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Just for Fun

The Next Big Thing: THE LAST LULLABY

on 04 December 2012. Posted in Just for Fun

December 5, 2012

I’m delighted to be allowed to play the latest blog hop frolic, and I’d like to thank Cheryse Durant for asking me to join in the Reindeer Games this month. Cherie is a terrific journalist and an awesome Australian writer, so check out her wonderful and wicked HEART HUNTER series, the first volume of which comes out in April/May 2013.


And now to the questions about my Next Big Thing:


 (Crispy, the rogue slave girlchild)

. . . . .

What is the working title of your book?

It started as BRIONWY’S LULLABY, but since no two people pronounced Brionwy the same way,


(Brionwy, the Harem Beauty)

. . . . .

Where did your story idea come from?

It came to me so early one morning that I thought it might be some left-over of a dream. What came was a ragtag bunch of characters, each with some kind of ability (what we would call a disability): from Crispy, the child with burn scars over half her body, pictured high above, to Old Useless, a crazy old woman who contributes exactly nothing to her gang’s welfare—or do her prophetic fits actually have some meaning? And then there were the direct opposites of the starving misfits: the Beauties, like Brionwy of the Red-Gold Hair and the gorgeous nightskin Melisande, who lived as courtesans in the harem of the Lord Overseer Rajan. These Beauties would seem to have every luxury, but they are like birds in gilded cages: free to do anything but escape the Great House of Darkhemen. I began to wonder, what if seventeen-year-old Brionwy met young Crispy through a peephole in the crumbling harem wall . . .


Incidentally, it also began as dreams of the future had by Sarah Strange of STRANGE FATE, but it quickly bloomed into a story of rebellion and romance so large that it outgrew its dream-venue and became a book of its own. (And yes, yes, I’m still working on STRANGE FATE, now with Sarah’s dreams about the adventures of Ash Redfern rescuing various soulmate couples seen previously in the NIGHT WORLD series.)


(The Phoenix Way of fighting shakes the world’s foundations)

. . . . .

What is your genre?

Young Adult Fantasy/ Adult Fantasy. I thought long and hard about putting this out as my first adult book. But most of the characters are teenagers and in the end I decided that it worked better as YA. (I have plenty of adult readers anyway.) Let me add that this is a very adult YA book—with a risky and risqué background setting alone.


(Nefer, the open-eyed ‘Sleeping Beauty’ in Crispy’s gang)

. . . . .

What actors do you imagine in a film version?

Oh. this is where my lack of TV knowledge really hurts me. I would love it if someone could use Avatar -type movie technology, and Brionwy could be played by a seventeen-year-old-looking Julia Roberts. Here’s what I imagine her looking like (with some help from reader and artist Andie Hutchinson—thank you, Andie!)


(Brionwy, daughter of Branwen)

As for others in my Avatar-dream-film, I’d love Samuel Jackson to play AaronDelmarAnderson, the wise and abled resistance leader on the farm that breeds humans in pens as food for the Great Master Dragons—but he’d have to regress to age twenty-one.


(Aaron, the abled revolutionary recruiter)

Then there’s the apparently fatuous and lustful Lord Overseer, who with a little age-reducing magic could be played by U.K. actor Edward Petherbridge, all dolled up in his Lord Peter Wimsey outfit: monocle and everything.


(Lord Overseer Rajan)

For the rest, I’m going to turn this question upside-down and show what some characters look like, and maybe readers will be able to envision their own choice of actors.


(Ayotunde, young revolutionary, shown with golden-eyed Melisande and shadowy Lyria, Brionwy’s dearest harem friends, and Meshi, Crispy’s gang-member, abled in that he is deaf.)


(One of the Great Masters of the Earth)

. . . . .

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

When Brionwy, lute-player and harem courtesan, meets Crispy, a canny rogue slave girl-child, the resulting synergy rocks the foundations of the hellish world they live in, as the two form a secret group of resistance agents with the help of Phoenix Fighter Junhee, who has been chosen as a virgin sacrifice to the great Master Dragons that rule the earth.


(Junhee, Phoenix Way Fighter and sixteen-year-old revolutionary)

. . . . .

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

I have the very great honor of saying that I am represented by John Silbersack of the Trident Media Group, and that The Last Lullaby has been accepted by Margaret Ferguson Books, of Farrar Strauss and Giroux Books for Young Readers.  I am not yet certain of the pub date, but will post it as soon as I’m sure.


(Junhee’s gallant and courageous admirer, the healer Dao)

. . . . .

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

It’s hard to say, since it started as part of STRANGE FATE.  Certainly more than a year, while I worked on it and STRANGE FATE side by side.  So far LULLABY is around 150,000 words (a whopping 670+ pages), but it will be trimmed in editing.


