I have been tagged in The Next Big Thing, a series of interconnected interviews where writers talk about their current projects. I have tagged three fellow authors below, and you can follow the links to their web pages, but in the meantime, here is what I have been up to.
1) What is the working title of your next book?
2) Where did the idea come from for the book?
It’s the adaptation of a screenplay that I wrote with my friend, Jim Pinto. Jim and I collaborated on a metric ton of roleplaying supplements, so a few years ago, he said to me, “Hey, let’s write a screenplay!” So I thought, “Hmmm, sounds like fun.” So Death Wind is the second screenplay we wrote. It was born out the desire to do some sort of little-seen-before mash-up, so we brainstormed some ideas and the idea of pseudo-Lovecraftian zombie western jumped out at us.
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?
Since we were writing a screenplay initially, this came up for discussion several times.
Charles Zimmerman, pioneer doctor – John Hawkes
Hank Zimmerman, the town marshal – Lance Henriksen (this character was written with him firmly in mind.)
Amelia Zimmerman, Charles’ wife, schoolteacher – Paula Malcomsen
Little Fox, Lakota medicine woman – Cinthia Moura or Mozhan Marno
Red Horse, Lakota warrior – Rodney A. Grant
Fred McMurphy, gutshot cowboy – Giovanni Ribisi
5) What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
In 1891, a pioneer doctor investigates a series of bizarre murders near a Lakota Sioux reservation and uncovers a forgotten tribe of nomadic, subhuman cannibals bent on sacrificing the entire populations of the reservation and the nearby town of White Pine to the cannibals’ dark god, a bloodthirsty, sentient tornado.
6) Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
At this point, I have had several small presses express interest in seeing the completed manuscript. I’m also going to submit it several literary agencies. There is no intention of self-publishing at this point, but where it will end up remains to be seen.
7) How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
An actual complete novel manuscript took about four months, but I was working from a screenplay that had been written previously over the course of about a year and a half.
8) What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
I’ve never even heard of another book like this one. There is not a lot of Weird Western out there. This book is something like “Lovecraft and Romero dance with wolves,” but it’s a more complex story than that.
9) Who or what inspired you to write this book?
When our screenplay won first place at the CINEQUEST Film Festival in San Jose this year, and 2nd place at the H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival–L.A. last fall, a lot of people were telling us how great the story was. One of the judges in San Jose congratulated me and told me, “This is how Cowboys and Aliens should have been done!”
So the next logical step was to see if the same interest could be found in the literary world.
As for where the story came from, we were drawing on our love of spaghetti westerns, Ennio Morricone, Clint Eastwood, gritty films like Unforgiven, and of course H.P. Lovecraft and George Romero, plus some powerful inspirations from Native American mythology.
10) What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?
Sub-human cannibals and a sentient tornado! What’s not to like?
Interested in Erotica and Dark Fantasy? Look up Betsy Dornbusch – http://www.betsydornbusch.com/
Steampunk fan? Check out Quincy J. Allen – http://www.quincyallen.com/
Do you like your historical fantasy really dark, like a good espresso? Coming soon with a new series from DAW Books, E. C. Ambrose. http://ecambrose.wordpress.com/2013/01/02/the-next-big-thing-blog-hop-elisha-barber/
Check out their titles here!