Dec 032012
 

My friend Alex Bledsoe tapped me to be one of his minions join in the Next Big Thing blog tour. It’s kind of like a chain-mail letter — the things we used before emails and Facebook by people who don’t read Snopes.com — but instead of wasting postage it infects the blogs of authors around the net. Since it’s really just an excuse for each of us to tell people about our latest works, most writers don’t do much to avoid it — unless they’ve already had it recently.

The only cure for this infection, it seems, is to answer the questions and tag more folks. So, bear with me as I try to get this out/off of my system. For purposes of this self-interview, I’m going to talk about the Dangerous Games trilogy I’m writing at the moment.

What is your working title of your book?

Dangerous Games. It’s actually the title for a trilogy of short novels I ran a Kickstarter for last year.

Where did the idea come from for the book?

It’s a trilogy of thrillers set at Gen Con, the largest tabletop gaming convention in America. I’ve been going to Gen Con since I was a kid, and I’ve been a guest of honor there for the past ten years running. I love the show, and I wanted to write something exciting set there, something in which I could describe what it’s like and virtually kill off lots of my friends (honest!) at the same time.

What genre does your book fall under?

It’s a modern-day thriller. It’s a bit of a departure for me in that it’s it has zero fantastic elements in it. No magic spells. No tech that doesn’t exist. It’s mundane and yet thrilling at the same time.

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

I’d have my friends play themselves. Many roleplayers have some decent acting chops, and I think they’d do a good job. The hero, though, is a young man named Liam Parker, an unemployed guy fresh out of the police academy and an aspiring game designer. I could see a lot of people playing him, from Josh Hutcherson to Donald Glover.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

When a world-famous game designer turns up murdered at the convention, a group of gamers makes it their quest to figure out who killed him, and why.

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

This is part of my 12 for ’12 series, in which I’m trying to write a dozen short novels this year. I’m self-publishing each of these.

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

I wrote the first two books in the series — a total of 100,000 words or so — in about a month. I kept track of it as part of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). I should have the final book completed within about ten days.

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

The easy comparison is to my upcoming novel The Con Job, which is based on the Leverage TV show. That novel’s set at Comic-Con, so the parallels come right out and smack you.

As for other books, each novel in the series is different. The first is a murder mystery involving a serial killer. The second is a crime novel involved hit men. The third ramps that all up to something more like Die Hard set at a huge gaming convention.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

As I writer, I’m always thinking about what ifs, and I’ve spent so much time at Gen Con over the years that I’ve had the chance to go back to some of those over and over. It’s one of my favorite events of the year, and I wanted to explore what might happen if everything there went wrong. I’m happy to report that the convention survives just fine — so far.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

If you’re interested in tabletop games and the people who make them, you’ll get a huge kick out of these books. Even if you’re not, there’s plenty of spectacle, mystery, and thrills for anyone. They should be available in early 2013.

Thanks to Alex for tapping me on the virtual shoulder for this. Next week, be sure to check out the five writers to whom I’ve passed the list of questions along:

  • Mur Lafferty, author of The Shambling Guide to New York City and host of the I Should Be Writing podcast
  • Aaron Rosenberg, RPG designer and author of No Small Bills
  • Wesly Chu, author of The Lives of Tao

BONUS ROUND: 

My friend Myke Cole, author of Shadow Ops: Control Point, was happy to answer the questions but didn’t want to be a part of the chain-post thing — which I totally understand. So, he’s answered the questions as an interview from me, and he is not forwarding the questions on to anyone else.

What is your working title of your book?

Shadow Ops: Breach Zone

Where did the idea come from for the book?

The novel has a few major influences. The first is Joe Abercrombie’s amazing novel, The Heroes. It’s a book-length description of a single battle. The second was my moving to New York City, and joining a guard unit that does the majority of its patrolling around the island of Manhattan. Those two seeds germinated in my hand to produce . . . a novel chronicling a single battle on the island of Manhattan.

What genre does your book fall under?

Fantasy. Other than that, your mileage may vary. People have alternately called my work “Contemporary Fantasy,” “Urban Fantasy,” and “Military Fantasy.” I’m really more interested in the work than the labels.

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

There’s already a detailed blog post on this very topic. You can read it here.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Love, tragedy, and monsters rampaging through Wall Street. Who could ask for anything more? Yeah, I cheated there. Sue me.

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

It is represented by the Jabberwocky literary agency and will be published by Ace.

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

I’m still working on it. It will be roughly a year when it’s turned in.

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

I hope I don’t come across as bragging, but I honestly don’t think it’s like any other book that I know of.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

Wanting to deliver on my book contract?

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

Fans of the Shadow Ops series will get to dive deep into the back stories of two major characters in the series who have thus far not been fully explored.

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