Sort of a chain letter for writers, the Next Big Thing is a blog meme whereby authors answer a set of questions about their next book project, and tag other writers/creators for the next cycle. I was tagged by Eliza Victoria, so here are my answers!
1) What is the working title of your next book?
Mythspace: Liftoff. It’s the first collection of what I hope will be many stories told within the Mythspace shared universe. I’m working in collaboration with the wonderful artists Koi Carreon, Borg Sinaban, Jules Gregorio, Mico Dimagiba, Cristina Rose Chua, Paul Quiroga.
2) Where did the idea come from for the book?
Most of my ideas come from an urge to tell speculative fiction stories that draw upon Philippine history, folklore, or mythology. There’s a growing field of creators doing the same, particularly in comics, but most of those projects are oriented toward fantasy and not science fiction. So I wanted to take some of the more familiar elements of Philippine fantasy — the monsters and ghouls that populate many of our mainstream horror movies and stories — and reimagine them as aliens to populate one of the most neglected local SF subgenres, the space opera.
Also: ever since I named the imprint/blog “Rocket Kapre” I’ve been dying to do a story that literalizes that.
3) What genre does your book fall under?
Science Fiction to be general, Space Opera to be more particular, and Portal-Fantasy-Adapted-Mythic-Space-Opera-Squad-Adventure, to invent my own name for it.
4) What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
If I were to make a movie adaptation of Mythspace, I’d cast completely new actors. I honestly can’t think of many established local actors who can disappear into their roles, and I don’t want the actors to overshadow the characters they’re portraying.
5) What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Tikbalangs in spaaaaaaaace!
6) Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
Self-published first, and then I’ll shop it around traditional publishers. No agency system here in the Philippines!
7) How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
Well the book collects 6 stories of varying length, with over two hundred pages of story in total, so it took me about six months of on-and-off work to get the first draft of all the scripts ready.
8)What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
This is really more movie inspired than book inspired. This is my attempt to give the Philippines its Star Wars.
9) Who or what inspired you to write this book?
Can I have a reverse inspiration? Every lazy use of our folklore creatures as superficial monsters, without any attempt to do something new with them.
10) What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?
For Filipino readers, it’s a chance to see the monsters of your childhood in a way that you’ve never seen them before.
For non-Filipino readers, it’s a chance to see an attempt at space opera that is informed by a rich mythology that you don’t usually see in science fiction (as opposed to say, the Norse myths).
And now… TAG, you’re it: