the next big thing

I’ve been asked a handful of times to participate in various blog hops. (A blog hop is a pass-the-torch style post in which one blogger highlights several other writers he/she likes, who then highlight other writers they like, and so on. The idea is to promote fellow writers.) Often, I pass on these. I’ve done a couple, but there are so many different chain blog posts going around that one could easily get sucked into spending entirely too much time community building and too little time writing. I’m all for community building, but writing time is important, too.

“Where is this going, Dex?” you ask.

All of that to say, when I accept an offer to participate in one of these, it’s typically because of who asked me. In this case, the asker is a seriously talented writer who, like me, maintains two blogs–one for fiction and one for various other stuff that sometimes includes fiction. Her writing is poetic and touching, often raw in a very intimate sort of way. I want to support her as a writer because I want her to keep writing. It’s not a noble motive on my part. I just want to be able to read her stuff.

Alana Agerbo writes out of Vancouver, B.C., Canada. Starting her blog in March of last year in an attempt to pin down the words skittering through her mind has inspired her to write on an almost daily basis. She has a dusty old manuscript lying in the drawer, complete with, more than a few, letters of rejection. She is hopeful to see her work on a shelf one day, not a speck of dust to be found.

Alana has had some works published on, which can be found here.

She blogs here and here, tweets here, and hosts a writer-inspired facebook page here.

And now, per the protocol of blog hopping, here’s a little more about me and what I’m working on.

1. What is the working title of your next book?

Parsons Crossing

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

Years ago, a couple of friends and I were talking about how much fun it would be to create a haunted attraction. We dreamt up this elaborate haunted forest idea, complete with a ghostly backstory. That ghost story became the rough basis for this book, though it’s changed a lot in my mind since those first conversations.

3. What genre does your book fall under?

Dark fantasy.

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

I’ll tell you right now, I hate this question. I have agonized over each choice, and I can’t say I’m 100% happy with what I came up with. It’s silly because the book isn’t done and I’m not actually casting a movie, but each choice seemed so deeply personal, putting a face and voice to characters I’ve only seen in my mind. I’ve spent more time on this question than any other on this list, and yet, blah. That’s what I have to say. Blah.

Nevertheless, here are my choices:

Nate – Paul Dano
Annabelle – Mary Elizabeth Winstead
Father Daughtry – David Thewlis
Chief Collins – Jeff Bridges
Mrs. Sinclair – Fionnula Flanagan
Jake – Aaron Taylor-Johnson
Parson – Jackie Earle Haley

Yes, yes. I know that list means nothing to you, dear reader. Those are just names with actors listed beside them. I’d give descriptions, but in some cases I can’t without giving away key plot points and I’ve already spent enough time on this question. Please forgive my vagueness.

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

Oh, geez. Another really hard one. Okay, here goes:

Something evil has woken just outside the east Texas town of Parsons Crossing, and only a small group of mismatched guardians can stop the coming destruction.

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

Don’t know yet. I hope to find an agent when I have a workable draft of it. That would be my preference. If I cannot, I’ll self-publish.

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

It’s not yet done, but when it is done, it will have been about 4 months.

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

I wouldn’t, not because there aren’t comparable stories out there, but because I’ve gone to great pains to avoid doing that in my own head. I don’t want to pull from other stories while writing it.

I hope that fans of Jim Butcher‘s The Dresden Files, Neil Gaiman‘s American Gods, Martin Millar‘s Lonely Werewolf Girl and Simon R Green‘s Nightside Series would enjoy it. I’m not saying my book is like these books–that would be more than a little cocky as I’ve just listed some amazing works. I’m just saying these are authors and books I appreciate whose dark tone I hope to match.

9. Who or what inspired you to write this book?

Love of writing. I’ve always wanted to write a book. Books, really. Yes, it would be nice to get published and be rich and famous and all of that, but I’m writing this book because I want to. If you told me today that I will never be published and that no one, apart from friends and family I inflict it upon, will read my book, I’d finish it anyway. Vye deserves as much. The story deserves as much. And, it’s kind of fun.

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

I plan for it to be the beginning point of at least two series—one that will follow Nate and one that will follow Annabelle.

And now, here are a few other writers you really should be reading:

Mike Allegra
Mike Allegra writes a lot. His first children’s book, Sarah Gives Thanks, was published in September 2012 by Albert Whitman & Company and is now in its second printing. His plays have been read and performed around the country. He has a day job, too; Mike is the editor of The Lawrentian, the nationally award-winning alumni magazine of the Lawrenceville School (Lawrenceville, NJ). He is also known to enjoy a nice, toasty Belgian waffle.

Blog  |  Facebook

Stephen Green
A full-time worker, full-time father and full-time husband with dreams of becoming a full-time author without coming off as being full of it. Currently he is in the midst of revising his first novel in hopes of shopping for an agent this fall. From week-to-week he shares his experiences in writing at The Parking Lot Confessional for all to gape at, point and giggle, or hopefully, commiserate. For all other random ramblings and musing, you can find him sullying the web at The Shadowed Quill.

Blog  |  Twitter

Julie Elizabeth Hill
Born in Toronto, Ontario, Julie Elizabeth Hill exported herself to Vancouver, British Columbia after many years of staring longingly at the map following every snowfall. For as long as she can remember, she’s been making up stories, but it wasn’t until high school that someone suggested writing them down. Since then, she’s been hopelessly in love with story crafting, often forgetting about everything else in the process.

Blog  |  GoodReads  |  Twitter

Amy K. Nichols
Amy K. Nichols is a YA author from the Phoenix area. She is represented by Quinlan Lee of Adams Literary. Her first novel, Another Here, Another Now, will be published by Knopf BFYR in fall of 2014. You can read samples of her work here.

Blog  |  Twitter

Erin Brady Pike
Erin Pike is an attorney by day and a fiction writer by night. Born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky, Erin attended the University of Louisville, where she majored in philosophy and graduated with honors. She was a member of Golden Key and was later admitted to Mensa International. She went on to receive her law degree from the Brandeis School of Law. Having spent several years establishing her legal career, Erin now spends her free time writing novels for middle-school and high-school aged children. She hopes to find a publisher that loves her characters as much as she does.

Blog  |  Twitter


  1. Can I say this was worth the wait? Wow…so generous, so kind and so…extremely flattering. Thank you for that, and for participating!

    Your book idea sounds very intriguing and well fleshed out. Love the title. Good luck with it. I’m sure you won’t need it though. You’ll snag an agent, once you’re ready, no problem! :0)

  2. Parson’s Crossing sounds interesting, ‘Dex’. I love that you would keep writing it, even if you knew you’d never get published. Nothing demonstrates love of writing quite like that.
    Jeff Bridges is great isn’t he? I can see him as a police chief.

    I’m wondering who Vye is. Going to have to click on that link. 🙂

    1. dex Author

      Yeah, Jeff Bridges. What can you say? I mean, he’s The Dude. I think he’d make a great small-town police chief.

      Oh, and Vye (rhymes with ‘die’) is short for Violet. She is my muse. The link will explain all of…that…at least as much as it can be explained.


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