I’ve been tagged by Jo Myles for ‘The Next Big Thing’ blog tour. Never one to blow my own trumpet—I’m really not that flexible—and knowing how badly I suck at utilising social media, I grabbed the opportunity to embrace a wider audience with both hands.
Luckily, her email landed in my inbox at just the right time. I was despatching the first draft of my next novel to those wonderful peeps I rely on to rip my work to shreds so that I can, hopefully, put it back together again with as few tears as possible before submitting to publishers.
What is the title of your book?
How did you come by the idea?
Watching a nature programme about intelligence in certain animals—in this case elephants--the seeds of an idea struck almost straight away. Luckily I had the foresight to hit record on the set-top box. I built the entire story around the two theories that they proved with the elephants.
What genre does your book fall under?
Contemporary gay romance--with a touch of angst.
Which actors would you choose to play your characters if it were a movie?
Ah, this is a hard one. I never really had actors in mind when I wrote this. There were several drawings by Michael Breyette which I looked at when I first started writing and thought, yeah that’s Eric and that’s Tyaan, but I never referred to them again so I might have drifted away from them as the story progressed. However they are great pieces of art so clicking the links won't be too much of a hardship for you.
Tyaan – Chris Hemsworth, maybe, with slightly shorter hair and muscle defined by hard work rather than working out. Hang on, what colour eyes has he got? They need to be golden brown. And that scruff is far too manicured, it needs to be unkempt as if he just couldn’t be arsed to shave for a couple of days.
Eric – need a
guy with dark hair. Nigel Harman, maybe, but that reference is perhaps a little obscure for international audiences. London
One character I can say for certain is Gilda. She’s the love of Tyaan’s life.
She’s a de Havilland DHC-4 Caribou. A little large for a bush pilot, but Tyaan fell in love with her the moment he saw her and knew he had to have her. It’s the only woman he’s ever felt that way about.
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
I know should write these things as I go along, but my least favourite part of writing is the synopsis be it one line or five pages.
Unless you give it a chance, love will always be a theory unproven.
That’s off the top of my head. What do you think?
Will your book be self-published or traditional?
I’ll be submitting it to a publisher, I’m not quite sure which yet.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
Wow, umm ages. I’m a slow writer unfortunately. This novel started life as a short story which probably took about 3 weeks to write. Then I went back to it at some point in July, but I was interrupted by edits on two other stories for the better part of July/August, so I probably didn’t get back to it in earnest until September and I finished the first draft second week of November, during which time I added another 80K to the word count.
So back to the question, probably about 11 weeks in total.
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
*frowns* Well, I try not to emulate anyone else’s work. This is a story I wanted to tell based on an initial seed of information and the characters sort of took it places I’d never intended when I got that first idea.
I certainly haven’t read anything and thought ‘I want to write a story like this.’. I read things and tell myself ‘That was bloody amazing, I wish I could write like that.’ But that isn’t the same thing.
Who or What inspired you to write this book?
I had the idea and decided to try and write it as a short story with a view to submitting it for Dreamspinner’s Animal Magnetism anthology, with maybe a second short story to follow as a sequel. Even keeping it to the bare bones I couldn’t get it anywhere near the maximum word count.
I decided not to try to force the story into a format it didn’t want to live in. Instead, it became a novel, both stories flowing seamlessly together into 92K of lust, angst, pain, denial, love, dust, sun and elephant dung. Wow, there’s a lot going on when you put it like that.
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
It also features two male elephants with more than a healthy interest in each other and an intelligence quota that may appear high, but research proves is perfectly normal within the elephant community.