My Next Big Thing: Wakers

I’m a little late on this, but I’ve been busy on NaNoWriMo. Yes, life is tough. Anyway, a local writer, Paul Hoffman, invited me to participate in a My Next Big Thing blog tour. Paul is a local guy (assuming you live–like I do–in Columbus, Indiana, anyway), and he’s written A Murder in Wautosa, a book detailing the true-life murder mystery that happened in his boyhood city in the years before he lived there. You can pick up a copy here. I suggest you do.

Paul’s suggested I talk about a book I’m working on, so I’ll discuss Wakers, the book I’ve just finished the first draft of. Since Wakers won’t be available for a bit, you’ll have to look into See the PEBA on $25 a Day or my collection Picasso’s Cat and Other Stories (available through links on the sidebar) if you’re interested in checking out my work while you’re waiting.

So, here it goes.

Where did the idea come from for the book?

I sat down to write this book with a completely clean slate. I had earlier agreed with Lisa Silverthorne (who I’ll link below) to write a book in October–it’s something we’ve done occasionally before, doing tandem novels removes that feeling of being alone you can sometimes get. Anyway, she had an issue, so we pushed it back to November. I sat down on the first of the month with no idea, really. Except … well … except that I had been thinking about what the world might be like if there were no need for money.

So I thought about that some more.

What kind of things would have to happen for such a world to actually evolve? What kinds of people would this create? Suddenly I had an idea and a couple characters I really enjoyed, and we off to the races. Turns out the book isn’t really about the lack of money at all, of course, though that’s still in there.

What genre does your book fall under?

This one is clearly a work of science fiction.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

These are fun questions. I’ll put these forward, realizing that the story is still in first draft. But what the heck…

  • Bexie Montgomery – Maybe Leroy McClain
  • Kinji Hall – My brain is stuck on someone like Emma Stone
  • Maine Parker – This will be a debut role, filled by a guy who will go on to be a heart-throb superstar
  • Tania DeBrae – I could see Dakota Fanning doing this
  • DeJenna – Mila Kunis? Maybe. Strong expectation to learn more about DeJenna in the second draft.
  • Pauli – Shia LaBeouf in an un-credited, but scene-stealing appearance

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

A modern-day capitalist wakes up in a not-quite-so benevolent future.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

I’ll decide what to do with it after I finish the second draft. I think it will be under 70,000 words, though, which makes me think it will be more successful in the indie-world. I am really hoping that the “new” world of publishing will see us return to the days of short 50-60,000 word novels. I love those things.

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

Thirty days. I believe in driving first drafts pretty quickly.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

This is such a hard question. I don’t like comparing them, really. But I leverage a lot of Asimov’s robot framework, and there’s some cyber-punkism in there that might pay homage to Sterling/Stephenson/Gibson. I play with a deviation from the standard futurist’s conversation around the singularity concept (if there can be said to be a standard, anyway).

So it’s hard to call. I hope it’s unique, but of course others will bring their own associations. That’s the beauty of books, really. The way I interact with a story will be different than the way you interact with it. So in that sense, they are two different stories.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

It was a mix of things–not the least was probably watching the latest round of political debates around the topic of our economy. I was interested in exploring the concept of a world without monetary currency, and it was a great deal of fun to think through elements that make our society work, to research economic levers that we all take for granted, and to apply them into a more human framework that help me understand those concepts even more. All that research was also a fabulous way to justify spending hours goofing off on the internet. [grin]

In all seriousness, I think writing this book was a great educational tool, and it’s probably changed the way I think about the world as a whole.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

Stories are really about people, and I love the characters in this book. I really enjoy their take on what freedom means to each of them, their flare for art, and love. I think people who read Wakers will find themselves seeing nobility in places they hadn’t expected it. I think they will want to know more about them, which, to me, is always great fun.


I’m really excited to pass the torch to a pair of writers:

I’ve known and read Lisa Silverthorne, a writer who lives in West Lafayette, Indiana, for a number of year now and can say that she is one of my absolutely favorite writers. She has publishing a bunch of short stories in the fantasy and science fiction genres, and works in romance and paranomal-ism genres. I absolutely adore her work, which has been on the preliminary ballot for the SFWA Nebula Award. You can find more of it at Elusive Blue Fiction.

I very highly recommend her duet titled “Shipwrecks in Sea Minor” (of which I intend to write more about on this blog later). I also think her collection Sound of Angels should be on everyone’s bookshelf.


Vera Nazarian is a Russian-born writer who found herself living in a myriad of European countries before growing up in California–only to later make house in the eastern regions of Vermont. Talk about a world-traveler. Not too surprisingly, she’s an eclectic writer and publisher, writing work that spans the spectrum from high literary (serious stuff, right?) to quirky comedy and Jane Eyre send-ups.

I adored her debut novel, Dreams of the Compass Rose, and recently supported her kickstarter effort “The Cobweb Bride.” You can find her work at

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