I got back from my trip to my doctoral graduation on Sunday, November 18, and was so happily exhausted from partying and the train trip and meeting all sorts of interesting new people both in Canada and on the train, and joyously sleep-deprived from the rocking of the train on the rails that I waited until today (November 23, the day after Thanksgiving) to put up this new post. Thanks to all of you who asked after me, I am very, very, buoyant and full of myself now (or as people in my original part of the world would say, I’m full of buck and beans), but a special thank-you to Emma McCoy, who has nominated me in the last few days for “The Next Big Thing blog hop.” As I understand it, I answer the ten questions she answered about her work on her site regarding her own WIP (work-in-progress), plus I notify and nominate five more people, contacting them to let them know by writing to their “About” section in each case. Here are my answers to the questions which I observed that Emma answered on her own site:
1) What is the working title of your work-in-progress?
The Story of the Cuffs.
2) Where did the idea come from for the book?
Though I never read very much at all of Robert Musil’s The Man Without Qualities, I was much intrigued by one of the remarks he made about character development (tongue-in-cheek, it was), when he said his main character was flat and stencil-like. I thought, how about a whole family full of such characters, with one family-member exception? What would happen to them? How would they interact? Etc. Hence, the Cuff family.
3) What genre does your book fall under?
I don’t really write books in a particular genre, though I sometimes spoof a certain genre. It follows from this that my book would probably just be categorized as “fiction” with the trade-sized paperbacks if it ever got published in a print format.
4) Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
This is a hard question to answer, as I don’t watch as many movies or as much television as I used to. And I can’t think of whom I would want to play most of the characters, especially not Papa and Mama Cuff when they were young. But I would like Wallace Shawn (if still extant) to play Mr. Cuff the Papa and the mother on “The Seventies Show” (I can’t remember her name) to play Mrs. Cuff the Mama as the couple ages. Wallace Shawn’s voice is perfect for Mr. Cuff. And if the movie ever had a British re-make, I would want the actor Peter Sallis to play Mr. Cuff. His voice would be the perfect British equivalent. Somehow, I’m very responsive to voices (I had a mad crush on Patrick Stewart for a lot of my twenties because of his lovely resonant tones).
5) What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?
Just the question: what’s the difference between flat characters and rounded characters, and how can one become the other? Or is this a false distinction?
6) Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
My book, as with all four of my previous novels, will be copyrighted with the Library of Congress and then put on my WordPress.com blogsite (here) for pass-the-hat-around-after-reading sorts of sales.
7) How long did it take to write the first draft of your manuscript?
Still in progress on the first draft, though I usually rewrite while still writing the first draft, so that when I’m done, I’m mostly finally done except for small changes and proofreading.
8) What other books would you compare this book to within your genre?
As I noted before, I generally just write in the general category of “fiction,” and one always hopes, of course, that one’s book stands alone (though of course it would be vain and arrogant to say definitely that that’s the way it is. Pat Bertram on “Bertram’s Blog” has a number of good posts on writing outside of conventional genre expectations, and I would reference her posts as a general reference).
9) Who or what inspired you to write this book?
This book as an independent work (and it can stand alone) is as I said before inspired by a stray writer’s remark by Robert Musil. As one part of the eight-part novel series I am working on (the fifth part, to be precise) it represents in a vague way the middle daughter sign “Li” or “fire” or “clarity” of the eight family signs of the I Ching (#30). When I finish, there will be one book each for the father and mother, three daughters, and three sons.
10) What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
In this book, there is a New Age witch (or a “witz,” as the three-year-old daughter calls her).
The five other authors whom I am going to nominate are:
Richard Gilbert of “NARRATIVE”
David Fort of “djkeyserv140”
Kathy Bertone of “The Art of the Visit”
Deborah Rose Reeves of “First We Read, Then We Write” (Deborah has since expressed her preference not to participate, but invites all of you interested in her writing to continue to visit. She has a lot to offer and writes some very interesting and exciting posts, as well as having a WIP which she may choose to comment on at some future time, when she herself feels she’s ready.)
and the anonymous-by-preference author of “The Living Notebook”
Never having been nominated for a blog hop before, I have no idea of what happens next, and I hope I’ve done everything I’m supposed to and in the right order. All I know is that I was absolutely delighted to participate, and to have been nominated by Emma McCoy, who writes a mean suspense novel herself and is in process of formalizing publication procedures for her novel Saving Angels (on her site now) while also writing a draft of her new WIP Unethical, participating in NaNoWriMo, juggling a career and family obligations, and blogging! (She makes lazy people like me and you look bad, doesn’t she folks?) The best to you all. I hope everyone who is on our sites from the States is having a Happy Thanksgiving holiday, and that those of you the world over who are participating in other fall festivals that are analogous to Thanksgiving are also having a great time (hey, a party’s a party the world over, right?) Until next post, Victoria (shadowoperator)