I imagine you are all wondering about the title.

It’s…wait for it…

Showing of the new camera.

Yep…apparently it’s me.

Now recently I told you about some friends of mine. One of them was Lee Murray who wrote a wonderful book. So wonderful that it won the 2012 Vogel Award for YA fiction. I met Lee a while ago at a writers’ group here in the Bay of Plenty. Not only is she an award winning writer but she is supportive of those of us still trying to get the words out. Lee has read some of my novel and her insight and thoughtful comments have at times drawn me back from a black void. You writers out there know exactly what void I am talking about.

When I was stuck with how to deal with telepathic conversations between the main character and a unicorn Lee raided her own child’s library and threw Aragon at me. She has called me the Dragon Queen and for that she will be forever in my heart. I mean come on…who wouldn’t love that as a title ?????

Now this award winning writer has just done something else that has cemented her as one of the good guys for me. She has picked me as one of the NEXT BIG THINGS to come along in writing. And I am blown away. I am humbled. I am damn well going to prove her right – because as Lee says: “AND since I don’t like to be wrong, please make sure you ARE the next big thing to happen in writing.”

And in answer to her questions…

What is the working title of your book?

The Draco Stone. But…that could change. The further I get the more I think it will.

Where did the idea come from for the book?

It was an exercise for a writers’ group. I was stymied and in the middle of the night I woke up with the story for the meeting that day. I disturbed all the fur babies, turned on the lights and wrote a short story. It was a retrospective look at a quest. When I read it out at the meeting…OMG…it was awful. Everyone was dead silent [a very bad sign usually], but then they all decided this had to be not just a book but at least a trilogy. I actually think it might be more than three books in the end.

What genre does your book fall under?

Honestly, I am not sure what you would put it under because it is more than one book. And there are so many places it could fit…but for now let’s just place it in the FANTASY category.

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

I almost don’t want to answer this one. There is only one person I have ever seen as the main character Deveron. Jensen Ackles.

I think Natalie Portman would be perfect as Jynessa,

Donald Sutherland for Deveron’s father,

Chris Hemsworth as Evijan,

Kat Dennings as Aisha,

and perhaps most importantly the voice of Wraith. I have always imagined it sounding like Anthony Hopkins.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

What is it that you would be ready to not only die for but let those you love die for ?

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

I hope for an agency. We shall see I guess.

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

I am still working on it. To get myself out of writer hell with it I have signed up for NaNoWriMo for this November with an eye to getting it finished and stopping Lee from telling me to quit taking pictures and finish the damn book.

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

Oh that’s hard….maybe Aragon, maybe not.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

The dream. It was always the dream. I actually never saw myself writing this type of book. It just won’t let me go and do much else until it is finished.

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

It is not just a quest. It is about Deveron learning to deal with loss on so many levels. It is also a continuation of a love story. It is also about learning when to let go of someone.

Now November is coming up and I hope that you will all be focused on keeping me on track !!!! NaNoWri Mo means writing 50,000 words minimum in a month. I hope you will all forgive me if I don’t visit your blogs as often. And I hope that when I do post [mostly in November it will be about the book and the writing] you will all cut me a little slack until I get it down on paper. I am determined to be FOCUSED on getting to the finish line this time.

As for who I think will be the NEXT BIG THING…well you lot should look to these guys.

Lynn Biederstadt

Brynne Betz

Why ? Because I have been lucky enough to read their works…and these guys are amazing.



  1. That must make you feel so good! All the best on your final lap Jo. Stay focused and stop worrying about the blog. We will still be here……waiting to share the limelight 🙂


    1. Thank you Madhu. I just downloaded a very cool piece of software that is free for NaNoWriMo writers during the month to help organise all I have done so far and so the next 2 days will be doing that. As well as completely diving back in to it. It’s funny…Deveron and his brother and Wraith [the unicorn] used to talk to me all the time. That has not happened quite so much lately but I find it has started up again. Last night they drove me mad with all their thoughts.


        1. Just keep prodding me next month Madhu !!! I am aiming high….I want more than 50,000 words…I want to finish it. Then I can spend the next few months editing and redrafting. I am actually feeling the excitement. Yea !!!!


