As I mentioned before, the super talented picture book author and illustrator, Amanda Driscoll, tagged me in the Next Big Thing blog tour.  I'm posting my answers to standard ten questions here.  You can find Amanda at:
Be sure to surf through her many art samples.

Next Big Thing... The Ten Questions
1. What is the working title of your next book?

That will ultimately be up to the publisher that buys the book, but the working title is, MARCUS ADDLEBERRY.  If I get a vote, the title will be SQUID INC.

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

Somewhere deep in my subconscious?  All I know is that I didn’t set out to write this  book.  In fact, I was shooting for something completely different.  I had just finished writing a plot-driven book with lots of characters and intricate details that mattered, so I wanted a break.  I decided to write a string of scenes loosely tied together by a road trip—two goofy guys in a car, no thinking required.  I tried several times to start that book, but it mutated into—wait for it— a plot-driven book with lots of characters and intricate details that mattered.

The short answer is that I was reading William Gibson’s cyberpunk while watching, Scott Pilgrim Versus the World.  So my brain was primed to go somewhere weird.

3. In what genre does your book fall?
Contemporary YA.   It’s been called commercial.   It’s definitely humorous.   If it’s not a thriller, it’s at least an adventurous boy  book.

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

Interestingly enough, I don’t think exact appearances matter in  this story.  The characters don’t see themselves as others see them.   Apart from Angel, who has a specific physical description, I think  there’s a lot of room to choose anybody you like.

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

Sixteen-year-old Junior, Marcus Addleberry, sneaks into the senior-only party to win back the girl of his dreams but ends up teamed with his rival on an all-night, double-cross filled quest to steal high-tech spy gear and  rescue a kidnapped Marine before they are caught by the police or killed by  ninjas.

6. Who is publishing your book?

I like the positive sound of that question, and I’ll let you know when I know.
7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

Too long.  There was a period of flailing while I tried to write a different story, and since I hadn’t settled the plot from the start, there was some flailing at the end.

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

An agent suggested that the book fell into the same category as Adam Rex’s work.  I’ll take that. 
9. Who or what inspired you to write this book?

That blame falls squarely on my critique group, who politely badgered me to write a YA.
10. What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?

 Well, it does explain the set theory of ordering  hamburgers...  Or, put it another way, it’s smart and funny.

 Now I get to tag two other authors who I think are a Next Big Thing.  The first is Colette Ballard, who recently sold a fine YA story of girls, horses, and murder.  You can find her at
The second is Jack Wallen, who cranks out zombie books with the furry of an addict.  You can find him at