Dispatch from the Razor's Edge, the Blog of Michael Stephen Fuchs
The Next Next Big Thing
Guest Author Blogger Day

Since two days ago I meme-slapped a first-time novelist who (scandal!) doesn't run a blog, I'm pleased to post her responses here. You should check out her new book. Compulsion Reads describe it as a "highly passionate and cerebral character study of a woman on a mission to make the world a better place" which paints characters in "vivid colors and spins truly sharp and erudite dialogue."

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

I hate the word next. My next book's title is The Bough and the Fire (I am pretty sure that will change a few times. The book is being sent to my editor this week.) The book that is now available, and the subject of this meme, is White Lies and Dark Chocolate.

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

I read an article on CNN about the grim reality that the $300 billion chocolate industry is using trafficked child labor. The problem was discovered over a decade ago, and industries such as Hershey, Mars, Nestle, Callebaut, etc. said that they would stop this practice immediately and make amends publicly. The promise they signed declaring their intentions is called The Cocoa Protocol. As a student of ethics, and a human being, I was pretty outraged. How does it, in today's society, take more than a decade to make something publicly known? Then, I asked myself the question, "What happened to ethics?" I was immediately led to Aesop's Fables – our collective, international childhood's introduction to ethics. Aesop inspired my main character, Rose.

3) What genre does your book fall under?

This is a very hard question to answer and has made the standard manuscript submission difficult. For starters, I am sure it is fiction (well, most of it). According to my post-modern sensibilities, I am pretty sure it is a work of alternative history, no pun intended. However, I think it can be marketed as up-market women's fiction with a sub-genre of romance. (As to what that advertising banner would look like…?) It wasn't until I completed the book that I realized you are suppose to have a genre. Oops.

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

Rose is both obnoxious and subtle. I think she would be a hard character to play. However, I think that Anna Kendrick is up for the task. Jessica Chastain looks more the part, and has the chops – but she is a bit too mature. I guess that Kirsten Dunst could be the happy medium. The main male lead – Josh Harnett. The secondary male lead – a younger Matthew McConaughey (From his A Time to Kill days) would be perfect.

5) What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?

I suppose there are a few people who have never tasted chocolate. (I know that is not a fair synopsis, but it is a true one. My elevator pitch is three sentences.)

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

Its self-published.

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

It took three months to write (yes, it literally poured out) and seven months to edit.

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

I am not well-read; I have not been able to find another book of its like. I cannot figure out why anyone would put a needle in a haystack.

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

I have always been interested in the developmental life of my personal heroes – Honest Abe, MLK, Jr., Ghandi. What is their back story? What were their parents like? Did they raise them with dreams, historical aspirations? How,or why, did they take that first step outside of the fold?

10) What else about your book might pique the readers interest?

Rose solves the Mexican border, drug cartel crisis over a slow-cooked Chicken Mole.

Whos next?

I have meme privacy issues. I need to get permission.

  books     writing  
close photo of Michael Stephen Fuchs

Fuchs is the author of the novels The Manuscript and Pandora's Sisters, both published worldwide by Macmillan in hardback, paperback and all e-book formats (and in translation); the D-Boys series of high-tech, high-concept, spec-ops military adventure novels – D-Boys, Counter-Assault, and Close Quarters Battle (coming in 2016); and is co-author, with Glynn James, of the bestselling Arisen series of special-operations military ZA novels. The second nicest thing anyone has ever said about his work was: "Fuchs seems to operate on the narrative principle of 'when in doubt put in a firefight'." (Kirkus Reviews, more here.)

Fuchs was born in New York; schooled in Virginia (UVa); and later emigrated to the San Francisco Bay Area, where he lived through the dot-com boom. Subsequently he decamped for an extended period of tramping before finally rocking up in London, where he now makes his home. He does a lot of travel blogging, most recently of some very  long  walks around the British Isles. He's been writing and developing for the web since 1994 and shows no particularly hopeful signs of stopping.

You can reach him on .

THE MANUSCRIPT by Michael Stephen Fuchs
PANDORA'S SISTERS by Michael Stephen Fuchs
D-BOYS by Michael Stephen Fuchs
COUNTER-ASSAULT by Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book One - Fortress Britain, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book Two - Mogadishu of the Dead, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN : Genesis, by Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN Book Three - Three Parts Dead, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN Book Four - Maximum Violence, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN Book Five - EXODUS, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN Book Six - The Horizon, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book Seven - Death of Empires, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book Eight - Empire of the Dead by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN : NEMESIS by Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book Nine - Cataclysm by Michael Stephen Fuchs

ARISEN, Book Ten - The Flood by Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book Eleven - Deathmatch by Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book Twelve - Carnage by Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book Thirteen - The Siege by Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book Fourteen - Endgame by Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN : Fickisms
ARISEN : Odyssey
ARISEN : Last Stand
ARISEN : Raiders, Volume 1 - The Collapse
ARISEN : Raiders, Volume 2 - Tribes
Black Squadron
ARISEN : Raiders, Volume 3 - Dead Men Walking
ARISEN : Raiders, Volume 4 - Duty
ARISEN : Raiders, Volume 5 - The Last Raid
ARISEN : Fickisms ][ – This Time, It's Personal
ARISEN : Operators, Volume I - The Fall of the Third Temple
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