Fantasy author J.D. Hallowell tagged me in The Next Big Thing, which is a blog tour/cross-linking thing where authors answer a fixed set of ten questions, then tag other authors to continue the chain. Since I needed something to write about this week anyway, here are my answers:
1) What is the working title of your current/next book?
I have two novels in development; one is a completed and called The Reintegrators, and the other is an adult science fantasy adventure called Aetheria’s Daemon, which is still in its early stages at the moment. In the interest of brevity I’ll focus only on the former.
2) Where did the idea come from?
The idea for The Reintegrators came somewhat out of the blue while I was driving alone. I was brainstorming ideas for a novel when I realized a way that I could have characters travel to alternate worlds that was (to me) novel and also plausible (plausible being a relative term; in reality it’s completely implausible, but in terms of fiction I hope it will be easy for people to accept). The rest of the plot and characters grew out of brainstorming interesting ways to use this world-traveling device I had invented.
3) What genre does your book fall under?
Young adult science fiction adventure.
4) What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
I’m not good at this sort of question, unfortunately. The one person that jumps to mind for the main character is Tobey Maguire, if only because his performance as Peter Parker struck me as really great portrayal of an awkward/nice guy high school student who undergoes a heroic transformation. Unfortunately I think he’s getting a little old to play a 16 year old protagonist these days.
5) What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
A young man journeys through multiple bizarre alternate worlds to discover the cause of his father’s mysterious illness.
6) Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
I’m in the process of seeking publication, so at this point I’m not sure. I know the odds are against me finding an agent or a publisher, but I’m going to be patient and explore all my options before I decide what to do.
7) How long did it take you to write the first draft?
The first draft took around a year from the moment of inception, with ten months or so of that being actual writing.
8) What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
I’m a big fan of Philip Pullman, and the His Dark Materials trilogy was definitely a big influence on this book, although my work falls more on the science fiction side and his is more of a straight fantasy with some sci-fi influence. Stylistically, I took a lot of hints from Neal Stephenson, whose work I am somewhat obsessed with; Anathem was probably more than a little influential on this novel, although not in terms of length or Stephenson’s use of invented language.
9) Who or what inspired you to write this book?
I was initially encouraged by a couple friends I was eating lunch with to write a book about something, which started the wheels turning in my head. Once I got the idea that the book would be about traveling to alternate worlds, I based the three places the protagonist goes on a set of very vivid, recurring dreams from my childhood. To this day I have no idea where some of these ideas came from; maybe they leaked into my sleeping brain from another reality.
10) What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?
There’s a lot to like in The Reintegrators: secret societies of inter-universe travelers, underground mutant tribes, techno-organic labyrinths, an omniscient, mentally unbalanced antagonist, and even some (minor) discussion of the nature of free will, God, and what the universe is made of. I took a long time off after writing the first draft to write more stories and a novella, then came back and revised the book several times to a high level of polish, so it’s something I’m proud of and which I think any science fiction fan will enjoy.