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


Susan Kaye Quinn said...

Yay for more mindreading books! I can't wait to see what you (and Alec) do with it! :)

p.s. thanks for letting me goad you.

dolorah said...

So cool you're writing it with your son. I almost feel I've been watching them grow over the last couple years.

Good luck with the story Rick; and congrats to your son for taking on such an endeavor.


Anne Gallagher said...

You are so smart to send the email. Otherwise I would have blown you off like I did to everyone else who asked me to do this. I can't say no to an email.

Smart Alec sounds like a great book. Another fun one from you. My Monster is still talking about Rudy. She read it by herself all the way cute is a 7 year old kid who now thinks if she farts she's going to blow things up. Lots of explaining there.

So yes, I will play your game Mr. Daly. Perhaps on Friday I will post my answers.

Have a very merry holiday!

Rick Daley said...

Sue- Something about psychic powers intrigues me. Kris Kringle has them, too ;-)

Donna- It was fun brainstorming with Max, he's pretty creative. My younger son (3rd grade / 8 yrs) is showing a very strong writing ability. He's got voice, it's very cool!

Anne- If she gets out of control, tell her "wrong place, wrong time!" She'll get it. Worked in the classrooms I read to...

scott g.f.bailey said...

Rick, I really like the premise for your new book. And like Donna says, it's very cool that you're writing it with your son.

I have played your "meme" game, sort of, on my own blog, because you asked nicely. Or, if not precisely nicely, it was amusing.

D.G. Hudson said...

You're still alive? Gee, Rick, if you were writing, then it's ok.

A great idea to try a collaboration with your son. Another budding author.

Wishing you and your family a great holiday season, Rick!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Clever premise. And if he were an Alex instead, he'd be Super Smart.
Thanks for the tag.

Rick Daley said...

Scott- Asking is hard enough for me. Asking nicely just isn't my style.

This is a fun piece to work on. Alec finds out that he doesn't really want to know what other people are thinking, like knowing that his mom is really going through with the divorce. So it's more a burden than a cool superpower, and it gives a chance to open the characters up to greater depth.

DG- I've been quiet, but I'm still here. I took a new job kin September and it's been quite consuming.

Alex- Maybe I'll throw in a character who always calls him Alex instead of Alec, as a tribute...

Anita said...

YA those!

Michelle D. Argyle said...

It's nice to see you blogging! I enjoyed reading about your new WIP. And, yeah, querying for fun? I don't freaking think so. I'm currently in the trenches. It's not awesome.

Rick Daley said...

Anita- This one is coming together nicely. Revisions will be extensive, because the first half is MG and it shifts mid-way through, but first drafts are susceptible to that kind of redirection.

Michelle- I need to get back in the swing of things. Glad you stopped by, it's great to hear from you! I've been lurking, the pics of your readings and signings are great ;-)

Tammy Theriault said...

your book sounds awesome!! gotta love a thriller!

Rick Daley said...

Thanks Tammy, I need to find some time this weekend to curl up with my laptop and get some more words in!

Matthew MacNish said...

Man, I would love to co-author something with one of my kids, but I don't think they could handle me.

Shannon Lawrence said...

Stopping by to wish you good luck with the A-to-Z! Just a note, Word Verification is on. Many will skip WV blogs, especially during the Challenge.

By the way, best answer to the "Who would star in your book turned movie" question that I've seen yet!

Shannon at The Warrior Muse