The Next Big Thing*
Updated: Feb 1, 2019
Tag, I’m it, for a round of “The Next Big Thing” blog hop*.
A blog hop is essentially a game of tag. In this hop, an author answers ten questions about his/her work in progress, and then tags five authors to do the same thing the following week, and so on and so on, like a Faberge Organics Shampoo commercial. The idea is that readers learn about an author’s current project, as well as discover other writers or books that may end up being the next big thing.
Much thanks to Sarah Hans for tagging me in her blog. Sarah and I were introduced to one another’s work in the Crimson Pact anthologies, and I’ve avidly followed her “Ideal Vessel” tales. She has established herself as an author of steampunk, a genre mash-up of Victorian-inspired science fiction with steam-powered machinery. Sarah is now editing Sidekicks!, an anthology of short stories about the loyal characters who buttress the heroes, because “the best stories aren’t about the people in the limelight, but rather those standing just behind them in the shadows.”
Right now, I’m juggling the writing of three articles, two short stories, and continuing education courses (for my employer), along with two longer projects. My Q&A addresses one of the latter.
My Work in Progress
What is the working title of your book?
Where did the idea come from for the book?
I initially started writing horror to deal with a nightmare. This serio-comic apocalyptic novella too began as a scene in a dream, then fleshed out in the ensuing insomnia.
What genre does your book fall under?
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
If I had my druthers, Brad Pitt would portray the central character, who’s in his late 30s. (Of course, even if there weren’t a character handy, I’d embed one to have Pitt on set.)
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Dealing with the end of the world is hard enough, but dealing with heartbreak might be the death of Jim whose ex-girlfriend has set her sights and dinner plans on him.
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
Not sure. Agency representation would be nice…
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
The Most Dangerous Game meets 28 Days with brains, not just a hankering for them.
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
Inspired by a nightmare, the best sort of incentive to get out of bed and start writing.
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
Scabbies are the next evolutionary step for zombies. Zombies are scary in mass or when creeping up with an overlay of foreboding music. What is more frightening? A cognizant, strong monster who used to be your friend, your brother, or your lover. A monster with an appetite for human flesh, and he’ll tell you all about it…unless you’ve gotten a head start.
Now, my turn to tag five authors. I’d like to spotlight some fellow Utah writers whose work I admire, in hopes you too will discover them:
Steven L. Peck
This year, I read The Scholar of Moab and A Short Stay in Hell, two literary novels by Steven Peck, and was bowled over. I only closed the books to eat. The man is genius. Scholar brings together conjoined twins, a mad poetess, aliens, and more amidst the red rocks of southern Utah. It’s fascinating, with brilliant characters, and often a deep read interwoven with philosophical insights. A Short Stay is a thought-provoking story set in one of the most interesting takes on Hell. So much for my hopes of ending up in a library in the afterlife.
Patrick M. Tracy
For a wicked good short story, you can’t go wrong with a piece by Patrick Tracy. His prose is tight, vivid, and often spiced with a touch of humor, reminiscent of Jeff Strand. He seems to write across genres with ease. He’s also an accomplished poet. I’m hoping he’ll publish a collection of his short stories for a nice long read. (Hint, hint.)
Paul Genesse is the literary equivalent of James Brown: the hardest working man in the book business. He is a dynamo. In the last year, Paul published the third YA novel in his Iron Dragon fantasy series, edited volumes 3 & 4 of The Crimson Pact anthologies, and finished the first draft of Medusa’s Daughter, a novel I had the honor of reviewing as an alpha reader and expect to see in print soon. He has the page-turning formula down to a science.
I feel a definite simpatico with Justin Swapp. We both threw our lot into the fiction market around the same time. He now has a handful of great reads on Amazon, and the artwork of his book covers just make me drool. His short stories are crisp with twists. I look forward to reading his YA novel, The Magic Shop, this year.
While my friend and fellow critique group member, Matt Bailey, doesn't yet have his novel in print, let me just give heads up that it will be. His prose is poetry. Plus he does a hell of a job creating his world and writing an epic adventure that leaves you begging for more. He's now building up his publication credits, with many sci fi short stories published in anthologies and magazines. (Unfortunately, he doesn't have a personal blog yet for linking.)
*Originally published Jan. 15, 2013