How do you follow a subject line like that? Just don’t. Save yourself the embarrassment and get on with the show. The proof is in the pudding, the Borg is in the nanoprobe tubule, and all that.
1) What is the working title of your next book?
“Hammer and Bone”
2) Where did the idea come from for the book?
Most of the stories came from dreams, or nightmares, as the case may be. I had this one very vivid dream that serves as the jumping-off point for “Hounds”, one of the longer tales in the book.
In my dream, I was hiding. The sky was black and starless, but it wasn’t a night sky, and I was beneath an invisible net. The net wasn’t magic. There was a technology to it. I was trying to shield myself and two others from fanged, armored creatures manning a great wall not far away. If they found us, I knew they’d kill us, and I also knew that we were completely outmatched. They had projectile weapons and beams on the towers, we had only knives. We were about to be discovered, and suddenly one of the women began to sing, and I knew -I just knew- that the song would save us. I knew the song, I knew the name of the singer, I knew everything.
It’s hard to encapsulate a vision, to shrink one blazing moment of understanding into the kinds of words that will translate a nascent (and imaginary) experience to a reader, but I attempted it in “Hammer and Bone”. Borg, nanoprobe, pudding.
3) What genre does your book fall under?
The stories are steampunk, speculative, dark fantasy, and horror.
4) What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
Oh wow. Well, if I could pick anyone, I’d choose Angela Basset for the sharp, smart, and deadly Notch, but Loretta Devine would be equally amazing. Simon Woods for Roben, because there’s something strong but breakable in that character, and also because he just looks like Roben to me. Logan Lerman for the disillusioned and abandoned Prince Arin. Kevin McKidd for proud Veron and Djimon Hounsou for the eminently practical Nulf Asoka.
5) What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
13 dark, cross-genre tales with a queer slant.
6) Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
It’s under contract with Riptide, presently in development.
7) How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
All in all, about a year.
8) What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
I feel ridiculous and arrogant comparing my writing to the novels of authors I admire, but others have compared it to books like “Wormwood” or “Are You Loathsome Tonight?” by Poppy Z Brite (Billy Martin), or works by Caitlin R. Kiernan or Clive Barker.
The problem with comparison here is that not many authors publish whole anthologies of their shorter works, so there’s a limited pool of examples. I’m going with what editors have told me about my writing style and the manuscript.
9) Who or what inspired you to write this book?
They were the dreams that never went away, so…thank you nuerotransmitters? Just kidding. I credit K. J. Bishop’s work as inspiration. I dream the way she writes, I think; lush colors, stark images, detail, and sudden bursts of insight. Bishop’s “The Etched City” is like a stolen spyglass into a lucid dreamworld, and although “Hammer and Bone” is nothing at all like TEC, I hope to capture the same reaction in my readers that she snared me with.
10) What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?
It’s got zombies, but they’re not your usual shamblers. Werewolves, but not the shaggy kind. Heroes who don’t fit the hero model and victims who are anything but. It’s like waking up to living someone else’s life: you wouldn’t know where you were or recognize the people around you. You’d have to work to get your bearings, and the curveballs would be vicious.