(Seventeen-year-old Beauties like Brionwy are kept in the Wisteria Pavilion)

. . . . .

What other books would you compare your story to?

I suppose you could say that there are hints of THE PRINCE AND THE PAUPER about it, and Crispy certainly owes a great debt to Vonda McIntyre’s multi-award-winning DREAMSNAKE. I tried very hard to avoid any similarity between LULLABY and the fascinating dragons conjured up by the late (and uniquely renowned) Anne McCaffrey, but I think all dragon aficionados owe something to her.


(Brionwy with lute, playing a lullaby.)

. . . . .

Who or what inspires you?

Well, this book would just be another vampire story if it weren’t for my agent, John Silbersack.  He helped me in so many ways to make it a stronger, more coherent and more logical fantasy that I will never be able to thank him. And then there are my muses, critics and brainstorming friends, like Christina and Julie. I have to add that I usually wrote to a certain haunting tune called Arcadia, by Kevin Macleod of Incompetech.   It can be heard on the Home page of my site and playing right now for you. (Flash Required)


(Prophecy: The end will come with a rose amidst blood . . .)

. . . . .

What else might pique the reader’s interest?

Virgin concubines (stronger female role models than I’ve ever come up with before), a multi-cultural cast, ravaging dragons, a forbidden journal full of terrifying secrets, prophetic dreams, slaves who live by their wits in a world forever changed by the Masters, a little light witchcraft, and lullabies designed to give you goosebumps.  Also love that withstands the tests of distance, hierarchy, consciousness and time, as well as a little pride and prejudice.


(When the northern lights play on the Upperlands the ceremony is complete.)

Okay, the questions are answered and I must tag some talented new authors for next week’s Next Big Thing Blog. Here goes (uh, can you tell Cherie helped me? :-) Bless her! )


Please check the sites of the following next Wednesday, December 12:

Marianne de Pierres: http://www.burnbright.com.au

Di Wills: http://deadmatronssociety.blogspot.com.au

Travis McKenzie: http://magickless.blogspot.com/2012/11/next-big-thing.html

Amanda Bridgeman:  www.amandabridgeman.com.au

Ben Marshall: http://www.benmarshall-wordpirate.com


Thanks again to Cherie, and best of luck to all of these kind and gifted folks.

. . . . .




+2 # Kevin Macleod's MusicGuest 2012-12-05 14:20
Great post Lisa! And thanks for the tag. I love the song 'Arcadia' Last year when I made my book trailer for my first novel in the magickless series, I used one of Kevin's other songs as the soundtrack. Full story here: http://magickless.blogspot.com.au/2011/12/how-to-make-book-trailer.html

Okay, now I have to go and polish up my answers for next week. Good luck with the editing, I tend to add more words than I take away during redrafting. Bad habit.

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+2 # Cheryse DurrantGuest 2012-12-06 18:28
Hi Lisa, Wow! I can't wait to read The Last Lullaby, it sounds exotic AND compelling, and I'm thrilled & slightly humbled to have tagged you for The Next Big Thing. Thanks for participating and promoting my upcoming Heart Hunter series. It is a privilege to know you and to know we heart each other's stories/charact ers - and I'm looking forward to sharing my books with your many readers :)
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0 # Can't Post Comments Here??Administrator 2012-12-08 00:35
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Christina Crowley
0 # The Last LullabyChristina Crowley 2012-12-08 05:50
Hi Lisa,

I know how hard you have been working on this book, and I can't wait until everyone is able to read it. There is so much I love about it. It is already my new favorite and I know you're still editing to make it perfect. :-)
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0 # Comment by NeverBrokenGuest 2012-12-11 07:18
I'm so excited for this book to come out! I think all your work is amazing and I'm so happy that you are making more stories, :lol: I just know The Last Lullaby will be as wonderful as it seems, I'm super, super excited!! :-)
Can't wait!!
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+1 # last lullabyGuest 2012-12-13 13:28
I'm a little confused , can you clear my head up ? Has the last lullaby been published yet , or am i mistaken ?
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Christina Crowley
+3 # RE: last lullabyChristina Crowley 2012-12-14 15:50
The Last Lullaby has been written but it is not published yet. It is still going through the editing process and will be published as soon as it is ready. No publishing date has been given. Keep checking back for updates.

If you haven't joined already, you should join the Forum. We have lots of fun discussing all the books. There is also a whole section where Lisa has answered fan questions. I hope to see you there. :-)
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0 # RE: last lullabyGuest 2013-04-27 08:56
No, it hasn't. I believe it is in a state of revision as of now. :-)
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0 # RE: The Next Big Thing: THE LAST LULLABYGuest 2017-05-17 16:06
It said this was published last year but cant find it in any stores (including amazon) or the library...any idea on release date??? Amazon and book stores would have pre order/release dates...but nothing.
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