Welcome to the NEXT BIG THING Blog Hop.

What is a blog hop? Basically, it’s a way for readers to discover new authors.  At this stop, you’ll find a bit of information about me and my upcoming Shinobi Mystery novel, along with links to some other authors to explore!

Big thanks to my friend and fellow author Piper Bayard for inviting me to participate in this round of THE NEXT BIG THING.  Click HERE to learn more about Piper and her upcoming novel (currently titled SEEDS) – which I’ve read and highly recommend for anyone who wants an action-packed read.  You can buy it this spring at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Or visit Piper’s Website:  Bayard & Holmes

In the Next Big Thing blog hop, authors (at their respective blogs) answer ten questions about a book or work-in–progress (giving readers a sneak peek at the project).  The answers also include some behind-the-scenes information about how and why we write –I hope you enjoy it.

Here’s my Next Big Thing:

1. What is the working title of your book?

Claws of the Cat, a Shinobi Mystery

2. Where did the idea for the book come from?

I was standing in front of the bathroom mirror, getting ready for work, and suddenly I had a thought: “Most ninjas commit murders, but Hiro Hattori solves them.”

From that moment, I was hooked.

3. What genre does your book come under?

Mystery. More properly, historical/police procedural – which means it’s set in 16th century Kyoto and it has significant forensic elements.

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

Whichever ones the producers hire. I’d just be thrilled to see the book made into a film.

5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

When a samurai is brutally murdered in a Kyoto teahouse, master ninja Hiro Hattori has just three days to find the killer before the dead man’s vengeful son kills both the beautiful geisha accused of the crime and Father Mateo, the Jesuit priest that Hiro has pledged his own life to protect. The investigation plunges Hiro and Father Mateo into the dangerous waters of Kyoto’s floating world, where they quickly learn that everyone from an elusive teahouse owner to the dead man’s dishonored brother has a motive to keep the samurai’s death a mystery.

And yes, that’s two sentences. Ninja detectives often break the rules.

6. Is your book self-published, published by an independent publisher, or represented by an agency?

My book (and the next ones in the series) will be published by St. Martin’s / Minotaur – a traditional publisher. My work is represented by fantastic literary agent, Sandra Bond.

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

First draft? 30 days.

The real work comes after that.

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

There’s a “Holmes and Watson” feel to the relationship between Hiro and Father Mateo. Beyond that, I’ll let the readers draw their own conclusions.

9. Who or what inspired you to write this book?

Since the idea came on like a ninja attack, I’m going with “Hiro did it.”

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

It’s the first in a series featuring Hiro and Father Mateo. Each book will focus on a different feature of medieval Japanese culture – the first book focuses on the geisha houses, the second on the shogunate, and the third … I’ll leave that a mystery too, for now (though the novel is written).

CLAWS OF THE CAT has lots of action, a ninja detective, a female samurai, a Jesuit priest, an unusual murder weapon … and an orphaned, paper-eating kitten. What’s not to like?

Here are some other authors joining the blog hop next Wednesday. Bookmark and add them to your calendars to hear about each of their NEXT BIG THING!

Happy Writing and Happy Reading!

1.      Travis Heermann (Travis will also be joining us here at Spann of Time very soon, so keep your eyes peeled!)

2.    Erika Mailman (a friend and writing partner whose work I always enjoy!)

And an author participating today:

Kerry Schafer (whose upcoming release, BETWEEN, should be on the top of every fantasy reader’s list.)

Are you an author writing THE NEXT BIG THING? Leave a comment and let us know how to find you!


  • January 9, 2013 at 9:42 pm

    Loved your answers! Always so fun to get a sneak peek at someone’s book. Thank you for tagging me. I look forward to answering the same questions next week on my blog. And no: in my case, ninjas did not “make me do it!” 🙂

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