Thursday, November 1, 2012

Tag! Looks Like I've Been Tagged For The Next Big Thing Blog Hop!

Hey, everyone! I've been tagged by the awesome writer, Gail Roughton ( to join in "The Next Big Thing Blog Hop!" It's a game put into play to talk about what book you're working on and share with other writers. The idea is to leave your thoughts to ten questions and pass it onto The Next Big Thing! And, ahem, not saying I'm The Next Big Thing! That's just the title of the blog-hop (I'd settle for being "The Next Small Thing!"). are the questions, with my answers:

Ten Interview Questions for The Next Big Thing:

What is the working title of your book?

Tex, The Witch Boy.

Where did the idea come from for the book?
I suppose it's something that's been percolating in my mind since my high school days (lo, those many years ago!).  The book's about bullying and I've utilized my personal experiences to tell the tale. Combined with my daughter's recent nightmarish tenure in the hellish halls of high school, the story was in play. I just needed a hook. I wanted an ordinary kid in an extraordinary situation, so I came up with a male witch.

What genre does your book fall under?It's a mash-up of genres, stirred (not shaken) in my mind's blender. I guess you'd call it a young adult, murder mystery, suspense thriller, comedy, drama, social issue, paranormal, romance "thang." And did I mention it's about bullying?

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?Oh, good grief! It might be easier listing who I DON'T want playing my characters! First of all, I'm aware how the Hollywood mind-set works. What sells. So...I'd probably be cursed by having Justin Bieber, in his acting debut, play my protagonist, Tex.  Or Robert Pattinson (you can't escape him). And, of course, my lead female hellion would no doubt be Lindsay Lohan's comeback role. And since Nicholas Cage is in every other movie made (he's currently vying with Liam Neeson for that dubious honor), the role of my gay homicide detective, Cowlings, is his to lose. Mickey, the wizened witch, would be shuffled off to Sally Field, hoping for awards credibility. Gah! The stuff of nightmares! Honestly, though? Maybe the kid who played the most recent Spiderman--Andrew Garfield--might be good as Tex. He's a little old, but he brought vulnerability, sensitivity and ordinary charm to the Spiderman role that'd be perfect for Tex. Emma Watson might be good as Olivia, if we could "punk" her up and bring out her agressive side.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Tex McKenna, Kansas high school sophomore, uses his new-found witch powers to keep his friends alive and discover who's murdering the school bullies.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?Tex, The Witch Boy will be coming out in January from Muse-It-Up Publishing!

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?I knocked out the first draft in about two-and-a-half months! That was the easy part. Then came the endless revisions and rewriting. After a year, I thought it was a finely-tuned, polished book. Man, was I mistaken! I've been through it several more times since!

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?I can't really say, because it's such a mish-mash of genres, I may've created some sorta' new mutant genre strain! But, as far as "feeling" and "atmosphere" goes, I think To Kill A Mockingbird is close to what I was shooting for. Now before you scoff and think I'm off my rocker, y'all simmah' down and let me explain! No, my book's not a classic like Harper Lee's masterpiece. But, she wrote a social issue tale, rife with local color and detail, a mystery driving it, some spooky moments (the movie was the first thing that scared me as a kid!) and noble characters doing the right thing. That's what I hope I've captured in my tale.

Who or What inspired you to write this book?
I wanted to get my anti-bullying statement out there and if I can help make some poor bullied kid's life a little more understandable and tolerable, that's all the inspiration I need. But I also couldn't've done it without the support of my loving wife and daughter. And I didn't want to go back to the corporate rat-race. Lots of inspiration!

What else about your book might pique the reader's interest?
It's more or less a true story. Well, okay, I didn't deal with a serial killer and I'm not a witch, but a lot of the details, incidents and characters are based in reality. Oh, and hey! It's the first of a trilogy! The second two books are written (first drafts). Now, I need to rewrite those suckers!

Okay! The book'll be available in January at Muse-It-Up Publishing:

Now, for next week, I've tagged some writer friends of mine to carry the torch, so come check out:

Ashley Heckman:
Jim Henry:
Cyndi Williams Barnier:

These folks couldn't be more different from one another and all are worth checking out. Done! You're tagged!


  1. High school's a dirty word! (Well, two dirty words.) Poor Tex, I wouldn't be a teenager again if you paid me!

    1. Tell me about it, Gail! It's funny, I spent all my teenage years hoping to survive high school and vowed never to look back. And, um, now? I'm looking back!

  2. This sounds sooo good! Anything that helps empower a child who's being bullied has go to be a great thing. I'll be looking out for your book in January, Stuart - well done and good luck!

    Jane x

    1. Thanks very much for the kind words, Jane. They're appreciated. Just hope I can reach the readers who'll benefit (too bad bullies are illiterate!).

  3. This sounds sooo good! Anything that helps empower a child who's being bullied has go to be a great thing. I'll be looking out for your book in January, Stuart - well done and good luck!

    Jane x

  4. Yeah Stuart, the witch boy is an ordinary kid--ha, ha. I like the sound of your mash-ups.

    1. Hi, Barbara! Well, he WAS ordinary 'till he had witchiness thrust upon him! Mash-ups are fun, aren't they?

  5. Sounds wonderful, Kiddo. Love the lineup of stars to play the roles.

    1. Hi, Heather! And we LOVE your mysteries in this household! We're especially intrigued with your upcoming circus murder mystery! If anyone hasn't checked out Heather's Alvarez family murder mysteries, do yourself a favor and read 'em. One of my wife's faves.