Wednesday, December 05, 2012

The Next Big Thing

I was tagged by Tansy Rayner Roberts to take part in the Next Big Thing meme, which occurs every Friday. One of my favorite books from Tansy is Love and Romanpunk, a short story collection that I got to read in May earlier this year, and I'm finding her to be one of the original and daring voices in the Australian speculative fiction scene, whether it's her fiction or nonfiction.

Without further ado, here's the meme:

Lauriat: A Filipino-Chinese Speculative Fiction Anthology 
What is the working title of your next book?
My latest book is the anthology Lauriat: A Filipino-Chinese Speculative Fiction anthology, released by Lethe Press. I also have a short story, "Scions of the Oneroi," appearing in Philippine Speculative Fiction Vol. 8 next year (contrary to what some might believe, I am neither the editor nor the publisher of the series).

Where did the idea come from for the book?
For Lauriat, I wanted to do an anthology focused on Filipino authors that wasn't occupying the same space as Dean Francis Alfar's Philippine Speculative Fiction anthology series. It then occurred to me that no one really writes about the Filipino-Chinese community--one that I'm part of--using a speculative fiction lens, especially since Realism is what's commonly published here.
As for my short story "Scions of the Oneroi," it was originally a stalker story (this blog is titled Bibliophile Stalker after all) and I wondered how an obsessive person could insinuate themselves into a stranger's life. And then there's the Oneroi from Greek mythology, and it just started to click.

What genre does your book fall under?

They're definitely both speculative fiction, leaning more towards the fantasy and horror aspect.

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

Well, Lauriat's an anthology, so the best person to ask would be the contributors. As for my story, it was written with the "you" in mind, so I don't think it would translate well to film.

What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?

For Lauriat, fantastical stories dealing with the Filipino-Chinese experience. For "Scions of the Oneroi," how does one suddenly become an intimate partner of a stranger?

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

I don't think there are literary agents here in the Philippines. Lauriat was published by Lethe Press while my short story will be published by Kestrel DDM.

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

Editing Lauriat took around a year, from soliciting stories, reading them, editing them, coordinating the artwork and layout, proofing the book, etc.

My short story, on the other hand, took a few weeks to write.

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

For Lauriat, it's definitely the first of its kind in the sense that it's tackling concerns from the Filipino-Chinese community using the tools of genre. But there's definitely a lot of anthologies out there that deal with the fantastical and other cultures. Just this year for example, we have Three Messages and a Warning, AfroSF, Breaking the Bow, The Future is Japanese, and Philippine Speculative Fiction Vol. 7.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

When it comes to anthologies, I've always been fascinated with the editing done by Ellen Datlow, Terri Windling, Jonathan Strahan, Rich Horton, John Joseph Adams, Gavin Grant and Kelly Link, and Steve Berman. In fact, the book is dedicated to them.

As for my short story, there was a call for submission for Philippine Speculative Fiction Vol. 8 so I dusted off a short story idea I was working on and submitted it.

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

For Lauriat, I'd like to think it tackles subject matter that's not often tackled in either Realism or in the genre, which tends to be Euro-centric. The anthology was also cited in the Omnivoracious column Writers Don't Cry as one of the five books for writers.

As tradition dictates, I'm tagging five people. Hope you check out their blogs next week:

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