Nicky Drayden tagged me in her Next Big Thing post and told me to talk about my WIP, then tag other authors and ask them to talk about their WIPs.
Ten Questions for the Next Big Thing
1. What is the title of your Work in Progress?
The working title is ABSENT
2. Where did the idea for the book come from?
Well, I teach archaeology and one semester I had a student who was always asking what this or that would be like if we had a time machine. It became a sort of running joke in class and when I was casting around for novel ideas in advance of NaNoWriMo I thought, “gee, what would happen if I accidentally sent my students back in time to the places I’m lecturing about?” From there, the idea for the book was born.
3. What genre does your book fall under?
I actually struggle with this a bit. The novel is set in modern day New York City, Ices Ages Wyoming, and an archaeological excavation in 1925 Iraq. It’s part police procedural, part mystery, part romance, and part time travel adventure. Oh, and there’s magic, an immortal Sumerian king, and antiquities thieves. So, I have no idea where it falls – other than clearly being spec. fic.
4. Which actors would you chose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
I can picture Kristen Bell playing Emily Blake, our spunky heroine with a hot mess of a personal and professional life. She’d nail the balance of self-deprecation, humor, and determination. Or maybe Jennifer Lawrence. For Detective Nick Martin, the slow-to-trust NYPD cop who investigates the disappearance of Emily’s students, I’d cast Richard Armitage. I mean, the dude does brooding too well not to cast him. If you haven’t seen the BBC miniseries North and South, go watch it now. You can thank me later.
Ryan Reynolds would be my choice for the d-bag, golden boy Assistant Professor who starts all the trouble in the first place by casting a Sumerian spell on Emily, and either Romola Garai or Carey Mulligan to play Alexa, Emily’s quirky, punk BFF.
5. What is a one-sentence synopsis of the book?
After accidentally sending her students back to the Ice Ages, archaeology professor Emily Blake becomes the prime suspect in the NYPD’s missing persons investigation and must race through time to prove her innocence and rescue the students before they become trapped in prehistory forever.
6. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
Once the novel is ready, I’ll be seeking agency representation and traditional publishing for it.
7. How long did it take you to write the first draft?
I started this project for NaNoWriMo and though I didn’t net the full 50K in 30 days, it set me on a good course of forward momentum. I’d say I got the first full draft (about 80K) written over the course of 4 or 5 months. Revisions…well, that’s another matter. I’m currently on the 3rd round of revisions.
8. What other books would you compare this story to in your genre?
Uh…not sure. I mean I guess there’s some obvious parallels to Crighton’s Timeline, but my novel mashes up a lot of styles and sub-genres. I like to think it’s an original 😉
9. Who, or what, inspired you to write this novel?
That student, who shall remain nameless, who was always on about time travel in my archaeology class. Thanks, kid!
10. What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
Well, despite its spec. fic. flavor, I’m writing about what I know – academia, archaeology, and prehistory. So for anyone who’s wondered what it would really be like to travel back in time to the Ice Ages, or what it’s actually like to be a professor or work on an archaeological dig, this book is for you. Also for those who loved Agatha Christie’s Murder in Mesopotamia, my novel recreates that same 1920’s expedition at the site of Ur in Iraq–albeit from a very different angle. Plus, there’s giant bears, avalanches, and an encounter between Emily and a 10,000 year old Sumerian king.
Include the link of who tagged you, and an explanation for who you have tagged.
The incomparable Nicky Drayden tagged me — go check out her blog and her hilarious short fiction.
I’m also tagging the following writers to take up the torch and discuss their current WIPs – check their blogs over the next few weeks to see their projects written up for the Next Big Thing!
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