Fellow FinePrint family member (and author of books I want to read) Ted Fox tagged me for The Next Big Thing project, in which authors answer 10 questions about themselves and then invite a few other authors to do the same. My last post was along these lines, too, but this time the questions are about the book.
Huge thanks to Ted for the opportunity to procrastinate and talk about my work at the same time, which is basically a combo of my two favorite things. If we could just add chocolate and shoes, I’d be in heaven. You should also go and read his answers, because 33 looks amazing.
Note: These questions probably apply to a work in progress, but as my current work in progress is the sequel to a book that’s not out yet, I’m going to answer them about that first one.
1. What is the working title of your book?
It’s called Coda. It had a few other titles really early in the process, but it’s been called Coda for a long time and I don’t think I’ll be asked to change it now. (I hope not!)
2. Where did the idea come from for the book?
A Prodigy song, a marathon of cyberpunk movies, and that slightly unhinged mental state caused by having a really terrible cold. This strange combination got me thinking about how intensely music can affect our mood, often to the point of changing it entirely. Our psychological connections with music can be intense, as is the human need to make it or experience it. So I wound up writing a book in which music is a marketed, addictive drug.
3. What genre does your book fall under?
Most people would call it a dystopia, and even I’m guilty of that on occasion despite the fact that the label drives me crazy. I love dystopian novels, but that’s not really the point of Coda. Dystopian societies are merely one characteristic of cyberpunk novels, and while I wouldn’t classify the book as particularly intense cyberpunk, the connection between humanity and technology is, to me, the most important aspect of the story. Mostly I take the middle road and call it sci-fi. It’s aimed at young adults.
4. Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
I get asked this often and should really have much better answers than I do, because it’s such a fun fantasyland to play in. (As yet, no one has any plans to turn Coda into a movie.) Scope, who is the main character’s best friend, looks like Ezra Miller in my head. I don’t have a clue who any of the others would be.
5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Music is a drug–and drugs can be deadly.
6. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
I’m represented by Brooks Sherman of FinePrint Literary Management, although this book was sold by my first agent, who was at a different agency and is no longer an agent. It’s published by Running Press Kids, an imprint of the Perseus Books Group, and out May 7th this year.
7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
About 3 months.
8. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
I probably wouldn’t, because I feel so weird about comparing my stuff to books I adore, and wouldn’t want to compare it to books I don’t. Other people have compared it to M.T. Anderson’s Feed and James Dashner’s Maze Runner series.
9. Who or what inspired you to write this book?
Apart from Prodigy songs and 90’s techno-thrillers, the advice writers always get to “write the book you want to read.” I think I did that, although I’ve now read it so many times for editing purposes that I wouldn’t read it for fun.
10. What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?
It has a male main character, which is slightly unusual for young adult. He wears a lot of eyeliner. There are some really fun Easter eggs hidden in it, references to bands and songs and such. (It’s possible I am the only one who finds this fun.) It’s 320 pages, which means you can totally read it on a Saturday afternoon and still have time to fall into a really good Ben & Jerry’s coma before bed.
Thanks again to Ted because this was super nice of him, and now for my tags!
Katherine Catmull, if she has time! She is one of my fellow Curators over at the Cabinet of Curiosities, and she hinted about her next book in an email recently. Must. Know. More. Twitter: @kmcatmull
My dear friend Melissa Marino, who is working on a middle grade I think sounds awesome. Twitter: @MelissaWrites2
Eric Devine, my publisher/editor sibling, author of TAP OUT and the newly-announced DARE ME. I think he’s editing the latter right now, but if he has a minute I really want to know more about it. Twitter: @eric_devine