What is the Next Big Thing? It is a way to 'pass the baton', if you will, between the new writers of today, allowing each one of them in turn to give an insight about his or her upcoming work, then tag her fellow writers to do the same. This time I was tagged by my dear friend, the inspired writer Deborah Batterman. So here is a glimpse into my upcoming work:
What is the working title of your story?
The title of my story is A Favorite Son. Sounds familiar? Maybe because its Kindle edition has been published a couple of months ago. To my surprise, the story was received with great acclaim. So now there are two great developments which I would like to share with you: first, the story just about to come out as a paperback book! And the second--even better!--it is just about to come out as an audiobook!
Where did the idea come from for the story?
I have long been fascinated with the story of Jacob and Esav, which to me, captures several layers of emotions which we all go through in our families: a rivalry between brothers, the way a mother’s love, unevenly divided, can spur them to action, to crime, even; and how in time, even in the absence of regret, a punishment eventually ripens.
What genre does your story fall under?
The best definition I can offer for a genre is this: it is a new-age-biblical-twist genre, set in the twenty-first century, in a primitive camp of tents at the frontier of the desert in Canaan, in what seems, at first, to be an innocent fable.
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
I am going to change the question... Why, you ask? Because when your book is picked up for a major movie deal, this success--incredible as it may be--usually comes with a caveat: your work will be used by the screen writers merely as a suggestion, so it remains to be seen how much of the original text is retained in the final cut... However, when your book is picked up for narration, every sentence, every turn-of-a-phrase, every breath and pause in the original text is not only retained, but comes to life in the voice of the narrator.
So let me rephrase the question as follows: which actors would you choose to play your characters in a narrated rendition? Ah! What a great question! I would choose an actor with a great literary skill, one that can interpret the layers of meanings in my story, and one that has versatile voices in him. In short: David Kudler, and I had my heart set on him the moment I heard his audition.
David has been a voice and stage actor, a writer, and a book editor for over twenty years. Since 1999, he has been in charge of publications for the Joseph Campbell Foundation. As you can see, he is a man for all seasons... As a narrator, he has a warm, versatile voice, and a great ear for character and dialect. For A Favorite Son, he plays Yankle, Esav (Yankle’s brother), Isaac (Yankle’s father), Becky (Yankle’s mother) and Eliezer (Becky’s butler.) For each one of these characters, there is a distinct voice!
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your story?
This is a present-day twist on the biblical story of Jacob and his mother Rebecca plotting together against the elderly father Isaac, who is lying on his deathbed, in order to get their hands on the inheritance, and on the power in the family.
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
My book--in its paperback and ebook editions--will be self-published. I enjoy every aspect of the publishing process: the cover design most of all, as well as the interior design. Once my book is written and edited, I have an quick turnaround time to having it published--usually within a week. The audiobook edition, obviously, takes longer, because it involves a creative exchange of ideas between the narrator and me.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
Start to finish, this book took me six weeks. But it had been brewing in me for several years before that. Being an artist, I expressed it through sculpture. So here you can see Yankle and his mother Becky, plotting to cheat the father, and unable to look each other in the eye as they are doing so.
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
The Red Tent.
Who or What inspired you to write this story?
When I read the biblial story, the characters presented themselves before me. But beware: when reading my story, do not seek clear distinction between heroes and villains: no one is wholly sacred, because--like Yankle, the main character here--we are all made of lights and shadows, and most of all, doubt.
What else about your story might pique the reader’s interest?
Perhaps, an excerpt? Here is Yankle’s description of the last moments he has with Becky, his mother, which they spend plotting how to deceive Isaac, his father.
“By and by, a perfect calm comes upon me. I have no thought in my head, no clue that this is to be the last sunrise, the last morning that I spend with my mother; no premonition that our time together is running out, and that I should kiss her, and hug her, and bid her farewell.
Yet for some reason, glancing around me, I commit to memory every aspect of this scene, every detail: The vivid pattern of the rug, spread across the dirt floor. The embroidered silk pillows, leaning against the woven headrest. The little blemish, barely visible in the corner of the blanket. The silver thread coming apart, at one point, at the bottom of the canvas. The jug of water, half hidden behind the curved leg of the bed...
This hour is so intimate; so sweet, and it is fast coming to its bitter conclusion.
And the only thing that disturbs me, the only thing that stands here between us, is not being able to look each other in the eyes, during the last moments that remain to us.”
Now it’s my turn to tag people. Please visit their blogs. They will be publishing their answers to the same questions next week.
And now, the small print: a message for the tagged authors and interested others:
Rules of The Next Big Thing:
- Use this format for your post
- Answer the ten questions about your current WIP (Work In Progress)
- Tag five other writers/bloggers and add their links so we can hop over and meet them.
Ten Interview Questions for The Next Big Thing:
- What is the working title of your book?
- Where did the idea come from for the book?
- What genre does your book fall under?
- Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
- What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
- Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
- How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
- What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
- Who or What inspired you to write this book?
- What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
- Include the link of who tagged you and this explanation for the people you have tagged.