Narielle Living, author of Signs of the South, invited me to be part of the Next Big Thing Blog Hop. It sounded like fun, and I get to promote my work and the work of other gifted writers. I was tasked with answering the questions below, and to tag three others to be part of the hop. Look for their answers next Wednesday, December 26. You can read Narielle’s post here.
Ten Interview Questions for The Next Big Thing:
What is the working title of your book?
A World Without Music.
From where did the idea for the book come?
I’ve always been fascinated by music. Although I’m tone deaf and won’t sing even in the shower, and I can’t play a musical instrument, I love music and have a rather large collection of CDs—jazz, classic rock, blues, and more. I’ve always wondered how music does what it does: bridge cultures—remember when the Iron Curtain fell and Billy Joel went to Russia? Those in attendance (I imagine most didn’t speak English) cheered and rocked like any American audience. Music can incite a people to revolt, fill us with inspiration, and bring us to tears. It can bring two lonely hearts together.
Well, it occurred to me, what if our civilization had evolved without music? What if ancient man had never learned to communicate over distances by beating a stick on a hollow log? What if he’d never devised stringed instruments, or reeds or woodwinds? What if he’d never learned to write ballads to his lady love? Might we have evolved into a much more peaceful planet?
A spiritual being from a distant galaxy—a walk-in—stumbles upon our planet and shares lives with a number of historical figures: Jesus, during his ministry and crucifixion, and Aurelius Augustinus Hipponensis, helping him to develop Western Christianity. When he shares the childhood of Johan Sebastian Bach, he becomes fascinated by music because, on his world, although highly mathematic, they never devised music. He leaves Bach, gifting him with his mathematic knowledge (music is numerics), and moves forward, to inhabit the body of Thomas Jefferson, who also loved music and played the violin, during the time of the American Revolution. Eventually this walk-in moves to the twenty-first century where he befriends a musician—a bass player in a jazz quartet who is also a veteran of the first Gulf War suffering PTSD, which cost him his marriage. After fifteen years, his world devoid of music despite playing in his quartet, he contemplates suicide.
How’s that for a short answer?
What genre does your book fall under?
All my novels tend to defy categorization. I’ve written science fiction, sports-themed novels, paranormal, a mystery. I guess the one thing that ties them together is an element of romance, although not in the bodice-ripping sense. You’ll never see Fabio on the cover of one of my books!
In all my novels the protagonist is broken in some way, seeking redemption. In A World Without Music, the protagonist seeks for the harmony his life once was, prior to witnessing a horrific scene in the desert of Kuwait.
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
I don’t write with a screenplay mentality, and no one has ever asked me the question. But this was a fun exercise, even if I spent more time on it than any of the other questions.
- Reagan (the Gulf War veteran): Jim Caviezel
- Prisco (inhabited by the walk-in): Kevin Spacey
- Sarah (Reagan’s ex-wife): Susanna Thompson (she played Lt. Colonel Hollis Mann, Gibbs’ romantic interest for a few NCIS episodes)
- Cam (Reagan’s Facebook romantic interest) Claire Forlani (Meet Joe Black)
- Rosary (the groupie who stalks Reagan): Bellamy Young
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Can a veteran of the Gulf War suffering PTSD finally leave behind his past, to find love and peace of mind?
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
A World Without Music will be traditionally published, likely by a small, independent press.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
I anticipate completing my first draft by late winter 2013. I commenced the project in March 2012.
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
I can’t think of another book to which A World Without Music compares. I would hope that’s a good thing, although the publishing industry often likes to piggyback off the success of works that have come before.
Who or What inspired you to write this book?
Actually, I think I was inspired by events in my own life. More than two years removed from an ugly breakup and going through a career crisis, my own life was devoid of much harmony. As luck, or fate, would have it, a month after I started the project, I met a wonderful woman who has brought the music back into my life. Still, the story was started and I couldn’t bring myself trash it—I’d already gotten too attached to the characters. I also pride myself in finishing what I start.
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
All my novels deal with relationships—those between men and women or sons and parents. A World Without Music is no different. The protagonist is broken, seeking love and redemption. Who can’t relate to that? Introspective, A World Without Music also attempts to answer those questions we all ask, at some point in our life, about the meanings of life and love. I hope it will leave readers with their own introspection.
Please checkout next week’s participants:
With ten published books under his belt, Peter Watson Jenkins, an Anglo American, has just added his first collection of short stories. This genre has allowed him to range widely in location, just as he has done in life. Since graduating from Cambridge, he’s been a jack of all trades: a school teacher, minister of religion, journalist, leader of a peace movement, stockbroker, and hypnotist. He hopes this book, Found Money, will prove him a master wordsmith and successful at selling books. He should be, as he was also once a carpet salesman.
Jennie Nicassio is the author of Moondust. While attending Chatham University for her master’s in professional writing, she rediscovered her passion for writing. A clairvoyant with a strong belief in the power of positive thinking, Jennie resides in the suburbs of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with her sons, three cats, and dog.