Saturday, December 01, 2012

The Next Big Thing Blog Meme

   My pal Howard Andrew Jones, whose new novel The Bones of the Old ones is due out this month, invited me to take part in The Next big Thing blog meme. That deal is that several different writers would answer the same group of questions about their work. You can read Howard's answers and see links to other writers here:

   And now, on with the questions.

What is the working title of your book?

   Since my first novel, written in collaboration with James A. Moore, is shipping this week, that's the one I'll talk about. The title is Blind Shadows. We've already done a first draft of a second novel with the same protagonists, but I'll leave that until later.

Where did the idea for the book come from?

   Jim asked me if I wanted to collaborate on a novel that would combine horror with crime fiction and I said, "sure!" We tossed some ideas around and decided we wanted to something in the vein of Arthur Machen (The Great God Pan), something where the bad guys would appear to be human but really weren't. We decided to make these creatures members of a backwoods family and to set the story in the mountains of northern Georgia. We wanted the book to have a Southern Gothic feel to it. With guns.

What genre does your book fall under?

   It's either a horror novel with crime fiction or a crime fiction novel with horror.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie version.

   I can't really think of anyone from the current crop of Hollywood actors. Both heroes, Wade Griffin and Sheriff Carl Price are big bruisers. Probably have to go with unknowns for the leads.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of the book?

   A private detective and a small town sheriff investigate the murder of an old friend and become involved with a horrific menace from another dimension.

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

   Blind Shadows is being published by the Arcane Wisdom imprint of Bloodletting Press.

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

   It took right at eight weeks. Jim and I were trading chapters back and forth at a dizzying speed. Jim described it to another writer friend as juggling knives at one another.

What other books would you compare this story with in your genre?

   The closest thing I can think of is Joe Lansdale's Hap and Leonard books. But with monsters. It's kind of like a really scary buddy movie.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

   After Machen, probably the biggest influences as far as the horror aspects go were Karl Edward Wagner and Manly Wade Wellman. There's some Lovecraft there too. Crime fiction wise, Mickey Spillane is a big influence on my viewpoint character, Griffin. Also the heroes of Robert E. Howard. You would have to ask Jim Moore who influenced him when writing Sheriff Carl Price. I think of this as a very pulpish novel. Imagine a head on collision between Weird Tales and Black Mask and you would be close.

What else about your book might pique the interest of readers?

   Jim and I wanted to do something uniquely Southern so we're using a setting that hasn't been seen in many horror novels. We really were trying for something different. Oh, and there's also the world's most dangerous English Professor.

   James A. Moore has joined the game with information about his Next big Thing, the first volume in a projected fantasy series, The seven Forges. Check it out here:

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