There is this meme going around among writers and I know a lot of writers. But they all know I don’t talk about my books that much because I’m a tinkerer and a ditherer. As with all memes, however, they all ran out of other writers to tag. Last week I got tagged four times. Robynn Tolbert was the first to tag me.
I’m breaking two of the rules. The first rule–that I post on Wednesday–is broken because yesterday was a sad, crazy day. The second rule–that I tag five other authors–is broken because pretty much every author I know who wants to do this has already done it. So if you are a writer who is reading this and you think “I want to do that!” consider this your open invitation to a spare tag. Think of it like a Google+ invite or something.
Anyway, here’s the rest of the story.
1) What is the title of your next book/work?
If only it had a title we’d be happy people. It has had several working titles, none of which convey the true scope of the thing. My favourite: The Cunning Woman Of Myddfai has been demoted to a section title. The current working title is a bit too stuffy for me but is a better overall descriptor. The Water Grimoire is where we’re at now, and while it does speak a lot to the item central to the story the book isn’t fantasy and that title makes it seem like it will be.
2) Where did the idea come from for the book/work?
I am fascinated by stories about the history of medicine. One of my favourite books of all time is Noah Gordon’s _The Physician_, about a young man in the middle ages who travels from London to the Middle East to learn medicine. Another of my favourite books is Edward Rutherfurd’s _Sarum_, which details the history of a place and the people who live there.
In my reading I several years ago came across one of the most beautiful Welsh myths of all time: The Physicians Of Myddfai. I’m using that myth as the starting point of the novel. The myth describes how one family in one area of Wales happened upon a book of herbal remedies that was in huge demand in the middle ages. My novel follows that book and that family through several centuries a la Rutherfurd’s _Sarum_.
3) What genre does your book/work fall under?
General fiction. There’s history in it, a small amount of fantasy (in the recounting of the legend), but mostly it’s just stories about people and what drives people to help others even when doing so comes at a tragic price.
4) What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
I don’t want my book to be a movie. It’d be fine as a miniseries or a two-year HBO thing. But it’s not a movie. As to who the characters most resemble I’d say that in the fantastical origin section I would like to see the farmer Dyfedd played by Michael Sheen or Richard Coyle, assuming Coyle can use the Welsh accent he had in _Coupling_.
5) What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
The world of mankind is filled with ordinary magic, often found in books.
6) Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
We’re not there yet.
7) How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
It’s been seven years, which is a good thing. The book has changed over time into the book I more wanted it to be. Seven years ago I wasn’t the person to tell this story. Now I’m getting closer.
8) What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
As I said above it resembles the work of Edward Rutherford in structure while also bearing a whiff of Noah Gordon, Bernard Cornwell and Maeve Binchy.
9) Who or what inspired you to write this book?
My compulsive need to tell the stories of people.
10) What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?
I talk a little bit about marijuana. So if you’re into that, there you go.