The Next Big Thing

The current big thing seems to be the Next Big Thing blog tour — you write about your next big project and tag 4-5 other writers, who write about theirs, and so on and on. I was lucky enough to be tagged by the great and powerful Australian writer Andrew Nette. Read his NBT entry, where he writes about about his current big thing, his latest book, Ghost Money, here.

I’ve chosen to write about the book I wrote this summer and with which I am currently serving time in revision hell.

1) What is the working title of your current/next book?

2) Where did the idea come from?
From the local crime blotter, and from being born and raised in Williamsburg, Brookyln.

3) What genre does your book fall under?
A little thriller, a little suspense, a little noir.

4) What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
Matthias Schoenaerts, Jon Heder, Pauley Perrette, John Leguizamo, America Ferrera, Serena van der Woodsen, Victoria Justice, and of course Ed O’Neill as the cop. No doubt any Hollywood producers will laugh at my suggestions.

Opening song.
Closing song.

5) What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
While a savage machete killer terrorizes a trendy neighborhood, a slacker reporter gets pulled into the investigation of a years-old disappearance.

6) Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
My balls are crossed that I will be represented by an agency sooner rather than later.

7) How long did it take you to write the first draft?
Five years of thinking, four months of writing.

8) What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
In the Heat of the Summer by John Katzenbach (the basis for Kurt Russell’s The Mean Season); A Rage in Harlem by Chester Himes and Slipping into Darkness by Peter Blauner, for how they evoke the City, by which I mean New York, since it is THE City.

9) Who or what inspired you to write this book?
Credit card bills. Also, to be honest, while the crime rate in New York City has steadily dropped for the last 10-15 years, it has increased in my old neighborhood in Brooklyn. You’d think with the radical gentrification that has taken place there that it would be safer than Peoria, but many violent crimes occur there every day. I thought it not only would be a good basis to discuss some of the issues going on in Williamsburg, but also it would be fun to visit those streets again.

10) What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?
Like Nette’s Ghost Money, Hipster Death Rattle is a crime story but at the same time it’s something else. We live in a world filled with many wonderful cultures, but often those cultures live side by side and never mix, and sometimes, when they do, the mix is volatile. So I want to explore what happens when people in the City are forced beyond the self-imposed cultural blinders they put on. Is that pique-worthy? Hey, there’s also violence. Lots of blood. And there are a couple of funny parts. At least I hope you think so.

And now, to keep the ball rolling, are the writers who’ve been cool enough to let me tag them—

Terrence McCauleyA terrific new pal of mine, McCauley prowls the backroads and alleys of the 1930s and ’40s. Check out his latest brutal story in Atomic Noir.

Katherine Tomlinson. I just e-met the very cool Tomlinson and read her dynamite new anthology Nightfalls, which is very worth your time.

Jimmy Callaway is a writer I’ve been following for a couple of years. He has a tight, visceral style I really admire. Check out his viciously good short “Night Train to Mundo Fine” in Nightfalls.

Keith Rawson is also someone I’ve just met via the ether, and he’s a very dark and feral writer. I recommend his sharply edged short story collection Laughing at Dead Men.

Kate Laity has done a couple of these Next Big Things, but I wanted to give her a nod. She’s very prolific and a wonderful Twitter buddy. Check out her excellent short story “Chickens” in Action: Pulse Pounding Tales Volume 1.

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4 Responses to The Next Big Thing

  1. K. A. Laity says:

    Cheers and thanks for the shout out. Hipster Death Rattle sounds like a sure thing!

  2. Pingback: New Big Thing: The Krampus « K. A. Laity

  3. D. Vazquez says:

    Hipster Death Rattle sounds great! Can’t wait to pick it up when it IS publised. Also love this idea of the Next Big Thing. Who can you trust more to recommend new authors than one of own your favorite authors 😉

  4. I second D. Vazquez’ comment. Sounds like a wild ride. And hopefully lots of hipsters get bumped off. 😉