David Halperin, author of Journal of a UFO Investigator, tagged me for a blog hop called “My Next Big Thing.” David posted on his current project, The Color of Electrum, which is the sequel to Journal. Check out his full blog post by clicking here.
Everyone in the blog hop answered ten questions about their latest projects. David’s is a continuation of the coming-of-age story started in Journal. He describes Electrum as:
Danny Shapiro, college freshman and former “UFO investigator,” finds himself caught up in the late 1960s world of drugs, sex, and would-be revolution–while mysterious, deadly fires, timed according to the Biblical Book of Ezekiel, come striking ever nearer to him.
At the bottom of this post, you’ll see the writers I’ve tagged. Hop along to read about more great works!
1. What is the working title of your novel-in-progress?
Buy Light and Purple Blooms
2. Where did the idea for this novel come from? Some years ago, I read a very short article buried on page 10 of a well-known newspaper about a pregnant woman who’d been murdered. The unborn baby had been cut from the womb. I wondered how it could be that our society had reached a point where such a horrific crime was only worth a few inches in the paper.
I began working with the concept. It didn’t take long to realize that the theme of the book is betrayal. That theme works out on many levels: Betrayal of spouses in what is supposed to be love for each other; the betrayal of organized religion against congregants who want to mature beyond dogma; and of course the ultimate betrayal of a mother-to-be.
3. What genre does it fall under, if any?
You might say I’m breaking new ground by creating a new category, women’s thrillers. That is, the story is primarily a woman’s story yet it has some of the same elements as thrillers…strong characters, and pacing that clips along quickly enough. And, of course, the protagonist is a woman!
If that’s too out there for you, think women’s fiction with an edge.
4. Who would you choose to play your characters in a movie?
Tilda Swinton would likely hold the lead. She’s really representative of women nowadays…independent, able to be fierce and loving according to the situation, and not so glitteringly Hollywood that everyday women can’t connect to her.
5. A one-sentence synopsis of your novel-in-progress:
After Lana Crossfield divorces her husband and her church, she must help a community of women survive a horrific betrayal when a pregnant friend is murdered and the unborn fetus is cut from the womb.
6. Will your book or story be self-published or represented by an agency?
Last year, my agent, Jack Scovil, died. He began representing me in 2003 after my first novel, Message Stick, won the James Jones Literary Fellowship. Jack was one of those fantastic old-school agents you hear mythos about but rarely encounter…he’d been around forever, loved literature, and was always kind even when my work needed revisions. Now I’m seeking an agent for a finished manuscript as well as the novel-in-progress. So I’m looking forward to establishing another working relationship with a new agent in 2013!
7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
It’s still in progress. I’ve written nearly 600 pages…and yes, by hand. My handwriting is fairly small and the journal I use is fairly large, so the handwritten page compares well to the typed page. Several revisions lie ahead before I can consider sending this out, of course. Since Buy Light represents a major shift in my voice, I’ve been working on this for nearly two years now, longer than my previous works took on average.
8. What other book would you compare this story to?
We Need to Talk About Kevin hits it right on the head. The work has a pace and voice that inexorably moves readers toward the conclusion. Quiet yet emotionally resonant.
9. Who or what inspired you to write this book or story?
Although the idea for the story came from that few inches in the newspaper, the idea only generated the seed concept. The inspiration for this work has always been the new roles women are playing in the world. Lana tangles with her church upbringing and beliefs because that’s part of many women’s emotional maturation…to answer questions about what they believe and how they’re going to live. It also is an important part of how women step into their power day by day.
10. What else about the book or story might pique the reader’s interest?
Although the book enters the world of midwives and doulas, Lana is childless. Her journey is very much about the world of mothers and children; it’s also about women, single and married, who remain childless.
Leah Griffith, author of Cosette’s Tribe, blogs at Eating Life Raw.