I started my writing career with short stories, which still make up 100% of my published works, but I did complete a novel this year called LOSING TOUCH, and fellow writer Thomas James Brown has given me the chance to talk a little bit about it by forwarding the following 10 questions to answer in this space. And the scariest part? I’m not even sure I know the answers yet myself, but I will try…
1. What is the working title of your book?
With so many of my short stories, I switch the title three or four times, but this work, my first novel length manuscript since a fantasy trunk novel twelve years ago, I knew the title from the start, back when it was only a short story. The working title, pending publication, is LOSING TOUCH, and, as any good title does, it works on several different levels. Watch now–it’ll get changed.
2. Where did the idea come from for the book?
I started writing a short story around the central concept several years ago, but never got past the first page. I suppose the idea came from the notion that human beings can disconnect with the world around them for reasons they never fully understand–sometimes its a self-defense mechanism, sometimes its deliberate, and sometimes it just happens. For the main character, it might be a combination of all three.
3. What genre does your book fall under?
I’m really bad with genres, because they can get so specific. Most people would simply call it horror, and I don’t mind that, but it’s really more urban fantasy, and, in the broadest sense, science fiction, like Mary Shelley’s FRANKENSTEIN. How it gets labeled is up to the publisher, but I can tell you that it’s about a family man in contemporary Chicagoland, and there are no dragons.
4. Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
I saw a movie last year that I really liked called THE COLLAPSED, written and directed by Justin McConnell. The male lead was played by John Fantasia. Not a household name yet, I know, but he delivered a terrific performance as an everyman combating the unknown crowding around him. He’d be a great pick as the main character. But I’d be flattered with anyone portraying characters that I created. Is Conrad Bain still working? Maybe not him.
5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Oh, geez. I suck at this. <– That is not my synopsis! <–Neither is that!
6. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
I’m still working out the details on this, but probably not self-published.
7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
I thought it would take me years, but it actually only took four months. I was afraid to start writing something longer than about 5,000 words, like a lot of men are afraid to marry. I was afraid of the commitment. But I wrote at least 500 words just about every day, which isn’t a whole lot–maybe a half hour’s worth of work. And I found the more I pushed, the easier it became. Kind of like working out. Marriage. Gym. Can I compare this to anything else?
8. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Probably CARRIE by Stephen King. Things just start happening to the main character, who is equal parts victim and perpetrator, or perpetrator in response to being a victim…
9. Who or What inspired you to write this book?
My own life. I’m approaching mid-life, the time of crises. Few people can look back on their first forty years or so and say things broke the way they called it. While I have no complaints, I can’t say it wasn’t terrifying, or that I wouldn’t use a double-negative if the situation called for it.
10. What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
Everyone can identify with isolation and desperation in an era when no one, including big brother, can balance the budget. The main character is going through something like what you’re going through, or have gone through, anyway.
Tag! Your WIP is “The Next Big Thing!” Bruce Memblatt, Jay Wilburn, Gill Hoffs, Dean Wild, Brian Rickman