Archive for December, 2012
“The Next Big Thing” is a little Q & A making the rounds among literary Southerners (and perhaps other circles too for all I know). Thanks to Beth Duke for tagging me and letting me share a little about my current work in progress (or “work that has progressed”).
What is your working title of your book?
It’s called The Old Weird South, an anthology of new fiction about the eerie, supernatural, macabre, and spooky side of the American South.
Where did the idea come from for the book?
In January 2012, I had the idea to put out a call for short stories from writers near and far. I asked them to submit stories about the supernatural and the South, which is a subject on which I’ve spent years and years. I like editing, collecting, judging, arranging, scheming. And all of this seemed like a good break from the intense five-year project of reading for and writing Auraria, which I’d just wrapped up.
What genre does your book fall under?
There are a lot of genres in this little book. Ghost stories, folk tales, highly literary short stories. What they all share, though, is a Southern setting and the presence of something supernatural. The devil at the crossroads, ghosts haunting a bed & breakfast, Native America legends, immortal mountaineers.
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Let’s leave that up to the individual authors. In my own vision, I saw at least two William H. Macy’s, an Andy Serkis, a Morgan Freeman, and a good plenty more.
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
“Stretching from the Civil War to the present day, these twenty four new stories visit mysterious bingo parlors and meet devils at the crossroads; they see battles in Florida’s citrus orchards and explore haunted bed & breakfasts.” It’s two independent clauses, but technically only one sentence because of that noble semicolon.
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
Published by QW Publishers, LLC.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
Submissions came in from January through March. I picked 22 out of 200 by April. Edited throughout the summer, worked with authors into the fall (and recruited two more contributions), got through layout and proofreading by November, and went on sale December 4th, 2012! Just about a year from idea to shelf.
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
There’s a great tradition of multi-author anthologies in fantasy and Southern lit.
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
My own hubris, I suppose. I learned a lot throughout the process, and so the many trials and tribulations were, in the end, rewarding.
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
You only have to put up with my writing for two pages, then it’s on to the stories, which are very diverse. Some are humorous, some dark and deadly serious; some in dialect and some not; some as casual and some are dense and literary. Please visit the publisher’s website for two sample stories and more info.