The Next Big Thing

NY-eBookI have been asked by Francis Laveaux of the blog In The Shadow of the Dragon and author of Le Cheval, l’Alouette to take part in a blog chain called The Next Big Thing in which an author answers ten questions about his/her next (or most in need of a push) book. At the end of the blog post I must ‘tag’ five other authors and they answer on their blog the following week. And, we all put it on our blogs and Facebook pages, and/or tweet it.”

And these are the 10 questions:

1) What is the title of your book?

The title of my book is “New Yesterdays”.

2) Where did the idea come from?

The idea for New Yesterdays was germinated in the 2011 NaNoWriMo. The story was originally about three young boys, modeled after my brothers and me, living in rural Alabama in the 1960s. I thought the story was going well for a few days there, but then the characters decided to go in a completely new and different direction. Remember, these boys were my brothers and me so I knew how headstrong they were so I decided to just follow along and let them tell the story. When the tale finished was both surprised and satisfied with what they’d done.

3) What genre best defines your book?

I reckon I’d have to classify it as a Young Adult Fantasy. However, I think that most adults will find it entertaining, as well. To bolster that belief, I’ve had a good many reviews and emails from adults from 30-75, all saying they enjoyed it very much! So, nuts to the classification system!

4) What actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie?

I don’t know much about child actors nowadays, so I’d have to reach back to the past. I can see little Ronny Howard (of the Andy Griffith Show) playing the role of Jim and perhaps Johnny Crawford (of the Rifleman series) as Dustu. Co-stars could include Adam Beach as Adahy, Saginaw Grant as Tooantuh and Elaine Miles as Hiawassee, Dustu’s mother. The roles of Principal Chief John Ross, President John Adams, and President Andrew Jackson might be a bit more difficult since they are actual people.

 5) What is the one-sentence synopsis?

A fanciful rewriting of one of America’s ugliest eras.

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

It is self-published at Createspace and Amazon.

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

Believe it or not, the first draft was banged out in thirty days.  However, I had spent the better part of the previous year outlining and researching the story. I spent the next four months editing and passing it around to beta readers before finally publishing at the end of February 2012.

8) What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Honestly, I can’t say I’ve ever read anything quite like this story, with which I could compare it. Certainly, I didn’t have a “model story” in mind as I wrote it. As I mentioned earlier, the boys are the ones who actually wrote it; I was merely the stenographer!

 9) Who or what inspired you to write this book?

My two brothers, Tony and Michael were my inspiration for the story and my love of history and my heritage helped me to research and finish it.

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

I think that the way I deal with the actual history of the tragedy of the Cherokee people will interest most readers, even if they have only a casual interest in it. I also think my way of telling a story has a way of holding people’s interest. There’s nothing stilted or formal about it. I just write my stories the same way I tell them round the dinner table or over a nice hot, steaming cup of coffee!

Now, I must pass The Next Big Thing to five more victims… erm, friends. Watch for the answers provided by my nominees and support their efforts by picking up a copy of their books. If you like them let them know by posting a review. It’s your praise and criticism that keep us going!

And, the nominees are:


About Ol' Big Jim

Ol' Big Jim, has been a storekeeper, an embalmer, a hospital orderly, a medical biller, and through it all, a teller of tall tales. Many of his stories, like his first book, New Yesterdays, are set in his hometown of Piedmont, Alabama. For seven years, he lived in the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world, Amman, Jordan where he spends his time trying to visit each one of the thousands of Ammani coffee shops and scribbling in his ever-present notebook. These days, you can find him back stateside, still filling notebooks.
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