Tagged, I’m It—Next Big Thing

Robert Swartwood was tagged by Tim Lebbon in his Next Big Thing blog, then he tagged me. This is the result… where I will answer the meme questions and then turn around tag others. It’s an ongoing thing that will continue until we run out of writers I imagine. Follow along each Wednesday for another block of 5 exponentially.

1) What is the title of your next book?

Because I have to be the difficult child, I actually have three, which are all going to hit in the next couple months, and I don’t know which order: Live Specimens, Buried Memories & The Three Dollar Notebook.  But I know Live Specimens will be out before Christmas, so let’s go with that one.

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

Live Specimens actually came from a road trip gone funny—and only funny because it didn’t get bad. In short, someone saw a strange insect and thought we should take it home. It got loose in the car. It wasn’t just strange, it was scary and mean. Take that insect adventure and twist in my love of all things biologically awry and you get this tale of chewy goodness.

3) What genre does your book fall under?

While I generally walk the line along thriller, this one is most definitely horror. Blood and guts, slasher-esque horror at that. Yeah, you’re intrigued, I know you are.

4) What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

Oh, that’s a tough one. Especially considering I can clearly see the characters since I lovingly based them on real people. Charlize Theron would make a great Emily, Anthony Hopkins would be an excellent Ken. Dan and Greg would take more thought… perhaps Christian Slater and Ethan Hawke, respectively, maybe.

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

A ship carrying genetically altered animals, designed for the military, crashes ashore on a small tourist town the night before a blizzard… and all hell breaks loose. Can you tell I haven’t worked up my one-line pitch or synopsis yet? I’m doing it this week actually, but until then you get that.

6) Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

This one is actually going to be self-published. It was originally intended for one publisher and I pulled it, then it was looked at by another, but I’ve decided to try something different with this one. I’m still publishing with Thunderstorm and Dark Fuse (ohhhh did I just let that cat out of the bag?) but am going to toss this one out there myself through create space as both a trade paperback and ebook. Testing the e-self waters if you will.

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

Too damn long! Considering I wrote White Picket Prisons in 8 weeks, I’m ashamed that I let life beat me up to the point that I didn’t write a single word for several months. Then I remembered I was in charge, not Murphy or Fate or Life and I finished it. (Nine months, but in my defense—other than the life getting in the way thing—I wrote two novellas and some shorts in that time as well. Yeah, I know, I’ll just walk away in shame now)

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

That’s a tough question. I generally don’t compare what I’m working on so I don’t pull from those sources while writing. If I had to say something, I guess Dean Koontz’s DARKFALL and WATCHERS kinda smashed together, with a touch of Michael Crichton’s JURASSIC PARK. And even that mash of comparisons doesn’t quite sound right.

9) Who or what inspired you to write this book?

I mentioned the idea to a couple people and they were intrigued enough to get the muse to start whispering and scratching at the back of my skull while I worked on other things. But I don’t really think anyone can take the blame for this one…

10) What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?

This is hands down the bloodiest thing I’ve ever written. Period. To keep the action moving and the story progressing along with the death toll, I kept the chapters short, but there’s blood and gore in about 90% of them. It was weird to write when I started, because I knew I was going for a bloody kill-fest, but once I got inside it was a fun ride full of blood and guts with a story and good characters to boot. I hope you all enjoy reading my messier side as much as I enjoyed writing it.

And with all that said…  TAG, you’re it! Those listed below, post your blog next Wednesday and tag the next five! The rest of you, watch the blogs below for the chain-meme to continue.

Mary SanGiovanni

Kevin Lucia

Wrath James White

Bob Ford

Nate Southard


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