February 11th, 2013

Gil Marsh cover

My next big thing

I want to thank my friend, Leslie Bulion for inviting me to participate in the online literary blog meme called MY NEXT BIG THING. Leslie is an award winning author of eight children's books. Her ninth, RANDOM BODY PARTS: GROSS ANATOMY RIDDLES IN VERSE is due out next year. (I love that title.)

The meme consists of a series of questions about works-in-progress and not yet published titles. Many national and international writers have participated in this. It gives readers a glimpse into the working life of a writer.

MY NEXT BIG THING is the publication of the paperback edition of GIL MARSH later this month. But in keeping with the meme, let me tell you about the novel that I'm currently working on.

What is the working title of your book?

Where did the idea come from for the book?
In my last book, GIL MARSH, my main character met someone he thought was an immortal man. I thought it’d be fun to explore this man’s history.

What genre does your book fall under?
It’s a cross between realistic fiction, historical fiction and fantasy.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
The cast would be enormous. I weave three stories: one of a freshman in college whose friend gets kidnapped; another of a man who has survived one adventure after another since the mid-17th century; and the third of a woman who was born to an extremely long-lived family in the mid-18th century. The characters roam the world: from New England, to New York, Quebec, Nova Scotia, France, Barbados, England, Scotland, Calabar, and Colombia, and places in between.

What is a one-sentence synopsis of your book?
A series of crimes have occurred on a college campus, and it’s up to a 370-year old man to figure out what happened.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
I’m still working on it!

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
This is a tough one, since the story crosses so many genres. There’s the police-procedural feel of MONSTER, but in this case it’s everyone but the accused who speaks. There’s a taste of historical fiction like FEVER 1792, but I cover more than one year of history. There’s a dollop of epistolary romance like in SORCERY AND CECELIA, OR, THE ENCHANTED CHOCOLATE POT. There’s the fallout of being the silent victim of a crime as in SPEAK. There are several episodes of high adventure as in THE TRUE CONFESSIONS OF CHARLOTTE DOYLE. There’s the feel that history can affect the present, as in THE RING OF SOLOMON.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?
I was intrigued by the idea of what it would mean to be someone who can live close to a thousand years, yet be surrounded by people who have normal life-spans.

What else about your book might pique a reader’s interest?
I interweave the story of several generations of a regular family as they interact with the (now) 370-year old man. Each of these interactions affects not only the man, but the family, too, and relates to why a present-day college student was kidnapped.

When and how will it be published?
Too soon to tell.

Thank you Leslie for having tapped me! This was fun.