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werewolfTHE 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 four other authors you can explore!

My gratitude to fellow writer, Alyssa Cooper, for inviting me to participate in this event. You can click the following link to learn more about her work. Click here to get to her website.

In this blog hop, I and my fellow authors, in their respective blogs, have answered ten questions about our 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?

Hahhaa…this would be the first question. So far, I haven’t got one. I’m terrible with titles. I can write tens of thousands of words, but force me to  fit all of that into a one-to-five -word sentence and I kinda suck.

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

I actually blogged about that pretty recently. I had been reading a lot of biographical work about Robert Louis Stevenson, and then I started in on some of his travels books and essays. Something just clicked, with a little luck and a little research, I pretty much had a fairly strong foundational idea.

3. What genre does your book come under?

I tend to just say “Horror,” though someone else might have to tell me. Along with titles, I’m terrible about distinguishing sub-genres with my own work. I lean toward darker elements, but the work as a whole tends to come off as a touch literary. I dunno. It’s literary historical horror. Werewolves. Yeah, I’m just going to say, “werewolves.”

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

Oh, good question. I haven’t thought of that. For Stevenson, maybe a younger, taller Robert Carlyle. Somewhere between Begbie in Trainspotting and Colqhoun in Ravenous. Except not a jerk and not a crazy cannibal. And with a donkey. I mean, he wouldn’t have to fake the accent.

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

Wait, isn’t it bad enough I’m crap with titles? Okay. “A young Robert Louis Stevenson journeys through the French highlands with a donkey and is trailed by a mysterious cloaked figure while having to dodge the terrible, vicious werewolves that have plagued the region for centuries.” You didn’t say it couldn’t be a run-on sentence.

6: Is your book self-published, published by an independent publisher, or represented by an agency?

This book will be self-published, which I’m very excited about. I’ve worked for presses (I am currently on the editing staff at Nightscape Press, actually), and I’ve got a degree in publishing—it’s all stuff I know how to do. I also really enjoy working on that side of things, so, it’s fun to take my own work through the process and see what happens. I am still revising the manuscript, but am closing in on a final draft, and I’ve been consulting with designer/photographer Caroline Moore for the cover and layout. It’s nice to have this other kind of creative outlet aside from the writing, which authors don’t usually get to enjoy with traditional publishers.

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

About a month and a half, which was a surprise to me. I usually take much longer, but something about this story just kept me going at it. It was almost miraculous, actually. I hit not one block throughout and I got up every morning ready to get back in front of my laptop and hammer away. It was a very satisfying process, which is great because sometimes, it’s not so much.

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

That’s hard to say. When I started, I thought it would be compared to the Jane Austin monster books, or Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. But it’s not necessarily written in the style of RLS, and the style and tone it does have is, I think, very different from Grahame-Smith’s work. And then I thought it might be compared Harold Schecter’s Poe mysteries, which I love. Schecter does a fantastic job capturing Poe’s voice, and they’re tremendously clever. If you’ve read the usual suspects of Poe, you’d love these books. But if you’re very familiar with Poe, you’ll love these books. For my book (and I had such a great time writing this; I fully expect there to be more than one), you only have to know who Stevenson was, I think. You don’t have to have read a single word by him to enjoy it. And I’m afraid that even if you’re very familiar with his fiction, I didn’t really look to his fiction for inspiration. But if you know anything about his life, and, say, you’ve read his book Travels with a Donkey through the Cevennes (which I’ve used as a template), you’ll probably get the most out of it. Again, though, it’s not necessary—I didn’t write it to be this inside game for RLS fanatics. They’ll have fun with it, I’m sure, but it stands on its own and is written for anyone who wants to pick it up and read a good story with frickin’ werewolves. As for the comparisons, I’m sure it falls into the category of those above, although, as there are stylistic difference between them, I believe there is the same between mine and them.

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

Geez, I don’t know. I think I pretty much covered the big selling points: Robert Louis Stevenson, who, if you don’t know anything about him, you really should. For a guy who kicked it at age 44, he lived a pretty full, adventurous life. And that works for me, because I wrote this based on both his travel writing, but also on his life (and, like I said, I anticipate to follow this up with another). There’s mystery/intrigue: Horrible murders? You got it. Perpetrated by whom? Who knows…you’ll have to read it to find out. And werewolves. “Werewolves” are sweet and that speaks for itself, I think. Oh, I guess I’ll add that there’s humor in there, but it’s not just one joke after another—it works with the characters, not to carry the characters. And speaking of characters, I’m really happy with them. I like them (and dislike others), which, as a writer, is so much better than being indifferent to them. If I was indifferent to them, I wouldn’t dream of putting this out there. One last thing: despite my really digging these characters, don’t worry. You like gore? I’ve got that covered, too. So, really, there’s something for everyone.

10: Why are you so much better-looking in person than in your photo?

I guess that’s all relative. It depends on the photo, and on which side of me you’re standing. And the light. Lighting is important. And how close you are, or how close the photographer was. And how much sleep I’ve had. And how much sleep you’ve had. It depends on a lot, really.

Who’s next on the NEXT BIG THING BLOG HOP?

No one. No one is next on this blog hop. Can you believe ten writers were asked and they had either already done it, had reasons not to do it, or didn’t reply? Sorry kids. Train stops here. What do I suggest then? Well, if you haven’t read any Robert Louis Stevenson, he’s new to you, so I suggest getting some and hunkering down for some damned good stuff. Can’t go wrong, really. Otherwise, check out Schecter’s Poe books (link above for titles). I also suggest heading on over to Nightscape Press and having a look.

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