    1. Misha would do well as The Phoenix King Conlaed [Jynessa’s father] I think. Hmmmmmm – Jared. Dare I say it…Deveron has a younger brother, Zarek.


    1. I sure hope so. On the start day I think I might post the first chapter…which I have finished to the first draft stage. Just to pique everyone’s interest and keep you guys prodding me along during November. Keep the whip handy !!!!!!


  2. That is awesome! Congrats. Sounds like a fantastic series. And the movie characters you picked? Excellent!! Good luck with NaNo. I think it is just what you need to keep it going to an end. 🙂


    1. Thanks Angelia. I think it may be just what I need too !!! I am hoping you will ALL keep pushing me. Asking if I did the required words for the day. Get your cattle prod ready to go….hehehe


    1. Awwwww…thank you Gilly. On November 1st I am going to post Chapter 1. Just to keep you all revved up and ready to poke and prod me in to doing it. But I feel the hype already. I want to finish this time. Last year I never even started NaNoWriMo even though I registered.


        1. It isn’t actually mine. My photographer friend has left it with me for storage. I know the coolest people.
          Yea on the reading. You’ll love Deveron…he is so cool…of course looking like Jensen Ackles helps.


    1. See…I knew there was a reason to tell you guys about NaNoWriMo…I knew Gemma would start cracking the whip on me. Oh my…that sounds…well you know exactly how THAT sounds…hehehe. Chapter 1 is going up here on November 1. So you know a little about THE BOOK, the characters, and will be charged to prod me relentlessly to finish !!!!


        1. Now I am scared Gemma…hehehe
          The short story I wrote that started it is up if you are interested. Thought it might give people a feel for where I am going…though some things will be very different in the book.


  3. I’ve always known you were special, Jo!
    I have to tell you, I’m a little ashamed at feeling this way, but part of me feels so lost when I see so many of my blogging friends moving forward while I can’t even get an agent or media outlet to REJECT me; they simply ignore me and leave it at that.
    But I’m proud of you, Jo. You deserve all the success in the world. I truly mean that.
    Good luck and don’t forget the little people you’ve met along the way…


    1. Just remember J.K. Rowling got nowhere either at first. As for me…well I have to finish the damn thing. Then I will be right where you are. Wondering why no-one is taking notice. Now just go and write book number two Hook.


  4. Jo, I’m so happy for you! 😀
    Only two more days ’till November and then your novel will transform from thoughts to written words. You will pour them into a novel. And we will be there with you every step, every day! Courageous lady, have faith *hugs*
    And thank you, Lee Murray, for giving Jo this extra push. Or should I say pull?


  5. Good luck, Jo, obviously not that you need luck because you’re going to sail through it anyway! I’m being tempted toward this NaNo thing… quite a lot of people seem to be signing up for it. Hmmm…


    1. Thanks Amy…but I have to finish it first. Then comes the redrafting, the editing, proofreading, and then trying to get it published. But I do believe in this story.


  6. This is exciting Jo! The next big thing. Good luck writing in November. I do enjoy fantasy and I’m looking forward to buying your book. Then I’ll have to hop on over for a visit so you can sign my copy 😉


  7. I don’t really know much about you and your writing too much yet , but plenty of people out there already think you are tops so I will add
    * GO JO *


    1. Thank you so much. If you are interested I just posted the short story that started this all. I’d love you to read it and let me know what you think. I have a thick skin so be as critical as you need.


  8. hehehe, I was gonna say, what about Jared!? But then I saw that Zarek might be in his future, so all’s well. 😉 I love your choices of who to play which characters – they fit very well, not to mention that Jensen and Chris are extraordinarily hot. And the voice of Wraith as Anthony Hopkins – genius! I really do hope to see this as a full length novel with your name on the cover, Jo! Then when you get famous, I can say, “Yes, and I knew her when she first started writing!”


    1. And the people I picked have absolutely nothing to do with hero worshipping insanity – or that I want to meet each and every one of them…hehehe


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