I’ve been invited to be a part of a complex blog posting chain that’s going round and round the world like an ever-thickening global spiderweb. Stay with me! It’s actually harmless fun. Basically, writers tag other writers, responding to ten questions on their websites/blogs, and use The Next Big Thing as the title. I hasten to add, I’d dearly love my current project to be the next big thing, which I guess is what the title is implying. I’m sure every writer before me has had similar thoughts. But it’s not up to me. It’s the big thing in my life right now – I can honestly say that. But that’s all I’m reasonably allowed to say.
Anyway, it’s called a meme apparently. A meme is a cultural item that is transmitted by repetition – I had to look it up. I am to begin by acknowledging my ‘pre-poster’, then answer the blessed questions (nice and quick), and finally link to four fab writers at the end. These fab four (sorry, no, not The Beatles, just fellow writers I know and I’ve successfully cajoled into being a part of this! Thanks guys) will turn in their own posts about a week later. And wonderful people everywhere will tweet and share (or not!). The idea being that you can scroll back and forth through the posts, in one enormous, complex circle of writerly togetherness. So how beautiful is that!
Right then, let me tell you about the marvelous writer who tagged me to begin with. Nicole Hayes. She has her debut young adult novel coming out in June this year through Random Penguin (don’t you just love calling them that? Random House/Penguin really should name themselves that, we’re all saying it – so half the marketing would already be done). It’s called The Whole of My World. Nicole and I first met through Varuna, Australia’s only national writer’s center. We were both lucky enough to have been awarded national mentorships. Me, for a very early version of EleMental, and likewise Nicole, for a very early version of The Whole of My World. We both barrack for the same footy team, by the way. The Mighty Hawks. Just thought I’d add that.
Nicole Hayes doesn’t have an author website yet, but she does have a popular blog site: Melbourne Musings. Here’s her The Next Big Thing post on her blog, tagging me at the end.
The Ten Questions
OK, done that bit. Now, onto the ten questions – which I will endeavor to answer in record briefness.
1) What is the working title of your current/next book? Well, hey, this seems like a good opportunity to present to the world the brand new cover for my next book (left). Complete with final title. Ta da! What do you think? Isn’t it beautiful? It’s a dragonbot. It’s the the cover’s first public outing. Exclusive, guys!
To answer the question properly, the book’s called, in full: MonuMental: The Hack’s Back. (Cover artwork by Aaron Pocock.)
2) Where did the idea come from? So easy. From out of my head.
3) What genre does your book fall under? Do you know, I have always struggled with this. What the hell is young adult fiction? It can be anything – which is why it’s so great. I write for teenagers and up, up, and up – until you get to me (not sure about beyond me, is there anybody there?). And I don’t think in terms of sci-fi, fantasy, speculative blah. I just write what I love to read. Young adult fiction, if you like = all or any genres, written for all ages. Freedom.
4) What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
(I struggled with this. I’m no good with actors. But I know a few comedians.)
5) What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? In 2050, video gaming goes wrong, horribly wrong.
6) Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency? Indie published, thank you very much.
7) How long did it take you to write the first draft? The first draft is always quick. A year. The long, hard slog starts after that.
8) What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? My stuff has been described as Blade Runner for teenagers (Bookseller+Publisher). Nice. But I’ve more thought along the lines of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.
9) Who or what inspired you to write this book? Nine Inch Nails, Opeth, Van Der Graaf Generator, Lord of the Rings, Halo, Bioshock, Call of Duty, all of the Lego video games, Douglas Adams, Dr Who, Blake’s 7, Red Dwarf, Star Trek (especially the one where millions of small, fluffy things take over The Starship Enterprise) … I could go on. But I won’t.
10) What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest? I loved writing it. Look and you will see.
The next The Next Big Thing authors
Now, onto the next authors. Here they are, in alphabetical order …
1. Tracy R Atkins
Tracy R Atkins’ first novel, Aeternum Ray, was published a few months ago. If you’ve ever wondered what hard sci-fi is like – this is it! I posted a review of Aeternum Ray on Amazon not long ago: ‘If Plato had written sci-fi, this is what it would have looked like.’
Author website: http://tracyratkins.com
2. Tom Evans
Tom Evans describes himself as ‘a wizard of light bulb moments’. His latest books, Planes of Being and This We Know, are philosophical explorations into what it means to be human and where we might be going as a species.
You can check out his website here: www.tomevans.co
3. Althea Hayton
Althea Hayton is a writer, counselor and teacher. She writes books focusing on such areas as ‘womb twin survivors’ (someone who lost a twin before or around birth) and food addiction.
Author website: www.wrenpublications.co.uk
4. Mary Lee
Mary Lee is a writer, illustrator, graphic designer and a mom. She lives in the Bay Area of San Francisco, where she writes children’s picture books, many featuring the adventurous Mia. I posted an Amazon review of Mary Lee’s Surprise in the Kitchen not long ago: ‘Lots of color, lots of fun’.
Author website: www.maryleekids.blogspot.com
Remember to check out their The Next Big Thing blog posts in about a week or so. Over to them …