Wednesday, September 17, 2014


Remember “The Next Big Thing”?  It was a blog-based tag game / interview that a lot of writers were doing a couple of years ago.
Each tagged writer talked about the "The Next Big Thing" he/she was working on, which for me at the time was

So, in celebration of the book's official release on September 20, I am re-posting it!  

(I found the "Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?" question particularly fun.)

Ten Interview Questions

What is your working title of your book?

Where did the idea come from for the book?

I’ve found the recent proliferation of superhero movies during to be. . . interesting, let’s say, and it has caused me to wonder what it is about our society that makes us need the same Spiderman or Incredible Hulk story to be retold more than once in the span of a single decade. 

Are we so consumed with “superheroism” because the idea of “heroism” has become so difficult to define?  What does “heroism” even mean anymore?  Is it the ability to leap tall buildings in a single bound?  Is it the strength to cope with all of the frightening and depressing things hurled at us by the world on a daily basis?  Or has “heroism” become something else?  Or has it become irrelevant, even? 

So, I created a group of neo-Superfriends  - The Statistician, Hippie Avenger, Psycho Superstar, Miss Demeanor, SuperBarbie and SuperKen, The Drifter, The Stunner, Time Bomb and Mr. Nice Guy – who are neither super nor heroic, and I turned them loose in a fictional setting to answer these questions for me.

What genre does your book fall under?

It’s a novel.  It’s funny and it’s moving, it’s thought-provoking and it’s cool, and, when it is published, everyone should buy a copy and read it!  (At least I think so.)  

Having said that, I’ll leave it up to my publisher and the bookstores to decide which shelves it will eventually land upon.  My policy is to write the story that I want/ need to write, and then let the “business” decide how to categorize it.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

As long as the film producers send me six-figure royalty cheques on a regular basis, I’m willing to leave the casting for The Indifference League entirely in their capable hands.

But just for fun, I’m going to pick actors from various time periods.  Assume that each one of them is on the cusp on turning thrity (like the characters are) when I bring them back to the present in my time machine:

The Statistician – Jimmy Stewart, Cary Grant, or maybe young Henry Fonda.

Hippie Avenger – Young Diane Keaton.  

Psycho Superstar – Dean Winters (the guy who plays Liz Lemon’s ex-boyfriend Dennis Duffy on 30 Rock), or Brat Pack era Matt Dillon. 

SuperBarbie – Elizabeth Banks, or Reese Witherspoon

SuperKen – Rob Lowe, or Ryan Gosling channeling Rob Lowe.

The Drifter – James Dean (with the motorcycle), or Johnny Depp (with James  Dean’s motorcycle).

Miss Demeanor - Ally Sheedy, a la The Breakfast Club (but more punk rock).  Or 1970s Pam Grier!  She would be AWESOME!

Time Bomb Mommie Dearest-style Faye Dunaway, or maybe the young Joan Crawford herself.  Charlize Theron would be good, too.

Mr. Nice GuyFamily Ties-era Michael J. Fox.  Or Paul Rudd.

The Stunner – Ingrid Bergman!!!!!!!  Or Natalie Portman!!!!!!! Or a combination of the two!!!!!!!  (Sorry, I only meant to think all of those exclamation points ... I’ll use my indoor voice now, I promise.)

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Pick any one sentence from the following:

The Indifference League is the sexy, racy, hilarious, and ultimately moving story  of the obsessions and fears of the New Lost Generation. 

Sex and love.  Religion and politics.  Left and Right.  Right and Wrong.  Can anyone be a hero in an  age where the lines are so blurred?  The Indifference League will fight to find out.  Or not.

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

I (was) represented by Margaret Hart at the HSW Agency.  The Indifference League will be published by Dundurn in September 2014.

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

That’s difficult to say, because I revise and edit a lot while I’m drafting; all in, it took about two years to complete the novel.  For me, revising is about 75 per cent of the work. . . you can do the math if you want to.

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

I’m not sure how to answer this one. . . The Breakfast Club meets The SuperfriendsMallrats mixed with The Avengers?  It’s kind of like the best book you’ve ever read, but better!  (Kidding!  Just kidding!)

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

This book was inspired by (and, in a certain way, is dedicated to) all of the people who do heroic things every day, without even realizing that they are heroes. 

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

Each chapter in The Indifference League begins with a classic superhero quote;  Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, and other Superfriends voice the selfless and optimistic ideals of the Greatest Generation and their progeny.  Then the members of The Indifference League, all archetypes of Generations X and Y, show us just how much things have changed.