The Next Big Thing

Author Weston Ochse (whose supernatural military thriller Seal Team 666, already optioned for a movie, is due to hit the stands running next month) tagged me in something called The Next Big Thing, in which authors answer questions about their forthcoming works and then tag five other writers they’d like you to know about.

So here are my answers.

1) What is the working title of your next book?

Terovolas.

2) Where did the idea come from for the book?

In 1997 I came across a collection of papers in a sealed box on a shelf in the basement of the University of Chicago’s Regenstein Library. I call the documents The Van Helsing Papers. They were a series of primary source accounts, including the personal journal of the actual Professor Abraham Van Helsing, translated from Dutch by Dr. John Seward. I chose to collect the events of 1891 immediately following those depicted in Bram Stoker’s Dracula as Terovolas.

3) What genre does your book fall under?

Though a nonfictional account, it’s being presented as fiction, in which case I guess you’d call it a weird western horror/mystery.

4) What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
I think Francis Ford Coppola’s Bram Stoker’s Dracula infected me with the notion that Anthony Hopkins is the perfect Abraham Van Helsing. Alexander Skarsgard might make a good Sigmund Skoll. I could see Michael Shannon as Coleman Morris, Robert Duvall as Aurelius Firebaugh, Carrie Ann Moss as Callisto Terovolas, and Sam Rockwell as Alvin Crooker.

5) What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Recently released from Purfleet Asylum after suffering a nervous breakdown stemming from the events of Dracula, Professor Abraham Van Helsing bears the remains of Quincey Morris back to Texas and winds up tangling once more with the supernatural, doubting his own sanity in the process.

6) Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

Terovolas is being put out by JournalStone Publishing.

7) How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

I compiled it in about three or four months.

8) What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Eaters Of The Dead by Michael Chrichton, Nicholas Meyers’ The Seven Percent Solution, The Memoirs Of Wild Bill Hickock by Richard Matheson, and of course Bram Stoker’s Dracula.

9) Who or what inspired you to write this book?
When I learned the truth about Van Helsing, I wanted to present this information to the world. I think in a lot of media, Van Helsing is portrayed as something of a fanatic. My research has led me to believe that nothing could be further from the truth. He’s no more a fanatic than he is exclusively a vampire hunter. The real Van Helsing was a man who walked the line between science and faith, reasoning and superstition, really the best of both worlds. He had an amazing career of which the account of Dracula for which he is most remembered, is only a small part. In popular modern fiction he’s most often depicted in a negative light, whereas Dracula has conversely been lionized. This is a travesty that I felt needed rectifying.

10) What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?

It’s the first of a series of true accounts of the further adventures of Abraham Van Helsing, beginning with a sojourn in Texas in which he encounters shapechangers, cultists, and outlaws. If you need more than that, I don’t know what to tell you.

So next Wednesday, visit the following writer’s blogs to read about what they’ve got in the works, and why I chose them as The Next Big Thing…

 Jeff Carter

Tim Marquitz

Lincoln Crisler

Ted Grau

Greg Mitchell

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