Thanks to indie author Lindsay Edmunds via Christa Polkinhorn for inviting me to participate in a round-robin “blog chain” called The Next Big Thing, in which authors of various stripes preview their current works-in-progress by answering some pre-set questions. So, here goes...
I’m taking this opportunity to go on the record that I will indeed — at long last — complete and circulate a short story collection in the summer.
The stories have been stewing in a big pot of procrastination, apprehension, avoidance, exasperation, and struggle. I’ve recently added some freshly chopped audacity and am hoping that it turns out to be delicious.
Here are my answers to Christa’s Q&A:
What is the working title of your next book?
The working title is Men With Long Hair. I’ve been told that the title sounds a little too Fabio for what it is, a collection of stories with touches of magical realism. Nonetheless, I feel attached to using Men With Long Hair.
Where did the idea come from?
I have been writing short stories for many years, and I could see connecting threads in a number of them. To make the connections stronger, I’ve rewritten the stories and then I have undone those rewrites…again and again and again. It is a work in progress, that’s for sure.
What actors would you choose to play the major roles?
That’s a tough question since these are stories and not a novel. But I suppose I would choose a strong yet vulnerable female lead of the Ellen Page type, paired with confused, troubled, and dreamy male actors who look fabulous with longish, shaggy hair — think Orlando Bloom.
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
A woman consistently finds herself in odd situations with inappropriate men.
How long did it take to draft the manuscript?
It’s been an on-and-off process covering about ten years.
Will it be self-published or will you be represented by an agent?
I’m going to self-publish it as an e-book. I don’t want to shop it; I want to share it while I’m feeling the courage to let it live on its own.
What other books are similar to Men With Long Hair?
I am inspired by story collections like Italo Calvino’s Difficult Loves. Note the word “inspired.”
What other elements might pique the reader’s interest?
The character of Gina has emerged as the key connecting female in the stories. She falls in love with one man who turns into a llama. Another love interest spontaneously combusts.
The first paragraph of one of the stories, “The Diner,” was included a number of years ago in an issue of the Mississippi Review that featured 147 first paragraphs of short stories. Here it is:
Gina held out her hand toward Marshall so he could see it shake. Her foot twitched beneath the table. Her heart pounded. Inside, her chest felt thick and muddy.
OTHER WORKS IN PROGRESS FEATURED IN THIS BLOG CHAIN:
Visit Christa Polkinhorn’s blog at Christa Polkinhorn Bookworm Press to learn more about her new novel, EMILIA.
Visit Susan Eisenberg’s blog at Unsynchronized Passions to learn more about her next novel, LUCKY FOR YOU.
Other participating authors:
Check out hashtag #BlogNextBigThing on Twitter to find more author blogs about works in progress.