I was tagged by Jochem Vandersteen to be part of The Next Big Thing. Each author tags 5 other authors to answer 10 questions. Here are mine:
1. What is the working title of your next book?
I’m simultaneously working on Down – Canto II of The Nephilim Codex, Jianghu (the 3rd Randall Lee mystery), and a collaboration with Glen Krisch called Attrition.
2. Where did the idea come from for the book?
The Nephilim Codex series came from being a teen geek in the 90’s.
Jianghu was an idea I had about bringing together my favorite recurring character from some of my horror stories with my detective character, Randall Lee. People who have kept up with Lee’s adventures (through Changes and Pressure Point) know that he has a bit of a dark side. Jianghu (which roughly translates to something like ‘Underworld’) is very much about that darkness. We’ll still see the funny, smart-ass side to Randall, but this book essentially takes him straight into the heart of hell… it’s a real test of his character, and I’m excited to see what readers think of it.
Attrition was Glen’s baby. I don’t want to say too much… except to say that we take a pretty conventional literary “monster” and do some pretty freaky things with it.
3. What genre does your book fall under?
The Nephilim Codex books are a bit tough to categorize. Let’s say Dark Fantasy…for comic geeks, music nerds, and awkward goth kids. Clearly, it’s the next big thing. 😉
The Randall Lee books are mystery, with a bit of humor, romance, and action.
Attrition is definitely horror.
4. What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
I really have no idea who I’d pick for The Nephilim Codex books…
For the Randall Lee books, I can’t shake the image of Johnny Depp as Randall and Mindless Self Indulgence’s bassist, Lindsey Way, as Tracy.
And… In the kind of magical, wish-fulfilling universe that would a) get my books made into films and b) be able to land someone like Johnny Depp, I would happily sit through the hours of makeup it would take in order to play the 88 year old Tai Chi master Chen Xing.
5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
To rescue a kidnapped child, Randall Lee enlists the aid of an unlikely group of heroes to track his oldest adversary through a horrific criminal underworld.
6. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
Down and Jianghu will be self-published. I’m not sure what the plans are yet for Attrition.
7. How long did it take you to write a first draft of the manuscript?
Still working on them! Pressure Point – my last book – took about 3 months, though.
8. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
For the sake of time, I’ll just use Jianghu here…
The Spencer books by Robert B. Parker…with action choreography by Yuen Woo Ping.
9. Who or what inspired you to write this book?
All of my books are inspired by little visual flashes. Like a single panel from a comic book, I get a glimpse of something… and my need to figure out what it was drives me to write.
10. What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?
Fans of the Randall Lee series know that Randall uses Tai Chi the way it was originally meant to be used: as an effective, sometimes deadly, martial art. What you’ll see in Jianghu, though, is like nothing you’ve ever seen before. The things Randall has to face in this book make him question everything he knows, everything he is. And to fight these people, all restraint and mercy sort of have to go bye bye.
It’s going to be a wild ride.
Next week, be sure to check out these fine writers: