The Next Big Thing

December 19, 2012

Last week I was tagged by Travis Richardson, (whose novella  Lost in Clover was recently published),  to participate in The Next Big Thing; where writers talk about their upcoming projects.

Without further adieu—

What is the working title of your book (or current project?)

The title has been recently changed to Detective Rules.  Throughout the book, the lead character, Guy Graff recites rules he learned while attending detective school.  Rules such as, Detective Rule #3:  You can lose a sock when doing laundry but don’t lose the guy stalking your client.  For most of this book’s incarnation it was called Shopping Can Be Deadly but I decided didn’t properly portray what the book is about.

Where did the idea come from for the book?

The book’s genesis started in a letter I was writing to girl I was dating at that time.  Yes, there was a time when people actually wrote letters.  That scene in the letter, where the woman enters Guy’s P.I. office and tells him why she wants to hire him is now gone.  But the character was created then and I felt secure in my writing style.  Detective Rules is my ode to all the detective/P.I. novels I’ve read growing up.

What genre does your book fall under?

It’s not a hard-boiled detective story and it’s not as light as a cozy so I call it something in between: soft-boiled or a mystery/comedy.  

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition? 

Guy Graff is twenty-six years old but he looks like he’s eighteen and gets called “kid” a lot.  Back in the day I would have said Michael J. Fox could play Guy Graff but today, somebody like Daniel Radcliff.  Kim, one of his clients and eventual love interest: Jennifer Lawrence or Amanda Seyfried.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? 

It’s Guy Graff’s first ever P.I. case and his clients are being killed while they shop in Beverly Hills – and worst yet; before they pay him.

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

It’s always been my dream to go the traditional route; find an agent and have it published by a big publisher.  After this final polish that’s the direction I’ll be going.  However if I can’t find an agent or publisher I will definitely consider self-publishing.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your screenplay?

 The first draft took around two years.  Much of that first draft was written during some UCLA workshops and writers’ groups.

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

 It’s similar in tone to Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series.  It’s also like Robert Crais’ Elvis Cole’s series if he went with more humor and less seriousness.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

My love of mysteries instilled into me by my Mother.  I looked at the detective novel and said to myself, how would your write it with your voice and hence; Detective Rules.

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

 I’ve mentioned it has humor but the story is also about finding friendship, trusting and pre-judging people and of course; the need to be paid your retainer upfront.

That’s all from me.  Next Wednesday Kwei Quartey – author of Wife of the Gods and Children of the Street will be answering questions about his Next Big Thing.