In which I sort of interview myself on my current work in progress.
I was tagged for this interview by a forum friend, Ruth Madison. I’m normally reluctant about doing memes, but when Ruth so kindly asked me, I decided to give it a go. I’m always excited to see what questions other people come up with.
However, there was a major issue – I have five current works in progress at the moment! Nevertheless, I picked the one I am writing most on this week, and plunged in. You might have noticed I am a bit tight lipped when it comes to my WIPs, especially these days, but it seems like a good time to let a few cats out of some bags.
So, on with the interview on September’s WIP:
What is the working title of your book?
Right now, I’m calling it Memento Mori, but I’m also toying with the title Last Look, since the other is rather used up.
Where did the idea come from for the book?
I had been working on a novel set in the 1950s, but I’ve always been drawn towards the Victorian era. I love historical photographs, especially (and forgive the grimness) Victorian postmortem portraits. These are portraits taken of loved ones after death, and were relatively common, especially for children. With the cost and inconvenience of photography, many families never got a live shot of the departed before it was too late, so they would have one done after death. Today, this might seem rather shocking, but I think it's quite touching. And some of the photos are beautifully done. One night, looking at such pictures, the whole story came to me in a flash, via the entire person of the main character, William Tidy, all surrounding this practice of photographing the dead.
What genre does your book fall under?
I don’t really know. It has some romantic elements, but it isn’t a romance. I’d have to say “litfic”, whatever that really is, or general fiction. Possibly historical fiction, though it’s more about the people than the history. I will have that all ironed out before I have to market it. I hope.
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
I always cast my WIP as a movie in my head, but this main character is uniquely himself. Sometimes, when I make the little puppets dance in my mind so I can write it down, he is Johnny Depp, but other times, he is someone else, like Daniel Radcliffe or someone. He's himself, really. The lady in the book is certainly Rachel Weisz, who I think is one of the loveliest women in the world.
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
A man more comfortable with the dead discovers that life happens whether you want it or not.
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
Not certain, really. I am not exactly drooling for an agent, but I’m not sure this book would be best served by a small epub, and I lack experience with non-romance publishers. I’d love to see it published with a bigger publisher, naturally enough, but I doubt that would happen before I got tired of waiting, and certainly not without an agent. I have considered self-publishing something, but I remain undecided. Who knows? Maybe it will sit in a drawer forever. I guess we shall see what we shall see.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
Still working on it. It started out as a novella, but I think now it might become a novel. I’m hoping to have it done by the end of September, if I can fend off the laziness.
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
I really can’t say. I don’t think in terms of comparisons, especially with litfic. I’m writing it in a very consciously Victorian style and feel, so the language reminds me of some books, whereas the story doesn’t.
Who or What inspired you to write this book?
My pure love of Victoriana, and the gruesome beauty of these photos. And motherhood, though I might be giving too much away there. Mostly, I'm writing it just for myself, since it's a story I'd like to read and the character has endeared himself to me.
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
If lots of corpses doesn’t interest people, I don’t know what will. There might be a hot air balloon involved at some point, and a portion takes place in a wax museum, does that help?
Also, my hero never once says, “I see dead people.”
Thanks, Ruth, for giving me a nudge!