Molly Tanzer and Lucy Taylor tagged me to answer ten questions about my latest writing project. The self-interview is part of The Next Big Thing, which is tearing around online at the moment. Over the past month I've been tagged by some delightful artists, including David Kempf, Carole Johnstone, and Kate Jonez. To these writers I say: Many thanks, and sorry it took me so long!
1. What is the working title of your book?
Astoria. Most of the book is set in Astoria, Oregon.
2. Where did the idea come from for the book?
One of the characters in my novel Knock Knock walked away at the end of a chapter, got into a car, and drove away. She was absent from the rest of the novel. After the novel was published I wondered where the character had gone. Did she end up in a city? How did she survive what she had experienced in the novel? From there a new story took shape in my imagination. So I climbed into the car next to this character and took notes.
3. What genre does your book fall under?
I leave it to the reader to decide if the book is psychological or supernatural horror.
4. Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Cherry Jones or Julianne Moore would be good as the central character, Ethel.
5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
A grieving mother seeks refuge in a place she loved as a child, but is she safe or is she pursued by a ferocious entity that plagued her hometown for fifty years?
6. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
Knock Knock and the three related novellas, including Astoria, are published by Omnium Gatherum Media.
7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
Not long, but I'm still revising it! Say a prayer for me.
8. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
I wouldn't be brassy enough to compare it to these classics, but the book has themes in common with The Turn of the Screw and The Haunting of Hill House, among others.
9. Who or what inspired you to write this book?
The central character haunted me until I gave her a book of her own.
10. What else about your book might pique the reader's interest?
If you read Knock Knock and these novellas as a set, there should be a kaleidoscopic effect. The characters and ideas, across all four books, ought to create a large, complex, and mysterious world. I hope the experience will be both satisfying and disturbing.
So there you have it. And I am tagging Ennis Drake because he's on fire. Well, his fiction is on fire and you owe it to yourself to read his work.