I’ve been tagged! Apparently there’s a thing going around called THE NEXT BIG THING, and if you get tagged, you’re supposed to answer 10 questions about your book and tag 5 other writers. I wasn’t sure where to answer the questions, so I’m making a thread! I was tagged by Sheri Taylor-Emery, and I’m just going to tag the 5 writers on my bookshelf by sending them all the same message I got.
1. What is the working title of your book?
Life According to the Dead
2. Where did the idea for the book come from?
I was bored, had a bit of free time, and wanted to write about a kid with a special power of some sort. Invisibility was taken, flying seemed silly, and I didn’t want it to be anything too far-fetched or cliche. Talking to dead people sounded like an intriguing start, so I began writing a short story about a boy with a dead acquaintance named Peter. Eventually, my short story grew longer, the little boy grew up, Peter became a murder victim, and the plot thickened from there!
3. What genre does it fall under?
Suspense/Paranormal Thriller? Doesn’t really seem crimey enough to be crime, but maybe it could be.
4. What actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Oh, yikes. I’m actually one of those weird writers who never really thinks about that. Anna-Claire would probably have to be Emma Watson, but past that, I’m not really sure. Maybe Amanda could be Amanda Seyfried.
5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Jim Halliday, a sarcastic slacker who can speak to the dead, is in for one heck of a night when he finds out that murderer Zachariah Searcy has broken out of prison...and, what’s more, is bent on exacting revenge on the very man who put him there twenty years ago: Jim himself.
6. Will your book be self-published or be represented by an agency?
7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
Four months? It was summer, and I was excited.
8. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Hard to say. I know when a lot of people learn that my MC, Jim, speaks to dead people, their minds automatically jump to “The Sixth Sense.” I’ve actually never seen the movie, believe it or not, so I can’t say, but I’ve heard a bit about it, and in my opinion, it’s actually very different from what my book is about. Very. That being said, I haven’t read a lot of books in the realm of supernatural suspense, so I’m sorry to say that I don’t really know where I can make any comparisons with “Life According to the Dead.”
9. Who or what inspired you to write this book?
Boredom, mainly. Like I said, it was originally a short story. The MC’s name was also originally “Toby” -- yuck. Then the name “Jim” fell into my head and I guess something about the name “Jim” just got me excited.
10. What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?
Mainly the themes that crop up, probably. There’s the friendship between Jim and the loyal but perpetually nervous Tony, and the timid romance between Jim and his lifelong friend Anna-Claire. There are also some very intense father-son dynamics: the complicated relationships of Jim and Charlie, Henry and Raymond, and even Peter and his father are threads that reappear many times throughout the book. The book is also told from multiple viewpoints and with flashbacks that reveal key aspects of main characters’ pasts, and though this can often be tricky to handle, I’ve been told many times that it works well in my book. Other than that...basically, it’s a good book! Trust me, I should know.