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Blog Meme: “The Next Big Thing”

I normally don’t do blog memes. But this one is fun to follow. It’s basically part of an ongoing chain of book and author recommendations called “The Next Big Thing.” The whole idea is that writers get “tagged,” answer ten quick fire questions on their blog, and then tag five other writers … so that before long you have a whole web of writers answering the same questions, and linking to one another through social media. It’s a good idea, and a nice way to drum up interest in your latest work. I was brought into the loop by Kevin Lucia (thanks, Kevin!) and will serve summons to five writer friends at the end of this here post who will answer these same ten questions on their blogs next Wednesday. Ready? Set?

1) What is the title of your next book?

Reagan Moon and the Ghost Box.

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

A story in the Los Angeles Times (clipping at right) that I happened upon about a fortune teller who was murdered in Little Saigon and found with her hands and face painted white. The crime was unsolved for years before an arrest was made. The motive was retaliation for a spell that didn’t work. Anyway, it caused me think about other possible reasons that fortune tellers might be murdered.

3) What genre does your book fall under?

Urban Fantasy with noir, paranormal, and romance elements.

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

Guy Pearce would be a good Reagan Moon. Not too GQ or overly cheery, and he dons a perpetual half-shaven look. And Celina Jade could show off her martial arts skills as his shape-shifting accomplice, Maikoa.

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

A paranormal investigator must free his dead girlfriend from the clutches of a brilliant occultist and prevent the completion of a massive, high-tech ghost box in downtown Los Angeles.

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

We’ll be pitching the book to traditional, general market publishers.

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

Probably a six to eight month project. I didn’t get the message about first drafts needing to be quick and uncomplicated. As a result, I tend to spend a lot of time making sure the pieces are in place before I put anything on paper. Call it a bad habit if you like. Tedium, for sure. But it seems to make the next round of edits go a lot smoother.

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

This is definitely in the Dresden Files mold. Unlike Jim Butcher’s lead, Reagan Moon is not a wizard and, though he investigates paranormal happenings, harbors a wicked, even debilitating, skepticism. Richard Kadrey’s Sandman Slim is another character I enjoy, although SS is a bit too hardboiled for a steady diet. And then, there’s fragments of Dashiell Hammett’s Sam Spade sprinkled throughout.

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

Hmm. Permit me a little self-analysis. I am fascinated by trends in our culture which reveal a metaphysical schizophrenia. On the one hand, society is becoming more materialistic, more secular. On the other hand, we can’t shake our fascination with the afterlife, fringe science, religion, psychic phenomenon, parallel worlds, apocalypse, and quantum anything. I’m finding that most of my stories are a cathartic exploration into that dichotomy between the explainable and the unexplained, the visible and the invisible. Existentially speaking, Reagan Moon is my way to both maintain skepticism and dive head first into the ocean of the fantastical.

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

The lightning rod to the Tower of Babel, an angel named Bernard, and a human hydra with ninja skills. Does that help?

Okay. So there you have it! Now, for my five writer friends who have equally hot projects they are stewing over. Merrie Destefano, Kat Heckenbach, Pat Todoroff, Lyn Perry, and Cathilyn Dyck. Tell us about your “Next Big Thing.”

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{ 8 comments… add one }
  • Bob Avey November 28, 2012, 11:50 AM

    Reagan Moon sounds interesting.

  • Kat Heckenbach November 28, 2012, 3:03 PM

    Thanks for the tag, Mike. This looks really fun. And I’m hoping it will light the fire under my butt that I need to *finish* my “next big thing.” So, so close…

    I think it’s really cool that your story idea came from a news story. I’ve never quite tried using real life events like that as muses. I ought to, though! Your new book sounds really cool!

  • Kessie November 28, 2012, 5:32 PM

    Too bad your book’s not out! My husband’s all set to devour the latest Dresden book for Christmas, and I’ve had the worst time finding something similar that he’s interested in. Sounds like your book would be right up his alley.

    This meme sounds fun. I might snag it and do it myself. 🙂

  • Katherine Coble November 29, 2012, 11:03 AM

    I’ve never read a Dresden File. I have a real leeriness about urban fantasy in general because of all the Hot Bloody Dead Men trending over the last 36 months. Are the Butcher books pretty good, craftsmanship-wise?

  • Lyn Perry December 1, 2012, 1:25 PM

    Thanks for the tag, Mike. I jumped the gun and posted my answers today. Oops. And KC, Butcher’s writing is snappy and well-crafted. Fairly clean and moral, actually. Well, based on the first one. I haven’t read the others, lol.

  • C.L. Dyck December 5, 2012, 7:47 AM

    Thanks for the tag…posted today. Now off to see what Pat T’s is…it’s been really interesting reading about all the concepts and the unique ways of playing with ideas. Amazing how any two given writers can take a shared area of interest (Kevin and his Beowulf spinoff, for instance, I love Beowulf) and do something completely different with it.

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