1. What is the working title of your next book?
Book 3. Seriously. I have a few names running around in my head, but I haven’t settled on one yet, so in my mind, I call it Book 3. If I get bored with that name, I could always call it Livre Trois or Libro Tres or something until I settle on a title.
2. Where did the idea come from for the book?
A long time ago I was a computer operator. In those days, it was common to use large magnetic tapes to feed the data into the computers, so they had to have computer operators on site to change tapes and take them down when the job was finished. I would try to keep busy while waiting for jobs to finish, but sometimes, especially towards the end of a shift, I was caught up with everything and had to find something to keep me awake.
If I tried reading or studying at that time of night, I'd start to drowse. I needed something more active, like writing. Having recently seen the movie Dracula with Frank Langella, I decided to write a vampire story.Book 3 is the third book in the series that evolved from that.
I wanted to do something a little different with the story, and what could be more different than setting it in a computer room? The witches came much later, as I thought about the ending and thought what force could be strong enough to fight the undead.
3. What genre does your book fall under?
Thriller, paranormal, and horror. I used to think the series was horror, but the way horror has changed over the last five or ten years ago makes this series seem so much tamer, so now I would say it’s more thriller than horror. The series also has elements of mystery and a love triangle, but I don’t think it qualifies as either a true mystery or a paranormal romance.
4. What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
Alicia, the protagonist, would have to be played by a relative unknown, someone with a blank slate in the public eye. In the beginning of the series, she’s a bit of a loner, not very socially adept, and, despite a “can-do” attitude, she’s very insecure about every decision she makes. She’s not as wimpy as Alyson Hannigan’s Willow, but not as strong and confident as Emma Watson’s Hermione.
Wesley, the main vampire, is a cross between Christopher Lee and James Gandolfini. The actor who plays Wesley would have to be cultured, yet able to do what has to be done, in that lethal, Tony Soprano way. I could also see Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock Holmes) play him.
The person I always see in my mind when writing Evan is John Cusak channeling David Carradine (in his Kwai Chang Caine role. Evan has an obsession with T’ai Chi, Kung Fu, and eastern culture in general). Cusak has the intensity, the inner depth that Evan does. He’s also your go-to guy when the bad guys are attacking.
5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Since it’s a series, here’s one sentence per book:
Darksome Thirst – There’s a vampire in the computer room – really -- now what do I do?
The Old Power Returns – Something evil remains; call in the Witches.
Book 3 (placeholder title) – This time Alicia’s had enough -- really.
6. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
Since it’s part three of a series, I don’t think I can expect a new publisher to be interested. Would love to find it a wider audience, though.
7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
I did the first draft during a NaNoWriMo, so I could say that it took one month, but then when I went to edit it, I saw a different direction for it. Since then, though, it’s been stalled.
8. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Oh, I wouldn’t dare! Okay, if you insist, I’d say they have the mystery/supernatural aspect of Rosemary Edghill’s Bast Mysteries (Speak Daggers to Her, Book of Moons, and The Bowl of Night) and the New England setting of Inanna Arthen’s Mortal Touch and The Longer the Fall.
9. Who or what inspired you to write this book?
As I said earlier, it was a combination of having seen a vampire movie recently and being alone late at night and needing to do something active. My vampire influences were Christopher Lee’s interpretation of Dracula and Jonathan Frid’s Barnabas Collins. I was a big Dark Shadows fan.
10. What else about the book might pique the reader's interest?
The series is set in Framingham, Boston, and Brighton, Massachusetts in the late 1970s. It’s different back then. When you’re alone, you’re really alone; no logging on to Facebook to crowd-source a solution to your vampire problem. No answering machine to take a message if your friend isn’t home when you call. No cell phones. There’s a sense of isolation you don’t really have these days, something that I couldn’t have conveyed if I set the story in the current time.
Darksome Thirst begins around 1978. The Old Power Returns picks up about two years later, but it’s still that isolated world where, with just a few friends, you need to fight your own battles. Alicia is fortunate enough that a co-worker just happens to be a witch who can help.
Here are the excellent writers who you’ll hear from next. Hope you enjoy their writing as much as I do.
Scott Thomas is the author of 8 short story collections, which include Urn and Willow, Quill and Candle, Midnight in New England, Westermead, The Garden of Ghosts, and Over the Darkening Fields. He is also the author of the fantasy novel Fellengrey. He has seen print in numerous anthologies, such as The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror #15, The Year’s Best Horror #22, The Ghost in the Gazebo, Leviathan #3, Otherworldly Maine, and The Solaris Book of New Fantasy. His work appears with that of his brother Jeffrey Thomas in Punktown: Shades of Grey and The Sea of Flesh and Ash. Scott and his girlfriend Peggy live in coastal Maine. Scott's blog can be found at http://scottthomasotherworldlyfiction.blogspot.com
Phoebe Wray is a long-time nonfiction writer now writing in the specfic field. Her two novels, JEMMA7729 and J2, are in print and ebook. A thriller novel, IN ADAM’S FALL, is forth-coming from WolfSinger Productions. She has stories in Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Mag, Farthing, Fables.org, chizine, The Garden, and in the anthologies “No Man’s Land” (2011), “All About Eve” (2010) and “Backless, Strapless and Slit to the Throat” (2009). She's the past president of Broad Universe, lives in a small town outside of Boston, and teaches in the Theatre Division of The Boston Conservatory. Her blog is at http://phoebewray.livejournal.com
Jennifer Allis Provost is a native New Englander who lives in a sprawling colonial along with her beautiful and precocious twins, a dog, a parrot, two cats, and a wonderful husband who never forgets to buy ice cream. As a child, she read anything and everything she could get her hands on, including a set of encyclopedias, but fantasy was always her favorite. She spends her days drinking vast amounts of coffee, arguing with her computer, and avoiding any and all domestic behavior. Her blog is at http://jenniferallisprovost.blogspot.com/2012/10/the-next-big-thing-blog-hop.html
Hal Bodner, author of the novels Bite Club, The Trouble with Hairy (both WeHo Vampire novels), In Flesh and Stone, and For Love of the Dead (Ravenous Romance), has been an entertainment lawyer, a scheduler for a 976 sex telephone line, and the personal assistant to a television star. He now owns Heavy Petting, an over-the-top pet boutique in West Hollywood. Hal has a Bachelors degree in Playwriting from Rutgers University and a juris doctorate from Rutgers University School of Law. He has other degrees which he is still trying to find a use for. He is a former HWA Trustee and lives in West Hollywood. His blog is at http://www.wehovampire.com, but you can find his contribution to the Next Big Thing meme at http://morvenwestfield.blogspot.com/2012/12/guest-blogger-hal-bodner.html
Theresa Crater has published two novels, Beneath the Hallowed Hill and Under the Stone Paw and several short stories, most recently “White Moon” in Riding the Moon and “Bringing the Waters” in The Aether Age: Helios. She has published one metaphysical novel, God in a Box, under the pen name Louise Ryder. Theresa has also published poetry and a baker’s dozen of literary criticism. Currently, she teaches writing and British lit in Denver. Visit her blog at http://theresacrater.com