Guest Post: The Next Big Thing [Bill]

Today, I”m turning the blog over to my fellow Saucy Ink writer, Bill Denise to answer the questions in the The Next Big Thing Meme. Bill doesn’t have a blog (yet!) so I’ve offered my little corner of the internet for his use. Bill is a talented writer, and I can’t wait to see what he comes up with.

Without further ado, I’ll turn it over to Bill:

Possible Cover Art for Bill’s book. I like it!

What is your working title of your book?

Shifting Priorities

The title is one of the things bothering me about this book. I want to give the feeling of great changes – physical, personal, etc, and a change in what the MC finds most important in life. However, this current title doesn’t seem to roll off the tongue. I would love to hear suggestions.

Where did the idea come from for the book?

I wanted to write, but I’ve never written before. When I heard about NaNoWriMo (from Ted himself), I thought it sounded like a great idea. While looking around the web for help, I found Tami Moore’s outstanding guide and I followed every step.

I sat down by myself over lunch with a blank piece of paper and started writing down all the things I love in science fiction and fixated on two in particular: powered armor and implants. I wasn’t trying to change the world, just come up with a decent story idea. These two items kick-started the story in my mind.

What genre does your book fall under?

Science Fiction

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

I’m not good at this kind of thing, and I never remember the names of actors, so I think it’s best if I skip this section.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

When Damon, a street-smart gang member, accepts a plea bargain to become a government super-assassin he discovers that an aspiring dictator is using him as part of a coup. If Damon, his friends, and some unlikely allies cannot stop the usurper, the galaxy-wide empire will collapse into brutal tyranny.


(OK, that’s two sentences!)

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


How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript? May we see an intro?

First draft is taking a year. I know, I know! I wrote 50,000 words for NaNo and then had a really hard time finishing it. Even though I had a pretty good outline, I kept coming up with excuses not to write. It’s at 90,000 words now and I think another 10k will finish it.

From the Main Character’s first mission in his armor (he’s suffering from over-confidence):

He dropped to the ground twenty stories down, hardening his armor while he fell. He hit hard, but felt very little. The impact made a crater in the ground of the park, and was loud enough to get the attention of at least one guard. He strode across the park in no hurry and made no effort to hide himself. He walked directly toward the closest guard who was struggling to see into the gloom. In a poetic coincidence, it started to rain.

“Whoa – who are you? Stop there.” The guard shouted as he caught site of Damon striding toward him.

“Who me,” Damon mocked, “I’m only a nightmare!” He leaped over the remaining distance as he spoke, and he finished his sentence while he grabbed the man by the front of his shirt, breaking through the ceramic-mesh armor underneath. He lifted him easily off his feet and growled in his face, “I’m the Demon, come to life,” and he crushed the man against the side of the building.

Damon felt the stiffening of his armor a split second before a huge impact hit him full in the back, driving him through the wall and into the ground.

Wow, I felt that one! He had never been hit so hard in any of his training. Before he had time to stand up, his armor stiffened again and another shell smashed into him, driving him deeper in the foundation of the building. A good portion of the wall fell in on top of him.

He shook his head to clear it and tried to extricate himself from the rubble. It came from behind and above, I must have missed some big guns up there. He ignored Cinnia’s voice in his head saying ‘I told you so!’ He could still feel the impact points on his back, and his face and shoulders hurt where they had been driven into the hardened concrete. The lingering pain made him nervous, it had been a long time since he felt anything. He continued to scrabble through the broken debris, trying to find something in his HUD to identify the attacker. He desperately wanted to move before they could hit him again.

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

The Reality Dysfunction, by Peter F Hamilton (mostly for his crazy-implanted mercenaries)

Armor, by John Steakley

Starship Troopers, by Robert A Heinlein

And many, many more.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

I always wanted to write, and I love these science fiction themes. Ted’s blog about his own venture into writing gave me my initial inspiration, and Tami Moore was a big help in making it work. All of the folks over at Saucy Ink have been so helpful I might actually come out of this with a good book!

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

I’m trying to emulate something I learned from Steven Erikson’s books, where the good guys and bad guys are not obvious. In some scenes you’ll be rooting against a character only to find yourself rooting for them later. Even the MC lives in a grey area most of the time.


Thanks, Ted! You even pulled up some of my cover art! I need to give the credit for the art, though, so please add this to the post:

Cover art by

And let me say that Jesselee was a pleasure to work with, very responsive to all of my requests!


  1. […] may remember that I interviewed Bill about his book as part of the Next Big Thing blog […]