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The Next Big Thing

Jace Daniel, the author of an Amazon’s best seller horror novel,  Under Angels, asked if I would be interested in participating in a publicity program designed for authors called The Next Big Thing. Jace had this task passed on to him by fellow author Sean Patrick Traver, author of LA-based magical thriller Graves’ End.

A simple task I told myself. All inclusion in the webring required was that we must each answer a set of ten interview questions about a work in progress, and then hand off the same assignment to another five writers of the same or similar mind.

Jace has his plate full. He is currently working on a prequel to Under Angels tentatively titled (who would have guessed) Under Angels 2. He is also involved with adapting Under Angels into a screenplay and a graphic novel.

Ten Questions – Okay, here we go.

What is the working title of your book?

On The River Dark. (Excerpt)

Where did the idea come from for the book?

I guess it was a collision of a number of disparate things. After reading about the Bio-Bumba celebration in Brazil while I was building an outline in my mind for a short story about a dance ingénue, I caught Leonard Cohen’s haunting song “By The Rivers Dark” floating out of the ether – well actually it was from Canadian radio CBM in Manitoba that I had stumbled upon. It was as though Leonard and I were working in the same genre. Words spilled out of my mind so quickly that within an hour I had more idea pages typed out than a short story could possibly hold – Folklorico dance, Babylon, Brazil, Bio-Bumba, great scavenger birds, primal vortex locations, Iran’s nuclear program, higgs boson, Russian scientists, Chinese physicists, Rostov collider, nano diamond process and a half dozen players- whew! Okay it would be a novel – All I had to do now was to put it all together.

What genre does your book fall under?

Science Fiction, Fantasy.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Casting the leads from contemporary actors led me to these five:

Sara Gadon as Abigail

Sara Gadon, as Abigail Odie, because of the ballet leaps in the dance sequences and Sara’s ability to portray a blossoming young woman. Antonio Banderas as the shaman, Sevidore. I know Antonio is Spanish not Portuguese, but his innate charm and voice would fill out the character on screen. As Rosalie Sinclair, Charlize Theron another actress trained in classical ballet fits the mentor part. Charlize was outstanding in Aeon Flux and Prometheus. Gordon Liu would give Chinese physicists Dun Bai-Zhi real strength and character. And to complement Sara Gadon’s Abigail, Alex Pettyfer, as Andryi Kasperski, the Russian graduate student who…. ah, that would be too much of a spoiler.


What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Born from and complicated by the manipulations of a mysterious shaman two young lovers choose their own destiny as their slow dance in time enfolds them in a cataclysm at Babylon.

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

ifs Imagine Fantasy Science Fiction, a collection of short stories and poetry, was self published with modest success. So it seems quite natural to keep on with Indie publishing to find out what a novel will do.

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

After collecting all of the background notes and research information the initial working draft was completed over the late summer months of August and September. The current draft has been set aside to percolate over the traditional winter holidays. Then after this respite a rereading will begin the daunting task of re-writing and editing that lies ahead.

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

Somehow, at least in my mind, the inner workings of the plot are akin to Gaston Leroux’ The Phantom of the Opera. Not particularly a Science Fiction work, but somewhere within the realm of Fantasy. Most likely On The River Dark might be compared to Ray Bradbury’s A Sound of Thunder where antecedent effects that changed the real time of the past become the singular disturbing outcome of the present.

What or who inspired you to write this book?

The graceful leaps associated with ballet and the unexplained vortex locations on planet earth brought on the kernel of an idea. This may seem like a strange Freudian connection but the initial thought came from remembering a classical ballet instructor from my teen years, Paula Fey MaGill. Paula developed her prize students knowledge of the dance by taking them on trips to see the great performances of the 50′s that included both classical, native and Folkloric productions – the same teaching tactic that Rosalie Sinclair uses with Abigail in the first chapter of On The River Dark.

What else about your book would pique the readers interest?

Perhaps the syncretism metaphor using the the great Andean Condor as a channel.

Here’s the tags to reach the other writers in the webring. I’ll tag more here when they’re ready.