Welcome to TNBT, “The Next Big Thing” blog hop! What’s a blog hop you ask? It’s a great way to discover new talent that you may not have heard of, or be able to find in your local bookstore. Here you’ll find BRIAN C. CONLEY, author of Stay and The Neighborhood. I met Brian several years ago at Northwest Arkansas Writers Workshop. From his first reading, I was blown away, and I know I wasn’t the only one in the group who felt that way. To this day, my writer friends and I talk about his writing and wish he still attended our critique group, even years after he moved away.
Brian’s work has been called “wistful and jarringly realistic” by bestselling author, Lolita Files.
And here’s Brian!
Thanks to my buddy, M.G. Miller for asking me to participate, and for keeping me engaged in the writing life. Click the link below to discover Miller’s Southern Gothic masterpiece, Bayou Jesus, and the Christmas 2012 release of his new novel, Seven Devils. I. Can’t. Wait.
Special thanks to Jan Morrill for hosting this Q & A! And below, see links to other authors whose work will not only entertain but also amaze you.
All respective TNBT authors have answered the following 10 questions concerning their work and insight into their process. Enjoy! And feel free to comment.
1: What is the working title of your book?
It depends on what day you ask. Today it’s called, Say Hello to the Bad Guy. Tomorrow it’ll be The Good Guy. Yesterday it was Brian’s Third Book.
2: Where did the idea come from for the book?
I like to take rather mundane or innocuous events from my own life and add some major tragedy. In my book, The Neighborhood, I took my pretty awesome childhood and added some pretty brutal events. For this story, I thought about the weekend I went home to Baton Rouge, La for my best friend’s wedding and met my future wife. I wondered, What if something very bad happened instead.
3: What genre does your book come under?
I’ve never been as good with genrefying my books as I am with making up words. I’m a fan of many genres, so suspense, romance, humor, horror, and action tend to weave their way into my stories. Contemporary fiction would probably be the best description.
4: Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Unknowns. I have a thing for underdogs and new discoveries. But if I had to choose, I’d cast Elijah Wood as Ben, Damon Wayans Jr. as Jordan, Aziz Ansari as Mike, Joel Kinnaman as Doug, Jennifer Lawrence as Dee Dee, and Olivia Munn as Star. They all have played or are currently playing characters with personalities that match my characters.
5: What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
When a good guy with bad luck finds himself with a dead man’s bag of money, he finds out how much of a bad guy he’ll have to be to hold on to this bit of good luck.
6: Is your book self-published, published by an independent publisher, or represented by an agency?
I’ve self-published one book, and my second book was published by an independent publisher. I’ll probably self-publish this one. I enjoyed that process more.
7: How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
My first drafts usually range between three months and one year. I’m shooting for three months again.
8: What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
The closest that come to mind are Cormac McCarthy’s No Country for Old Men, Scott Smith’s A Simple Plan, and Quentin Tarantino’s True Romance, which is not a book but an influence just the same.
9: Who or what inspired you to write this book?
I hadn’t been inspired to write anything for years. Then Jan Morrill announced that her book, The Red Kimono, would be released in January. And M.G. Miller announced that his new book would be released this month. And Elaine Flowers announced that her new book was coming soon, and had just written and produced a short film. I guess that their creativity and passion infused me, served as my muse to get off my arse and get back to work on something. Then my wife says, “You should write a love story about how we met…” For it to work with my sensibilities, I had to substitute “love” for “crime”.
10: What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
For guys, there’s gritty action and an unpredictable stripper who figures prominently in the story. For ladies, there’s a wedding and a love story. Plus some unexpected, inappropriate humor for both. Win-win!
Below you’ll find some other links you might be interesting in visiting:
I, for one, am glad to hear that you’re self-publishing. You said it well, about enjoying the process more. Jan’s going through now what we’ve been through. Hee-hee. I’m glad to be a part of lighting a fire under you. Now write! Because I’m looking forward to “Brian’s Third Book”.
Hey Brian, good to hear you’re writing again. Glad you participated so we could catch up on your work. Sounds good. Keep at it and stay in touch.