So, I've been tagged in The Next Big Thing by Ashley Benning, which apparently is a chain-letter for bloggers to discuss the book they're writing.
What is the working title of your book?
Lost in the Shadows
Where did the idea come from for the book?
Years ago I read an article in the LA Times about how many missing persons there are in Alaska. Not only do they get lost in all that wilderness but sometimes people go there to "lose themselves" on purpose – sometimes figuratively and sometimes literally. Being a long-time fan of creepy ghost stories I wondered: what if there was something contributing to disappearances?
What genre does your book fall under?
Ahh, I hate to think of it as "horror" because so many of those books are completely over the top. (Slasher movies like Nightmare on Elm Street were popular when I was a teenager but I preferred a good ghost story like Poltergeist.) I think I'll go with "paranormal thriller" for genre.
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
No idea – can't even manage to think that far ahead.
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
After the death of his wife, Jack moves to Alaska to escape his grief and run a small lodge in the woods near Juneau only to find something malevolent about the forest.
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
Hopefully represented by an agency, of course, but I'm seeing a lot of self-publishing success stories. If all else fails I might just serialize it on my blog.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
Well, I've been working on it for over 8 years now, and just started the first major re-write this last summer (I guess that's what happens when you have a full-time job/life). Although I had originally envisioned "Jack" as a late 20-something I'm considering changing him to a teenager (after all, YA is what I generally read) and I think it might work better that way, but I've decided to try to finish it "as is" first (I must be a little OCD because I can't stand leaving things unfinished).
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Maybe Dean Koontz in some of his cleaner books. Definitely not Stephen King – although I think he's an amazing writer (loved The Dark Half), I found his books often trashy and to have a very mean undercurrent to them (especially Needful Things).
Who or What inspired you to write this book?
A very unpleasant job reminded me that as a kid I always thought of myself (in the back of my mind) as being a writer when I grew up. (I guess I haven't grown up yet – and I don't mean that in a childish way.)
What else about your book might pique the reader's interest?
In researching for the story I actually found numerous parallels to what I had made up in old legends and cultures around the world.
(I'm sending these questions to Jon Jagard.)