The Next Big Thing

Betsy Dornbusch got me involved in this little escapade called “The Next Big Thing.”  Being the non-conformist that I am (have you seen my hair?), I decided to do “The Next Big Things” because I’m about to finish up one project and start another.

What is the working title of your next book?

Jake Lasater and the Blood Curse of Atheon

Where did the idea come from for the book?

I’ve been writing about Jake Lasater ever since shortly after my first visit to MileHiCon back in 2009 where I met a group of our local steampunkers.  It was my first exposure to steampunk, although I’d always enjoyed Wild Wild West, The Time Machine and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.  I’d studied 19th century science fiction in college, which arguably is the actual birth of steampunk.  Anyway, a few months later I attended AnomalyCon in Denver.   There I became enthralled with the costumes I saw, and with two costumes in particular that got me thinking about a Lasater story on a grander scale than short fiction.  One was a young lady–a local steampunk icon of sorts–who had on this fantastic emerald green dress, corset, plumed hat… all topped off with all white contact lenses.   The other was a young man who had the award winning costume at the con.  He took first place, and it was well deserved.  These two costumes set the stage for Jake needing to rescue a 300 year-old vampiress and work against and then with a clockwork mercenary named Ghiss.

What genre does your book fall under?

Steampunk (that’s science fiction for the who’s who at home)

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

  • Jake Lasater – Karl Urban
  • Cole McJunkins – Michael Ealy
  • Skeeter – Chloe Moretz
  • Ghiss – Matthew McConaughey
  • Lumpy – As Himself
  • P.S.  If you want to get a musical feel for the book/character, listen to this: Chuck Mangione-Children Of Sanchez Overture (Vocal)

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Jake must transport a 300 year-old vampiress to a secret location in Colorado and protect her from a ruthless Carpathian Colonel working with the President of Texas who wants to raise a army of  undead demons.

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

Well, I wouldn’t sell my soul to get an agent.  I would however, come damn close.  I’ll be shopping this one around in hope of getting with an agency.

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

That all depends on how you look at it.  Overall writing time was probably about three months.  However, the reality was that I work a day job, just got a new girlfriend and had relaxed a bit the past six months on account of producing five anthologies, selling a handful of short stories and completing/producing/selling my first novel Chemical Burn.  I’ve been tired, but I’m ramping up again with NaNoWriMo being the jump-starter.  From the first word to the last this has been a year, but my average is about 4 months for a manuscript.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

That’s a tougher question.  Steampunk itself is a remarkably cross-genre endeavor.  In a like manner I take my queues from all over the place.  The Lasater tale is a mix of Indiana Jones, Wild Wild West, Lord of the Rings and (at least in part) Pirates of the Caribbean.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

I supposed the intent of getting picked up by an agent and then published is what motivates me overall.  I used to be IT.  Now I’m beginning a career as a writer.  There is such interest in steampunk that I figured this particular story was a good place to make my second foray into a novel.

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

The overall storyline (a three-book series) is about Vlad Ţepeș (you know him as Vlad the Impaler or Count Dracula) who was possessed by the mad son of a Lord of Atheon.  Jake learns of his destiny to prevent the entity that has possessed Vlad from raising an army of vampire demons and returning to Atheon so that he can conquer and subjugate his own people, a race of high vampires.

 

Now for the second project:

What is the working title of your other next book?

Legend of the Davijons

Where did the idea come from for the book?

I was on a drive back from OsFest5 with a fellow writer by the name of Peter J. Wacks.  We got to talking about this and that, with the topic coming around to cool ideas and our next projects.  We started kicking around world building and this idea hit me like a freight train.  Now all I have to do is write it up.

What genre does your book fall under?

Off-world steampunk or science fiction with a steampunk theme

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

I’ll tell you when I actually start having them interacting.  Right now they’re just character descriptions dangling at the front of a plot curve.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Amidst the backdrop of steampunk pirates and zeppelins in the atmosphere of a distant gas giant, a young girl considered insane by her friends and family seeks out the Legend of the Davijons in hopes of understanding her strange visions and growing psionic abilities.

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

An agent!  An agent!  My. Kingdom. For. An. Agent!

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

I have the plot curve done and the main characters outlined.  Haven’t actually started writing this one.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

I’ll tell you when I have the first few chapters written.  Ultimately, I think it may have flavors of The Golden Compass and Avatar

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

I’d have to chalk this one up to serendipity.  Sometimes ideas just blindside you, and you have to roll with the punches and let them do to you whatever they want to.

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

I know where the story ends up, but I sort of want to keep that a mystery for now.  There is s a larger story than the little girl, and it has to do with starships and AIs and, ultimately, the cast-offs of humanity.

 

OTHER NEXT BIG THING AUTHORS

Betsy Dornbusch

Matthew Boroson

Travis Heerman

Thomas A. Fowler

A. M. Schiling

Kerry Gleason

Guy De Marco

 

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