The Next Big Thing

One of the really nice things about starting The Eye-Dancers blog has been the interaction I’ve had with fellow bloggers.  As a part of that, I was lucky enough to be invited to take part in The Next Big Thing.  Many thanks to Maddie Cochere for her invitation.  Please take a look at Maddie’s website–she is doing great things!

The Next Big Thing is a lot of fun and it offers writers a chance to pass the baton, as it were, from week to week.  It’s a wonderful opportunity, and again, I am thrilled to be a part of it.  There are a series of questions to be answered–the same for everyone who takes part in The Next Big Thing.

1. What is the working title of your book?

The Eye-Dancers

2. Where did the idea come from for the book?

On the surface, this is a simple question, but really, “where did you get your idea” questions are never altogether straightforward–at least not for me!  I am of the belief that writers don’t “get” ideas so much as ideas come to them.  This particular idea came to me first a long time ago–when I was a teenager (longer ago than I care to admit)!  I had a dream.  In the dream, I was looking out through the front window, into the street.  And there, beneath the street light, was a little girl, seven, maybe eight years old.  She was partially transparent–like a ghost, a spirit, not of this earth.  She had the bluest eyes I had ever seen, and she gestured for me to come outside with her.  (To anyone who has read Chapter One of The Eye-Dancers, this scene will be strikingly familiar!)  I woke up from that dream, and for years couldn’t figure out what to do with it.  The image of the “ghost girl” remained locked away, in an “ideas-vault,” and I wondered if it would ever be opened.  Then, just a few years ago, I had the same dream!  But this time, upon waking up, the basic idea of The Eye-Dancers took shape.  That’s how ideas so often happen. They come to you, unasked for, unplanned.

3. What genre does your book fall under?

 I would call it young adult sci-fi/fantasy–though it is not hard-core sci-fi, nor is it high fantasy.  It’s a young adult story with sci-fi and fantasy elements, and, it’s my hope, an imaginative plot that will take readers on a wild ride.


4. Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Is it okay to skip a question?  I have such clear, distinct images of the characters in The Eye-Dancers, I honestly cannot think of any actors to play the parts.  Of course, if the day ever came when a decision on such matters had to be made, I’d consider that a wonderful “problem” to have!

5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? 

A one-sentence synopsis is very hard to come up with!  But if I had to, it would go something like this . . .

Four seventh-graders are transported to a strange world, and the only one who can help them find their way back home is the mysterious little girl with the swirling, hypnotic blue eyes.

6. What is the longer synopsis of your book?

 I will go ahead and use the blurb I have up on Amazon and Barnes and Noble . . .

Seventh-grader Mitchell Brant and three of his classmates inexplicably wake up at the back edge of a softball field to the sounds of a game, the cheering of the crowd. None of them remembers coming here. And as they soon learn, “here” is like no place they’ve ever seen. Cars resemble antiques from the 1950s. There are no cell phones, no PCs. Even the spelling of words is slightly off.

A compulsive liar, constantly telling fantastic stories to garner attention and approval, Mitchell can only wish this were just one more of his tall tales. But it isn’t. It’s all too real. Together, as they confront unexpected and life-threatening dangers, Mitchell and his friends must overcome their bickering and insecurities to learn what happened, where they are, and how to get back home.

The answers can be found only in the mysterious little girl with the blue, hypnotic eyes. The one they had each dreamed of three nights in a row before arriving here. She is their only hope. And, as they eventually discover, they are her only hope.

And time is running out.

7. Is your book self-published or represented by an agency?

 It is an indie e-book (self-published).

8. How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

 The first draft took about two and a half years. 

