Opal Palmer Adisa tagged me in The Next Big Thing writers chain. A series of questions about writers, their current projects, process are asked of one writer who then tags two to five other writers who then answer, transform, transmit the ideas and the beat goes on. I answered the original questions but as usual did not fit the assumptions inherent in the questions. Here are my answers and when any of the authors in my chain post their responses I will do an update.
What is your working title of your book?
Only one book? Only one genre? What do those authors do, essayists and poets, short story masters, who are not yet shaping a collection but just pulling through the next piece. I have enough stories to almost have a collection thus the working title of that Sci Fi book of short stories is Trade Routes and Other Stories. I have also been writing quite a few essays and am pulling them together into a book
Cooking and Other Every Day Rituals. In novels, Sci Fi/Speculative Fiction: Ice Journeys (finished) and its sequel Marshall’s Green.
Where did the idea come from for the book?
All my writings come from one or more of the same seeds, a questions, a concern, a curiosity, an amazement, an utter pleasure in making a journey to a place I have never been before.
The stories and essays simply continue to grow. How does an idea grow well the novel I am working on is a speculative fiction sequel to the Ice Journeys. In that book I was trying to visualize what could be an endpoint for unbarred multi-national capitalism that becomes, not simply significantly controls but becomes, a global government . I also wanted an alternative green movement that had secured a measure of success but was not yet a majority movement. At the time I started the book there was also a lot of talk about the implications of human cloning, which, like time travel or slavery, is for me a trope worth investigating. The sequel is about the son of the clone.
What genre does your book fall under? The oneness of each questions continues to confound-
The genres I am currently working with are:
Sci Fi / Speculative fiction for short stories and novel.
Creative non-fiction for essays.
Latest book of poetry and then we became
Forthcoming chapbook with Opal Palmer Adisa Incantations and Rites
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
The movies in my fantasy head are for short stories already published. But I think that the process of a movie is really so different than that of a book, so that the author may not always be the best person to name a character role in a different format.
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Ice Shadows: Ice’s desperate fight for a freedom she can only imagine takes her across three continents around a globe where God is capital growth, and theology has been revised to allow any and every action that increases capital.
Marshall’s Green: Marshall, son of a clone mother, works in mega-city with a green underground movement to foment violent and non-violent resistance in an effort to supplant the current power structure.
Poetry: and then we became …spirit, fragile, other, whole
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
Are these the only options? Certainly I will be representing myself for the poetry. For the prose, ideally an agency.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
First drafts of my novels are hard to say in time because I am a multi-genre writer I am constantly juggling projects around my teaching and artist-in-residence work. There are two or three books I am pushing forward and the one in my head. I could do a novel in eighteen months if writing, e.g. not teaching or other outside work, was all I was doing.
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Ice Shadows was compared to Blade Runner (which is based on the Dick novel) and Atwater’s The Handmaid’s Tale. Marshall’s Green has only three chapters written and so is still evolving but it is a continuation from the point of view of the young adult adult offspring of the handmaiden (as it were.)
Who or what inspired you to write this book
My books are always me looking at some question, trying to see what would happen if we logically stretch this idea out. In Ice Shadows what would a world where capitalism really was emperor and everything was legal if one paid the price look like? What if the sex industry had an equivalent to a Fortune 500 company led my a mixed race Afro-centric CEO who has cloned herself to have babies and harvest organs that would keep her alive. What if one of her baby factory clones wants freedom?
Thus it was an examination of freedom and also what it is to be human and what the endgame of capitalism taken to its furthest point might be. Marshall continues as a young adult who was never fully accepted in the eco-green community because he was child of a clone (not consider a natural human) and yet lives uncomfortably in the megacity resisting claiming his human egg donor mother’s fortune. In this book I am trying to spend focus on a future other than dystopian and to have characters facing their own contradictions while they build the road, but I am not interested in utopia as a writer. I am attracted to fiction that flows out of the real far more than happily ever after tales of my childhood.
What else about your book might pique the reader's interest?
The speculative fiction novels have a structure that is not a simple narrative. It is part omniscient narrator, part dialogues between two “news” hosts, part interviews between people and computer, part new age ads- (the limitations of print mean the ads are depicted as print ads but ideally they would be moving images.) Both novels also deal with created religion that grew out of the corporate world state and with the evolution of the sex industry as well as the green movement.
Even if you haven’t been formally tagged, if you are a writer working on a book, or not working and willing to make the questions fit you, please take the questions and start a new chain.