Cynthia Reeser, writer and publisher of Aqueous Books (which just published my short story collection, Dysfunction), was kind enough to invite me to participate in the Next Big Thing blog post where writers tag you to write about your current projects, then you tag more writers, and the tagging goes on and on and on. It is a way to promote your own work as well as the work of other writers you know and admire. Thanks, Cynthia!
Here are the ten questions:
1. What is your working title of your book (or story)? Amit’s Ability (a novel)
2. Where did the idea come from for the book? Originally the idea came from a screenwriting class that I was taking in graduate school at USC. One of the assignments was to put together a short scene or two (more like a treatment), and I thought: how cool would it be to write about an Indian superhero? Though the story has changed dramatically since then, the concept remains the same (and I am sticking to what I know best– fiction, NOT screenplays!).
3. What genre does your book fall under? Literary fiction
4. Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition? Kal Penn (as the lead), Philip Seymour Hoffman, Irffan Khan. There are many more characters in my novel, but I haven’t identified the actors yet.
5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? Amit’s Ability tells the story of Amit Shankar, an Indian man with superhero abilities, who struggles to uncover the purpose of these abilities.
6. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency? The work is in-progress.
7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript? It took about two years to get down a first draft, but it has gone through a major revision since. It will probably take a few more years before it’s ready to be seen by anyone (except my husband, probably).
8. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? It pays homage to Aimee Bender. I was also inspired by Ali Shaw’s The Girl with Glass Feet.
9. Who or what inspired you to write this book? There is a dearth of literature that combines the Indian literary canon and fantasy/the supernatural. It was a challenge to myself to see if I could do it– create this hybrid form– and to have some fun with it. This is completely unlike anything I’ve ever written, and I am having a really awesome time with it.
10. What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest? The heart of the novel (no pun intended!) is really just a love story. But isn’t every story a love story?
Now, to pass the torch on to other writers….
Janet Freeman, a good friend whom I met here in New Mexico (before she abandoned us for Colorado, how dare she?!), author of the chapbook A Man Worthy of Your Attention (RopeWalk Press, 2012), and the type of writer you would want to go out and have a beer with;
Phiroozeh Romer, a beautiful writer whom I met during my time at the Squaw Valley Writers Conference in 2010. I know when she publishes her first book, it is going to be outstanding. I cannot wait; and
Eirik Gumeny, author of the Exponential Apocalypse series, co-author of Screw the Universe, founding/former editor of Jersey Devil Press, and a folder of origami cranes (so he says, but I have yet to see this). He and his wife are very close friends of mine and of my son who seems to prefer thirty-somethings as playmates instead of kids his own age.
People are busy, it’s post-holidays, many don’t have blogs anymore… I couldn’t get more than three writers with such short notice, but look for these writers to post about their “Next Big Thing” the week of Jan 18th! Thanks!