John kindly tagged me in his blog last week, so now it’s my turn to answer these 10 questions and tag a few writers who I think are great and deserve to be read.
What is the working title of your next book?
I am working on a novella that is presently titled Scissors Seldom Come. I have a pretty good sense that’s the actual, final title. Earlier working titles, presently abandoned, include: Anthropophagical Husbandry, Thingamapig, and Narrative of Fortus Z. Hex, or Monster to Midwife and Midwife to Monsters.
Where did the idea come from for the book?
I was invited to write this novella by two authors I greatly admire. I don’t want to say much more because the whole thing is not finalized, but if all goes as planned, Scissors Seldom Come will wind up as one of three novellas to appear in a single volume. Without giving anything away, I can reveal that the title is a line from Mark Twain’s English translation of Struwwelpeter, a book that has always fascinated me.
What genre does your book fall under?
Weird Fiction. Some horror, some surrealism, some humor, some 19th century historical stuff.
What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
Divine, Klaus Kinski, Bruce Campbell, Crispin Glover, Bill Nighy, Dylan Moran. I am just naming actors I like.
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Mad doctor, decaying town, lost orphans, stolen goods, con-men, contagion, murder, guilt, dire iatrogenic consequences, a seven-sided animal, and apocalyptic weather—for starters.
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
I’m sure we’ll get it published by a fine, reputable publishing
How long did it take you to write the first draft of the
Almost a year and I’m not done. I rewrote it several times. It takes me a long time to be happy with every sentence, the paragraphs they make and other narrative structures, etc. And I must go through hundreds of drafts.
What other books would you compare this story to within your
No idea, really.
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
Struwwelpeter; 19th century quack medicine and smallpox epidemics; and the concept of “etcetera”, especially as it was overused in the 19th century,
often represented by the glyph “&c.”
What else about the book might pique the reader's interest?
It’s definitely surreal and dreamlike, but not at the expense of a “real” plot and characters. I like to experiment with style and structure, but I am a
traditionalist in terms of wanting a good story to mean something, and I want to close a book feeling that special satisfaction a reader has with the ending of the best stories. Model examples of ideal books in this mould would be If
On a Winter’s Night a Traveler by Italo Calvino or Gormenghast by
And now, my three tagged authors are:
Eric J. Guignard
Check each of them out next Wednesday, November 28, when they will answer the above 10 questions and tag more worthy scribes.