Work in Progress Blog Hop: The Next Big Thing!

I was introduced to this by way of Lanise Brown.  The hop will be going on all this week, so keep an eye on the links and follow them to meet some new authors.


***Answer the ten questions about your current WIP (Work In Progress) on your blog.
***Tag five other writers/bloggers and add their links so we can hop over and meet them.

What is the working title of your book?  Jasper City

Where did the idea come from for the book?  It’s the name of the city in which this story is set.

What genre does your book fall under?  Dystopic Speculative Fiction.  I at first categorized it as science fiction, but the plot isn’t exactly science-driven.  The setting is far future, there are sapient androids and significant technological advancements played a part in making the world what it is.  But because the story centers around a dystopia, that’s why I place it somewhere out of the traditional SF.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?  This is another difficult one for the sheer number of characters involved, so I’ll stick with the three main ones.  I’d imagine Mayor Calvin to be played by Philip Seymour Hoffman, while Edward Jasper can be played by Linus Roache.  Joaquin Phoenix could play as Mayor’s right hand Dexter McMahon, but I can’t put a finger on who could play the rest of the characters.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?  Suspected terrorist Edward plots revenge on the Mayor of his city, while the Mayor’s right hand questions his role in the power struggle.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?  That, I’m still working out.  My goal is to get it polished enough to submit to Amazon’s Breakthrough Novel Award contest.  I would like to pursue agent representation if that falls through, but I’m also considering using this to build up a platform.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?  I would say it took me the better part of six months.  I started Jasper City in the summer of 2011 for Camp NaNoWriMo.  I wound up finishing it in January before letting the draft sit and breathe.  I’m still working on the edits to the second draft, and while it is extremely rough I am proud of what I’ve written.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?  Recently I found the book Lost Everything by Brian Francis Slattery.  When I read the description I was stunned to find the similarities between the two books.  The protagonist is a father with a shady past, and the setting was a future United States altered by war and climate change so that it was all but unrecognizable.  There are plenty of similarities when you get into the book.

Who or What inspired you to write this book?  I started out with the idea to write a book with the typical hero vs. villain plot, in which the protagonist was the shining hero against a despicable enemy.  The twist would come at the end when the hero is exposed to be even worse than his nemesis, and the villain redeemed.  I wanted there to be a shock for the reader when he realized he was rooting for the wrong character all along.  It would take some doing, but nobody would accuse me of not being ambitious!

As I got on with writing the story, that initial goal became less and less feasible.  Instead of black and white morality, even the illusion of such, there are shades of gray.  And those shades are very, very dark.

My story was partially inspired by a few things.  First was Nine Inch Nails’ albun Year Zero, and a travel journal I read about an American’s trip to North Korea.  Year Zero  gave me some inspiration for the plot, while the North Korea journal gave me an idea for the culture of the city in which this story would be set.  Jasper City is incredibly isolationist, suspicious of the few strangers who cross their walls, and filled with propaganda.  The Book of Eli also gave me a feel for what a post-war midwest would look like.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?  I don’t like answering questions like this, because it makes me feel too conceited.  But, I’ll give it a shot.  The ideas of good and evil are played with and twisted, which gives a refreshing break from the typical good vs. evil archetype.  The book also follows multiple protagonists, creating suspense between the two plotlines and giving a glimpse into two dramatically different lifestyles.  There’s even an element of romance, but it’s short-lived.

Next up I tag:
C.P. Bialois and Jamie B. Musings.  Their posts will be linked to soon!
Shane Jeffrey talks about his WIP, titled The Park.
Diane Carlisle shares her novel draft, Precinct 9.
If you want to join in this hop, send me a message and I’ll be happy to link you to my page.

8 thoughts on “Work in Progress Blog Hop: The Next Big Thing!

  1. It's great how everyone discovers ideas for their books differently. Jasper City sounds interesting. I'd like to read it! I think having different shades of gray is a good thing, especially if you plan for a surprise ending. Thanks Kay. 🙂

  2. Yeah, having a black and white conflict would be pretty difficult to make interesting, even if it's just a trope that you're playing with. Not that I don't like a challenge, but the story wound up evolving into the shades of gray anyway.

    Thanks for commenting!

  3. Hello Kay! I also started a few years ago at Nano. I like the idea of shades of gray leaning the darker side! I love me some villainous creeps. 🙂

    I've been reading more and more about the hybrids. They are intriguing. Good luck and happy blog hopping!

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