The Next Big Thing is a literary game that is spreading across the internet. Writers tag one another and answer questions about their current work-in-progress. I was tagged by Dan Perry. Each writer then tags another five and so on... It's a great way to check out what other writers are working on.
What is the working title of your book?
Men and the Drink
Where did the idea come from for the book?
I didn't have a specific idea for the collection until it was halfway done. Then I noticed themes and characters that repeated. When I wrote the title story, I knew that would be the book title as well. My mum says these are my areas of expertise. I'm not an expert on either, but I am fond of both.
What genre does your book fall under?
Short fiction. I did come up with the term lonely romanticism which might fit. Readers have described my stories as gritty, evocative, economical, and unsentimental.
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
At 20 stories, I'll need a lot of actors. Here's a few ideas...
Matt Dillon - 20 Grit/Eddie in the trilogy "20 Grit", "Crappy Little Job" and "Separated" (right look, age, and voice).
Richard Dreyfuss - the professor in "Derry Daring Rides" (dark and funny).
Helena Bonham Carter - Minnie in "The Inkling" ( a mix of Marla from Fight Club and Margaret from Margaret's Museum).
Saul Rubinek - the crass gallery owner in "Summer Sublet" (think Lee Donowitz in True Romance.)
Friends would play extras in bar scenes.
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Isolation, anxiety, and degradation infect lives that are served no easy baked solutions.
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agent?
I don't have an agent. I'll be submitting my manuscript to publishers early next year.
How long did it take to write your manuscript?
Five years of writing and revisions.
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
I can't compare to other books. I'm a fan of Bukowski's style of first person tell-it-like-it-is writing, and I think my work reflects this appreciation.
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
Life experiences as well as my family, cats, dreams, and the neighbourhoods of Parkdale and the Byward Market have inspired my stories.
What else about your book might pique the reader's interest?
My writing is subtle and often leaves room for readers to interpret and imagine different aspects and endings. This does frustrate some, but it also sparks debate and discussion. For those who don't like to be left hanging, the collection includes two trilogies that track characters over a period of years.
Check out what these great writers are up to: