay Wagner with big hair.

Balancer Barry with his lost mojo was played by Timothy Spall.

Kimi herself was played in my imagination by 2008 Britain’s Got Talent finalist Faryl Smith.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

How many colons am I allowed? Let’s see…

‘Suspected of murdering a Greylian General, Kimi must leap once more through time and dimension to find and tame her childhood fear wherein the truth of memories resides and by which she will prove her innocence; but, with a ruthless Greylian bounty hunter after her brain and the boy of her dreams turning cannibal, Kimi needs more than her friends to help her out this time.’

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

Soon to be self-published via and available in paperback and eBook.

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

Compared to the five years Kimi’s Secret took to `build`, Kimi’s Fear was a piddling six months. The story world existed fresh in my mind, and so did the characters, and, as I said earlier, the plot and subplots stood up and spoke for themselves so it didn’t take much weaving to put it all together.

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

I’m not sure I can. I wanted to create something different and hope to have achieved that.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

Aliens, ghosts and magic. These things tortured my youth with bafflement, worked their way into my bones and have held me ever since.

Spielberg wowed me with Close Encounters of the Third Kind around the same time as my mother had us spellbound with tales of spirit forms, and around the same time the news was buzzing with young girls being flung around by poltergeists, Uri Geller bending spoons, and thousands of people throwing themselves into frenzies at PK (psychokinetic) parties.

Never a believer, always the sceptic, hoping to witness the evidence that would prove little grey men were real, that ghosts were indeed some manifestation of human energy, and that we humans could really defy the laws of physics and move objects just by thinking about it.

This fascination for everything Fortean was ingrained at that impressionable age, so when I had an idea for a novel; a time-travelling conundrum, fuelled by grey aliens – or greylians as I fondly christened them – I pondered the notion of uncovering a world where these things could brought into being, not just alien greys but my mother’s ghosts, the magic of psychokinetics, and anything else mythical or unexplained that I could make fit.

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

Apart from the notion of alien greys living amongst us and the millions of humans allegedly abducted to date – and apart from the concepts of time travel and the existence of other dimensions – Kimi’s Fear touches on the philosophic; the morals of self-preservation, supreme beings and the existence of soul. With both Kimi’s Secret and Kimi’s Fear, I set out to create a read that a child might enjoy as an exciting adventure story, yet that same reader might experience a different read with a greater understanding when reading the same book at an older age. I hope to have achieved that.

Kimi’s Secret Paperback or eBook:

Amazon UK:

Amazon USA:

Amazon DE:

Amazon FR:

Kimi’s Fear… coming soon!


Include the link of who tagged you and this explanation for the people you have tagged.

Prue Batten. A writer with a depth of observation like no other. I’m certain she’s a witch.


The writers I am tagging are:

Barbara Scott-Emmett:

Barbara has been writing for a number of years and has had short stories (two of them prizewinning) published in anthologies and magazines. She has also had articles, poems and a novel (The Man with the Horn) published conventionally.

Frances di Plino:

Frances di Plino is the pseudonym of columnist, editor, non-fiction author and writing tutor, Lorraine Mace. Writing as Frances di Plino gives her the opportunity to allow the dark side of her personality to surface and take control as can be witnessed in recently published thriller Bad Moon Rising. As Lorraine Mace, she is humour columnist for Writing Magazine and a deputy editor of Words with JAM. She writes fiction for the women’s magazine market, features and photo-features for monthly glossy magazines and is a writing competition judge for Writers’ Forum.

Jo Reed:

Jo won the Daily Telegraph Travel Writing Competition in 2008, and has many short story credits. In 2008/9 she won an Arts Council supported Apprenticeship with Adventures in Fiction for her first novel, The Tyranny of the Blood, which was subsequently taken up by Wild Wolf Publishing. A Child of the Blood followed in 2010, and the third novel in the series Malim’s Legacy is now available for Kindle and will be available in paperback from November 12th.


I can’t recommend these writers highly enough which is exactly why I tagged them as worthy authors for The Next Big Thing.

Leave a comment


  1. Thank you firstly, John, for the kind words you have spoken about my writing. As I comment, I am watching Merlin and hoping against all hope that I am NOTHING like the witch, Morgana.
    I am so looking forward to Kimi’s Fear, especially now the images of the characters have been realised in such a stupendous cast.
    I like the idea that the book can be read and acknowledged for its own soul at different ages and that those age-groups reading it can identify with it on a number of different levels. It’s a hard thing to achieve and I commend your success with Kimi’s Secret and have no doubt Kimi’s Fear will resonate in the same way.

    • I was only nice about your writing in the hope that you would not cast any spells my way. Seriously, you can’t fool me Witch Batten!

  2. Kimi’s Fear sounds even better than Kimi’s Secret – if that’s possible!


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