The Next (and Last) Big Thing (2)

December 18th, 2012

The other next book I want to talk about is the sixth Poke Rafferty, which will come out (probably) in January of 2014 because I’ve taken so long to write it.  Same questions, different book.

What is the working title of your next book?

For the Dead: A Poke Rafferty Thriller

Where did the idea come from?

I wanted to write a book about Miaow, which this may or may not turn out to be.  I was interested in what happens to someone, especially someone in the immensely vulnerable early teens, who–out of insecurity–creates a false personality and then has it stripped away.

What genre does your book fall under?

If it’s not a thriller, I’m in trouble.

What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

Mmmm.  I beg off that.  Almost all the characters in this book are Thai, and while I could suggest a few actors, I don’t think they’d mean much to most non-Thais.  And if I were to try to come up with non-Thai equivalents, most of them would be obscure to modern Western audiences.  For instance, to play Thanom, Arthit’s immensely corrupt superior in the police, who has a big role in the book, I’d cast Takashi Shimura, immortal for his role in Kurosawa’s “Ikiru.”

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

When Miaow and her boyfriend, Andrew, buy a stolen iPhone to replace the one he lost, they find on it a series of photographs that lead to a decades-old, but still lethal, scandal that ultimately brings Poke and Arthit up against some of Bangkok’s most powerful individuals.

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

It’ll be published by Soho Crime under the auspices of my super-agent, Bob Mecoy.

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

If only I knew.  It feels like most of my adult life, and it’s not done yet.

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

I think it’s a cross between Therese Raquin and Dr. Dolittle. I have no idea how to answer that question.  I suppose it’ll be quite a lot like the other Poke Rafferty books, only–you know–different. It’s a thriller about a family.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

I’ve wanted to write a book that was mainly about Miaow since I began the series.  And I really like writing Andrew, Miaow’s Vietnamese boyfriend.

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

Many people might be interested in seeing just how much of a writer’s blood can be soaked into roughly 300 pages. Once again, I don’t actually know how to answer this question. I don’t have much faith in my ability to tell even a short joke without losing my audience, and I have no idea why anyone would read me for hours and hours. Okay–I really like the characters.  I can say that.


4 Responses to “The Next (and Last) Big Thing (2)”

  1. EverettK Says:

    (Not having read the book, but based upon everything else of yours that I’ve read) the things about the book that might pique the reader’s interest are:

    The characters.
    What the characters do.
    Why the characters do those things.
    What characters the characters run into.
    What happens between all those characters.
    How much you’ll care about the characters.
    How chafed and cut your fingers will become from turning the pages…

    January 2014??? Oh, man. 🙁 It ALREADY seems like forever since I read The Fame Thief and The Fear Artist!


    Well, “no wine before its time…”

  2. Bonnie Says:

    I also find the interaction between two cultures intriguing, though it’s an oversimplification to say that, since the Thai political, economic, and social landscape seems to be peopled by a myriad of ethnicities and cultural traditions. The role of the Chinese seems to be strong all over Southeast Asia, and the borders (to Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, and even the more distant Koreas and Japan) seem to have been fluid or at least permeable for quite a while. Poke has one foot in Thailand, to be sure, anchored by his small family, but he shows it to us with an outsider’s perspective.

  3. Lil Gluckstern Says:

    Whew I’m with Everett. It’s a long time to wait for the next Poke, but we will endure. It is so nice to see you here.

  4. Timothy Hallinan Says:

    Well, you guys are really nice, but for the past six months I’ve been in a partially controlled panic about this book, deeper than anything I’ve gone through in the past. (This IS the first time I’ve had a book postponed for failure to deliver.)

    The good news is that a path is beginning to open in front of me, and there may actually be an ending. The other good news is that I’ve finally reconciled myself to the idea that what drives this book may not be the usual thriller dynamic, but more the personal relationships among the characters. I think I have a climactic scene in which no one even takes a swing at anyone, but it will still be one of the most brutal denouments in any of my books. So it’s not an action-hero book, it’s something else.

    I’m sorry it’s going to be delayed, too. If it hadn’t been, 2013 would be the first (and probably the only) year in my life in which I had three books released. Oh, well, at my age I should be thrilled silly with two.

    Hey, everybody — give CRASHED to someone for Christmas!

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