The Next Big Thing

I have (apparently) been tagged in the Next Big Thing meme, in which authors answer set questions about their next (intended) work. So, with the disclaimer that anything could happen between now and finishing the puppy, including abandoning it altogether if certain other projects come to fruition and occupy all my time and attention, here it is:

What is the working title of your next book?
It’s a reversion to what Phoenicia’s Worlds was originally called. That book has two worlds joined together by wormhole. This assumes the starship Phoenicia has continued its mission, stringing together a line of worlds, one at a time – so, Phoenicia’s Line.

Where did the idea come from for the book?
For this book, this particular book, the idea came when I learned Phoenicia’s Worlds was going to be published and I wanted to keep my foot in the door. But the idea of the Line itself, which is the underpinning conceit … I honestly can’t remember. I have a vague link in my head between resolving to write a series about the Line and (concurrently but unrelatedly) working in medical publishing – and I last worked in medical publishing in 1999. So, nope, can’t remember. Getting old.

What genre does the book fall under?
Science fiction. Sub-genre, space opera.

What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
Toughie. The only fixed character in my head at the moment is a middle-aged Hispanic type, but Antonio Bandaras would be too ruggedly handsome. There are also a couple of brother-and-sister younger roles, but a movie wouldn’t be made for so many years that whoever ends up playing them would be ipso facto too young now to be famous.

What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?
The past catches up with the future.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
Solaris are publishing Phoenicia’s Worlds so I’ll give them first dibs. If uninterested, I’ll give it to my agent. If he’s uninterested … dunno.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your book?
I’m 7500 words in after two months. Ask me again in 30 months time.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Gareth L. Powell’s The Reckoning, most of Alastair Reynolds’ output … I just say this because they’re all great space operas and I want this to be one too.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?
The email from hero editor Jonathan Oliver saying ‘We want to publish Phoenicia’s Worlds’ – and realising that I actually could follow it up.

What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?
“Oh look, a sequel to that book we read so many glowing reviews about. I wonder what happens next?”

Who am I now tagging to continue this?
Anyone interested. You shouldn’t need to be asked …