Welcome to the NEXT BIG THING Blog Hop.
What is a blog hop? Basically, it’s a way for readers to discover authors new to them. I hope you'll find new-to-you authors whose works you enjoy. On this stop on the blog hop, you'll find a bit of information on me and one of my books and links to five other authors you can explore!
My gratitude to fellow author, C.V. Madison, for inviting me to participate in this event. You can click the following links to learn more about C.V. and her books.
In this blog hop, my fellow authors and I, in our respective blogs, have answered ten questions about our current book or work-in-progress (giving you a sneak peek). We've also included some behind-the-scenes information about how and why we write what we write--the characters, inspirations, plotting and other choices we make. I hope you enjoy it!
Please feel free to comment and share your thoughts and questions. Here is my Next Big Thing!
1: What is the working title of your book?
I titled it Sin Umbre, a play on Spanish, religion, and identity. “Sin nombre” is Spanish for nameless, as the protagonist of the book has lost their identity. Umbre is the grey area in a halo of light, something we have all seen in flashlights. At the edge of the beam there is always that soft dim area that separates the light and the darkness. That's where some of the characters fall into, which plays into the idea of sin. The setting is a Catholic Orphanage in 1970's New Mexico. So you can see the title is very loaded, as was my previous work “True Monsters” original title “The Shepherds Wolf”.
2: Where did the idea come from for the book?
When I was young I remember watching Desperado with Antonio Banderas. There is a scene where a small boy exchanges his guitar every day. It is explained that this boy is a type of drug mule. Being a teenager, rebellious, full of moral outrage I started reading up about it. There wasn't much information at the time. Then about a year or so ago I caught the movie on t.v. and it reminded me about that outrage. The idea of a sleazy sheriff trying to steal orphans to turn into drug mules to pay off his cartel debts just popped into place.
3: What genre does your book come under?
I would have to say that it falls into magical realism and historical fiction, in a similar way that Professor Matthew Strecher defines magic realism as "what happens when a highly detailed, realistic setting is invaded by something too strange to believe." I also tried working in the idea of García Márquez, that is, by suggesting the magical in our own world.
4: Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
I am not always a fan of book-to-movie comparisons. I like to think that the book I read and the film I am watching take place in parallel universes. That way I can read my X-men comic and not laugh at Wolverines yellow spandex costume, and then watch the movie and not get angry at changes. Film and literature are different monsters with their own needs and teeth. But, with arm fully twisted, I would say that Joseph Julian Soria (Hamlet 2) could play the sheriff character. He is a very talented actor and I think he should have more work than he gets. And this one would be hard for some to swallow as they don't view her as much of an actress, but after seeing Jennifer's Body (better than I thought) and seeing Megan Fox play terrified and scared with as much emotion as she did made me rethink the flack even I have given her. She is more than a pretty face and I think she could play Sister Isabel.
5: What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
In a small New Mexico town a demon has come to lay claim to his own; Can evil be forgiven if it fights its own nature?
6: Is your book self-published, published by an independent publisher, or represented by an agency?
It is self published. For years I buckled under rejection after rejection, knowing that my cover letter hadn't even been read, or an agent telling me they weren't looking for a new client (what?). I almost gave up writing. After reading about how major publishing companies require their authors to do most of their own publicity and marketing now, and to create a public image, then give the author 30% of their own work, I chose Indie routes. This way I know that my effort directly affects my results.
7: How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
The first draft took me six months. Then I took Christmas off and started reading it not as an author but as a potential customer, making notes about what I liked, or didn't like. In the next few weeks I will be Beta testing first on my original Beta, and then my “Cogs” and then publishing it or retooling it as necessary.
8: What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Every author wants to think that there is nothing like their book out there. I am the same. I would say my book shares science fiction elements of Dean Koontz's Watchers, moral absolutism elements of Salman Rushdies The Satanic Verses, with a touch of The Witches of Eastwick by John Updike. I like to use very strong female characters, questions of morality and moral choices juxtaposed against secular and religious beliefs, and contrasting now-verses-then concepts of how we view the world.
9: Who or what inspired you to write this book?
Many things contributed to this book: First and foremost my wife, Kay, who kept me from going off on bizarre tangents and is my first Beta, my own feelings about how wonderful this world can be even in the face of evil, and the new album by Muse. It seems that I write best after I find the right album. For True Monsters it was AWOLNation. Who knows what the next one will be.
10: What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
I try to stretch myself in different ways every time I write a new novel. Whereas True Monsters is a gritty police procedural, The Judas Bastard is a dark vampire novel, and the forthcoming Stain Glass Memory is a surrealist look at what makes us a person, Sin Umbre has more of a sensual/emotional side and has (a first for me) a passionate sex scene. I discuss my feelings about sex and violence as it pertains to good story telling on my website.
Below you will find authors who will be joining me virtually, via blog, next Wednesday. Please be sure to bookmark their sites, and add them to your calendars for updates on their upcoming books! Happy Writing and Reading!
Chris Turner http://www.innersky.ca
Jeff Whelan http://jeffwhelan.wordpress.com/
Knesia Anske http://www.kseniaanske.com
D.H. Nevins http://www.dhnevins.com
A.D. Bloom amazon.com/A.D.-Bloom/e/B0054RE7TE