A blog about writing and all things story…
Tag anyone? A few weeks ago, my friend and writing partner, Roxana Arama, author of the blog Rewriting History, asked me to be a part of, The Next Big Thing Blog Tour. And then my blog crashed!!! ARG! I had to spend a lot of time and energy moving from Blogger to WordPress. Wheh! Not as easy as it sounds. Anyway, welcome to my new blog…
Now, back to the tour.
This tour consists of interviews of authors who answer the same 10 questions, and then tag more authors. Isla McKetta, author of the blog, A Geography of Reading, and who is a copywriter by day, novelist by night, and Richard Hugo House board member tagged me after Roxana introduced us. You can read Isla’s responses to the ten Next Big Thing Questions here. In addition, I’ve tagged a couple bestselling authors and others which you’ll find at the end of my post. Here are my answers:
What is your working title of your book (or story)?
It changes. Likely I won’t make a final decision until my revision is completed. Right now the working title is The Blue Hour.
Where did the idea come from for the book? My father’s experiences in and after the Korean War, and also the place he felt most at peace as a returning veteran, Manzanita Oregon with its windswept pines and raging tides. In addition, part of the idea for the story came from black and white photographs of Korean orphans that my father-in-law, who was also in the war, gave me 35 years ago. He said, “Do something with these someday, would ‘ya, kid.” Someday has arrived.
What genre does your book fall under? Mainstream Literary
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition? It’s always fun to play in this sandbox. I’ve given this an ego-massaging amount of daydreaming. I’ll keep it short; Okay, it depends on how Hollywood wants to market it – if they want to pander to a younger or slightly older audience. For my main protagonist, Theo; if older audience, then Daniel Craig or Sean Penn (of course)– if younger, Jeremy Renner fits this bill. Theo’s best friend, Bud I picture as a Matt Damon type, and his sister, Imogene could be well portrayed by Jennifer Lawrence. Alec Baldwin as the main Antagonist (Hannibal Lecter, like villain), and James Franco as his partner in crime (Bully type bad guy) and so on….and I could go on. I have cast my players numerous times since I began this creative journey.
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? For me a synopsis is the hardest thing to write. For now, I’d put it this way;
Wounded war veteran, now Catholic Priest, returns home, reconnects with his former love, they’re both targeted by a madman.
Sounds sooo blah – I’m working on it.
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
I’ve already experienced being self published, this time I plan on seeking representation. I’ve been in some form of marketing for three decades, so I know what it takes, and if I can pay an agent to do some of the heavy lifting, then it’s worth it. I have no delusions; it’s a lot of work these days for an author to get a book off the ground with or without an agent. A lot of work.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
I thought about it, played around with it, and had it in my head for 10 years, then wrote the first draft in 1.5 years and am now editing. So, it’s taking f-o-r-e-v-e-r. But, I just had my first real audience/reader (real means, not related to, dependent upon, or sleeping with me) and well, what I’ll say is that when someone says they’ll read your first 100 pages, and then calls you at midnight to say, “I need more! Send me the whole book.” It’s a good thing. A real good thing.
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
There are elements of Snow Falling on Cedars, Fried Green Tomatoes and even The Poisonwood Bible. I know, I know, that seems like a strange brew, doesn’t it? But, it’s true.
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
My father, a soldier who remained haunted about his clandestine activities until his death. So, I write in part to give him – a wounded knight – a story that could be told.
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest? The place. Manzanita Oregon is a moody coastal town with ancient Nehalem Indian roots. The Last Nehalem Indian character in my book is based on interviews with the real last living Nehalem. My character’s language is traditional Nehalem and his myths, derived from research on the now lost tribe of the Nehalem. He is also based on an old Nehalem Indian man who I met when I was 10 years old while waiting in Garibaldi for my dad to pick up our smoked salmon. The old man said he never spoke to ‘grown white people’, only children, because children still had pure hearts. He gave me a seashell and told me he could see I had a pure heart. I’ve never forgotten him. And, the healing arc. The Blue Hour has a transcendent quality that aspires to healing the broken, downtrodden and lost.
I’ve tagged a few local celeb authors; NYT bestselling author, Robert Dugoni because he’s such a huge part of the literary scene here in the Pacific Northwest and always a generous teacher.
Robert Ray because he’s working on something new in addition to his Murdock Series. They’ll answer these same 10 questions when you visit their sites. Thanks for reading.
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