The Next Big Thing

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The Next Big Thing

Hugh Howey, what a great guy! He sent me the author’s equivalent of a chain letter. It’s an internet meme where authors all answer the same questions on their blog and then tag five other authors to do the same.

I swear his email said that the world would end on December 21st, 2012 unless I answered the following questions. Sigh…

You see, if the world were to end, everyone would blame it on the  Mayan calendar, but I would know the truth. It would be my fault. So to make sure that the Mayans take the blame for making a calendar which didn’t go past the Winter solstice of this year, I will answer the questions.

What is the title of your next book?

Fiction or Non-Fiction? (I am having trouble already. The world is truly doomed.) Let’s stick with fiction, since the non-fiction is a bit of a snoozer.

Aetna Adrift

It is the second half of my story that I started in my currently published Aetna Rising.

(I can hear the San Andreas fault easing back on that 9.0 it had coming as I write.)

Where did the idea come from for the book?

I wanted to use the space opera trope of the “lovable” scoundrel. Except in this story, the scoundrel gets so over matched he cannot pull himself out by his bootstraps. The desperation of his situation forces him to depend on others, to be part of a team. This is about a guy who thinks he can handle it by himself, but can’t.

It’s a Han Solo story turned sideways. My character starts out less lovable, less happy, and more vulnerable. Plus the story is a bit darker than Episodes IV-VI.

Oh yeah, did I mention that I wanted it to actually have interesting characters as well? That is something missing in much of space opera.

What genre does your book fall under?

How-to: It is a how-to manual for anyone who finds themselves trapped on a barely habitable distant icy moon when their evil corporate led government starts interfering in their lives. I expect huge sales, especially from our colonists on Titan.

What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

Jack, my scoundrel, would be played by Humphry Bogart from the 1940s. I had him in mind when I created Jack, especially Rick Blane from Casa Blanca. Except Jack doesn’t have a heart of gold like Rick.

As for the rest, I haven’t really thought about it.

What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?

Smuggler Jack Halloway thinks he has it pretty good until the corporate government decides his backwater home is important to them, and Jack gets caught up in their schemes; now he’s not sure he will survive.

(Is a semi-colon considered cheating?)

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

Self-published, but I am always willing to entertain offers.

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

It’s done? I’m still writing. Considering it is one of three projects on my plate, I expect it to be completed in Mid 2013. When I can concentrate on it full-time, it should take about 60 days.

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

Haven’t thought about that before. Frankly, I’m not sure. I would love to know what my readers think. One compared the first half, Aetna Rising, to Orson Scott Card. But it doesn’t have pre-pubescent children floating around in zero-g, so I am not sure what book he was referring to.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

I like to write stories about guys growing up. In fact, all the stories I have currently mapped out in my Pax Imperium Universe—that’s the Universe Aetna Adrift will inhabit—are all about guys growing up.

My interest in that theme started when I was reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, and I found myself thinking that Harry, Ron, and Hermione were pretty grown up for 17. I don’t think guys really understand the world until after they have made a bunch of mistakes, usually sometime in their 20s—sometimes, as in the case of Jack, much later. I decided I wanted to write real coming of age stories that made sense of what I see in the men around me.

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

Aetna Rising readers really like Aetna, the icy moon I created. People seem to like my use of technology and setting. So I must get something right in the world building. I think I do a good job of helping people picture their surroundings.


So who am I going to tag?

  1. David D. Levine
  2. Will Hertling
  3. Toni Dwiggins
  4. Annie Bellet
  5. Ernie Lindsey

(You can check back in a week to see if they answered the questions… If we’re still here.)


» Fiction » The Next Big Thing
On December 17, 2012

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