Also participating today are the following authors, so check out their blogs when you've finished with mine!
For my part in today's blog hop, I'll be answering questions about a novel I have coming out around Halloween of this year.
1: What is the working title of your book?
Chicago Fell First was my working title and it’s now become the official title.
2: Where did the idea come from for the book?
The initial spark of the idea came from something my wife mentioned to me. She works for Verizon Wireless and has heard dozens of ridiculous stories of the ways people manage to find to damage their cell phones. She came home one day and told me that people have taken to using rice to dry out water-logged phones! This sounded so absurd that it stuck in my head and became an incident in the first chapter of the book and the rest of the story kind of grew out of that little seed. As soon as I heard that, I knew I could find some kind of weird angle to the idea, but I wasn’t sure what it would be until I started writing.
3: What genre does your book come under?
It’s a horror novel in the zombie sub-genre.
4: Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Whenever I’m asked that question about any of my books, my mind usually turns toward whatever movies or TV shows I’ve been watching the most lately. In recent weeks, I caught up on Game of Thrones and Breaking Bad, so I’d probably end up pulling people from those series to cast the Chicago Fell First movie. That would work just fine for me, since those shows are loaded with excellent actors. But…I don’t want to name any specific character/actor matches because I’d rather let the readers see the characters however they form in the mind during the act of reading the book.
5: What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
When a city is overrun by an unimaginable horror, a group of strangers try to save themselves from what could be the end of the world.
6: Is your book self-published, published by an independent publisher, or represented by an agency?
Chicago Fell First will be published by Buzz Books, for whom I’ve previously written short stories for the anthologies Prom Dates to Die For and Something Wicked.
7: How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
It was written well over a year ago, so I don’t remember the exact time frame, but I’m a pretty fast writer, so I don’t think it took more than maybe three months for the first draft.
8: What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Well of course it has things in common with other zombie books, but those are factors that are kind of essential to the sub-genre. Those kinds of similarities are impossible to avoid. That pattern of people coming together to form a temporary "family" to survive a horrible situation is one of the core themes of horror, from Dracula to The Walking Dead and everything in between.
9: Who or what inspired you to write this book?
The aforementioned rice story started the ball rolling and it just went from there as the story built itself and I decided that zombies would be the focus. The human characters in the story came from a variety of different places. The fact that one of the main characters is a cancer survivor is due to the fact that a friend of mine was battling cancer around the time I was writing this book, although she and the character are much, much different. Another character is loosely based on a waitress in one of our local diners. Others just pop into my head when I need someone to move the story along.
10: What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
What I really wanted to do with this book was focus on the human beings. The zombie outbreak and all its gore and horror and destruction is the backbone of the story, but the way the people deal with it is the face of the book. At its heart, it’s a story about how the worst of circumstances can bring out the best in people, much like the way those who survive a war often come home stronger because of their experiences.
So those are my answers regarding Chicago Fell First. Look for more news about the book as we get closer to October. This will be my first full novel with Buzz Books. They've previously published my two young adult paranormal stories in their anthologies, Prom Dates to Die For and Something Wicked, so I'm, thrilled to be working with them again.