D.J Qualls as a morally confused human stain cleaner in the movie adaptation of Stranger Will?
Am I the Next Big Thing? Up-front honesty: no, I’m not the Next Big Thing. However, I have been asked by Richard Thomas to be a part of this blog Q&A thing called The Next Big Thing. I’d explain what The Next Big Thing blog Q&A is, but really, little explanation is needed. I was asked the following questions, and in turn, I will ask the following questions of a new group of writers (listed below the responses). On to the self-indulgence.
- What is the working title of your next book? Technically, it’s Stranger Will, due out January 16th 2013, but that’s a re-release of a novel. As for unpublished work, I’m working on two: The Synapse and The Bettors; I promise neither title will stay, as they both follow an unfulfilled [definite article] [vague noun] pattern that should probably be reserved only for terrible magazine rack thrillers.
- Where did the idea come from for the book? Stranger Will is a composite of two dissimilar ideas which I’ve forced to exist in the same world: 1) a man who cleans up the remains left from dead bodies (I read a short newspaper article about this occupation years ago, which sparked my interest), and 2) messenger pigeons being shot down before they could deliver their messages. This literal interrupting of a communication was very interesting to me.
- What genre does your book fall under? It’s been called horror. I’d agree with that. Psychological, if so. It’s also a definite noir story in the true sense of the term, meaning morally ambiguous character ends no better off than when he started.
- What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition? Mrs. Rose, the villain, a grade school principal with evil intentions, would be Gloria Stuart if she were still alive. So, probably Margo Martindale. The protagonist, a run-down human stain cleaner, William Lowson, I’d see a skinny thirty something. Maybe if D.J Qualls wanted to turn dark, he’d be good for it.
- What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? In this novel of impending fatherhood, an idealistic teacher recruits a pliant protégé to join her group of Strangers – a devout collection of kindred minds who have dedicated their lives to cultivating a unique idea of perfection; but joining is easier than leaving.
- Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency? Neither. It’s being published by Perfect Edge Books (based out of the UK) with no agent representation.
- How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript? One year.
- What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? Maybe, Camus’ The Stranger (not just in title).
- Who or what inspired you to write this book? A newspaper article written about a person who professionally cleans the remains of dead bodies. Occupations have always been rich impetuses for characters.
- What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest? This re-released version has been expanded with additional content including an interview, essays, and more. Also, it’s been called Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance for a new generation.
I’ve nominated (and more importantly, they’ve agreed to participate) the following writers.