The Quantum Manual of Style by Brian Mihok, reviewed by Sandra Gail Teichmann-Hillesheim on Prick of the Spindle.
I’ve been asked/tagged by Cynthia Reeser to do this series entitled The Next Big Thing, in which writers write about a project they are currently working on. Cynthia’s is a book called Lefenstrausse. Each writer is assigned the same questions.
1. What is the working title of your book?
2. Where did the idea come from for the book?
A. The idea originated from two different ideas. One was to write a book in the form of rule book. Something like grammar or citation handbook. At the same time I began to work on an erasure project using a book called Cosmology: A Class Manual in the Philosophy of Bodily Being by Paul J. Glenn. Glenn’s book had a lot of beautiful language that straddled some border between science, metaphysics, and emotion. The erasure project wasn’t going anywhere, and I started melding the two ideas of using this kind of language with a the idea of a book of rules, where there would be a rule, an explanation of the rule, then examples of the rule, which would actually be a place for narratives to exist.
3. What genre does your book fall under?
A. Literary fiction. I’d call it an unorthodox novel.
4. Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
A. Probably unknown women who have the ability to convey a lot without much dialog.
5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
A. A family’s story of crisis unfolds through a non-traditional novel, set as a collection of scientific rules that serve as an introduction to an imaginary discipline.
6. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
A. Aqueous Books will be publishing it February 28, 2013. Here is the book’s page.
7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
A. Roughly one year to write it.
8. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
A. Perhaps How to Live Safely in a Science Fiction Universe by Charles Yu is comparable in the real world, though it is still markedly different. It is definitely a form novel in the way U.S.! by Chris Bachelder is a form novel. At its center though TQMOS is a story about a family struggling with a disaster, and there are a lot of books like that because disaster is universal.
9. Who or what inspired you to write this book?
A. No one thing or person inspired this book. But maybe see question 2?
10. What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
A. If you buy the book and send me a picture of yourself holding it in some provocative way, I will send it back to you with a surprise.
Hear it at billtimesabillion.bandcamp.com/
I recorded this EP in my attic.