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The Next Big Thing – Blog Hop

Written by AJ on January 3, 2013 – 6:02 am

Greetings Blog Hoppers
The snarky blog with eleven essential vitamins and irony!

So it’s a new year and I thought I’d share some holiday eye-rolling fun.
First, you should know that my father likes to quiz my kids, and the last time the subject of conductors versus insulators came up, my preteen son rolled his eyes. He clearly knew what all that was.
Forward to mid-December when my husband is getting out the holiday lights, testing every strand and swearing a blue streak because so many were dead. He loves his lights.
Next thing those of us in the kitchen hear is my husband, clearly startled, squawking “Holy sh#@!” It turns out he’d gotten a mild shock from an open wire. He said he was still buzzing.
And this is where it gets awesome. Remember how I questioned what my kids were learning in school? Well, my son yells out, “I know what to do!” at which point he grabs the broom from the closet and begins poking at his Dad with the handle.
It took a few minutes to stop laughing, to stop feeling sorry for my husband who is first mildly electrocuted then is assaulted by a child with a cleaning implement, then to explain to my son that the not only hadn’t knocked my husband away from the source of electrocution (which was over with by then anyway) but that he was using a broom with a metal handle. Yes, a conductor.

And now for The Next Big Thing!

This blog hop includes ten questions to help you learn more about an author’s current work in progress, so here’s a little info about my current project:
1: What is the working title of your book? INERTIA—it plays to the book on many levels. My books always pose a deeper question to the reader, and this one is about what we are willing to put up with in exchange for not having to be in charge of something. We make those passive decisions to let someone else be in charge of certain things every day, and our personal tendencies to stay that way or to overcome the initial push of change are at the heart of INERTIA.
2: What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? Kayla comes across a schematic for an unusual engine designed by Eli Whitney, who was only the first in a line of people killed over the machine . . . Kayla may be next.
3: Where did the idea come from for the book? This one has been boiling around in the back of my mind for a while. What if someone COULD stand up to Big Oil? Hybrid cars have been the first step in this direction, but what if someone found a way to be virtually oil free? And how much would Big Oil push back to keep that from happening?
4: Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition? This is tough! I can see Keri Russell as Kayla. Kayla has Aspergers and a brilliant mechanical mind, so the actress has to be able to pull off a girl who’s all brains and few social skills. Reenie, our Southern Belle, could be played by Emme Rossum, currently on Showtime’s Shameless. Reenie has a placid exterior, but a lot going on under the surface. Evan, Kayla’s older brother, should be Michael Raymond-James. He played Rene in the first season of True Blood and I’ve seen him in a handful of other things since. He could handle the struggles Evan has as more and more disturbing things happen on the plantation.
5: What genre does your book fall under? INERTIA is definitely Intelligent Suspense with some Sci-Fi in there, too. The Sci-Fi is kept very close to the heart of current science. Inertia definitely walks the edge of reality. It could be true . . .
6: How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript? I’m still writing INERTIA! I’m in the final chapters of the first draft though. All in all, I think it will take about three months.
7: Who or What inspired you to write this book? I love believability. I want everything to be grounded and logical, so in Eli Whitney’s free energy machine I’ve bent current science but not left it behind. I also love the idea of standing up to the big guys. I love that people really are out there, working toward the goal of an oil free tomorrow. Both come together with a good dose of page turning here.
8: What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? I think this one compares closely to most of Michael Crichton’s work. His genius was that his science was close to the truth. It wasn’t real, but it was realistic. Inertia could also be compared to John Grisham with its big companies and small heroes.
9: What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest? There’s a LOT going on in INERTIA. Evan finds out his sister, Kayla, just got fired from another job. Her Asperger’s Syndrome means she doesn’t communicate well, which rubs a lot of people entirely the wrong way, including Reenie (Evan’s almost fiancée). As the three of them come together to build Reenie’s inherited plantation into a museum, they find not only the plans for Whitney’s free energy machine but bloody turn-of-the-century clothes and disturbing love letters from long-dead relatives. When Kayla starts building the machine, people start turning up missing or dead . . .

10. Where can we find you? How do we follow when your book is coming out? There are a handful of ways to find me! You can friend me on Facebook (www.Facebook.com/AJScudiere) and like my Author page (www.Facebook.com/SmartChickens). You can follow me on Twitter (www.Twitter.com/AJscudiere) or subscribe to the Smart Chickens Podcast at iTunes. Or, best of all, you can join in at the top of this page—which will get you free books, artwork and all kinds of goodies.

