Which is great, because I think they’re super fun. My esteemed colleague Dan Mills, author of Revenants, selected byBooklist as one of the Top 10 Historical Novels of 2011, and Unhallowed Ground, published in 2012 by DarkFuse, tagged me for this round, you can see his answers here. Each week an author provides his or her answers to the ten questions below and then tags five additional writers, each of whom answers the questions on the subsequent Wednesday (as you can see, I’m way late), again tagging five writers, and so on. I’ve been a little slow getting this done, but here it is:
1. What is the working title of your next book?
The title for my current project is somewhat up in the air. You see, I hate titling things. I did learn a valuable lesson with Trinity though: make your title searchable. If you put “Trinity” in Amazon or Google, many things come up before my fantastic tale of alien abductions.
2. Where did the idea come from for the book?
The idea for this untitled book came from a stop at the Mantiloc Island shrine while vacationing in the Philippines last winter. My tour group was the only one on the island, and we found statues of the Virgin Mary, marble gazebos, and a very strange blocky deserted dormitory-type building, which one could explore if one were so inclined. It was beautiful, but also spooky. I’d also read Forest of Shadows by Hunter Shea and that got me thinking about ghost hunters.
3. What genre does your book fall under?
I’d call this one horror. There’s some spooky locales, shady characters, and some good old fashioned violence.
4. What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
Let’s see…someone really like Seth Rogen for Alex, or maybe the kid from Zombieland… As for Jemma, someone pale and almost goth-y. Christina Ricci comes to mind. Perhaps for Terry, one of the villains, Brendan Coyle? Anyone as long as they have a dapper moustache and don’t look terribly threatening.
5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Paranormal investigators head to an island in the Philippines only to discover something worse than ghosts which tangles with a dark secret from their past.
6. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
It will not be self-published. Hopefully a happy publisher will snap it up.
7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
I started working on the novella while I was in the Philippines, hand writing on a notebook on the beach. When I got back I had lots of exciting life events (moving from one continent to another, getting a new job) which stalled progress a bit. I finished the first draft in April or so.
8. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
This is the question I’ve had the hardest time with. I tried for a modern feel to it, and tried to emulate a lot of the great new stuff that some of the smaller presses are putting out.
9. Who or what inspired you to write this book?
The creepiness of Mantiloc island was the main inspiration of the book. Other inspirations were Alex Garland’s “The Beach” which was set in Thailand, but inspired by the El Nido area. I also wanted to poke a little at all the ghost hunter/paranormal investigator shows out there. My characters are pretty accomplished, they’ve seen some stuff, but their curiosity leads them to an unexpected foe.
10. What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?
I set out to explore a theme about the consequences of clinging to the past. That adds a bit of a delightfully melancholy feel to some places. I also wanted to peek at some monsters which are lesser-known here in America. I won’t say which one I looked at, you can read the book (once it finds a home) to find out!
So who’s up next?
I’m going to reach out to Scott A. Johnson, Jason Jack Miller, Nikki Hopeman, Tibby Armstrong, and Vic Kerry.