Greetings from a southern ghost land!

I was recently asked by two writers/editors I respect and admire—Thomas A. Erb and Kate Jonez—to ride some crazy train called “The Next Big Thing Blog Hop”, and to answer some questions about my upcoming debut novel, THESE UNQUIET BONES. Since I agreed to it, and since I strive to be a man of my word, I’m on the tracks and ready to go.

But before  we barrel ahead, I want to introduce you to Thomas and Kate. Stop by their blogs and say hello!

Thomas A. Erb:

Kate Jonez:

All aboard? Let’s ride!

1. What is the working title of your next book?

Well, the first working title was CAPTURED GODDESS, but I decided that sounded too much like a fantasy novel, which I wasn’t writing. The next working (and short-lived) title was SUFFERING OVERDUE, but that sounded too much like splatter-punk horror, also not what I was writing. So after much brainstorming I settled with THESE UNQUIET BONES, which, thankfully ended up being the official title.

2. Where did the idea come from for the book?

This is actually a tough one for me to answer, because there is no one concrete source or place from which I came upon the idea The themes and characters have been with me for a very long time (since I was a teenager, actually) and a lot of the inspiration for the story came from researching religion (a lot of my stories touch on the subject of religion), philosophy (Satre and Hobbes) and reading a lot of classic literature, crime thrillers, and horror novels. Heavy metal and alternative rock was a big source of inspiration, as well. Dreams also played a big part in the creative process.

It is my belief that dreaming is the ultimate idea generator; the things that your unconscious mind weaves from the mysterious cloth of dreams are just too lovely, strange, and terrifying for your conscious mind to ever manufacture on its own.

3. What genre does your book fall under?

It’s a combination of supernatural and psychological horror. I actually like to think of it as a Southern Gothic, because for me it  allcontains the elements. But I’ll let the readers be the judge of that.

4. What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

I actually pictured a young Ellen Muth (from the  Showtime series Dead Like Me) when developing my lead character, Amy Snow. For her father, Hank Snow, I pictured Zakk Wylde of the grunge metal band Black Label Society (he played in the movie Rock Star, so I’m counting him as an actor). Out of respect, I’m not going to say whom I pictured for the character of Layne Hardy—Amy Snow’s best friend and secret admirer—because that person is deceased.

I’d have to think a little harder for what actors I’d pick for all the others, because for the most part I modeled them after people I know or had seen on TV or in real life. That’s just how it happens for me. I did see once the perfect actor for the psychopath of my story, Adam, but for the life of me I can’t remember who that actor was.

5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

While Amy Snow struggles to uncover the truth about her mother’s murder, a psychopath named Adam is in search of “The Lost One,” a girl he calls Eve, whom he must sacrifice to the god she betrayed, in order to bring Paradise back to its former glory.

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

Odium Media has picked up the book and will be publishing it in early 2013. A special thanks goes out to Kate Jonez for this.

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

A year or longer. I actually went through several different versions of this story. The end result is a completely different (and better) story than what I started out with. More on that another time.

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

Another tough one. Let’s just say I was reading a lot of John Farris (my favorite writer), Tom Piccirilli, and Stephen King while writing this book.

9. Who or what inspired you to write this book?

A constant nagging desire to author a novel that I wanted to read was what inspired me to write it. As I said, the themes and characters in this story have been with me for a very long time (they haunted me persistently, they would not let me go), so I had to get them out on paper. It took a while, but I finally did it. Now there are other themes and characters begging to be unleashed on the unsuspecting. I’m working on those now.

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

It contains all sorts of different elements. It’s in part a supernatural horror, in part a mystery, in part a psychological thriller, and in part a dark, twisted romance. There are also some literary references. I am a big fan of Thomas Hardy and William Faulkner, so some of their influence is at work in THESE UNQUIET BONES. I wonder if it shows. Guess we’ll wait and see.


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