Archive for June 6th, 2013

The Next Big Thing Blog Hop

This is one of those tag-you’re-it blog elements. I was tagged by Day Al-Mohamed of CVS and Unleaded. It’s a floating ten question interview, and since I’ve never been tagged with one of these, I feel I should give it a go.

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

Nickajack.

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

Two places. The idea for the setting came from Lost States by Michael J. Trinklein, which is a collection of states that were proposed but never created. Trinklein runs a blog in support of the book if you’re curious about the kinds of places he means. It’s where I first learned about the Nickajack movement, which snowballed into a basic plot line. The characters come from a Dungeons and Dragons campaign, but with some major modifications. Same names, similar relationship, but in the post-war South rather than a fantasy realm.

3. What genre does your book fall under?

Steampunk.

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

I don’t tend to think about this when writing a book. One of the main characters would be a CGI construct, anyway.

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

A conman looking for one last score and an automaton built to command in the Civil War must solve an assassination in the newly created state of Nickajack.

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

Agency or bust. I’m still convinced by the agency model.

7. How long did/will is take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

First draft was completed in a few months. Maybe three?

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

Boneshaker. Not really because of any thematic or plot elements, more from the attempt to set Steampunk somewhere atypical. Boneshaker moves it to the Pacific Northwest. Nickajack takes it to the American south. It’s not untrod land, but I like getting away from England and the Old West with Steampunk.

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

It’s the first novel I’ve tried writing with a coauthor, in this case my wife. On this project, she’s the brains and I’m the muscle. It’s a formula that’s worked well for us when working on scripts together, and it’s working thus far on the novel. So she’s a lot of the inspiration.

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

I’ve seen Steampunk novels that use the tech to lengthen the Civil War. We decided to go the other way. We’re creating an alternate United States where the North wasn’t afraid of using the technology to conduct a total war on the South, which changes the dynamic of the country. The story itself is set in a conclave of Northern support in the middle of a deeply scarred former Confederacy.

As far as keeping the tag chain going, I feel like a dead end. Most people I might think to tag have been tagged already. So I’ll let this particular chain letter come to an end, though there are many other branches of The Next Big Thing spreading across blogs. But since I like new writers to connect with, I’ll point backwards and sideways since I can’t point forwards. Check out Day’s answers here. She’s part of the same cloud of tagees as Kay Holt, Anthony Cardno, and Sabrina Vourvoulias. And I’ll put some second pressure on the two other writers tagged alongside me, Linda Adams and Wayland Smith.

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