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Monday, December 3, 2012

Ten Interview Questions for the Next Big Thing

by Stephanie Osborn
http://www.stephanie-osborn.com


I was recently tagged as part of The Next Big Thing, a writers' blog journey, by Herika Raymer. Her blog can be found at http://herikarraymer.webs.com/apps/blog/entries/new. She, in turn, was tagged by Selah Janel, at http://selahjanel.wordpress.com/.


As per Herika, who gave it to me:

Hey there! Here are the questions for The Next Big Thing...your post will go up not this Monday, but next Monday. :)

Rules of the Next Big Thing

***Use this format for your post

***Answer the ten questions about your current WIP (work in progress)

***Tag five other writers/bloggers and add their links so we can hop over and meet them.

Well, this could keep me busy for awhile, since I have several works in progress.


Ten Interview Questions for the Next Big Thing:



1) What is the working title of your book?
Work in progress #1 is book 4 of the Cresperian Saga, and the working title is Heritage.


2) Where did the idea come from for the book?
Travis Taylor and Darrell Bain started the series, and I've inherited it, so I'm kind of following along from there as best I understand it.


3) What genre does your book fall under?
Science fiction – military science fiction, mostly.


4) Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
That's a good question. I think that Robert Downey Jr. would probably do a very good job of the male lead in this book (each book has different “stars” in the same universe and events). Maybe Reese Witherspoon for the female lead. She has the right “pixie-ish” look for how I envision that character.


5) What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
“Earth's first contact wasn't quite what we thought.”


6) Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
Neither. I will deal directly with the publisher, Twilight Times Books.


7) How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
Heh. I'm still working on it! As I “inherited” it, it's proving a bit more difficult to write than I would have expected. Finding my own footing in that world, my own ideas, and making them work within someone else's world can be hard.
 

8) What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Oy. These questions.
Probably some of Travis Taylor's work, since he started the series, and I'm trying to keep it in a similar vein. Also he and I have comparable writing styles.


9) Who or what inspired you to write this book?
I would say Nikola Tesla. I've been using a lot of Tesla's concepts in the series once I stepped into it.


10) What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
This one actually HAS Tesla in it!

* * *

Ten Interview Questions for the Next Big Thing, Take Two:


1) What is the working title of your book?
Work in progress #2 is book 5 of the Displaced Detective series, and the working title is A Case of Spontaneous Combustion. Work in progress #3 is book 6, A Little Matter of Earthquakes, and #4 is book 7, The Adventure of Shining Mountain Lodge, which is complete but being polished.


2) Where did the idea come from for the book?
You know, I really don't know where the Displaced Detective books are coming from. I get these ideas and they just sort of develop on their own. The characters are so real to me, I just have to watch how they react and then describe what I “see and hear.”


3) What genre does your book fall under?
Science fiction and mystery. A touch of action, a hint of thriller, a soupรงon of romance.


4) Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Johnny Lee Miller, the Sherlock Holmes of CBS' Elementary series, looks a lot like how I envision “my” Holmes. But he'd need to clean up a bit. My Holmes is clean-shaven, neat and tidy.
To play Skye Chadwick? That's tougher. Cameron Diaz is about the right age and height, I think. I'm not sure if she's how I “see” Skye or not, but she could do the part readily enough.


5) What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Let's go with series instead of book. “Sherlock Holmes meets the X-Files.”


6) Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
Sullivan-Maxx Literary Agency represents the Displaced Detective books.


7) How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
Heh. I'm still working on books 5 & 6! I don't recall how long it took on book 7.
Now, if you're talking about the very first book of the series, that's different. I wrote a 215,000 rough draft in two months. A normal novel length is about 80,000-100,000 words. We ended up breaking it into two volumes, The Case of the Displaced Detective: The Arrival and The Case of the Displaced Detective: At Speed. When the plot bunny bites, I can but write.


8) What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
That would be kind of hard. Not a lot of people blend science fiction and mystery in the way that I do. That's not to say that the two genres haven't been blended; they have and quite effectively by some of the grand masters. But none of them seem to have quite my “take” on such things. Maybe someone else could come up with a comparison, but off the top of my head, I can't.

My hope is to, using my own style, evoke a hint of Conan Doyle in the background, though. I even go to the extreme of having Holmes' dialogue and thoughts written in British English, as well as any other Brit characters, such as the MI5 lot. It gets confusing from time to time, but I have a great editor who understands and likes what I'm doing with it, and she's a huge help.


9) Who or what inspired you to write this book?
I've been a Sherlock Holmes fan since I was a kid. I started this whole series with the concept of, “What if?” What if Holmes got dragged into an alternate future and couldn't go home again? What would he do? How would he react? How far can the great detective stretch before he breaks? What sorts of things would he be interested in? So really the reader should be aware that these books are character-driven as much as plot/science-driven. I'm constantly adding things to poke around in Holmes' psyche, so don't expect to just jump into the usual action, and expect an extended denoument as Holmes and Skye [Chadwick, the co-protagonist] wind down and assimilate matters after a case.


10) What else about your book(s) might pique the reader’s interest?
Holmes has found, in Dr. Skye Chadwick, a woman who is his equal in almost every respect, and whom he can trust completely into the bargain; a woman that he can, and does, make an integral part of his life.

* * *
Ten Interview Questions for the Next Big Thing, Take 3:


1) What is your working title of your book?
Well, this one is my (counts on fingers) fifth work in progress, and it's the sequel to Burnout, tentatively titled Escape Velocity.


2) Where did the idea come from for the book?
From the realization that, after the Columbia disaster, I couldn't let the story end in Burnout, couldn't let it be a one-shot. I had to create some sort of closure.


3) What genre does your book fall under?
Science fiction and mystery, once again. I have a tendency to like combining those two genres. Strong element of suspense and thriller too. A good mystery has to have some suspense, in my opinion.


4) Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
When I was originally writing it, I had in mind a whole cast of characters – Tommy Lee Jones for Crash Murphy, Hugo Weaving for Dr. Mike Anders, Sissy Spacek for Gayle, and so on. The movie project for Burnout is probably going to go with a revamp and younger actors; that's out of my hands now.


5) What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
“If you don't take 'em out the first time, better keep looking over your shoulder.”


6) Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
Neither. It's already under contract to Twilight Times Books.


7) How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
How is it a work in progress if I've finished it...? Still working. Taking awhile, unfortunately, because of my own emotional involvement in the Columbia disaster, and the fact I worked in the space program for so many years. Please be patient; I WILL get there.


8) What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Well, Burnout got compared to Michael Crichton, E. E. “Doc” Smith, and Robert Heinlein. I'm not sure what to draw out of all that.


9) Who or what inspired you to write this book?
Well, like I said earlier, I wrote Burnout, and then lost a friend aboard the Columbia disaster, which Burnout predicted in detail saving that the real historical event was truly an accident, and the fictional disaster was sabotage. I had planned – up to that point – to make Burnout a standalone novel, but after the disaster I couldn't do it. I had to have, needed to have, more closure than the end of the book provided. And so I decided to keep on writing the story and see what happened.


10) What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
Oh, there are always surprises when I write a mystery...



I'm tagging Maria De Vivo, Leia Barrett Durham, Grady Glover, and Dellani Oakes!


-Stephanie Osborn
http://www.stephanie-osborn.com

1 comment:

elfyverse said...

Stephanie, the link for Grady Glover goes to L.B. Durham's Goodreads page, just as the right link for L.B. Durham does.

Otherwise, it's very interesting. :-)

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