|Prospector, by ToOliver2, Flickr|
NaNoWri Month is drawing to a close and as luck would have it, a blog hop on Works-In-Progress fell into my lap just in time to brag about Monty.
To be sure, over the course of my NaNo ramblings this month you’ve seen me write about the antics of Gus Sanchez, of Out Where the Buses Don’t Run. Great site and scads of talent in that guy, so do yourself a favor and give that link a click. His stuff is not for the faint-of-heart, though, and I suggest a working knowledge of “street” when journeying over. Well, he passed along this hop, called:
And plus I just damn-well want it so bad.
I see its potential and where it can go, of who Monty Tucker is and the life before him, and I’m going to pursue that with complete abandon. Clean it up with intense edits and revisions. It will be The Next Big Thing, and I’m honored to introduce Monty and share the inspiration behind his creation.
1. What is the working title of your book?
For now, it’s Monty Tucker and the Lost Mine of Jacob Snively, which is all but settled, although I never truly decide until the work is finished. An unexpected aspect to the plot may have some bearing on the final title, which will come after many, many revisions. It’s the very last thing I do to any story…name it. The name has to fit its personality.
3. What genre does your book fall under?
4. Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Don’t think that I would mind in the least, this becoming a movie. Input on actors at that time would definitely be negotiated into the deal, if possible, but if the characters are written well enough and Hollywood understands their essences, they’ll find the perfect actor for each.
5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Crikey! Those killer one-sentence synopses…they get me every time. It is so hard for me to say little about anything, but here goes:
The promise of a lost gold mine and riches untold sends Monty Tucker, a young orphan in the 1870’s, on a thrilling and dangerous adventure to find the treasure – racing against the villainous banker, Sam Blackburn – and in the process, unlocking the dark secrets of his native-American heritage and the role he’s destined to play as leader to his people.
6. If you plan to publish, will your book be self-published or published traditionally?
Following the advice of Anne Rice, I’m going to first exhaust all traditional outlets before turning to self-publishing. Yes, there are many wonderful self-published authors out there, some of them you, but I’d like try the traditional route of agent, editor, published piece.
I realize that the publishing world is changing on a daily basis, with so many things to consider, self-publishing being one of them. It’s not out of the realm of possibilities.
7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
Monty is my piece for NaNoWriMo, so it’s pretty much only taken the month, with some exceptions. Like I said, it had its origins in a short story, which established a loose plot and some of the characters, but the story begged for more attention.
Soon after writing the short, I set it aside and kept plucking away at it…aimlessly wandering. I wrote almost two chapters of it, keeping the premise close to that of the short story, and didn’t like it. None of that survived the cut. I knew that the boy needed to be the hero, and that’s when I learned of NaNoWriMo. It was a mere month away.
So I outlined the whole book with all the major plot points, and set up scenes within the chapters to clue me into when I should add plot twists, introduce characters, put conflict, add fun, add danger and all the other literary gravy. Once that was done, it gave the story direction and purpose…the words were almost knocking each other out of the way to get into the action.
8. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
I hate comparisons, but this story has many elements of a typical hero’s journey. Before starting this, I had been working on a long piece of fiction, called Hero, which had a messianic character as its protagonist. I’m keeping that research and applying it here.
The movie, Cowboys and Aliens is similar to this, as I’m taking a less-industrialized time period that we think we know all about and adding a “what if?” of a fantastical nature.
Monty also draws from the wild west tales of the James Gang and taming-of-America fables like Pecos Bill and Johnny Appleseed. But the story is a typical, yet not so typical, hero’s quest.
9. Who or What inspired you to write this book?
The WD prompt aside, I’ve gotten lots of support to expand this short from people in my writing circle. They know who they are, and I appreciate their confidence in me. But I’m also inspired by something deeper, found in my spiritual values and religious education.
Monty very much has shades of the Moses story – the Deliverer – then later, hints of Jesus. He surrounds himself with a few close friends, but has an extended group of twelve that follow, direct, or assist him. He gives of himself to his own detriment. I can’t help but wonder if those aspects would be nonexistent if not for my strong beliefs.
10. What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
This book is not your mama’s Little House on the Prairie. There is no Half-pint with buck teeth and anachronistic braces. It’s a lot of action, a little mystery, and a heckuva helping of imagination. You won’t be disappointed. It is the next big thing…and you read about it here, first!
And now…TAG…these people are “it.”
There are five talents whom I’ve had the good fortune of crossing paths with – many just recently – but have been impressed to the extent that I’d like to introduce them to you, if you don’t know them already. They will be posting about their WIP’s next Wednesday, December 5, on their blogs linked below:
1. Demetria Foster Gray:
This woman is incredible. I met her through occasional comments on other blogs and just liked the way she operated. Her attitude is rosy and welcoming and her blog, Shaken But Not Stirred, is an excellent venue for Women’s Empowerment. What am I doing hanging around there? Like I said, she’s just plain cool, and plus, we men can learn a lot once we get over the stigma that “this is a woman’s site.” When I visit her blog, I make sure my ears and eyes are open for business. Hop over there anytime, but especially next week when she will be spotlighting her own WIP, and while over, sign up for her e-newsletter, Sexy, Savvy Growth.
2. Jeff Hargett:
A fellow on a mission, Jeff is well into the revision process of his novel, The Bonding, which is the first installment of the Strands of Pattern series. Check out his site here to learn more about how this 48 year-old grandfather of three pulls it all together, creating not only The Bonding, but forging ahead with two more novels in the works. Wow! I need roller skates to keep up with him.
3. Nancy LaRonda Johnson:
Nancy is a welcome addition to my blogroll, only finding out about her in the last week. Her website, Writer’s Mark, is quite refreshing and different, with daily writing prompts offered to kick-start our brains when the creative juices dry up. She writes speculative Christian, one of my favorite genres, so I’m anxious to learn more about her. Make sure to check her out, too…those prompts sound great!
4. Roxanne Ravenel:
Roxanne has been my go-to gal during the NaNoWriMo, and an excellent example of perseverence to get it DONE. A consummate pro, she’s already completed her NaNo novel (is that redundant?), Love Me Not, which I’ll let her discuss next week. I can’t wait to hear all about it. You can find her musings over at Mindful Banter, where she posts great tips on Tuesdays and writing resources on Thursdays.
My favorite day is Storyteller Saturdays, when I grab a cuppa joe, plop on my bed, and enjoy the morning with one of my favorite authors, reading about or listening to much-needed advice on the craft. The importance of music to better our writing skills is reiterated time and again on her site, and I agree whole-heartedly. Roxanne is definitely one to follow…and one to look for as The Next Big Thing.
And last, but surely not least,
Like Cher and Madonna (gawd, that dates me…okay, Rhianna and Shikira), the one-word name of Eureka is all that’s necessary, appropriately describing the pleasant surprise one gets after reading anything over at Eureka Wrote. An excellent wordsmith, this past year Eureka has been posting weekly exercises that really get one into the writing frenzy, and also finished a creative memoir, A Tent Called Simba, for the NaNoWriMo.
See? With writing buddies like these, how can I possibly go astray? Make sure to give them all a holler. I’ll catch up with you after about 2,090 words with a final update on this crazy month of November. Until then…