The Next Big Thing
So, I got “tagged” by the greatness that is The Next Big Thing. I definitely have to thank Jayne Denker for giving me the opportunity to answer these questions and then tag a friend.
1- What is the working title of your book?
The title is Untold Damage.
2- Where did the idea come from for the book?
It came from a deep well of desperation, actually. My previous novel had bombed out with my agent. She just didn’t dig it, and I see now that she was right. The protagonist was all wrong, but I DID feel that the story had something. Something strong. The protagonist for Untold Damage, Mark Mallen, had existed in a previous book I’d written and that had been shopped to publishers unsuccessfully. I was struck with the idea of combining the story from the one and the protag from the other, and voila!
3- What genre does your book fall under?
4- Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Hahaha… good question! Well, I saw Clive Owen as Mallen, Morgan Freeman as Oberon the homicide detective, and I’m not sure about who would play Mallen’s sidekick, Gato.
5- What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
It never really had a one-sentence synopsis actually, as I sent it to my agent rather than having to query it. This is what’s on the book’s Amazon page: “Estranged from his wife and daughter, former undercover cop Mark Mallen has spent the last four years in a haze of heroin. When his best friend from the academy, Eric Russ, is murdered, an address found in his pocket points to Mallen as the prime suspect.“
6- Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
The publisher of Untold Damage is Midnight Ink Books. I’m represented by the greatest agent in the world: Barbara Poelle of the Irene Goodman Agency. She’s like Wolverine and Bukowski all rolled up into one.
7- How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
Well, I had to go all the way back to square one once I began to combine the story from one book with the protagonist from another. But for all that, the first draft flowed out of me pretty quickly. I’d say eight weeks or so.
8- What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Anything that is dark and hard boiled, with a broken protagonist on a road to redemption.
9- Who or what inspired you to write this book?
Well, first there’s my love of 1970’s New York films. Films like The French Connection, The Seven Ups, Panic in Needle Park, Taxi Driver, etc. Also, I lived many years in San Francisco’s Tenderloin district, where the book is mainly situated. You see a lot in that hood, trust me.
10- What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
Well, if you love gritty, hard-boiled stories and gritty, hard-boiled characters, you’ll be interested in Untold Damage.
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Tagged for next week (Week 29) is one of my very talented writer friends, Calista Taylor. Check out her blog next Wednesday, December 19th, when it’s her turn to post answers to these same questions about her own works-in-progress.