I’ve decided to try to post answers to questions specific to my latest psychological, literary crime novel, Wake Me Up. This book took over ten years to write and produce, going through hundreds of revisions and edits. It began to take shape in 2004, and the novel is set in October right before the contentious election between Bush and Kerry came to a close. I lived in Sun Valley, Idaho this year and the Secret Service motorcade surrounded John Kerry while he was out mountain biking. He and his wife own a home there and it was titillating to see such a promising political figure out in normal mode. But politics play very little in Wake Me Up beyond the amped-up atmosphere created in a small, conservative, college town.
The first few days of January 2016 each had a question, and since it is now the 5th of January, I’m going to answer and fill in the blank for the first four questions I missed along with today’s curiosity:
- Describe your story as ____ meets ____ . Okay: Magnolia meets The Lovely Bones. The focus is split between four of the main players, as in Magnolia, with differing storylines converging, and Wake Me Up toys with a different kind of narrator as The Lovely Bones did in such a spectacular manner. There is a narrator who becomes a “phantom” observing the action of others around him, his near past, the distant past, and the present, but not so much of what could turn out to be his bleak future . . .
- Why you love your protagonist. Okay: My protagonist is the highly intelligent son in a long line of geniuses who may or may not have learned how to tell the truth about anything in their lives. It was fun to speak from the mind of a fifteen-year-old kid beyond his years, who tells the story of how he became the victim of a brutal assault—a bullying moment he’ll remember for the rest of his life if . . . he wakes up from his coma.
- A side character you love and why. Okay: The side character I love is Deepika Webber, a writer of some small acclaim who interacts with all the characters, even Chris Bullet, the narrator, and becomes the catalyst for what happens next . . . Even though she could be seen as an antagonist in the drama that unfolds, Deepika is strong and even-keeled. She lives her life without apology, but she also has a huge heart. I wanted to create someone natural, curious, a risk-taker, strong, and weak: complex.
- Why you love your antagonist. Okay: There’s very little to love about my antagonists since these four classmates are bullies through and through. They have their own battles to fight. Their fate was sealed the moment they began swinging their baseball bat.
- You hope someday your book gets a review that says… Okay: I hope a future reader understands how tough it is being a cerebral introverted type, and understands that this kind of person is often misunderstood, becomes prey to the bullying kind, and that Wake Me Up made them feel emotion of the deepest kind.
That’s the final question and I’m all caught up this month. These questions and other answers from other authors can be found on Twitter at #JanuaryWIPjoy themes (Bethany A. Jennings organized this venture)! Check over there for more responses to these cool questions.
Find Wake Me Up in all bookstores, independent and online, in the next few weeks!
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