Last Wednesday I was tagged for “The Next Big Thing” by Eliza Hirsch. Here are my answers:
1) What is the working title of your next book?
I don’t have a working title at the moment, other than “the story that takes place at a convention”
2) Where did the idea come from for the book?
In the wake of DragonCon, there’s always tons of photographs and videos about that year’s experience. This year I particularly loved this video:
It struck me that a convention would be the perfect setting for a quest narrative. They’re a microcosm of all these different worlds and fandoms. Also, it’s a great place to try on different costumes/ personas.
3) What genre does your book fall under?
4) What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
My story features geek cultural icons, so it would be amazing if they made cameo appearances as themselves. I would be insanely happy if my book were made into a movie and George Takei played himself.
As for my main characters, I would want them to be played by very new, unknown actors. I feel like more well-known actors sometimes evoke expectations in the audience based on their previous roles.
5) What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
A young girl goes on a quest to experience and document moments of geek triumph at DragonCon in an attempt to reconnect with her alcoholic father.
6) Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
I will be seeking agent representation.
7) How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
It’s a current work in progress, but my goal is to have the first draft done by the summer.
8) What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
In Freaked by J.T. Dutton, the main character goes on a journey to a Grateful Dead concert. I kept expecting for the story to jump ahead, for long periods of time to pass. Mid-way through the book, I realized that the journey was the story. Dutton’s novel made me reconsider the role of time in a YA novel, and I’m trying to work with a similar short time frame for this book.
I’m also playing with voice. I remember reading Minister Faust’s The Coyote Kings of the Space-Age Bachelor Pad and thinking “I bet this was so much fun to write.” I love the narrative voice style in Minister’s novel. Sometimes I have the cloud of Serious Writer hanging over my head and I want to write only the novel that will devastate you and change your life. So I keep reminding myself of authors like Minister Faust who write with purpose but have fun along the way.
9) Who or what inspired you to write this book?
Talking with my Star Trek club friends about DragonCon reminded me of the excitement I felt at going to my first convention. Like a lot of people I know, I wish I had been more comfortable with my fandom earlier. I missed out on years of having fun with people who like the same stories I do, all because I was trying really hard to fit into someone else’s mold of who I should be.
10) What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?
I’m writing a novel about a geek girl for other young geek girls to see a kindred spirit in action. My goal is to make a book that is fun, but also has a steady undertow of emotional conflict. I can promise you Star Trek references that go beyond the well-known episodes, a Browncoat code of honor, and superheroic feats.