The Next Big Thing

The Next Big Thing is a viral sensation where one author answers ten questions about his or her current work.  That author then tags 3 to 5 other authors, who answer the questions and, in turn, tag 3 to 5 more.  Thus spreading the word exponentially.

I was chosen by Michael Bailey.  You can find his 10 questions here.  Michael edited Chiral Mad, a great anthology for which he chose my story (thanks, RB Payne, for suggesting I write one!).  As an editor, Michael is thoughtful and professional.  You’d be lucky to work with him.

I met Michael at Borderlands Boot Camp, where I read and critiqued his story “Hiatus,” currently found in the anthology, Surviving the End.  Since then, I’ve read a lot of his work, including “Eavesdropping” (a short story in a great anthology called Anthology:  Year One), “Underwater Ferris Wheel” (another short, found in Chiral Mad), and Palindrome Hannah, a novel (which will, among other things, forever change the way you think about carving pumpkins).

Three words come to mind when I think of Michael’s writing:  chilling, moving, and beautiful.  His stuff will get in your head and under your skin.  And stay there for quite some time.  Definitely check it out.

And now, the ten questions:

1.  What is the working title of your book?

It’s a short story called “Worse Ways.”

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

Hotel trysts and The Godfather.

3.  What genre does your book fall under?

Horror light?  Humorous horror??

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

Emma Stone would play Liv.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt would play Roger.

George Clooney would play Bill.  Yes, people, Clooney.

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

A man and a woman meet in a hotel:  he has one agenda, and she has another one altogether.

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

Hopefully it will find a home in a great anthology or magazine.

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

A few days.  But that draft was pretty bad.  So I needed another week or so to get to the final version.

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

Nothing obvious comes to mind…

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

I’m headed to Borderlands Boot Camp this year for the second time.  It’s a fantastic writing workshop sponsored by Tom & Elizabeth Monteleone over at Borderlands Press.  Check it out here.

My original submission was too crappy for words.  So crappy that Tom would have slapped me.  And he’s super nice, so that’s saying something.  I needed another submission.  And out came this story.  Nothing like a little time pressure and fear of embarrassment to help a story along…

Now I’m waiting for Tom, Paul Wilson, Doug Winter, and my fellow grunts to tear it apart.  Their critiques will only make it better.

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

I can’t say too much without spoiling it.  Let’s just say that if you like sarcasm, sex, drugs, and rock and roll—minus the sex, drugs, and rock and roll—then this is the story for you.

Well, okay, there’s a little sex.  And some dead bodies, too.

***

My tags are Tracie Orsi, Lise Quintana, and Patrick Lacey.

I also met Tracie and Lise at Borderlands Boot Camp.  Tracie has a sharp wit and a great literary eye.  Her submission was well written and a wonderful read.  For her “9 to 5” job, she owns the restaurant Ragin’ Cajun.  And writes cook books (Sittin’ Bayou Makes Me Hot!).  I marvel at how she does it all.

Lise was my roommate at Boot Camp.  Her submission was also wonderful and well crafted.  She’s working on her MFA at Antioch in L.A. and is the editor-in-chief of their literary magazine, Lunch Ticket.  She posts her blogs and some awesome short fiction here.  Plus, she loves Archer.  And anyone who likes that show is okay in my book.

These women are very talented.  Keep an eye out for their work.

I met Patrick briefly this year at Anthocon.  Our stories both appear in Chiral Mad.  Although we didn’t get a chance to talk much, I can say that his story “Send Your End,” a tale about the Internet and the depths of its craziness, surprised me and creeped me right the hell out.  A great read.  Be sure to look for Patrick’s future work, as well.

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