The Next Big Thing is a blog project designed to help writers get the word out about their latest works. I'll be tagging five writers at the end of those Q&A, and they'll be doing their own blogs about their work next week. Check 'em all out.
1. What is the working title of your next book?
It's Compound Murder. It's coming next August from St. Martin's, and I'm pretty sure the title is set.
2. Where did the idea for the book come from?
The book is part of the Sheriff Dan Rhodes series, and I started thinking that there was probably at least one person in Blacklin County who didn't think much of having the government interfere in his life. So I took off from there. I think I have the idea worked out pretty well, but we'll see.
3. What genre does your book fall under?
Like all the other Sheriff Rhodes books, this one's a crime novel. I don't think it's a cozy, but on the other hand it's not hardboiled either. One of my agents once told me that I'd invented my own genre, the hardboiled cozy. I'll take that.
4. What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie?
For Sheriff Rhodes I'd pick either Tommy Lee Jones or Matthew McConaughey. Either one could do the humor, and neither would have to fake the accent.
5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Small-town murder is a big-time problem.
6. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
This one will be published by St. Martin's as mentioned above. I'm represented by an agent, but I do some self-publishing, too. I'm writing books as Colby Jackson (along with Mel Odom and James Reasoner) for the Rancho Diablo series of eBooks.
7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
I've slowed down a lot these days. I used to work very quickly, but now it takes me several months to get a book done. About four months for Compound Murder.
8. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
What I usually say when people ask me that question is that there are no other books like mine, mainly because I'm a pretty weird guy. So I'll stick with that answer.
9. Who or what inspired you to write this book?
I don't usually wait for inspiration. For this book, I had a contract to fulfill. The contract calls for an untitled book in the Sheriff Dan Rhodes series, so as usual I thought for a few days about what might work, came up with an idea, and started writing. Sometimes things other people say will give me an idea, and I already know what the next book after Compound Murder will be about, thanks to something someone suggested to me, more less in fun. I thought it would be fun, and I'm going to give it a shot.
10. What else about the book might pique a reader's interest?
Sex! Violence! Sudden death!
One week from today, be sure to check out what Kevin Tipple, Mel Odom, Sharon Wildwind, Jochem Vandersteen, and Troy Smith have to say in answer to these questions, too.