Monthly Archives: January 2013

The Next Big Thing

Big thing

Thanks to Riyria Revalations author Michael J. Sullivan for tagging me in the Next Big Thing meme, a mechanism for authors to talk about future writing projects. Basically, each author answers ten questions about their next book and tags someone else to do the same. I’ll post links to whoever I tag when their own answers go up, in the meantime here’s mine:

1) What is the working title of your next book?
My next book is a novella entitled Slab City Blues: The Ballad of Bad Jack.

2) Where did the idea come from for the book?
My ideas normally take a long time to gestate. In this case the character name ‘Bad Jack’ popped into my head a long time ago. I knew he was some kind of criminal but it was several years before I formed a clear idea of who he was and what he did.

3) What genre does your book fall under?
It’s the fourth story in my Slab City Blues SF-noir series which takes place in an orbital society which has gained independence from Earth after a bloody revolution.

4) What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
I wouldn’t. Writers are notoriously bad at casting and there’s a reason why movie producers pay lots of money to casting agents. Plus, as a reader, I like to formulate my own image of how characters look. That being said, Janet the gene-spliced vampire in A Hymn to Gods Long Dead (the third Slab City Blues story) is just crying out to be played by Olivia Wilde.

5) What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
The Bourne Supremacy meets Firefly.

6) Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
I’ll be self-publishing this one via the usual outlets on February 1st. Novellas are a tricky thing to sell, being too short to justify the expense of a print run and too long for magazines. Plus, I’m keen to keep hold of the series as it gives me room to enjoy the writing without worrying about a deadline.

7) How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
Longer than it should. I was hoping to get it down in a month, in fact it took three. I started not long after finishing Tower Lord (Book 2 of the Raven’s Shadow trilogy), and was frankly pretty exhausted after writing 2000+ words a day for six months whilst holding down a day job. Also, I ran into a few thorny plot-issues that took time to resolve.

8) What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
I do owe a debt to William Gibson’s Sprawl Trilogy, but that’s true of pretty much everything I write. Richard Morgan’s Takeshi Kovacs books are also a major influence.

9) Who or what inspired you to write this book?
I wanted to explore the more of the world I’d created in earlier Slab City Blues stories, all of which had been set on the same orbiting slum. This one takes us to the Asteroid Belt and provides an expanded view of the solar system beyond Earth orbit. However, the main inspiration was simply need to keep writing. I’m a full-time author now and I’m realising the more content I can produce, the greater the chance of continuing as such.

10) What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?
If you’re a fan of hard-boiled crime fiction, armoured power-suits and space battles, then there’s probably something in there for you.