Ben Peek (benpeek) wrote,
Ben Peek

The Next Big Thing: Ten Questions Meme

I was tagged by the ever talented Brendan Connell for the Next Big Thing Meme that is going around. No doubt, he is planning his parties to involve copious amounts of cocaine and women and men and riches now, since he (and therefor I) will be billionaires before the week is out.

I plan to be completely corrupt.


1) What is the title of your next book?


Until, y'know, it changes.

2) Where did the idea come from for the book?

A number of things, as always. Immolation is my big fantasy novel on a moderate diet, which I say because it pulls only 120, 000 words, and not 300, 000. But it's primary influence is pretty much the steady diet of big fantasy that I consumed as a teenager. In part, I wanted to capture that original love again, as closing in on fifteen years writing and selling (sometimes well, sometimes not) had left me a little burnt out--the business of art can be kinda rough, you know, and I had had my ups and downs in that. There was a period when I wasn't sure what I wanted out of it, if it was worth it, and so I returned to all the original things I loved, and I figured I'd write a big fantasy, the kind I'd like to read now, which perhaps explains why its set in a world full of dead gods, with immortals, fanatics, and betrayal.

Most of the content I made up as I went along, but the immortals and their war, that came to me while driving along a road up in Darwin. For no particular reason: I was just daydreaming.

3) What genre does your book fall under?

It's a fantasy novel. If everything goes well, it'll sell as a trilogy, which is the first of those that I've written. If all goes badly, then the next novel I'm going to write is either going to be a comedy, or a book about apocalypses.

Immolation is set fifteen thousand years after the War of the Gods. During that war, the world as the characters know it changed: the sun fractured into three, the ocean turned dark and rose, awful cold struck parts of the world, the entire planet was plunged into darkness for ten days, resulting in years of famine. It was a terrible time, for when a god died, it impacted on the world in an awful way, and after the last of them died, there came their 'children', men and women who said they were they descendants of the gods, the inheritors of their power. After centuries of bloody war, they established a series of terrible kingdoms that, a thousand years back, fell when they renounced their power--or so, most of them did. No longer gods, the men and women with the power of the gods are never quiet, but their power is a fragile thing, lost beneath capitalism, democracy, and they must compete against all of that to remain relevant.

Which doesn't begin to explain the army that is marching up the Spine of Ger, where the giant god himself lies, dead beneath the stone.

Clearly I need to work on this synopsis thing (it is, in fact, what I am working on today, in case you're curious (I know you're not)).

4) What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

I wouldn't.

You know, questions like this always bother me, because they imply, somehow, that film is more interesting, or somehow more complete than prose. Now, I like film, I do, but I really do think film would be a lot better off if it stopped adapting novels and just worked on original work. In addition to that, if I wanted to write scripts and work with actors, I'd be a scriptwriter--and then I'd worry about which actors I'd want to be part of the work. But I'm not. I'm a down and out author and I work in prose so the last thing I really think of is film and what bad actor is going to play a part in one my pieces that no one has bought or shown interest in.

Also, and perhaps this is just a personal thing, but so many films are shithouse these days, I'd just rather read a book. I'm currently reading Graham Greene's the Power and the Glory, for example. I plan to read more--I know very little of his work.

5) What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?


On the back of a dead god, a girl is on fire, and an army is marching.

6) When will the book be published?

Take your guess.

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

It's hard to say. The messy, vomit draft no one could read? Probably around six months, though the end looked nothing like it does now. The decent, first draft that I could read half of? Maybe twelve. I edit a lot as a write, so nothing is ever clear like that. I finished the first version of it in about fourteen or sixteen months, then spent another six or so months rewriting and editing. Took about two years, all up--and that's with working, having my girlfriend move countries, etc.

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

No idea.

You know, originality isn't a big thing in these questions, is it? Like, what is my book like, who would I want to play in the movie version... you know, I was influenced by a lot of creation stories in various religions, and myths and such that exist around. Could I say my book is like all the books of religions rolled into one?

9) Who or what inspired you to write this book?

I mostly covered this, yeah?

Could I say Jesus and Buddha and L. Ron. Hubbard?

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

What else do you need?

So, there you go. I'm not going to pass it on because if you wanna do it, feel free. If you don't, hey, no stress.

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