The Next Big Thing – Novel in Progress

As I mentioned Sunday, the fabulous Kay Holt tagged me, along with the other authors from our upcoming Crossed Genres anthology Winter Well (coming out May 24), for the Next Big Thing Blog Hop. Today it’s my turn to answer some questions about my novel in progress. Remember the Winter of the Novel? Well, that’s the book I’m going to talk about.

1. What is the working title of your next book?

The Travelers.

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

The idea(s) come from a lot of places: movies (names of which I won’t mention because that would give away too much), music (Shooter Jennings’ Black Ribbons, among others (Ani, Joy Kills Sorrow, Leadbelly, Amy Ray, to name a few), has been played a lot and is responsible for my pirate radio dj, Erasmus Teller, existing), as well as the state of the world today. I wondered what would happen if I took the direst predictions of climate change scientists to their extreme, along with “free market” corporatism run amuck, and what that world, and the people in it, would look like fifty years out. That idea unleashed a lot of voices in my head wanting to tell their stories. So many that I’ve spun a group of them off into their own book (working title: The Tribe & the City). The characters that remain in The Travelers make up a group on the run (Erasmus and his daughter Bud, a rebel soldier and her physician lover (Tina Wheatley and Semira Sangare), and a man with many secrets (John Teague)) as well as the folks who are chasing them as they try to get to safer ground. Teague’s secrets are valuable, you see.

Along with a second novel, one of those “spun-off” characters also demanded her own novella (Seriously, she got in my face about it. “You know this community you’re writing about that I’m only an ancillary character in? I built it. Tell that story.”) and now appears as her younger self in “To The Edges,” my tale in Winter Well.

3. What genre does your book fall under?

Speculative fiction, future dystopia.

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

I’m awful at coming up with actors to play my characters, partly because I suck at remembering actors’ names, unless the film’s fifty years old or more and black and white. That said, Freddy Rodriguez would work as John Teague, especially with the longer hair he wore in Bottle Shock. Erasmus Teller looks a lot like older Stephen King without the glasses. Beyond that, it’s all kinds of fuzzy.

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

One sentence, huh? How about this one? In a corporate-controlled dystopian world, why is one man so important?

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

I doubt I’ll self-publish; I don’t have that kind of chutzpah. Also, I love working with good editors. They make the stories better.

7. How long did/will it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

Still in progress and has been for three years now. (I’m easily distracted by shiny anthologies looking for short stories.) I would love to have a finished first draft by the end of this year.

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

Coming up with book titles is something else I suck at. The Travelers is an action-adventure tale taking place in a degraded future world that also looks back through history a little bit with the stories that Teague and Teller share. It’s a dark tale with a snarky sense of humor.

9. Who or what inspired you to write this book?

I have to blame fan fiction, actually. As I mentioned in this post last year, I started writing this book after a few months of writing Whedonfic kicked open the door to the writing part of my brain that had been asleep for a long time. With three accepted stories in the last three years, I’m calling that a win.

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

Um, let’s see. Pirate radio, car chases, explosions, lesbian romance, sartorial excess, and a good dose of alternate history/mythmaking are part of the mix. I hope that’s interest-piqueing.

Tag other writers…

Natania Barron was kind of enough to let me tag her to carry on the Next Big Thing blog hop. She’s the author of the Candlemark & Gleam novel Pilgrim of the Sky, as well as several works of shorter fiction that have appeared in many cool places. Can’t wait to learn more about what she’s working on.

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