I was tagged in a blogging meme (I still am not really sure what that word means) and supposed to have responded to it about two weeks ago. But, my Lord, the last two weeks managed to compress themselves into 3.5 seconds and I used one of my sixteen blinks per minute and successfully missed the entire fortnight.
But, better late than never. Said no German, ever.
This meme, called ‘Next Best Thing’, was passed onto me by Australian journalist and soon to be published author, Sarah Ayoub. Sarah herself was tagged by Rachel Hills. If you haven’t checked out either of these women, remedy that immediately. The meme asks one to one chat about their next project, whatever that may be, and then pass on the questions to five other writers. The idea being, of course, that we all learn more about writers we are acquainted with or discover new ones entirely. Lovely. I did have to, for accuracy’s sake, substitute the ‘big’ for ‘some’ because there ain’t nothing big about me, except my hair. And, I confess, there are some questions I didn’t answer which has shortened the original ten questions to an easily digestible 6.
1) What is the working title of your next book?
I am currently involved in developing two e-book projects; an illustrated anthology of short stories, Sincere Forms of Flattery and an e-book version of What I Know About Germans. Both are collaborative efforts, both include people from around the world (India, the UK, Germany, France, Australia) and both are rather exciting.
2) Where did the idea come from for the book?
SFOF popped into my head one quiet day about two years ago. I quite liked the idea of dipping into some of my writerly friends’ inspiration wells and learning about who gets them really going when it comes to putting pen to paper. I teamed up with Sandi Sieger because she is a force of nature and we always seem to find ourselves on the exact same page. The book itself has gone from print to electronic to illustrated electronic and is currently almost finished. Assembling, editing, chasing, illustrating, editing, chasing and, obviously, writing, when writers are dotted about the globe has been a wonderful challenge.
WIKAG came about because the response to Überlin running the list on their site last year was absolutely massive. It went well and truly viral. We decided a book that combined the list with original artwork would be a fantastic way to preserve it in the German consciousness. So Überlin contacted a Berlin-based illustrator who has done some just fantastic artwork and the book is in the process of coming to life. The concept behind it is also in the process of being liberally used by another German-based expat, but what can you do? Just do it better.
3) What genre does your book fall under?
Fiction for SFOF and I suppose non-fiction/travel memoirs for WIKAG.
4) What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
SFOF – seven writers and seven short stories written in the style of their literary heroes.
WIKAG – a comprehensive list of things I noticed about the Germans while living there.
5) How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
SFOF has probably taken, from the first draft of the first story ’til now, eighteen months. The artwork has taken the longest but it is so beautiful it is absolutely worth it. WIKAG was already essentially written before the idea for the book came about, so it is more a case of turning it into something visual to treasure and enjoy.
6) What else about the book/s might pique the reader’s interest?
Some key words about both projects … adultery, murder, scorned lovers, organs for sale, beating hearts, David Hasselhoff, Germans.