There are a handful of authors I would love to introduce you to (or you may already know them!)
They will be next week’s blog hoppers starting on the 10th. In no particular order, may I present:

Denise Verrico is the author of four books following her Immortyl Revolution series. You can read short storys about Cedric and Mia (some very wild and interesting vampires) or you can find info on Denise and any of her fantastic books at Immortyl Revolution http://deniseverricowriter.webs.com/ or on Facebook. I met Denise a number of book fests ago and always love to be surprised to find her at various cons.

Michelle Anderson Picarella, who just recently complete book one of her new YA fantasy book, Livian. She has also been featured in several anthologies, including Seven Deadly Sins, which she created. Michelle can be found on Facebook and at her home website: http://www.picarellawrites.com Michelle and I met at the South Caroline Book Festival in Columbia near her hometown where her Seven Deadly Sins books were a big hit!

Mandi Lynch is a local writer here in the Nashville area with me. We just keep running into each other and I love what she does. Mandi’s books can be found in all the local indie stores, including East Side Story. Mandi also handles Ink Monkey Mag . . . you can get more Mandi at http://mandimlynch.yolasite.com/

Sarah Hans is from the Ohio area and I met her this year at ConText, a writer’s convention where I had a fantastic time. I got to hear Sarah read one of her short stories, which was just wonderful! I hope to have Sarah do a guest read on Smart Chickens soon. She can be followed on FB and found online at http://sarahhans.com/

Adam Dyer is someone I met at Dragon*Con several years ago. I was in my booth and Adam was at the con taking a break from writing his first Children of the Links book (The Tower of Light.) Since then, Adam has gotten the book published, turned up in his own booth at Dragon*Con and is now working on the next. You can find him on FB or get his book at www.childrenofthelinks.com

Stephen Zimmer and I met several years ago at That Book Place in Indiana. I was a new author, Stephen the veteran. There was a cat, a snowstorm and a handful of new friends. (Shout out to Hydra Publishing!) I have seen Stephen a number of places and will see him again at MystiCon in Roanoke in February! Stephen writes three acclaimed fantasy series and has a number of awards to his name. His website is at http://www.stephenzimmer.com

Sandra Brannan is a new friend from this last fall. She has written the Liv Bergen mystery series, the most recent entry being Widow’s Might. Sam is such fun to be around and her books are great reads! Check her out on FB and at her site: http://sandrabrannan.com/

Victor Hightower is an up and coming author and an old friend of mine from back in my LA days. You can check out his new book, The Chancellor Mechanism, at his FB page http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Chancellor-Mechanism

Jenny Milchman is someone I met this last fall and I couldn’t be happier for her. Her debut novel, Cover of Snow, releases January 15th! She has gotten great reviews and we are all looking forward to her book hitting the shelves. She’s at http://jennymilchman.com/

Special thanks go out to Michael J. Tucker who sent the Blog Hop to me. You can find out more about Michael at http://www.michaeltuckerauthor.com/aquarius_falling/

Please leave a comment at the bottom and check out the Smart Chickens Archives at the right for more snarky goodness!

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5 Responses to “The Next Big Thing – Blog Hop”

  1. Mandi M. Lynch
    1:57 pm on January 3rd, 2013

    So, it’s okay that I’m going to be laughing about your husband for a while, right? Also, having been electrocuted by the power outlet a few months back, I can imagine that he’s still swearing about how much it hurts.

    Let me know when your new book comes out. We can review that one, too.

  2. Jenny Milchman
    4:47 pm on January 3rd, 2013

    I love the title, AJ! I really like single word titles. 3 months is the time Stephen King talks about for a first draft :)

    Good luck, and thanks for mentioning me. I am so glad to have met you, too! Also glad your husband survived. No metal broom handles :)

  3. Adam Dyer
    1:19 pm on January 4th, 2013

    Great post A.J. Hope all is well with you and your family, no lasting electrically induced damage. I appreciate you including me in on this Blog Hop. I can’t wait until next week!

  4. AJ
    4:31 pm on January 8th, 2013

    Yes, Husband is alive and well. No mental damage, just a flinch or two when the kid gets the broom out for chores!

  5. The Next Big Thing | Sarah Hans
    8:22 am on January 10th, 2013

    [...] make a long story short, AJ is a novelist. She has this blog called Smart Chicken, and she’s doing a blog hop called The Next Big Thing. She tagged me, so now I answer some [...]

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  2. Jan 10, 2013: The Next Big Thing | Sarah Hans

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