The Next Big Thing


Welcome to my blog, one of the web sites participating in this week’s THE NEXT BIG THING blog hop. This blog hop will introduce you to authors who have published books or who are about to release a book. I hope you enjoy it.

First I would like to thank Diane Adams Taylor for inviting me to participate. Her blog site is http://dianeadamstaylor.com/the-next-big-thing-blog-hop/

The purpose of this blog hop is to introduce authors and their recent books or books on the horizon. I self published a thriller, Chased Across Australia, last year and now have a romance under contract with Tate Publishing. The working title of the romance is My Knight in Shining Armor.

The rules of The Next Big Think is that each author must interview themself by answering ten standard questions:

1. What is the working title of your book?

The thriller is being sold under the title of Chased Across Australia.

The romance has a working title of My Knight in Shining Armor.

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

Chased Across Australia was inspired during a vacation in Australia when we had to drive along the cliffs of the Captain Cook Highway at night. The road being freshly paved, there were no markings and no moon. Of course I was driving on the wrong side of the road. The pavement ahead of me twisted and turned as it rose out of the darkness. We knew there was a cliff on one side and a drop off on the other. Oncoming cars kept coming out of the darkness and passing on the wrong side of me. I got vertigo. I remarked to my wife that I was glad we were not involved in a high speed car chase, and the concept of this book was born.

My Knight in Shining Armor is a sort of memorial to a college classmate who died in Vietnam. May he have success in fiction where he was denied it in life. I have him returning from the war to woo and win the woman of his heart. Of course, he faces stiff competition.

3. What genre does your book fall under?

Both are work of fiction. Chased Across Australia is a thriller (one reviewer called it part travelogue) and My Knight in Shining Armor is a Vietnam War era romance.

4. Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

These answers will show my age.

Chased Across Australia has middle age hero and heroine that should be played by Jimmy Stewart and Debby Reynolds, respectively. The villains are a young couple who could be played by Tom Cruse and his wife.

My Knight in Shining Armor should have the hero played by George Clooney. The girl who he wins should be played by Jessica Chastain. Given a Boston accent, the body building financial manager who is engaged to the heroine could be played by Arnold Schwarzenegger.

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

Chased Across Australia

American tourists are chased across Australia by terrorists intent of recovering files from the American’s laptop, but the terrorists themselves find themselves in danger when they follow the couple into a church.

My Knight in Shining Armor

George returns from Vietnam missing an ear to find that the the girl who rejected him in college is now engaged to a rich, strong and handsome financial manager, and she is on the town commission that oversees the construction project for which he is project engineer, but Bonnie,the heroine, eventually discovers she loves George, a real hero with strong character traits.

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

I have not used an agency for either book. I self-published Chased Across Australia with the assistance of Xlibris. My Knight in Shining Armor was picked up by Tate Publishing following a direct query to them.

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

The first draft of Chased Across Australia took slightly less than a year to write, but it was the eighth major revision of that manuscript that was eventually published, 5 years later.

Because My Knight in Shining Armor has been a story burning in my soul ever since I read my classmate’s obituary, I wrote the first draft in about six months.

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

Chased Across Australia may be a little more gentle and relaxed, but has similarities to Terror Travels the Devil’s Highway by Charls Redner.

My Knight in Shining Armor I basically a book about relationships. The Vietnam War era simply provides an important background. Somewhat similar are Maddog and Miss Kitty by Bert Carlson and to The Thorns of Aider by Dr. T. E. Grainger.

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

Chased Across Australia was inspired by the 40th anniversary trip we made to Australia. We were enchanted by the beauty of the continent and the interesting people. From our first day there, I was looking for a book to write about the place.

My wife and I were shocked to read the obituary for our close college classmate who died in Vietnam. I have always wanted to give him, in fiction, the live he deserved. Thus inspired, I wrote My Knight in Shining Armor to give him the job and the girl he should have had.

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

Chased Across Australia takes place at real locations so I was able to illustrate it with pictures I took. It does follow part of our itinerary, but my wife did not have the adventures the hero and heroine lived through.

Knight in Shining Armor showcases the differences between suitors. In college, Bonnie finds George to be a dull engineering student. She wants a flashier boyfriend. As an adult, Bonnie chased after a highly intelligent physics professor until she learns he is a total coward who fled to Canada to avoid being drafted. She then gets engaged to a financial planner who’s hobby is body building. He is strong, handsome and very wealthy. He is brave enough to rescue her from robbers, but he loves his job more than he loves her. George, on the other hand is practical, dependable and humorous. He never talks about how he lost his ear, but George’s business partner tells Bonnie about George’s heroism and loyalty in Vietnam. As she falls in love with George, she discovers he is the white knight she has always longed for.

I was supposed to have invited five writers to present next week’s blogs. Unfortunately many of those I invited chose not to participate. My apologies to the readers but I offer you a highly qualified author. My invitation goes to:

Thelma Giomi
Please visit her blog,www.thelmagiomi.com. next Wednesday to find out about her book.

Reynold Conger

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About Reynold Conger

Reynold Conger is a retired scientist, engineer and teacher. Now writing fiction. His books are CHASED ACROSS AUSTRALIA, MY KNIGHT IN SHINING ARMOR and REDUCING MEDICAL COSTS (AT THE COST OF HEALTH). He has also started a series of novelas called THE RICHARD TRACY SERIES. Residence: New Mexico, USA Hobbies: gardening, animals and running. website www.ReynoldConger.com
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