Peter Tieryas Liu, author of the insanely great Watering Heaven, graciously tagged me to participate in this networked blog interview thing called “The Next Big Thing.” Apparently, I’m supposed to answer some questions and then tag some talented writers to carry this forward.
Anyway, here we go:
1) What is the working title of your next book?
2) Where did the idea come from for the book?
This actually sprang out of a story I’d written a while back. It’s part of this book, but it changed a great deal by the time the rest of the book was written.
3) What genre does your book fall under?
Novel in story form. Probably also child narrator, general literature, Bildungsroman, coming of age story, and a few other things.
4) What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
Well, most of the characters are children. I’m afraid I don’t know who any child actors are right now. I can say for sure none of them would be Honey Boo Boo, other than possibly Courtney.
5) What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Through stories focused on the moments in childhood that get buried in the mind but are never fully absorbed, a sonar picture is formed of the person a boy named Peter will become.
6) Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
I’m not sure I entirely understand. My book will be published by River Otter Press (immense thanks again to River Otter Press), but I don’t have an agent.
7) How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
Depends how you start counting. It took two years for the base first draft, but that’s not considering the original story that I’d written about ten years beforehand.
8) What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
I’d love to be able to compare it to The House on Mango Street, Music of the Swamp, Catcher in the Rye, and Blu’s Hanging…so I will. Ha! No one can stop me!
9) Who or what inspired you to write this book?
I always thought about those kind of moments in childhood that are somewhat scarring if not necessarily even being that traumatic. I always remember one Christmas when a family friend gave me a toy that I’d wanted, but it was the cheapo version and wasn’t as good. I slipped and said that before I realized what I was doing. The family friend laughed, but my family was horrified. Ever since then, my brain replays that to me when a situation arises where I need to demonstrate gratitude. It’s like my brain is going: Hey, remember that time you are an *#&hole? Remember that? Stupid brain. Anyway, I was thinking how those kind of things get lodged in the brain and never go away. Instead, identity is kind of built on them. That’s what got me started on this book.
10) What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?
Though this book is written through a child’s perspective, this book was never intended for children. I’d be thrilled if kids read it and liked it, but the themes are definitely adult.
Oh yeah, I’m also supposed to tag some extremely impressive writers to keep this going. We’ll see how this goes because not everybody got back to me that they were willing to participate. Anyway, lets just tag them and see what happens. So now, in no particular order: