Thursday, January 10, 2013

The Next Big Thing Blog Hop


This week I am getting the opportunity to participate in a large blog hop that has been going on for 28 weeks now focusing on the world of independent authors. Everyone knows about the big successes in the book world, but there are many inventive, engaging, and highly creative authors out there that you might not have heard of, and this blog hop works to address that.

It plays like a game of tag, where authors tag other authors from week to week.  Each author does a post like the one I am doing today, selects some other authors, and the process continues.  Following the links of this blog hop will bring you to the pages of some wonderful authors.   

I was tagged by two wonderful authors, A.J. Scudiere and Kathryn Sullivan.  I have had the pleasure of doing book signings with A.J. Scudiere, and being a co-panelist at conventions with Kathryn, and can definitely say both of them are well-worth checking out when you get a moment!

You can visit A.J.'s site and find  out more about her world at: A.J.'s Next Big Thing post is at:

For Kathryn, visit:, and you can see her Next Big Thing post at:

As for myself, I am an author of speculative fiction as well as a filmmaker.  I have two series underway, the epic fantasy Fires in Eden Series, and the urban fantasy Rising Dawn Saga. I also write steampunk, with the Harvey and Solomon tales, and horror, with the soon-to-be-released Hellscapes stories.  Each of my series have 3 novels out, for a total of six in print, and I have many short stories ranging from the aforementioned Harvey and Solomon tales, to stories in my Chronicles of Ave and Annals of the Rising Dawn collections, and more.  My site can be found at and you can connect with me at Facebook here   On twitter, my handle is @sgzimmer

For my participation in the blog hop, I am using my most current project, the 4th Book in the Rising Dawn Saga which will be coming out later this spring. Here's 10 questions I addressed regarding this upcoming book!

1: What is the working title of your book?

I tend to drive my editors crazy when it comes to titles, as I never settle with one until it pops clearly and loudly into my head. I've run on the razor's edge before, with a title coming in just days before it had to be in. Right now, I'm working on the 4th title in the Rising Dawn Saga. That's the most accurate way I can title it, as I have not had that big moment of revelation yet! LOL

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

The idea came as I started to put two and two together in the early 1990's, watching the development of the Gulf War, thinking about how the world was changing, and delving deeper into history. I was just getting into things like Coast to Coast AM at the time, with all of the fascinating topics covered by Art Bell.

I began to wonder what it would be like if a host of a radio show like Art's was pulled into a scenario where he discovered that many of the things he talked about and did shows on were real, from shadow governments, to spiritual entities and non-physical realms, and more. I've always been fascinated by the apocalyptic visions in the Bible, and out of all this the seed of the Rising Dawn Saga was discovered and then planted.

3: What genre does your book fall under? 

It is classified as urban fantasy, due to the modern day setting, but it is cross-genre in many ways, and it has a true epic scale. There are elements of horror, science fiction, mythic fiction, fantasy, urban fantasy, military thriller, and more, which makes it hard to classify exactly. Of course, bookstores and online outlets need to categorize things, so in a general sense urban fantasy is the closest fit.

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

There are many actors who I would like to work with if a film version were made. Perhaps Jason Mamoa as the An-Ki warrior Godral.  How about John Malkovich for Benedict Darwin?  Kate Beckinsale for Dagian Underwood? It definitely is a lot of fun to speculate, but to translate the scale of this story to the screen would require quite a large budget! LOL

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

In the shadow of an increasingly dystopian world nearing the edge of an apocalypse, a number of humans and other entities find themselves at the center of a cosmic war.

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

This series is published via small press, namely through Seventh Star Press. I love working with Amanda Debord, the editor for this series, as well as Matthew Perry, the artist who does the covers and interiors. The other SSP authors have been very supportive and it has been great being a member of this family!

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

I've been working on the series since the mid-1990's, but I'd estimate what became The Exodus Gate took a couple of years to finish in a first draft form. It wasn't the only project I was working on, but that's the general timeline.

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

It is hard to find a close comparison due to the cross-genre nature of this story. I would say it has the size of ensemble and large scale of something like George R.R. Martin's Song of Ice and Fire, has the cosmic elements of something like Paradise Lost, and engages a modern setting with fantastical undercurrents like Jim Butcher's Dresden novels. It really is hard to compare it in one easy sentence, which is both a blessing and a curse!

9: Who or What inspired you to write this book?

Becoming more of a student of history, having a fantastical mindset, and watching what has been happening in the world around me, I wanted to explore some themes of great relevance today within the context of a story like this. As with all my work, it can be read on different levels. It can give you something to think about, it can warn you about some things, it can be enjoyed purely as an entertaining story, or perhaps it can encourage you. For myself, I wanted to address ideals that are very near and dear to me in a story-driven context. That definitely got the ball rolling back in the 1990's.

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

This book, like the series, really blends several genres into a cohesive storyline. I've had hard science fiction readers who have enjoyed the books of this series, readers that don't like speculative fiction normally who have enjoyed them, strict epic fantasy readers who have enjoyed them, and other examples that demonstrate the unique appeal of this storyline.

Here are a pair of authors who will be joining the hop for week 29!  Definitely visit their sites, find out more about them, and perhaps discover a new favorite author in the process!  I thought I would have some fun and pick two who have been particularly mischievous lately in their support of an initiative by Selah Janel to petition me to write something in the erotic romance genre.  So I'm putting both on the spotlight.  Of course, both are excellent writers who I absolutely adore and have had the pleasure of being on panels with and having on panels I've organized!   

Susan Roddey:  Susan writes speculative fiction with a focus on horror and urban fantasy.  You can connect with her at the following:



Twitter: @draickinphoenix

Alexandra Christian:  While Alexandra is known for her work in paranormal erotic romance, she is also a writer of horror and dark fiction. Connect with Alexandra at the following links.


Facebook Fan Page: 


Wordpress Blog: 


Sheila Deeth said...

Cool! I loved learning about your other series too.

sgzimmer said...

Thank you Sheila! I always feel like the two series are like twins in that they both took root and developed in the same general time frame. Two distinct story lines with different ensembles, but both demanded to be written in the same time zone! LOL

I can say for sure both of them have a ton of work put into them as of now, but they have been wonderful companions of mine for many years! :)