Richard Sutton has kindly tagged me for this blog hop. Richard's latest book is "Troll," which takes place in the Old Stone Age, or paleolithic. Richard calls this a "pre-historical novel." I have previously read his "Red Gate," which is more historical, and which reminded me of Thomas Hardy, though a bit more optimistic. I look forward to reading "Troll." I have always wondered if the story of Grendel in "Beowulf" may have been a tale of an encounter with the last Neanderthal.

I guess now I'm supposed to answer the following questions, much as I hate answering questions.

 

THE NEXT BIG THING...Blog Hop questions:


What is the (working title) of your book? Actually, I'm between books at the moment. My most recently published is "The Woodcutter," which focuses on the career of Wovoka, Paiute prophet. (Google him.) I have two other manuscripts currently out to different publishers: "Black Bart Reborn," a fantasy about what Black Bart may have done and where he may have gone after disappearing from history. The other is called "The Inventor," loosely based on the career of John W. Keely, inventor of perpetual motion. My next story will most likely center on the building of the Central Pacific Railroad in the 1860's, and how it got over the Sierra Mountains. The story doesn't yet have a title.
Where did the idea come from for the book? Where does any idea come from? Is there any way to avoid ideas? I like to read history books.
What genre does your book fall under? I guess this would be Western Historical. I write Western novels without cows or cowboys.
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition? In "The Woodcutter" I might choose Johnny Depp as the protagonist, a largely clueless down-and-out news reporter. Wovoka himself could only played by a genuine Paiute, or maybe Shoshone. Or apache.
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? A cynical, disbelieving newspaper reporter in 1888 encounters miracles.
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency? I personally don't use agencies; I have found them a waste of time. Several of my books are with small publishers. "Woodcutter" was actually accepted by two different publishers. In the first instance, I was notified the owner of the company had suddenly died and the publisher would not be bringing out new titles. The second publisher liked the book and actually went through the editing process, when it was learned they would be unable to bring out more titles for at least six months due to technical problems. I figured this was an omen and decided therefore to self publish. I must add that I have observed that publishers provide two services to the author: editing and cover design. The author himself must do most of the promotion and marketing himself. This is true even of large New York type publishers.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript? I usually get through the first draft in six months or so. Then I sometimes sit on it for a year or two. 
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? I already told you I hate answering questions. Especially questions like this one.
Who or What inspired you to write this book? I have always been fascinated by unique characters in history, the more controversial the better. Black Bart, Keely, and Wovoka have one thing in common: they are ambiguous and mysterious. Reading different historians, you find they are all convinced of their own opinions, yet they contradict each other. When I was a child there was an old radio show called "I Love a Mystery." I still do.
What else about your book might pique the reader's interest?
My stories are more like impressionistic paintings than like photographs. I hope the readers will not think of them as history. Please read them as one way of looking at history, or of standing in awe at its mysteries.

BTW: I have a short story included in a new anthology. The book is a collection of horror stories about New Year's Eve. Not one of my historical novels, but equally weird. ("The Rat")

I have tagged Sue Lehman for this blog hop: http://suealehman.blogspot.com/

Sue is author among other things of "Tasting the Wind," a tale of early aviation.

Steve Bartholomew Dec. 2012