Skip to content

The Next Big Thing Project

April 3, 2013

John McCaffrey’s  NEXT BIG THING

The Next Big Thing Project has been going around the internet. I was tagged by Diane Spodarek. We all answer the same five questions and then tag five others.  Check it out and also see Diane’s interview:  http://dangerousdiane.blogspot.com/2013/03/next-big-thing-project.html

Book Cover
What is the working title of the book?
My debut novel is titled THE BOOK OF ASH.  It will be released in October 2013 by Boxfire Press.  (http://boxfirepress.com/products/the-book-of-ash)
Here’s the cover.  Although I did not pose for the picture, I do own a white towel and often use it as a substitute for pants.

Where did the idea come from for the book?
I’d like to say a white towel, but the idea to write THE BOOK OF ASH came from a serious and sad situation, a response to the 9/11 attacks in New York City.  At the time, I lived (and still do) in Hoboken, New Jersey, directly across the Hudson River from the former World Trade Center, and worked in downtown Manhattan, blocks from the tragedy.  Like many, I was deeply saddened and shook by the event, and given my geographical proximity, reminded nearly every day of what was unfolding at “Ground Zero.” I began to consider what could be done to prevent such needless loss of life and suffering, questioning why our world is always besieged by violence, and thought that the issue lies with the individual – that if we can help each person reach an optimal state of “mental health,” then we can prevent violence – on small and large scales.  So I began to create in my mind a society predicated on forming “mentally healthy” citizens, and came up with the Circle, the fictionalized world in the novel.  However, in developing the concept in my mind, and writing about it, I began to see that such a society could never flourish, or, more aptly, forced anything never works, and the book began to take on this form, of a people in rebellion against authority.
The inherent strength and, for lack of a better word, sanity of nature is another prevalent theme in the novel, and one that also got its inspiration from 9/11.  Going back to that time, I was very moved, one night, while smoke still rose from the former World Trade Center, seeing a flock of geese flying south.  It made me realize that while the human world was out of order, the natural world was not – that no matter our struggles, geese and animals, plants and fish continued to follow an inner guide, a purer instinct.  This comforted me and so I infused the Circle, where the book takes place, with a more primitive natural setting, albeit one that might have been formed by earlier generation excess and pollution.
What genre does your book fall under?
My idea is that it is part Sci-fi, part mystery, with lots of action and romance and absurdist humor.  I like to describe it as Fight Club meets 1984 meets Clockwork Orange.  Then again, I like to put potato chips into my peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, so I might not be a reliable judge of genre.
What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
The main character in the novel, Baldwin Wallace, is 33 years old, in a difficult marriage, and facing a life crisis.  He also has a shy humor and naïve outlook on people – he looks for the best in everyone.  I think James Franco would be a great choice to play the role or, if somehow resurrected, Art Carney.
What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?
A promiscuous wife, a sadistic stepfather, and a seductive young woman who promises to love him as long as murder is involved, are just a few of the issues Baldwin Wallace is dealing with as he tries to survive (and just possibly find happiness) in this comedic thriller.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
It took me one year to write the first draft – three more years to edit, and one year to find a publisher.  In that time, I gained greater perspective, wisdom and
weight.
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
In addition to the 9/11 factor, I also wanted to challenge myself to write a novel.  Before that, I had stuck mainly to short stories, so finishing on a novel was something I thought important for my writing practice and career.
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
I think it’s surprisingly sexy, perhaps not in a Fifty Shades of Grey way, but more in the understated, underhanded, and unhinged manner that befits most romantic relationships.
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
I’m grateful to Boxfire Press for selecting the novel to join with their other great titles.
What is it that you want of a book?
I think it would be wonderful to see someone on a bus, or a subway, or somewhere public reading my book.  Then I could go up to them and ask if they like it.  And if they say yes, I’ll buy them a hot dog.  If they say no, I’ll buy myself one.
Advertisements

From → Uncategorized

One Comment
  1. steve strauss permalink

    Enjoy all the hot dogs life offers + may all your fish be keepers. Thank you for extending walden pond to the apple’s rivers and keeping nature spirits flowing.
    Your fishing buddy

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: