Next Big Thing

By December 12, 2012Uncategorized

The time has arrived for my edition of the Next Big Thing blog that’s sweeping through the web!  Very special thanks to L.J. Smith for tagging me to take part!  L.J. Smith (a.k.a. Lisa), is a popular author, best known for The Vampire Diaries and The Secret Circle.  Last week Lisa posted her NBT interview about her new book The Last Lullaby.  It sounds like a fantastic read, so to find out more, please visit her website:

So, as I now take the baton, here’s the interview for my Next Big Thing (or should I say, my First Big Thing?):

What is the working title of your next book? 


Where did the idea come from for the book?

I’m not sure where it sprang from exactly.  I’ve always been a sci-fi and action fan, loving films like the Alien franchise, where you have a group of people fighting to survive when all hell breaks loose, to films like Jaws, Die Hard, and Apocalypto, where you have one (somewhat reluctant) hero fighting to survive on their own.  I guess I drew inspiration for AURORA:DARWIN from watching these types of films growing up.

What genre does your book fall under?

It’s a ‘soft’ sci-fi thriller.  Although it has a mixture of the action and thrills that you’d expect from a tale about soldiers, it also shows the human side of them too; the friendships, the loyalties, and the arguments for/against females being on the front line.

What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

Having studied Film/Television at University, and having always written my novels based on the ‘movies’ in my mind, this is a question I’ve had a lot of fun answering!

Captain Saul Harris:
jjqkblyk0vxpbkyj_WCpt Saul Harris, is one of two main characters in the book.  He’s a hard soldier who leads by example, but he’s also a thinking man’s soldier, a man with heart.  Funnily enough, from day one I’ve always pictured Will Smith as Captain Saul Harris (I guess I was inspired by his turn in ‘I Am Legend’ – I would’ve started writing the book around then too).  Will Smith is the right age and has the right physique to play him.  Of course, I certainly wouldn’t knock back someone like Denzel Washington if he wanted to play him either!  Despite my selections, however, my mother is convinced that Barack Obama is destined for the role!

Corporal Carrie Welles:
cmcimv7nd5ooicvo_ACCarrie Welles, the second of the two main characters, is a sharpshooter who wants to prove herself as a soldier and follow in her father’s success.  She is stubborn, fiery, and determined, but is equally compassionate.  I actually like the thought of getting a complete unknown Australian actress in this role.  Regardless, I’ll say Abbie Cornish (Limitless, Sucker Punch, Stop Loss), who I think conveys a gutsy, rawness in all her performances, and she also has those sultry eyes – although she’s a few inches taller than Carrie Welles!


First Lieutenant Daniel Walker, a.k.a ‘Doc’:
iwvip5givb4vg5vv_CFDoc is the ship’s medic, but also 2nd in charge to Harris.  Intelligent, laid-back, mature, he is the Captain’s sounding board, co-strategist, and friend.  As with Will Smith playing Harris, from day one I’ve always pictured Colin Farrell (Total Recall) as Doc – dark hair, dark eyes, fit and tanned.




Second Lieutenant James McKinley:
xdbsl0saptl9s0pb_CHMcKinley is a hard-ass, a tough soul and he’s 3rd in charge to Harris.  In the field, he’s the one the Captain relies on for back-up.  He’s also a stubborn, competitive sharpshooter, who doesn’t agree with females being on the front line.  For the role, I’d say Chris Hemsworth (The Avengers, Snow White & The Huntsman) is the frontrunner here – blonde hair, blue eyes, and physically imposing in stature.



Corporal Sabrina Colt:

grlhtg6ub0wkhlgk+RWColt is one of the new recruits alongside Carrie Welles.  She is well-built, able to adopt a ‘don’t mess with me’ attitude, but is equally friendly, with a big beaming smile.  Colt, in my mind, has always been someone like Rutina Wesley (True Blood).



Sergeant Sarah Packham:                                                                                         
mltwwqr49ukq94kw_ADPackham, another of the new recruits, is a British co-pilot; tall, slender, and with a delightfully posh English accent.  Looks-wise, I’ve always pictured someone like Agyness Deyn (British model) – but with bright pinky-red hair instead!




Colonel Welles:
jd3t8r19wn5g3d85_RCThe Colonel is a gruff, hardened, retired soldier.  He is somewhat estranged from his daughter, and isn’t exactly happy that she wants to follow in his footsteps.  Although he only has a small part in the first book – I see an ‘aged’ Russell Crowe (Gladiator, The Insider) in the role.

Jeepers – that’s only half the cast!  Looking at those names I’m going to need a huge budget to make this film, right?  Did I mention that I wouldn’t mind Sir Ridley Scott directing….?

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? 

Two very different people, one common goal; survival.

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

My novel will be published through Momentum Books, mid 2013.  YAY!

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

Well, I started writing it five years ago.  It was supposed to be one book but it turned into a series.  So, although technically I’ve been working on it for five years, I’ve been writing/editing the other books as well.

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

In terms of what kind of sci-fi, I would say Richard Morgan’s Black Man.  Although it is set in the future, it is the near future, so the world is still recognisable through today’s eyes, it’s just more advanced.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

I’ve always been a huge movie buff, and I’ve always ‘worked’ on stories in my head – I just didn’t know what to do with them.  If you read my ‘Arrival’ post, you’ll see that I eventually discovered my ‘calling’ was to write.  The thing that gave me the initial jolt to get going was watching Diablo Cody win the Oscar for Juno.  I don’t know why exactly, but she just kind of struck me as someone I didn’t expect to win an Oscar, yet she did it.  It made me realise that anything’s possible if you follow your heart, roll up your sleeves and ‘give it a go’.  So I did, and here I am!

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

I think there is something for everyone in this book.  The guys will like the soldiers, the fighting, the swearing, the humour, the thrills, and the action.  The women will like the soldiers, the fighting, the swearing, the humour, the thrills, and the action – oh, and the romantic subplot…. But seriously, it’s as much a drama/saga as it is an action/thriller/sci-fi.  It is a very character driven plot.  The reader follows the action through the interchanging perspectives of two different soldiers who are good at what they do, but at the end of the day, they are simply living, breathing, humans, that just want to make it home alive.

So that’s my NBT interview, folks!  I hope you enjoyed this insight into my debut novel, AURORA:DARWIN.  Now I’ve answered the above 10 questions, it’s time to tag my fellow authors for another Next Big Thing instalment.  So, do yourself a favour and make sure you check out these fantastic writers, who will all blog on or around Wednesday 19th December:

Nathan M Farrugia (The Chimera Vector, Momentum Books)

Luke Preston (Dark City Blue, Momentum Books)              

Dean J Anderson (recently signed with Clan Destine Press)

Donna Hanson (recently signed with Harlequin Escape)

Thanks again for tuning in!


*All photos courtesy of Fanpix (


About Amanda Bridgeman

Amanda Bridgeman is a Tin Duck Award winner and an Aurealis and Ditmar Awards finalist. She studied film & television/creative writing at Murdoch University (BA Communication Studies) and has been published by Angry Robot and Pan Macmillan (Momentum Books).

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