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19 December 2012 @ 08:19 am
The Next Big Thing Blog Hop!  

I’ve been tagged to join the Next Big Thing Blog Hop by Michael Merriam, a colleague who also happens to be one of my favorite authors. Check out his Blog-Hop entry here. The idea is simple: Each author blogs answers to the same set of questions about their current work in progress and then passes the torch to some other great authors who will do the same.

Since I've been pretty lax in my blogging for the past few months, I figured this is the perfect opportunity to get back into it with something fun.

What is the working title of your next book?

This poor project has gone through several titles so far, and none seems to fit. Right now I’m calling it “The Urban Fantasy Crime Novel with a High Body Count.”

Where did the idea come from for the book?

This has been my long-term on-again-off-again relationship. The first few characters and scenes started forming in my head back in high school. I recall coming up with two particular scenes: one where a woman is chased by a vampire while walking back to her house, and one where she’s attacked in her bathroom by creatures coming through the wall of her bathtub.  They’ve both survived to this version, but the victim changed from one of my main characters to her ditzy best friend.

What genre does your book fall under?

As my answer about the working title hints, it’s a mix of Urban Fantasy, Action Thriller, and Crime Procedural.

What is the synopsis or blurb for this book?

In the early twenty-first century, the supernatural world is not so mysterious – but it’s still dangerous. Fey are now referred to by the politically correct term, “the Folk,” and they have assimilated themselves into mortal society. They also help the government regulate vampires’ activities, from how they feed to whom they convert. However, the truce between these two communities is tenuous at best, and the agencies that work with these beings don't get along any better.

Sergeant Irene Foster and her colleagues in the St. Paul Police Department have had little experience with the supernatural. However, the murder of a well-known professor of the occult throws them into a plot to start a war between vampires and Folk just before an important summit of supernatural leaders. Foster’s team now must work with the professor’s son, Stefan Kushnir, his fellow agents of the Rogue Vampire Extermination Department, and a mysterious bounty hunter if they are going to stop the bloody chaos about to be unleashed.

What actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

This is right up my alley. I find it easier to describe a character if I have a visual aid, so I often use friends or actors/actresses as references for certain aspects of my characters. The book has a pretty large cast, so here are the most central characters.

Sergeant Irene Foster (A member of the St Paul Police homicide division): I based her on Mariska Hargitay from “Law and Order SVU.” In my opinion, no other actress could take her place as the sarcastic but brave Foster.

Sergeant Gerald Harris (A member of the St Paul Police homicide division): Harold Perrineau – no contest. He was a bright spot for me in the TV show “Lost,” and I loved him in the short-lived series “The Unusuals.” He would be able to pull off a nice blend of geeky-yet-tough.

Agent Stefan Kushnir (Part of the MN Rogue Vampire Extermination Dept.): I originally based the character on Scott Cohen, but he might be getting a bit too scruffy and old for the part these days. Maybe David Krumholtz from “Numbers” or Josh Radnor from “How I Met I Your Mother” could play this warrior-poet.

Agent Tony Scarola (Part of the MN Rogue Vampire Extermination Dept.): Ben Affleck all the way – as long as he brings his ‘tude from “Good Will Hunting.”

Agent Zora Challier (Part of the MN Rogue Vampire Extermination Dept.): I always liked Indigo after watching her rock the part of potential slayer Rona in “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” She’d be great for the department’s trash-talking magic expert.

Julia Kushnir (Stefan’s niece): She was actually based on a friend.  Though she’s a bit old for the part, I could see a subdued Natalie Portman working well as the gentle granddaughter in mourning.

Martha (Marty) Linton (A colleague of the murdered professor): I’d love to see Portia de Rossi play this chameleon-like character who can go from prim, to nurturing, to kind of dangerous as events unfold.

Vechek (A rogue vampire): He was based on Neal McDonough (best known for his role as Lt. Compton in the HBO miniseries “Band of Brothers”).  I saw him in the movie “Ravenous,” and thought “yeah, I wouldn’t cross this guy.”

Caitlin Tiernay (A rogue vampire): I recently started watching the TV show “Suburgatory,” and now I’d be very curious to see how Jane Levy would handle the role of a vicious and wackadoodle-crazy Irish vampire.

Mr. Gray (Vechek and Caitlin’s mysterious associate): I kind of pictured Henry Ian Cusick from Lost,” but Vincent Cassel could also pull off the haughty charm needed for this character.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

I’m planning to seek the representation of an agent for this project.

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

Not counting the years it sat as a pile of notes, the first draft maybe took a few months, but it was likely pretty rough. Now I just keep returning to it like a dysfunctional lover in between other projects.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

Admittedly, my inspiration came from classic genre backlash.  I’ve always been a fan of monsters in folklore, so I found the steady romanticizing of vampires and fey a bit alarming. I wanted to go back to letting the monsters be monsters.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

I haven’t gotten the chance to read either author yet, but I’m told this book would appeal to readers of Jim Butcher’s Dresden series, or L.A. Banks’s Vampire Huntress series.

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

After the glut of sparkly emo-supernaturals we’ve experienced, who wouldn’t like to see vampires and fey get down with their bad, primal selves in a real knock-down drag out with mortals and each other?

As is the custom, here are the talented authors who will share what they’re up to next Wednesday:

The bitingly clever (dare I say Rockstar) storyteller and author: Rob Callahan

Michigan horror author with a gift for the beautifully macabre: Montilee Stormer

His tales lean toward the silly and ironic, with very fun results: Tyler Tork

Dark fiction author (and the nefarious creator of Pinky the Flying Pony) Conrad Zero 

This is cross-posted from my website.