The Next Big Thing
You may have seen the blog chain winding its links around the Australian writing community lately. Tansy Rayner Roberts tagged me (read her contribution here) and here is my effort at answering the standard questions. I actually have two concurrent projects (actually, three, but the third involves short stories, so I thought I’d leave them out of it) so it got a bit complicated. Apparently, complicated and way too busy is my thing. Free time is anathema to me.
What is the working title of your next book?
I have a couple of projects going simultaneously at the moment, which is madness, I know. Believe me. They’re not even the only two projects I’m developing.
One project is the third Gary/Lissa vampire novel, with the working title of Beyond Redemption. The new project is being developed under the title Kitty and Cadaver.
Where did the idea come from for the book?
Kitty and Cadaver came about basically because I love books in which rock and roll saves the world from monsters. There aren’t nearly enough of them, so I decided to write one.
Beyond Redemption is the third in a trilogy and will finish the Gary and Lissa’s story.
What genre does your book fall under?
Both of them are urban fantasy books. Well, I suppose Kitty and Cadaver is urban fantasy come rock opera.
What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
For Gary and Lissa, I’ve been thinking lately that Toby Truslove (Outland, Laid, The Strange Calls) would make a good Gary, if he chubbed up a bit. For Lissa, an actress named Maya Stange (Garage Days) has a great look. (Actually, I think they’re both older than the characters, but they fit with my ideas of the characters.) Magda Szubanski was always the model for the vampire queen Magdalene, of course.
I haven’t got that far with the characters for Kitty and Cadaver yet.
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
I will cheat by writing very long sentences.
Beyond Redemption: Gary is at the end of his tether, then he gets an idea that is either completely brilliant or completely stupid, particularly in light of the latest ructions in the vampire community and the return of Lissa’s mother.
Kitty and Cadaver: The surviving members of the rock band with a mission to save the world from monsters stumble across the zombie apocalypse in Melbourne, but need to find a new lead singer with a magic voice before they can confront the undead as well as their own demons.
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
Beyond Redemption will come out with Clan Destine Press. I don’t know what will happen yet with Kitty and Cadaver. I’ll be approaching an agent when I have a completed manuscript ready to go, but Clan Destine has expressed interest in that as well.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
I’m still working on them both, but first drafts usually take me 12 to 18 months, since I write them outside my day job hours. I’m hoping to go down to three days a week in day job hours in 2013, so maybe I’ll get these ones done more quickly for a change.
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Kitty and Cadaver will be a bit like other rock ‘n’ roll saves the world books: Scott Westerfeld’s Peeps and The Last Days, and Emma Bull’s The War for the Oaks come to mind. (If anyone has recommendations for other books along these lines, I’d love to hear about them!)
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
For Kitty and Cadaver – Rock ‘n’ Rooooooooollllllllll!!
More helpfully: I’d been noodling about writing lyrics (and a bit of music, but it’s been a long time since I played an instrument) to stretch myself and I loved doing it. I last wrote songs for some Blake’s 7 filk about thirty years ago, though I’ve dabbled a bit in the interim. But I loved doing it so much that I wanted to do a story that used music a lot more. Music, magic, monsters: a perfect combination, surely?
What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?
Music will be an integral part of Kitty and Cadaver, and I’m working with my niece, who is a musician, on developing songs that will be used in the stories. So it’ll be a multimedia bonanza!! Woooot!
Read other Next Big Thing entries in the blog chain!
Narrelle M Harris is a Melbourne-based writer. Find out more about her books, smartphone apps, public speaking and other activities at www.narrellemharris.com.