In which Chris is the next big thing
There’s a blog concept bouncing around called The Next Big Thing. I saw it a few months ago with some published authors including Julie Compton and mystery author JT Ellison. Apparently, they’re all out of big things, so I got contacted to be the next big thing. It’s sort of like being asked to sing Take Me Out to the Ball Game at Wrigley Field fifteen years after Harry Caray died.
Serena Schreiber asked me to participate. And in the words of the great Fernando, she’s mahvelous, absolutely mahvelous. So you should check out her blog.
My chosen day was today, which is Industry News day, so we did a two-a-day. Without further ado, I am the next big thing. (You’re jealous, aren’t you?)
What is the working title of your next book?
The working title isn’t very creative. Wendy and Catherine. It works for me. I wanted to do something memorable like Gone with the Wind or The Sun Also Rises, but those were already taken. Obviously, the title needs work.
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
It’s the story of Job, if Job were a morning radio host in Florida in 2013.
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
I wanted to write a modern version of Job and the backdrop of middle age and trying to keep jobs and the political wars we fight to the death these days resonate with me. You can disagree with me politically and we can still be decent human beings, but politics doesn’t seem to allow for that any more. I miss the days when Tip O’Neill and Ronald Reagan used to have a drink together at night.
Where did the idea come from for the book?
It’s an evolution of something I’ve been writing in one form or another for almost 20 years. There are no original parts left, though. Except maybe the word the.
What genre does your book fall under?
What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
I never really thought of it. A lot of Catherine’s snarky, sarcastic nature was inspired by Mary McCormack in In Plain Sight, so she could be Catherine, or maybe Connie Britton (Spin City, Friday Night Lights). It’s important for Catherine to be a knockout. Mary McCormack her first three years on IPS would have worked. For Jim, I need an ordinary kind of guy–kind of solid and fifty-ish. Stephen Collins (Seventh Heaven) would have been perfect fifteen years ago.
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
Too early to tell. I need to figure out more about the business first. If I had to guess now, I’d think a small press.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
As I’ve detailed here before, I have a hard time getting out of first draft mode, so I write a mess of first drafts over the space of a year and a half or so.
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Well, the book of Job with a few thousand years in between. I’m trying to present some contemporary issues the way Jodi Picoult does without bludgeoning people over the head with them. I’d like to think I take a stand but also give people room to comfortably disagree and yet think about it.
What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?
The dialog is good and I like to think I can present people you might disagree with, and even dislike, but still understand why they are where they are. Even the guy who’s the ultimate villain gets a scene that gives you a window into how he is and why he turned out the way he did. And it’s a sad scene where you might feel some empathy for him.
What to be the next next big thing? Let me know! I’ll link to you right here!