I'm it. I got tagged. Does that mean I'm a big thing? No, not exactly. "The Next Big Thing" is a "game" designed to promote authors who also blog. Or bloggers who also write books. We have to promote each other, you see, because that's the nature of the business these days. You can only go so far with self-promotion. It's like this: how many times can you tap someone on the shoulder, trying to get their attention, before you annoy them? But if you have someone else say, "hey, you might want to see what that guy over there has to offer." Get the picture?
Besides, promoting other authors is actually quite addictive. You build friendships with like-minded people. One of the most enjoyable things I've done as a blogger (I have to admit a love/hate relationship with blogging) has been my 10 Questions interview series which highlights others (mostly authors) involved in the business of writing books.
If you are an author and you don't help promote other authors, you're cheating yourself.
So I'm "IT". I was tagged by the very talented Mark Beyer. If you haven't read any of Mark's books, you should. If you like classical literature, you will love Mark's prose. I especially enjoyed The Village Wit (read an excerpt here). Now it's my turn to tag other writer/bloggers who have agreed in advance to participate.
Ashley Barron is the author of AVA, among several other shorter works. She is also a blogger powerhouse. As astute when it comes to the marketing aspect of indie writing as any I've found. I've learned so much from following her blog and recommend it to anyone. In June of 2012, Ashley allowed me to interview her (read the interview here). Tag, Ashley.
Kat Kennedy is a fellow southerner from my neighboring state of Alabama. Her novella + short story collection, Flamingo Funeral & Tales From the Land of Tea Cakes and Whiskey is a book about the hard drinking, hard living south. Kat has a unique ability to create characters you'll remember long after you turn the final page. In July of 2012, I interviewed Kat just prior to the release of Flamingo Funeral (read the interview here.). Tag, Kat.
Now I must answer the following questions. Questions I gladly pass on to Ashley and Kat.
1. What is the working title of your novel?
My current work-in-progress is tentatively titled, Pap. It's the name of my main character. Short and sweet. The release title may or may not change. I'm really not that good with titles.
2. Where did the idea for the novel come from?
If I answer that question I might find my driveway full of roofing nails for the next several months. Let's just say the character has some grounding in reality.
3. What genre?
I hate that question. What is genre when you don't fit into clear-cut categories like Mystery, Romance, Fantasy, etc.? If forced to answer, which I will be when I publish, I suppose I would say Contemporary Fiction with a touch of Literary. I like to think my writing is literary, anyway.
4. What other books would you compare yours to in this genre?
What is it with these tough questions? Who came up with them? I don't even think about these things so I don't really know. I just write. This book, like The Night Train, is about real life situations. It has a quirky old man as the main character, a devious ex-cop as his antagonist, a murder, and a love triangle. As with The Night Train, I keep the cursing to a bare minimum. PG, I'd say, PG-13 at worst. Nothing you don't hear on network television. I believe you can tell a great story without overusing bad language. Sometimes, though, a character will let one slip and I'm not able to talk him out of it, so I leave it.
5. Which actor would you choose to play one of your characters?
Robert Duvall would be perfect to play the main character, Oscar "Pap" Jones. If any of you know Mr. Duvall, ask him for me, will you? Thanks in advance.
6. What is a one-sentence synopsis of your book?
An eccentric old man, fed up with the noise and dust of the factory next door, gets in over his head.
7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
Finally an easy question. I started writing it shortly after the release of The Night Train, which was February of 2012. I finished the first draft somewhere around Christmas, so nine or ten months. So much of that time, though, was devoured by the marketing aspects of being an indie author. I found my voice during The Night Train, so writing now is easier. Finding time to write ... not so easy.
8. Who or what inspired you to write this book?
The main character. Pap kept whispering in my ear, nagging me to tell his story. When you get to know him you'll understand why I had to appease him before he drove me nuts.
9. What else about your book might pique a reader’s interest?
No children were harmed during the writing of this book. The Night Train dealt with child abuse in such a realistic way that I still get asked if I'm Jayrod (the main character). To me, that's when you know you've created your characters well.