Aargh – they got me!

The fragrant and talented Gaie Sebold tagged me in The Next Big Thing writers blog hop.  So, here goes:

1. What is the title of your book?

Good question, well put, and one I intend to answer fully in due course.  The working title is The Shopping Trip, but I can tell you now, of all possible titles, that’s not going to be it.

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

A story challenge from my writing group   (write about two random subjects).  After 15 mins of Beatnik Sex & Shopping I’d defined the two main characters and knew I wanted to tell their story.  It’s changed a bit since then.

3. What genre does your book fall under?

First, it’s one of those David Gullen stories, that’s my main genre.  It’s also near-future apocalyptic SF, a black comedy, apolitical satire.  Of course, it’s also all going to come true.

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

What a superbly entertaining time-waster of a question!

<wine and conversation ensue>

Novik, an idealistic drifter – Leonardo DiCaprio.  I loved him in The Departed, and Blood Diamond, he’s my star.

Josie, a realist, Novik’s girlfriend – Connie Nielsen would be my first choice, I think she would be absolutely perfect, but just perhaps these days it would have to be Eva Green, who was brilliant in Kingdom of Heaven.

Mitchel Gould, King of Nu-Orleans – Daniel Craig.  Give the man the chance to be a villain.  I think he’d love it.

Guinevere Snarlow, President of the USA – Sigourney Weaver.  Just the right lady to start a nuclear war.

Jericho Wilson, burned-out ex-cop – John Goodman is the only possible choice.  See him in Red State.

Pallfinger Crane, richest man who has ever lived – Charles Dance.  An actor with huge screen presence we don’t see enough of.

Ellen Crane, fattest person in the world – this was tricky.  Who can bring gravitas and emotional depth to a role in a fat-suite while wearing a powered exo-skeleton?  That would be Ellen Page.

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

Novik is on the run in a talking car with a trunk full of hot money in a world on the edge of a nuclear war only he can stop.  To do that he has to buy everything, absolutely all of it.  Right now.

OK, three sentences, I refuse to be restrained by mere convention.  If you want to stop me, send ninja girls in cat-suites.

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

Neither.  It’s being published by Clarion Publishing.  I don’t have an agent.

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

About 18 months.

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

The format was inspired by Frank Herbert’ s The Dosadi Experiment, but it’s not like that.  Thematically it’s more like John Brunner’s near future books like Shockwave Rider and Stand on Zanzibar, but he didn’t go in for the humour.  Perhaps Charles Stross’s work is the nearest in contemporary writing – or Ken MacLeod.

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

This started out pretty light-hearted and became more serious when I realised (duh) I could have a lot of fun and also write about a few things I give a damn about too.  Hence the descent, or triumphant ascent, into black comedy and satire.  Oh dear.

Insiprations?  A question – What would happen if you bought everything?  How could that even be possible, and why would you want to.  That, and a song – World Party’s Ship of Fools.

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

It’s really good!  It’s bat-shit crazy!  It’s got a talking car!  I blow things up!  People blow each other! Up!

So now I’m supposed to tag 5 more writers.  Tricky, everyone else has grabbed them!  I do some quick calculations and see that only on the fifth iteration 3,750 writers are involved.  Maybe I’m actually in the 14th iteration, when the entire population of the world is required.

Nevertheless, I have lined up:

– Mysterious, enigmatic man of mystery: Jeff Anderson. (So mysterious he hasn’t told me his blog address yet.)

– The beautiful, deadly, and talented Melanie Garrett.

And maybe more to follow!

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