Wednesday, November 28, 2012

“The Next Big Thing” Project: My latest work and three emerging writers you should know about

My writing compatriot, ERIK T. JOHNSON, tagged me last week as part of a round-robin writer concept that allows authors to promote other authors they see as rising through the ranks with significant accomplishments and soon to be “The Next Big Thing.”
It begins with each author answering ten questions about their own current projects, and then passing the mantle to three other writers.
For example, Erik T. Johnson posted on November 21 at:
Erik was tagged by John F.D. Taff on November 15.
Today it's my turn to answer the ten questions!
1) What is the working title of your next book?
I’m going to break the rules here and discuss TWO book projects, because each is so different:
a) AFTER DEATH… = an Anthology
b) JOEY THIRD’S LAST BAGGAGE AUCTION (working title) = a Novella
2) Where did the idea come from for the book?
a) AFTER DEATH… = Like most people, I’ve wondered often at what may occur after we die. I don’t dwell on it, of course, but harbor a healthy curiosity. There are countless ideas throughout history and across cultures, and I wanted to explore this topic through the voices of horror and mystery fiction writers.
b) JOEY THIRD’S LAST BAGGAGE AUCTION = I read an excerpt of the lives of traveling circus performers, and included was an account of a group of carnies who frequented the Baggage Auctions in the 1960’s. The baggage auctions were treated as a form of gambling, whereas attendees would bid on unopened luggage that was left behind at hotels and airports. The winner would open the luggage and keep whatever they found inside. I wanted to incorporate this background into a horror ghost story.
3) What genre does your book fall under?
a) AFTER DEATH… = Speculative Fiction, Horror, and some Science Fiction.
4) What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
a) AFTER DEATH… = n/a
Charlie Stewart = Steve Buscemi
Joey “Third” Thurston = a cross between William Hurt and Kiefer Sutherland
Ray Galler = Ray Liotta
Vic = Michael Parks
Yefim László = John Malkovich
Gail Donovan = Connie Britton
5) What is a one-sentence synopsis of your book?
a) AFTER DEATH… = An anthology of stories that suggest different ideas of what may occur after we die.
b) JOEY THIRD’S LAST BAGGAGE AUCTION = A gambler in 1960’s Detroit acquires a haunted record player and falls influence to the occultic chanting it plays, recorded by a murdered mystic.
6) Who will publish your book?
a) AFTER DEATH… = Dark Moon Books, an imprint of Stony Meadows Publishing,
7) How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
a) AFTER DEATH… = Between announcing open call to producing first draft of anthology was about eight months.
b) JOEY THIRD’S LAST BAGGAGE AUCTION = Still writing first draft, but overall time for completion will be about four months.
8) What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
a) AFTER DEATH… = I’m sure they’re out there, but I’m not aware of any other horror fiction anthologies that deal exclusively with different stories exploring what occurs after we die (i.e. not just “ghost stories”).
b) JOEY THIRD’S LAST BAGGAGE AUCTION = The 1st person POV voice in my head is most reminiscent of Andy Dufresne in Stephen King’s “Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption.” However, the plot is structured more like “Christine.” (Yes, like most horror writers, I draw great inspiration from “the King!”)
9) Who or what inspired you to write this book?
a) AFTER DEATH… = My long-standing wonder at what occurs after we die.
b) JOEY THIRD’S LAST BAGGAGE AUCTION = Lisa Morton inspired me to write a novella and offered me an opportunity to participate in Journalstone’s Double Down series.
10) What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?
a) AFTER DEATH… = This anthology contains thirty-four brand new stories, each beautifully illustrated. Some of the authors include: Steve Rasnic Tem, Bentley Little, John Langan, Lisa Morton, Simon Clark, Joe McKinney, etc.
b) JOEY THIRD’S LAST BAGGAGE AUCTION = At the risk of sounding bold, I think this is the best fiction I've yet written! Atmospheric and dark, I modeled a classic ghost story and added historic flair, placing this in 1960’s Detroit.
And now … onward!  My three taggees that I pass the mantle to are:
Andrew Williams -
Max Booth III -
Christine Morgan –
Check each of them out next Wednesday, December 5, when they answer the above ten questions about their own work and then tag more worthy scribes.

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