Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Next Big Thing: Alison Gaylin

(NOTE: Last week, I tagged Alison Gaylin as part of this week's NEXT BIG THING blogathon – a blog-hopping collection of writers answering questions about their latest works, or works in progress. As Alison is currently blogless, I'm hosting her here. - W.).

I was thrilled to be tagged for this by the wonderful and very talented Wallace Stroby for THE NEXT BIG THING – along with great writers Andrew Nette and Scott Adlerberg, and great writer/fellow true crime enthusiast Dennis Tafoya! The one problem is, uh ... I'm between blogs at the moment. So Wallace – whose books are fantastic and should be read repeatedly – agreed to post my responses. (Right, Wallace?)

Here goes:

1.) What’s the title or working title of your new/next book?

The new book is called INTO THE DARK. The sequel to AND SHE WAS, it’s the second book in the Brenna Spector series and it’s out Jan. 29!

2.) Where did the idea for the book come from?

The idea for the whole series came from an article I read about hyperthymestic syndrome – perfect autobiographical memory. To me the most fascinating aspect of this disorder wasn’t so much the ability to remember everything, but the inability to forget. I think forgetting is one of our most important survival mechanisms. So I decided to create Brenna Spector – a detective afflicted with this syndrome that may improve her performance on the job, but wreak hell on her personal life.

The idea for this book – about Brenna’s search for a missing “performance artist”/webcam girl who talks about memories only she or her missing sister could know about – comes from a whole bunch of ideas about memories and intimacy and guilt and obsession and, uh, porn.

3.) What genre is your book?

Crime fiction. Suspense. Whatever you want to call it.

4.) What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition? Or TV series?

I think Rashida Jones has the right look and sensibility to play Brenna. My 11-year-old daughter says Brenna’s brilliant young douchebag assistant Trent should be played by Adam Levine – which I think is a fantastic idea. There are many other characters – and I’m open to any and all casting suggestions. (I love hearing from readers about this.)

5.) What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Brenna Spector’s quest for a missing webcam girl brings her closer than ever to her long-lost sister – as she uncovers a decades-old web of deception, sex, guilt and murder. (Okay, I have to take a breath now.)

6.) Is/will your book be self-published or traditionally published?

INTO THE DARK is my sixth traditionally published book – and my second for HarperCollins.

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

About five months.

8.) What other books within the genre would you compare this story to?

Hmm… Got me there. I do love what Laura Lippman has done in many of her books with the idea of memory, and if this comes remotely close, I would be honored.

10.) What else about the book might pique the reader's interest?

There is a long arc story to this series about Brenna’s missing sister, which this book focuses more on than the previous. Like AND SHE WAS, the plot is pretty intricate with, I hope, a lot of surprises. And there’s guilt and murder and sex in it too.


Alexandra Sokoloff said...

Fascinating, Alison, I just downloaded And She Was (great title...). My head would explode trying to write something like that - I can't wait to see how you did it!

Alison Gaylin said...

Thanks Alex -- and I hope you like the book! Yes it is really hard writing these books -- for both me and the copy editor! I also think that the more I write them, the worse my real-life memory gets, but I'm trying to be in denial about that.