Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Tagged - The Next Big Thing

Robert Swartwood tagged me two weeks ago in a post you can read here.

Recap: the blog post I was tagged in is part of an ongoing series of blog posts in which one writer poses a series of questions to another writer, then tags five more writers, who repeat the process the following week in their blogs. Sounds fun, right?

Even though I no longer maintain a regular blog (I no longer have the time), I decided to kind-of-sort-of play along. I'm answering the questions, but I'm not tagging five other writers. Any working writer I would tag either a) doesn't maintain a blog or b) if they do maintain a blog, they're too goddamn busy right now. So I'm not tagging anybody. Other folks probably have, so go forth and see who, and check their blogs in a week or two to read their responses. And buy their books, okay?

In the meantime, here's my contribution:

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


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

Musing on the disconnect between the extreme wealthy and the working class, specifically the working poor, and, believe it or not,  watching various shows on Food Network.

3) What genre does your book fall under?

It's a straight thriller.

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

Nathan Fillion (Castle) could be a good choice for one of the main characters.Aside from that, I don't know. It would probably be best if it was cast with unknown actors. But if film rights are ever sold and a big-budget adaptation is green-lit and the producer wants to cast Snooki or The Situation or one of the Real Housewives in it, I'm okay with that.

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

I’m not sure a one-sentence synopsis is possible with this novel. Let’s just say the plot involves a wealthy businessman with Mitt Romney-level money searching for his estranged missing daughter as a separate plot thread; most of the novel details various going-ons at a very high-end country club in Wyoming that caters to the ultra-wealthy – the Director of Operations is having an early mid-life crisis, one of the waitresses is out of her element and simply wants to get through the last three days of the season without being fired, and suddenly money is being stolen from some of the wealthy high-rollers and several brutal murders occur on the grounds. Is there a thief and a murderer on the loose, or is the thief a murderer too? Both seemingly disconnected plot points eventually meet up just as the reveal is being laid out, so I won’t go any further.  Basically, it’s quite different than my other work, and certainly more mainstream. However, fans of my more horror-tinged thrillers will probably like it.

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

When I initially conceived the idea for Retreat it was intended to be my “break-out” novel; that was in mid-2008. After I lost my mass-market publisher (this publisher later crashed and burned), I intended this book to be my calling-card back into mass-market publishing. I had intended to market it to one of the big Six publishers because I felt (and still feel) that it's a mainstream thriller that will appeal to a wide, general audience. Between then and now, I had committed to several other projects, specifically a few straight horror novels for various small presses, as well as some film work and some ghosting work to pay the bills, so the first draft of Retreat was written in late 2009 and early 2010. I have only within the past two months or so revisited it. Since originally starting the first draft, the eBook revolution has really taken off and a re-evaluation of mass market publishing has led me to the decision to publish the book myself once it's completed (and it's vetted by several trusted folks I use as editors and pre-readers and it undergoes editing and copy-editing). So the short version of my answer to this question is, yes, the book will be self-published, and no, it won't be represented by an agency.

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

Three or four months.

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

I'm not sure, since I've never read a novel quite like Retreat. However, if you're a fan of the works of John Connolly, Duane Swierczynski, or Michael Marshall, you might want to give Retreat a try once it's out there.

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

To reveal that would spoil it for you.

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

Retreat is the first book in an open-ended series I plan with recurring characters. The second novel in the series exists as a one paragraph entry in my notes, as does the third. My goal is for each novel to work as a stand-alone novel, but each novel will also be linked to each other (and there will be subtle links to my past body of work as well). In fact, I have hinted at this in other interviews  and in conversations with fans, but the second novel in the series will also provide a sequel of sorts to my novels Survivor and Fetish. It won't be a straight sequel by any means, but there will certainly be enough narrative to address certain loose threads from both those novels.