Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Next Big Thing

Taghrid looking huffy
Last week I was asked if I would participate in a chain-letterish meme called "The Next Big Thing" by interwebs friend Cynoir.  The concept is simple: answer ten questions about your current Work In Progress and pass the questions along.

I'm okay with the 'answer the questions part' but not so much with the 'pass them along.'  I'm not much for chain letters or tagging someone to follow after me.  That being said, I think this is a good exercise and if any of you want to post the questions on your blog, let me know.  I'll link to your blogs below.

The Questions

1. What’s the title of your latest story? 
Wow -- watch me break the rules on the first question!  In all of my previous blog posts I have referred to it as The Book.  I'm going to cop out and be consistent, hoping to do a big reveal sometime later.

2. Where did the idea for the story come from?
I read the early editions of Steampunk Magazine and saw they were accepting fiction.  I figured I stood a good chance at getting published in a free, Creative Commons-licensed magazine and started thinking what I could write.  I had a flash of an image of an eccentric professor and a young chimney sweep.  From there I spent some time getting to know them and discovering their story.

3. What genre does your story fall under?
The easiest answer is Steampunk.  However, I prefer to think of it as Victorian Fantasy.

4. What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie?
There is a distinct Jeeves and Wooster aspect to part of the story so it might work to have Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie play the eccentric scientist and the butler -- although I'd want Fry as the scientist and Laurie as the butler.

As for the young hero... I'm at a complete loss.  I don't know many young actors.  Sorry.

5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your story? 
A young boy must help an eccentric scientist recover a runaway brass and gearwork Pteranodon before Queen Victoria has them both thrown in jail for a very, very long time.

6. Will your story be self-published or represented by an agency?
Actually, The Book is currently with an agent through the middle of December.  (I'm determined to see this traditionally published.)

7. How long did it take you to write the first draft?
Two or three months, as I recall.  The revisions, however, have taken much, much longer.

8. What other stories would you compare it to within your genre?
This is a Middle Grade book.  I hope readers will think it compares with the amusing absurdities of Philip Ardagh's Eddie Dickens trilogy.  There are also elements of Monty Python,

9. Who or what inspired you to write this story?
When I was creeping up on the half-century mark I realized if I was ever going to make good on my desire to write and publish a book, I needed to actually do the work necessary to make that happen.  Realizing over half of your life is already gone = deadlines can be useful things.

10. What else about your story might pique a reader’s interest?
Hopefully readers will find The Book to be funny.  (My readers thus far have laughed in all the right places and none of the wrong ones, so that's promising.)  My favorite books to read and read aloud have always been ones that have made me laugh.  So, while there is some dangerous excitement to be had (including an aerial pteranodon chase!), I'd like to think people will get a good chuckle or two from the characters and events.

Blog Links
Cygnoir's Next Big Thing entry

-- Tom