The Next Big Thing

Pádraig Hanratty tagged me in the Next Big Thing Author Blog Hop. Pádraig Hanratty is a freelance editor and instructional designer. He is the founder of QUIP Editing Solutions.
From Dundalk, Ireland, Padraig has written numerous short stories and flash fictions over the years. He has also had articles published in music magazines such as Judas and ISIS. In 2012, he published A Blanket of Blues, a collection of short stories, and Dimestore Avenue Blues, a novella.
His blog site is: http://quipsandchords.com/ You can read Pádraig’s contribution to The Next Big Thing here.

How the Next Big Thing blog hop works
An author answers ten questions and then tags authors to do the same thing the following week on the same day, which in this case is a Wednesday.

What is the working title of your next book?

What Else Is There

Where did the idea come from for the book?

Perhaps from a snapshot, a naïve experience. I walked into an Irish-US corporate office habitat in the mid-nineties raw from several years of working in KwaZulu township schools where the dominant concerns were somewhat different! I liked it in many unexpected ways, mostly to do with the fauna that I became part of. Since then I’ve had inside and outside views of various of these corporate ecosystems; been at different levels of the food chain; and felt the satisfactions and bewilderment at how you quietly shuffle in painted-on hand cuffs, away from what you thought might become of your life. Perhaps the reason I do not find this world as dreadful as I was supposed to is that some of the people I have come to know are only really pretending to be part of it – the stuff of their real selves still kept in reserve, is not of purée. The real lives of the characters in ‘What Else Is There’ too, are somewhat sinewy, non-homogeneous in texture.  

What genre does your book fall under?

It could be a love story in the broadest sense. But then in my view most stories are anchored in bonds which lie on the love spectrum. It’s also got farce, blotchy redemption, madness, and magic. And it’s particularly Irish in aspects. Mostly it sets out to entertain in the older meaning of that word: to engage your attention for a minute or two, to amuse, irritate, regale, and maybe please. So it’s a novel. What else is there.

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

Katie Taylor, Ming Flanagan, Sinéad O’Connor, Henry Sheflin   ….oh, actors? Well maybe then we could give the nod to that chap of the Day-Lewis’.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Man runs from patricide to concrete London, breaks everything of value to him, and finds himself in an open plan office in Stillorgan.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

I have a very interesting man looking at it at present.

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

Ten years.

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

How’s this: Not a comparison but I would love for it to evoke feelings similar to some you get when you read, just say, Empire Falls, The Master and Margarita; as well as just a few of those elicited by the anthology Dear Life (not of my genre at all, but how terrible to have discovered and lost a great Irish writer in one week. May Dennis O’Driscoll’s fresh breath not be taken clean away.)

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

Friendships. People bent on various plans of taking their lives back. My own efforts to make some impact on the shape of my life.

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

I think that the backdrops may have an unsettling familiarity for some; the tensions that come to bear on the central lives too. The resolutions, maybe less so. More importantly it’s a good story. Believe me.

The author I have tagged is Paula Leyden

Paula lived most of her life in Africa – Kenya, Zambia and South Africa, till she moved to Ireland in 2003 with her family. Her award winning book The Butterfly Heart was published by Walker Books in 2011 and her second, The Sleeping Baobab Tree will be out in May 2013. Find out more at Paula’s blog.

Adding to the tissue

The author’s ambition is to contribute to the tissue of lies that stretches itself like a curious gossamer across our living moments. Old Friends is just the beginning. In adding to this body of untruths he is ready with other collections of words designed to entangle old adults as well as young ones. The publishers of course are beating down the door, offers of collusion in their hatchet-free hands. Needless to say, the dog is off down the field about some other mad business of his own, never to be seen when you need him.

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