The Next Big Thing

I was invited by Mary Ann Bernal to participate in a blog-chain called “My Next Big Thing.” Mary Ann’s next big thing is called The Briton and the Dane: Concordia, and will be available in January 2013.

Details on my Next Big Thing are below!

 What is the working title of your book?

The Juice and Other Stories. It will be available in December 2012!

 Where did the idea come from for the book?

Honestly, I have several book ideas in development, but I haven’t wanted to start writing them. Instead, I felt like experimenting with different story ideas, formats, and viewpoints.

I fell in love with the short story format. It’s liberating, to say the least. For instance, quite a few of the stories are in the first-person Point of View, something I’d wanted to try. I even wrote a couple of first-person female stories, which was a blast.
What genre does your book fall under?

Just over half of the stories are (light) science fiction; others are fantasy, or horror. However, the undercurrent of most of the stories is romance.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

The stories were written over a period of around nine months, which is longer than I spent on any novel.

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

A collection of science fiction short stories, or short pieces of contemporary and fantasy romance.

Who or What inspired you to write this book?

I have been a fan of short stories as long as I can remember. My first attempts at fiction were science fiction and romance short stories that I wrote in my twenties. I had a LOT to learn about writing back then, and so the stories stayed safely packed away on my shelf. However, earlier this year I got the bug to try my hand at short stories again.

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

How about a blurb? In “Remembering,” beings from another world find themselves herded along their own trail of tears. Their leader, Tofray, has the unenviable job of remembering their stories and their suffering. “Mrs. What’s-Her-Name” details a woman’s struggle to regain her memory, and her life, after a devastating brain injury. In “The Juice,” a woman of the street searches for her next client, and promises him surprises. “The Clown Man” visits a beautiful child’s dreams and turns them to nightmares; however, Cruz, a dream walker, is there, and he means to keep the girl safe.

The novelette“Manhattan Transference” details the story of Luce, a vaporous visitor from a dying planet, who must find the only robotics expert who can help save the alien race from destruction. Luce’s sun will go supernova soon, and without Dr. Roman’s help, all of Luce’s people will die with it. There is only one problem: Luce’s new human form, and the raw emotions that come with it. “Fool O’clock” details a stressful day in the life of Jim Pyle, Deputy Director of the Bureau of Fool Abatement, a government agency tasked with keeping the U.S. safe from fools of all sorts.

In the longest novelette, “Days of the Never Was,” three pairs of arguing friends disappear into a strange fog bank and reemerge with their entire worlds turned upside down.

Other stories are “Crazy Magnet,” about an investigator with a gift for attracting crazy people; “He Ain’t Heavy,” a horror story. “From the Black, the Blues,” Sci Fi romance; “The Utopian / Dystopian Compass,” Sci Fi; “Reggie and Rocky Vs. Space Monsters from Beneath the Bed,” a contemporary fantasy starring 3 and 5-year-old dream walkers; and “Set Fire to the Rain,” an excerpt from Emprise.

And now, I’ll pass the baton to another writers who kindly agreed to participate in the blog-chain … stay tuned to read about their Next Big Thing.

Alica McKenna-Johnson

8 thoughts on “The Next Big Thing

  1. cecilia says:

    I am thrilled that you are publishing the short stories.. awesome, I just bought A KINDLE ( I know, I know after all i said) but i think it is wise for the travelling.. if it arrives in time.. anyway .. NOW, i can download Roxie.. can’t I? Am i right? c

    1. Bill Jones, Jr. says:

      I haven’t released Hard as Roxx yet. I don’t think I will prior to 2013. I have a very small publisher looking at it, but I’m not sure when it will be put out.

      I have the 3 Stream books out and I will release the short stories in the next week.

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