Monday, December 17, 2012

My Next Big Thing

The bundle of verbal awesome that is Sue Quinn tagged me in a blog meme.  If you follow this blog, you know it has been neglected worse than a toothbrush at a hillbilly hoedown, so I guilted myself into accepting the honor in order to inspire an actual New Post.

Brace yourselves.

What is the title of your next book?
Smart Alec
And it’s written by a smart ass.  Fitting.

Where did the idea come from for the book?
My son and I thought it up together.  He wanted to write a book with me, and we brainstormed the character (a boy who can read minds) and the core of the plot (cool  / dangerous stuff happens to him). 

He typed up the outline, and we didn’t do anything with it for about a year.  Then I hit a wall on a different WIP, and I took a swipe at Smart Alec one day.  I didn’t tell my son I had started without him until I had about 10,000 words down.  He. Was. Pissed.

I let him read the beginning and he liked it, so it’s cool now. 

What genre does your book fall under?
It’s a YA thriller.  It’s tell you more, but why waste the time when there’s a one-sentence description coming  after two more questions…

What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
My preference would be for the book to be such a huge phenomenon before it was optioned that it could propel newcomers to stardom, rather than rely on big star names for box office draw.

What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?
Alec can read the mind of anyone he’s looking at and takes advantage of it, but when he gets kidnapped and blindfolded he has to escape using something he’s neglected since he discovered his power: his own wits.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
Time will tell.  If my other books start to fly off the shelf, I’ll probably stay Indie, but I may get back into the world of querying just for fun. (NOTE: Right. Who the f%#@ queries for fun?)

So to spare me the indignity of querying, please recommend my books to people:

The Man in the Cinder Clouds, the real story of how Kris Kringle came to be known as Santa Claus.  It wasn’t easy.

Rudy Toot-Toot, a little boy whose special power will blow you away.  Literally.  It’s a real gas.  I’d tell you more but I don’t want to spill the beans.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
The clock is still ticking, so I can’t say yet.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
That’s tough.  Alec is the only one who can read minds and it takes place in the present, so it’s on a different level from Sue Quinn’s awesome Mindjack Trilogy, but it still has mind reading, so it's in league.

Alec also goes up against a nasty antagonist…a teacher who has a dangerous obsession for a girl that Alec likes.  It’s not going to be Kiss the Girls creepy, but it will have an edge.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?
When my son and I plotted it out, we were working with a middle grade Alec.  About 30,000 words in, he grew to adolescence, and I upped the ante to young adult.  There’s more complexity to the story and emotions that way, and it’s more fun to write.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
Alec knows what you are thinking.  Literally…as long as he can see you, he can read your mind.  It’s a great way to ace tests, and football rocks when you know the other team’s plays, but when Alec discovers a teacher’s dangerous obsession for a classmate, he stops being selfish with his ability and uses it to protect Emma Whitaker from Mr. Schmidt.  As Alec spends more time with Emma, his new relationship puts an old relationship with his best friend at risk…but it also brings out the over-protective-psycho in his history teacher.  When Mr. Schmidt kidnaps Alec and blindfolds him, Alec is rendered powerless.  Now he has to escape using something he has neglected for a long time: his own wits.

And now for the obligatory tagging!  Here are some writers whose works I am interested in reading (or reading more of).  Let's see if they are as easy to goad into participation as I was:
Scott G.F. Bailey
Alex J. Cavanaugh
Belinda Nichol
Travis Erwin
Anne Gallagher