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The Next Big Thing

ScoesbyThe Next Big Thing blog tour–a neat, chain letter-kinda thing for author interviews–makes its stop here. I was tagged by none other than mighty Mur Lafferty, the limitless creative mind behind Playing For Keeps, the Heaven series, Marco and the Red Granny, and the intensely anticpated The Shambling Guide to New York City.

I was torn between talking about the book you can purchase, The Battle of Blood & Ink, the book that’s finished and with my agent, Way of the Dodo or the book I’m toiling away at now, Scoseby Cuts A Rug. The cartoon raccoon won.

What is your working title of your book?

Scoesby Cuts A Rug

Where did the idea come from for the book?

Starting when I was around 5 years old, I would fill sketchbook after sketchbook with drawings of a raccoon in a baseball cap and a t-shirt, getting into trouble  and having fun with other clothes-wearing animals. Scoesby is but the latest version of this character, that I’ve essentially been drawing all my life. I figured he better have a book.

What genre does your book fall under?

What does Wind In The Willows fall under? Becuase it’s like that. “Animals who wear clothes and drive cars.” That’s a section in the library, right? Also, “comics”
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

The nice thing about this is that it would be an animated film, so I can cast much older than the characters actually are. Paul F. Tompkins has both the bombast and the sincerity to voice Scoesby, and I’d be a fool if I didn’t put Paget Brewster as the female lead of Delia, Scoesby’s fox best friend. Rounding out the cast would be James Adomian as Raylan, a rules-minded possum and Judy Greer as Abigail, rabbit inventor extraordinaire. I’d also put Sam Watterson in as Scoesby’s father, and Greg Proops doing Jeremy Irons doing Simon Gruber doing Karl Lagerfeld as the judge of the dance contest, because why not?
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Confirmed lay-about Scoesby must find a job before the big dance contest, but will he risk ruining his friendship with Delia in order to do so?
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

I am represented by Beth Fleisher of Clear Sailing Creatives, and she is very excited about this book.

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

Not long. This is pretty basic story, and the characters are almost exclusively Axelrod Stock Types: the overly-enthusiastic dreamer, the conflicted over-achiever, the clownish inventor, the cowboy, etc. What’s been maddening is that I keep changing as it draw! The story calls for a more relaxed sense of pacing than I normally do, so I have to keep adding pages so that the scenes move forward more naturally.
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

I mentioned Wind In The Willows. The early bits of Bone, like The Great Cow Race. Pogo is a huge influence, as well. There’s also a huge helping of P.G. Wodehouse, so if you ever wondered what a Jeeves and Wooster story would be like if the characters were all animals in the American South, well, have I got the book for you.
Who or what inspired you to write this book?

As I said, I’ve been drawing raccoons getting in and out of scrapes since childhood, but this particular story is very much inspired by my father, and the old Buster Keaton and Marx Brothers movies we watched together when I was a kid
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

Obviously, if I’m writing it, it’s wonderfully well-written. But did you also know it is fantastically well-drawn?
Scoesby, Page 1‘Cause it is.

Since next Monday is X-Mas eve, I think we can bend the rules a bit, so folk might post then, my post on the 31st, or, not on a Monday at all. We’re writers! We do what we like!

J.R. Blackwell, creator of Shelter In Place
Chris Morse, mastermind behind Supervillian’s Corner
Filamena Young, of Machine Age Productions and Gaming As Women
Peter Woodworth, author of Runner





The Battle of Blood and Ink: A Fable of Flying City
Purchase available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, BooksaMillion, Powells Books, IndieBound, Walmart, Overstock and your local bookseller.
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