Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Next Big Thing

The Next Big Thing is that I’ve been tagged by the talented Elizabeth Amisu, the author of the young adult series, The Sacerdos Mysteries.  Thanks, Eliza!  If you haven’t encountered her before, be sure to visit her at

How does The Next Big Thing work?  Remember chain letters?  For those who don’t remember, letters were words written on paper, enclosed in an envelope, and delivered by government employees.  People used them to communicate before email came into being.  A chain letter was a way to get lots of visibility for a project – perhaps raising money for a new bicycle.  That was before iPads had been invented.  If you were the lucky recipient of a chain letter, you sent money to the person who sent it to you (tagged you, in effect) and copied out the letter and sent it on to several friends, who would then send you money.  Everybody got rich without doing anything further, unless someone broke the chain.  Dire things would happen to someone who broke the chain.  This is the cyber equivalent of a chain letter.  Notice, I’ve sent the equivalent of money to Eliza, by including a plug for her blog in the first paragraph.

In this post, I’ll answer a few questions about my current work in progress and tag 5 more authors.  Then, on Wednesday, December 5,  those 5 authors will make posts on their blogs thanking me, answer the same questions on their own blogs, and tag 5 more authors to keep the chain going as long as possible.  If no one breaks the chain we’ll all have a shot at the number one spot on the Big Best Seller list.  If any writer breaks the chain, all of the electrons in that person’s eBooks will lose their charge.  Paperbacks probably won’t be affected, but who reads them anymore?  They’re like letters – an artifact of life before the web.

And now for the questions and answers:
1. What is the working title of your next book?
I have two that I’m working on now.  The one which I expect to finish first is titled Life’s a Ditch.

2. Where did the idea come from for the book?
The idea came from readers’ reactions to my nonfiction book, Dungda de Islan’.  The blog post immediately before this one goes into more detail.  Just click Life's a Ditch: How one review inspired a new book for more details.

3.  What genre does your book fall under?
That’s always a tough question for me. I suppose that it belongs under nonfiction/travel/sailing, like Dungda de Islan’.

4. What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
My wife and I are the main characters.  Who could be better suited to play us than ourselves?

5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Life’s a Ditch tells the tale of the changes that my wife and I coped with when we abandoned our comfortable, upper middle-class existence in favor of exploring life from the deck of our sailboat twelve years ago.

6. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
It will be self-published.

7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
It took a lifetime to do the research and about 4 weeks to produce the first draft.

8.  What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
The ready comparison is to my own best-selling Dungda de Islan’, which although I wrote it first, describes the phase of our evolution to seagoing vagabonds that came after we learned that Life’s a Ditch.

9. Who or what inspired you to write this book?
A large share of the credit belongs to fellow writer Kathleen Patel, whose recent review of Dungda de Islan’ opened my eyes to what a number of the other reviewers were seeing in that book.  Again, my recent blog post Life's a Ditch: How one review inspired a new book covers that in more detail.

10. What else about the book might pique the reader's interest?
At its core, the book tells the story of how one couple coped with abandoning their life of comfort and privilege to pursue a shared dream; we were married for a long time before, and we’ve been married for a long time since, even though our life today bears little semblance to our early years together.

It’s my pleasure to tag the following five talented writers, in no particular order, to carry this forward:

Kathleen Patel
Kathleen is the author of several fascinating books, and she wrote the review that inspired my current work.  She has a broad range of interests, and I encourage you to visit her blog at to learn more about her and her books.

 Diane Rapp
Diane has written nonfiction, a series of mystery / thrillers set on cruise ships, and a science fiction series that I’ve enjoyed reading over the last few months.  Take a look at Diane and her work at

Alethea Williams
Alethea writes fiction that also portrays the interesting history of the western United States.  You’ll find more information on her and her work at

Joan Szechtman
Joan, an engineer by education and inclination, writes time travel books featuring Richard III.  Visit with her at Random Thoughts of an Accidental Author.

Ann Swann
Ann is a West Texas-based writer with several books and short stories to her credit.  You’ll find more information about Ann and her work at

So, that’s the Next Big Thing.  Please take a few minutes to visit Eliza and the 5 authors I’ve tagged; you might just find your next favorite book.  There are some good ones in this collection – I’ve read some of them, and my wife has read others.  Thanks for visiting.


Ann Swann said...

Excellent post. I can't wait to read the book. Thanks for including me!

Charles Dougherty said...

Thanks, Ann, and thank you for agreeing to be part of the Nest Big Thing.

Unknown said...

Good interview. When my "To Read" list shortens, I'll have to check out Dungda de Islan' and Life's A Ditch. They sound interesting.

Unknown said...

Great post, CLR. I remember chain letters (:

Unknown said...

You had me laughing at the consequences of breaking the chain. Very, very frightening!

Barbara Gaskell Denvil has tagged me. The fear factor made me accept.

Charles Dougherty said...

Don't be afraid, Darlene; it's a blast!

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