The Next Big Thing – Work in Progress

Sabrina Vourvoulias tagged me for this “The Next Big Thing – Work in Progress” chain-blog thing, so here it is. Of course, I’m also breaking the chain, so the wrath of the WIP gods (who do not exist) may rain down upon me. So be it.

Before I start rambling, I will say, do go and read Sabrina’s blog post, and her novel Ink. It is one of the best books I’ve read in the past year.

Without further ado, my answers to 10 questions about a future book or a book that I’m currently working on.

1. What is the working title of your next book?

The short version is just Carnival. The long version is The Carnival That Straddles Worlds.

It was supposed to be a short story. Then it was supposed to be a novella. Now it’s more than 38k, and the ending will probably take more than 2k, so I guess it’s busting out into short novel range. At least until a serious round of edits pull it back.

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

It was prompted by the Cool Bits Story Generator.

The prompt was: Your narrative is a supernatural thriller. It begins in other worlds. There is sex against a wall and a carny who meets an androgynous girl. It ends with candy.

A friend added the following commentary: This is a gritty, weird thriller about a carnival that straddles the worlds.

And the idea crawled into my hind-brain and wouldn’t go away.

3. What genre does your book fall under?

Fantasy is probably closest, with elements of horror. It’s not exactly a thriller, despite the original idea.

(There likely won’t be sex against a wall, either. At least not in the ‘on-screen’ version. I have a feeling it’ll get pegged as YA and that just won’t fly.)

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

I’m not familiar enough with any child actors to cast Tif and Nate. And despite having a couple of weeks to think about it, I have failed to come up with actors for The Lady and the Owner. Hmm. Check back later?

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

To borrow part of my friend’s phrasing:

This is a gritty, weird thriller about a carnival that straddles worlds, the people who inhabit it, and the children who become lost in it.

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

Don’t know for sure yet, but probably neither of those. If I can convince it to be a novella, there are some magazines and/or small presses that might consider it.

7. How long did/will it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

The sad truth is that I started it in 2007, and it’s still not quite done. I really want to finish the first full draft by the end of this year.

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

I don’t really know what to compare it to. I worry that people might compare it to The Night Circus, even though it’s not even remotely similar in my mind.

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

The prompt was the initial inspiration, and then the encouragement of my friends/alpha-readers on LJ/DW kept the words going (albeit slowly…).

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

It’s an adventure story for gender-queer kids, and for those adults who wish they could have been more out than they were while growing up.


Update: Tagged writers after all! Coming soon, posts on The Next Big Thing from Anthony Cardno and Kelly Jennings!

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