Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The Next Big Thing

Fellow writers Lyn Perry and Keanan Brand tagged me and a few others for The Next Big Thing: "a blog hop initiated six months ago by Toby Neal, who tagged five other writers." I'm finally getting around to this post after being tagged months ago.

I became acquainted with Lyn through submissions to Residential Aliens. I later worked for Lyn as a slush reader along with Keanan at Fear and Trembling.

The rules of the blog hop:
1. Mention who tagged you, and link to their post.
2. Give the rules.
3. Answer the ten questions below.
4. Link to several more people.

1) What is the title of your next book?

Highway 24

2) Where did the idea come from for the book?

I spent the early years of my life in a small town in Kansas out in nowhere. The roads passed through farm and pasture land and outside the artificial lights of town, you entered a very lonely darkness. If you're alone and in the right mood, that darkness creeps you out like the best horror films. The town in the story is a thinly disguised version of my hometown.

3) What genre does your book fall under?

It falls squarely in the ghost story genre and bleeds into the creepy horror category.

4) What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

That would require me to know who some actors are. I have no idea. The female lead has to play a convincing dead person.

5) What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

An accident on a lonely highway brings a young travelling salesman face-to-face with a dark secret from his father’s past.

6) Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

Highway 24 is a novelette (about 13,000 words). MuseItUp Publishing has scheduled a June 2013 release.

7) How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

That's a good question. I wrote part of this story, abandoned it, and then later came back to it. That draft went through some critic groups. The story was too long to submit to most journals so it languished in a folder until I took it out, revised it again, and submitted it to MuseItUp. It's hard to say how long the first draft took or how to even identify the first draft. My best guess is two months.

8) What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Highway 24 has similarities with many if not most ghost stories.

9) Who or what inspired you to write this book?

See my answer to question two concerning lonely roads and the darkness that envelopes and transforms them. Also, the idea of guilt and inherited guilt has always intrigued me. Hawthorne made a career out of passing guilt from one generation to another.

10) What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?

There's a creepy ghost girl on a highway, a long lost shoe, and an exhumation. You'll also meet a strange, not-quite-of-this-world character known only as the preacher. The focus of the story is the unraveling of the mystery behind the death of the girl who haunts the highway and how that death has taken a toll on those involved.

That's it for me. The Next Big Thing moves on to the next set of writers who will remain hidden until they post their answers.


  1. Sounds like a tale I'd like to read.

    I tried writing a ghost story a time or two, but nothing was successful -- until I wrote a funny one. But that was years ago, and I haven't written one since. A blessing for everyone else, I think. ;)

  2. Great concepts! Best wishes with your project.

    1. Thanks, Lyn. I'm very happy to have found a home for this one at MuseItUp and their editing process has been a great learning experience.

  3. I look forward to reading it, Jeff!