The Next Big Thing: Bark at the Moon

I was tagged by poet, writer, and mushroom photographer Ariel Gordon to take part in the Next Big Thing Blog Hop, so today I’m going to chat about my work-in-(interminable)-progress, Bark at the Moon.

(Before I forget, I’ve tagged Angélique JamailNoree Cosper, Jóhann Thorsson, and Peter Dawes, so hop on over and visit. And while I didn’t tag them myself, do check out Chadwick Ginther and Emmie Mears.)

Without further ado, here we go:

What is your working title of your book?

Bark at the Moon.

Where did the idea come from for the book?

I had already wanted to write a werewolf story or novella, but when a friend introduced me to Chuck Klosterman’s Fargo Rock City, I suddenly wanted to write about hair-metal werewolves. It just seemed like too much fun not to do. Since then it’s evolved into a sort of High Fidelity of werewolf novels.

What genre does your book fall under?

Urban fantasy / paranormal.

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

Unknowns, partly because the main characters are teens. But I was struck when I saw Hayley Atwell in Captain America how much she fit the look  and spirit of Lydia, the female lead in my novel, if about 5-10 years older. I’d cast a twenty-something Dennis Hopper as Mitch, and a young Julian Glover as Kevin (if we can make that version of Kevin a few years younger than the Dennis Hopper). For the main character, Richard, I could see him as a teen-aged Kiefer Sutherland — a guy who may look mild but has an inner wildness that erupts from time to time.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

In 1987, a teen with a death wish becomes a werewolf and learns not only is he now part of humanity’s last hope against extinction, but his love for his girlfriend puts her squarely in the sights of monsters seeking his destruction.

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

Not sure, but self-publishing is not my first choice. I’m still learning the whole publishing process and while I have tended to learn a lot of things the hard way, publishing is not one I want to take that route on. It will be enough of a challenge just to get a novel published the “traditional” way, never mind trying to oversee all aspects of publication, selling, and promotion as well. To be honest, I’m still just working on the actual manuscript and won’t be able to go ahead until that’s done.

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

A week or two, but the first draft was a novella of 20,000 words. It’s been many years of revision and rewriting since 😛

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

Children of the Night by Mercedes Lackey, because she took a standard monster (vampires) set her story in a retro time (early-1970s U.S.) and gave everything a twist. Also, The Sword of Maiden’s Tears by Rosemary Edghill, for taking an ancient monster (troll/ogre) and looking at how modern society would really react to such a thing, and what that monster means.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

The fact that I’ve seen werewolves done poorly (read: either mindless, stupid beasts or mere metaphors for puberty) far too often and I wanted to write a werewolf story that I would want to read.

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

Well, if the notion of werewolves as obsessed fans of ’80s metal isn’t enough, there’s also the concept that I decided to get rid of all supernatural explanations  for lycanthropy and come up with one that made sense in the context of the vast history of our planet. Also, they are not mere whipping boys/flunkies/romantic competitors for vampires. At all.

Include the link of who tagged you and this explanation for the people you have tagged.

Ariel Gordon is someone I’ve known since universty and we were in the Wolseley Writers’ Group for years. Angélique Jamail is a writer and teacher and Beowulf fan I’ve gotten to know via blogging. Noree Cosper is not only an expert on folklore, but also prolific writer (including A Prescription for Delerium). Peter Dawes is an urban fantasy/paranormal author with many novels (such as The Vampire Flynn series) to his credit. And Jóhann Thorsson is an Icelandic book blogger and writer with a flair for speculative fiction.

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