The wonderful Jennifer A. Howard, Editor-in-Chief of Passages North and former MFA thesis advisor and friend, wrote me and said I should do another Next Big Thing self-interview and assured me I wouldn’t be a jerk for doing it twice. So, I’m doing it. Next up, you have Ryan Werner, enigmatic founder of Passenger Side Books (where my chapbook, Whatever Don’t Drown Will Always Rise, is coming out from this Spring) and rockstar and friend, tells you about his work-in-progress.
What is the working title of the book?
This book is called Now, the Destruction of Days. It’s drafted and many parts of the first book are out in the world and it’s about a lizard-boy. So, publishers: heeyyyyyyyyy.
Where did the idea come from for the book?
Myth is so important to all of my writing, the way it functions in our lives, the way storytelling intersects with the way we go about the world. I wanted to create my own myth, some sort of mixture of ancient-style mythmaking and superhero comics and (hopefully) good fiction. At first, I was just writing a couple stories about the lizard-boy until it was clear there was a larger story there. And, there is, and it’s all about loneliness and heartbreak and family and loss.
What genre does your book fall under?
It’s all fiction – a novella composed of lots of smaller stories. I know some folks hate that novella-in-stories thing, but I’m happy with it.
What songs would you choose for the movie rendition’s soundtrack?
First, if this somehow ever becomes a movie, I will only sell the rights to PT Anderson. Ha. If that could be a real thing. As far as music, I think it’d have to be some heavily-moody, rainy, thunder-y stuff.
What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?
What does a lizard-boy do to prevent the end-of-the-world he’s destined to bring about?
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your book?
Um. 9 months? Over that time I was applying to PhD programs, eating, sleeping, playing video games, writing other stuff, finishing up my aforementioned chapbook, so it wasn’t all a marathon.
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Compare? Or, hope to live up to and emulate in some way? I spent a ton of time writing this book with Amber Sparks, Robert Kloss, and Matt Bell. Game of Thrones, maybe, in my television viewing, compares. I guess. Also, whiskey. I’d compare the lizard-boy to drinking good whiskey.
Who or what inspired you to write the book?
I guess, like Jen Howard says in her self-interview, I’m sort of inspired by a desire for acceptance and love. It’s pretty heavy in my work, even if I am writing pretty dark, heavy stuff.
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
There is a dragon.
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
I’m not sure. Who knows if it will even see the light of day? Who’s to know?