Welcome to the NEXT BIG THING Blog Hop.
What is a blog hop? Basically, it’s a way for readers to discover authors new to them. On this stop on the blog hop, you’ll find a bit of information on me and my books, as well as links to other authors whose work you can explore. They’ll be blogging next week.
Thanks to writer Christine Edwards for asking me to participate in this blog hop. She wrote last week about her zombie novel-in-progress. You can find her blog and learn more about her work at http://christinedwards.blogspot.com. Follow her on Twitter @cedwards001.
In this blog hop, authors answer ten questions about a current book or work-in-progress (giving you a sneak peek). We’ve also included some behind-the-scenes information about how and why we write what we write. Feel free to share your questions or comments.
Here is my Next Big Thing!
1: What is the working title of your book?
My new novel, to be published later this month, is called “Tornado Pinball.” It’s the sequel to “Funnel Vision,” the storm-chasing adventure I published last year, part of the Storm Seekers series.
2: Where did the idea come from for the book?
I’ve been chasing storms since 1997. It’s my passion. I’ve met a lot of fascinating people during my travels in Tornado Alley who are just as obsessed with the sky. I liked the idea of exploring why they chase, their relationships, and how they find happiness in the pursuit of tornadoes. And, of course, I wanted to tell a good story.
“Funnel Vision” mixes personal drama with exciting storm chases, as does “Tornado Pinball,” but the new book also gives me an opportunity to satirize the media culture that now surrounds storm chasing.
3: What genre does your book come under?
“Tornado Pinball” is definitely an adventure, although it has elements of drama, humor and romance, along with literary ambitions. It’s a novel for grown-ups — i.e., there are four-letter words and intimate scenes.
4: Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
This is such a tough question. One reason: If a movie were to be made, given how long things take, all these folks may have aged out of the roles.
I introduce a new female character in “Tornado Pinball”: Saffire, a smart, sexy Hollywood personality with a geeky streak. Jack, with his penchant for women (and blondes), can’t help but pursue her. I can see Hayden Panettiere play the part, though she’s a bit young; but let’s face it, she’s great at everything – she’d also be a good Shannon (Judy’s flirty sister in “Funnel Vision”). An actress who has Saffire’s look is Tamsin Egerton, though I haven’t seen her work. (Just make her a darker shade of blond.)
Jack co-stars in the first book and stars in the second. Since his green eyes are such an important part of his look, the actor who plays him has to have stunning ones. Ian Somerhalder, anyone? Unless that model who’s on the front of the books is available and speaks English. Ha, ha. Anyway, attitude is everything with the character of Jack. Good luck, casting directors.
5: What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Though I can sum it up in a sentence, it’s more fun to offer you the back-cover copy:
Just when TV shows about storm chasing can’t get any more extreme, along comes a production company with the ultimate exploit: the Bubble, a manned tornado probe. As the reluctant consultant, expert storm chaser Jack Andreas must get the show’s nervous star, failed tour operator Brad Treat, into a twister. But Jack is losing his customary cool as a comedy of errors unfolds. Distracting him is co-star Saffire, a Hollywood actress who is more than she seems, and producer Wynda, who will do anything to make her documentary succeed. The daring star of another show pursues them, desperate for a shot with his own flying machine. As the disasters mount, will Jack be able to launch their device into a tornado?
6: Is your book self-published, published by an independent publisher, or represented by an agency?
I published “Funnel Vision” through my own company, and I’m also publishing “Tornado Pinball.” It took me a long time to decide to publish the book myself, given the stigma long associated with self-published books and my past experience as a book critic. I’d tried the traditional route, and big changes in publishing convinced me to take a chance on self-publishing. I blogged about my choice here.
7: How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
I wrote it in less than a year, but more than half of it was written in November, when I participated informally in National Novel Writing Month. I’d already started the book and wanted to use that month to finish it. I highly recommend NaNoWriMo as a way to improve one’s writing habits.
8: What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
I have carefully avoided reading other novels about storm chasers, given that I’m writing about them. When I’m done with my Storm Seekers series (I foresee writing three books, for now), I look forward to reading Jenna Blum’s “The Stormchasers.” In terms of sensibility, I think readers whose tastes fall somewhere between Nicholas Evans (character-driven books influenced by nature) and Carl Hiaasen (satirical novels in which place has a strong role), with a dash of Michael Crichton (scientific thriller), might like my work.
9: Who or what inspired you to write this book?
I wrote a couple of (unpublished) novels before I decided to write about storm chasers. The diverse, interesting, wonderful, crazy people of the storm chasing community, of which I count myself a part, were my chief inspiration. I’m especially interested in the tribal culture of the storm-chasing community.
Other people inspire me, too. I’m always intrigued by the factors that drive different personalities. Sometimes it’s just something someone says, or sometimes it’s a pattern of behavior. None of my characters are based on specific people, but they have traits inspired by life and my own imagination.
10: What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
One thing I strive to do as I write fiction about storm chasers is to make it as authentic as possible. Readers can get a real sense of what storm chasing is like. As much as I enjoy the movie “Twister,” it’s somewhat lacking in reality. While some of the adventures in my novels are more extreme than what I’ve experienced — you’ll know it when you read it — the driving, the bad hotels, the forecasting and the friendships all are grounded in reality. Meanwhile, some of the extreme situations in the books aren’t far from what I HAVE experienced, including intense hail barrages during chases like this one.
And joining me on the blog hop next week …
Below you will find the authors who will be joining me virtually, via blog, next Wednesday, Feb. 13. Please be sure to bookmark their sites.
1. Corey Schubert and Eric La Fuente, whose “Die, Maniacs, Die!” horror script is in production and who are working on a new novel.
You can find me on Twitter @ChrisKridler. Happy reading and writing!