9. Who or What inspired you to write this book?

 Another question that, on the surface, seems simple, but which is really quite complex.  First and foremost, my experiences growing up in Rochester, New York, the friends I shared, the adventures we had, the ideas and speculations we discussed–just kids having fun and wondering.  Imagining.  Those experiences are still very much alive in me, and they were the primary motivating factor when I wrote The Eye-Dancers

But also, I have always been the kind of person to ask, “What is the meaning of it all?  What, in its essence, is the ‘reality’ we all speak of?  Are things perhaps not quite what they seem?  Are they more layered?  Are there other realities, other truths, which we know no part of?”  The Eye-Dancers is a composite of all those questions and (hopefully) more.  It is the story of young friendship, overcoming obstacles, learning to believe in yourself, and keeping the faith.

In the end, it’s the characters in The Eye-Dancers who kept me dialed in, who kept me focused even on the days when the writing was hard and the creative process an uphill climb.  In a nutshell, the book was inspired by the child in all of us, the part of us that wonders why things are as they are, and that is eager to discover new and exciting frontiers.

10. What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

I think (hope!) that there are various elements to The Eye-Dancers, enough disparate qualities to attract readers from across the spectrum.  If you enjoy character-driven fiction, I hope you give The Eye-Dancers a look, because it is the characters–their problems, their overcoming of adversity, their self-discovery and need to confront their own insecurities–who lie at the heart of the story.  If you enjoy sci-fi and fantasy, there are “ghost girls” and dreams and parallel universes, quantum physics and world-building and possibilities of time travel.  If you like mainstream fiction, there are many subplots and character-driven moments that, with hope, will cause you to care about and root for the boys in their quest to get back home.

And, it’s my earnest hope . . . if you simply like an interesting, imaginative story, then you will you enjoy The Eye-Dancers.

Once again, I am very grateful for this wonderful opportunity to participate in The Next Big Thing.  It was a lot of fun answering these questions.  And it’s also a privilege to pass the baton on to two other remarkable authors.

Jennifer Paetsch at her site, JenniferPaetsch.com, and Sheri Bessi at her site, The Other Side of Ugly, will answer these same questions next week!  Please join them for the next installment of The Next Big Thing . . .

–Mike

 

10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. jpaetsch
    Dec 12, 2012 @ 13:48:58

    Great answers, Mike! The book was wonderful, and anyone who doesn’t buy a copy is really missing out. Thanks for picking me for next week. I’ll try my best.

    Reply

  2. The Other Side of Ugly
    Dec 13, 2012 @ 16:03:14

    Aersome! And I can’t wait to read the next chapter…to finish the book. I find it very interesting that your story came to you through a dream. You’ll see why next week-:) thank you again, for this great post.

    Reply

  3. kelihasablog
    Dec 13, 2012 @ 18:44:58

    I’m really enjoying it so far! 😀

    Reply

  4. evilnymphstuff
    Dec 14, 2012 @ 15:59:29

    Looks quite interesting! 😀 Congrats for receiving the ‘next big thing’ privilege! 🙂

    Reply

  5. The Eye-Dancers
    Dec 14, 2012 @ 17:48:21

    Thanks to everyone for all the supportive comments! I’m glad you enjoyed the post!

    Reply

  6. Maddie Cochere
    Dec 15, 2012 @ 05:32:09

    I enjoyed your answers, Michael. How cool that you’ve had this idea since you were a teenager – and from a dream … I, too, feel too close to my characters to pick people to play them in a movie. Your book sounds really interesting, and I like your cover. Best wishes to you for success!

    Reply

  7. Trackback: The Next Big Thing | Jennifer Paetsch
  8. you're just a dumbass
    Dec 19, 2012 @ 21:11:52

    Your mind is fascinating! The idea came from a dream! So awesome! Looks like a great book! All the best to you!

    Reply

  9. Sheslosingit.net
    Dec 27, 2012 @ 01:11:14

    Congratulations on publishing your book. It’s a big accomplishment. Lots of people talk about writing a book and you actually did it. Kudos.

    Are you going to BEA to market it?

    Lisa
    http://sheslosingit.net

    Reply

  10. cricketmuse
    Jan 13, 2013 @ 20:37:13

    Congrats! Wishing you Happy Pages!

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: