Steven Montano, author of the Blood Skies series, recently tagged me for this cool little blog hop called “The Next Big Thing” where I get to tell you a little bit about my current work in progress (WIP). I would also like to recognize S.G. Lee, author of the working title A Penny Saved, A Murder Earned, who also tagged me a while back with a very similar post, so since I wasn’t able to get that post done before this one, I’m going to kill two birds with one stone (sorry for the cliché). 🙂
Update (Nov. 20, 2012): The lovely Marina Martindale also tagged me for this blog hop recently, so I’d like to also give her a shout out. You can read her post HERE.
The Next Big Thing blog hop started on She Writes, and has been circulating around the web for a while now, and I’m happy to take part. Here’s the rundown of how this works:
If I tagged you, use this format. Include an introduction to your interview post and a link to the person who tagged you to participate. Answer the ten questions about your current WIP. Include some pictures if possible. Tag five other writers/bloggers by sending them an email and then add their links to the end of your interview post. Their answers should go up the week after. Sound easy enough? Of course it is! So, now that I got all of the details out of the way, on to my responses.
1. What is the title of your book (or work in progress)?
The title of my current novel is Devil’s Nightmare. (Update: Released Jan. 6, 2013)
2. Where did the idea come from for the book?
The general idea for my book was inspired by a personal experience I had when I was around eleven or twelve years old. Some friends and I would make Ouija boards to talk to spirits, and while we all accused the other of pushing the marker, I’m not convinced it was simply a game. We had heard the stories that you should never play with a Ouija board by yourself or else risk being oppressed by demons. We all dismissed it as a bunch of crap, of course, but I think we were all curious. I was the only one stupid enough to actually do it.
For weeks I would play with the Ouija board by myself out of pure fun, asking childish questions about fame, fortune, girlfriends, etc. I didn’t know if I was actually summoning spirits with the Ouija board or if it was just my mind playing tricks on me and causing me to subconsciously move the marker with my fingers. It didn’t matter; I was having fun with this Ouija board.
The fun and games ended after I started having nightmares, and then late one night I woke up and could not breathe. I tried to get up from my bed, but I could not move. I felt something pressing against my chest and then I saw the eyes floating above me. Those hideous eyes will forever be embedded in my brain. They were almond shaped and a pale yellow. They narrowed and grew closer to my face. I wanted to scream. I wanted to get out of my bed and run away, but my body froze. The pressure in my chest continued to constrict my breathing. All I saw were those horrible eyes among a shadowy figure.
Finally, I could breathe and I screamed with hysteria, but I still could not move. Moments later, my parents rushed through my door and turned on the light. The eyes and shadowy figure disappeared. I then shot up from my bed with my shirt drenched in sweat and my face flowing with tears. I ran to my mother for protection crying about the demon that I had just seen. It was the most horrifying experience I have ever had in my life. Was it a dream? Was it my imagination? Or was it truly a demon oppressing me because I had broken some spiritual rule of the Ouija board? I don’t know for certain, but I can tell you this . . . that Ouija board went in the trash the very next day and I have never messed with one ever since.
3. What genre does your book fall under?
Devil’s Nightmare is a supernatural thriller with horror elements.
4. Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
This was a tough one that took a lot of thought. I put together a PDF document of my hypothetical cast for Devil’s Nightmare, which includes Christian Slater playing the lead character “Detective Aaron Sanders.” Click here for the rest of the main cast.
5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
I find it hard enough to write a regular paragraph synopsis, so you can imagine how difficult it was to come up with a one-liner, but in the spirit of this blog hop, I’m going to give it a shot:
Detective Aaron Sanders investigates the brutal deaths of three youth and two adults, and the evidence leads him to an evil force that cannot be defeated without unthinkable consequences.
6. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
At this time I plan to self-publish, but I have considered submitting Devil’s Nightmare to a small publisher. I just haven’t made up my mind yet. (Update: I decided to self-publish. Released on Jan. 6, 2013)
7. How long did it take to write the first draft of your manuscript?
The first draft took me just under nine months to complete.
8. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
I don’t like comparing my work with other books due to simple respect of the creative and unique efforts of those authors. However, for the sake of this post I will say that one of my beta readers recently compared my writing to Stephen King. That was an unexpected compliment that really boosted my confidence, and while I would never try to compare my writing to the King of Horror, I did find it very flattering and encouraging. This also sets up my response to the next question.
9. Who or what inspired you to write this book?
Stephen King inspired me to write Devil’s Nightmare. I’m a huge fan of the horror and thriller genres and have always wanted to take a stab at a horror novel and finally decided to go for it this year. Stephen King’s non-fiction book On Writing is probably the biggest inspiration to me as a writer. It was after I read this book that I shifted my thoughts of writing novels from simple aspiration to heartfelt dedication. If you’re serious about writing a novel, I highly recommend that you pick up a copy of On Writing by Stephen King.
10. What else about your book might peak the reader’s interest?
I think fans of the thriller and horror genres will find that Devil’s Nightmare is a unique story that will hook you from the very beginning. I wrote Devil’s Nightmare without an outline for the sole purpose of trying to avoid making the story predictable. I found that if I didn’t know what was going to happen next as I wrote it, then it would make for a more enjoyable experience for the reader. I believe I achieved that and found it very challenging and rewarding writing in this fashion. Now I obviously had a general idea of the story’s direction throughout the writing process, but there were many times where I found my characters pushing me in a different direction . . . and I tend to listen to them. After all, it was their lives on the line.
I wrote most of Devil’s Nightmare late at night with the lights off and was very pleased that certain scenes gave me cold chills that ran up my entire spine. It is my desire to share that same experience with my readers. Devil’s Nightmare is available in print and ebook.
If I tagged you, your blog post should be scheduled to publish between Sunday, Nov. 4 to Saturday, Nov. 10. If you are on She Writes, you put the post up there too. Your blog post should be labeled: The Next Big Thing Blog Hop (and not The Next BEST Thing Blog Hop, like I originally labeled it. I’m such a dork!) :-).
Here are the authors I am tagging. I hope you will be able to participate in this fun blog hop, and I look forward to reading your responses.
Eden Baylee, author of Fall Into Winter and Spring Into Summer
Karen Einsel, author of The Good Dr. Grant
Spencer Brokaw, author of The Impenetrable Spy series
Dannie Hill, author of In Search of a Soul and Death’s Door
Jessie James Freeman, author of the Billy Purgatory series
Be sure to check out their blogs and their books. They are all awesome and great writers. Also, be sure to comment below. 🙂