The Next Big Thing

This is my part of The Next Big Thing author blog hop. Thanks to Travis McKenzie for the tag.

What is the working title of your next book?
The Test, though that really is very much a working title. Haven’t been able to come up with anything more compelling yet.
Where did the idea come from for the book?
The Test depicts a society which believes it can determine a person’s underlying moral inclination. The idea sprang from hearing psychologist Gina Perry’s analysis of Stanley Milgram’s experiments in the 1960s in which participants were encouraged, despite their misgivings, to obey the instructions of an authority figure. Those who “failed” these experiments, those who went ahead and obeyed, were told that the experiment had revealed a core of evil. What if a society took that judgment seriously?
In this story, those who pass a final Test at the age of 25 are seen as being inherently good. Those who fail are thought to be inherently evil and are encouraged to submit to treatment. Nobody truly expects to fail and no-one knows that those who fail and who accept punishment are turned into gargoyles.
Throughout the book, various characters struggle with their own notions of good and evil. However, the fundamental question is not the nature of evil, but the perception of difference – the creation of us and them.
What genre does your book fall under?
Speculative fiction
What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
Most of the characters in my book are from what is known as the forgotten areas. Perhaps a few forgotten actors could be discovered/ rediscovered?  But have to say I really admired Jennifer Lawrence in The Hunger Games.
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Perhaps you’re not so different from the gargoyle/person beside you.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
Six months and counting.
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Someone who read a little of it very kindly said it reminded them of George Orwell’s 1984. (and of course I’m not Orwell, but there are some echoes of psychological dystopia)
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
Hearing the stories of those people who had obeyed the instructions in Milgram’s experiments and how the quick, thoughtless judgement that they had a “core of evil” affected their whole lives.
What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?
Other strange creatures such as the K’lenws which looks like a small gargoyle, loves to eat chocolate and has made a home out of builder’s rubble.

You might like to take a look at The Next Big Thing on Danny Fahey’s or Bob Ashby’s blogs too.

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2 thoughts on “The Next Big Thing

  1. Very cool concept. The milgram experiment as well as the Stanford Prison experiment and ‘the wave’ are all great examples of how human nature seems compeled to identify the ‘other’ and vilify it. Love to read more about your ‘hero’ in this book — I hope he/she is a gargoyle who has to show the true meaning of morality.

    • Thanks Travis
      Morality can be … slippery.
      Very much looking forward to The Sceptre and The Sword too.

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