The Next Big Thing

Wonka sees through all your fizzy lifting smoke and snozzberry-sheened mirrors

Fran Wilde tagged me in her Next Big Thing blog post, which means I have to talk about my WIP, then tag other authors and ask them to talk about their WIPs. I’ve had a certain work in progress for quite a while now, so I’ll be writing about that. I won’t be tagging anyone else, though, just because it seems like most of the people I would have asked have already done one of these. But don’t let that stop you from going back to Fran’s post and checking out the other authors she’s tagged. I’m in august company.

Ten Interview Questions for The Next Big Thing

1. What is the title of your Work in Progress?  

Abaddon Abandon (working title)

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

I was lying in bed one night, frustrated with grad school. My mind was wandering around, not letting me sleep, so I started thinking about what would happen if humanity were to come to the end of scientific understanding as we know it. One thought led to another (as they’re wont to do) and I wound up coming up with the particular incarnation of the afterlife that’s the primary setting of Abaddon Abandon.

3. What genre does your book fall under?

I’m not sure. I’ve been really fond, lately, of mashing up fantasy and science fiction – taking fantasy tropes and bending them to fit in a system built out of scientific rigor. Kind of like Star Wars. With dead people. So Urban Science Fantasy?

4. Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Noomi Rapace as Maura, Stand By Me-era Jerry O’Connoll as Fig, Gary Oldman as Gilbert, Donald Sutherland as Sam and some no-name up-and-comer as the main character, Ambrose.

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

Ambrose, stuck in the afterlife after his purgatourist trip goes wrong, struggles between letting go and holding on when he discovers there may be a way to get his life back; but the only way out is through the heart of a war that’s been brewing between the Center and the Rend, a war in which Ambrose doesn’t yet know he plays a central part.

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

Once I finish this next round of revisions, I’ll be seeking representation.

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

I wrote the very first draft over the course of three months when I first started writing again back in 2008. As my writing has improved since then, I decided to do a complete rewrite and completed the second draft between November 2011 and March 2012. I anticipate the next round of edits to take me until at least the end of the year.

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

I’m going to veer off the tracks on this one and say there are actually more apt movie comparisons for this one – it’s one part Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, one part Dark City.

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

Grad school, primarily. It’s an ode to how I felt for much of my 20’s – of feeling lost when you think you should have found yourself already, and the terror you feel when you look into the future and see nothing there.

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

I still get excited when I think about the world and the rules I’ve laid down for it. I’m not going to go into specifics, but one of my favorite things in the book is Sam’s library – it’s infinite and shifting, and is comprised of books without words and everything in his life he at one point had found meaning in.

Include the link of who tagged you and this explanation for the people you have tagged.

Fran Wilde tagged me. You should go check her out (especially her Cooking the Books interviews – they’re RAD), and also follow her on Twitter (@fran_wilde).

As I’m not tagging anyone, I’d like to instead give shout outs to my writer’s group (who are amazing and make me kick my own ass into gear, even when I’ve got the squirrel brain and dontwannas); my Viable Paradise teachers, staff and classmates (there was life before VP, and there was life after VP – and the sea change in my writing and habits and priorities and life has come about in small, incremental ways); and the crew at Apex Magazine for letting me slush for them (it’s made me a more thoughtful writer in a lot of different ways).

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7 Responses to The Next Big Thing

  1. Fran W says:

    ❤ Purgatorist is one of my favorite words. And thank you for not yelling at me for stealing a bunch of your potential tags!

  2. nicole says:

    No way man, your Big Thing has already gone live. The moment has passed, the blog post has been consumed. I’ll just have to catch a wave the next go round. 🙂

  3. A.C. Wise says:

    Wonderful post! And the novel sounds intriguing. Yet another signed copy I covet for my bookshelf!

  4. ernestwhile says:

    Very interesting idea; I too love the word/concept of “purgatourist”. I imagine, potentially at least, that all of us wandering the current known world could be purgatourists. I have to wonder what a purgatourist trap would look like…

    And the Wonkagraf is fantastic.

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