My friend Matt Forbeck tapped me to join in the Next Big Thing blog tour. Now, to be honest, I’m a slacker. Laura Lam had tapped me four or so months ago. And I slacked. And slacked. I am a terrible human being. So anyway, better late than never!

So…on with the questions!

What is your working title of your book?

The title of my current book coming out April 30th with Angry Robot Books is The Lives of Tao. I am currently polishing up the rough draft of the sequel to it right this moment. I don’t have a title for the sequel yet so affectionately refer to it as Ahh Wesley You’re So Stoooopid!!!!

Where did the idea come from for the book?

I’ve always had an interest in historical cause and effect. What would have happened if Franz Ferdinand wasn’t assassinated? What if Hitler got accepted into art school? Was humanity better off with the Black Plague happening? I wanted to write a story that explained all this as a backdrop where humanity was a pawn to a larger conflict.

What genre does your book fall under?

It is officially a character driven modern day science fiction, though it is light on the science fiction. My agent believes action adventure and science thriller is my future writing space.

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

I refuse to cast my main character, Roen Tan. However, the latest season of Dexter has given me a character that I believe would be perfect for the main villain..

Ray Stevenson, who played Issak Sirko, is exactly what I look for in a villain, someone who is brilliant, sophisticated, and isn’t evil for evil’s sake. In my stories, the bad guy is really the good guy.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

The Lives of Tao is a modern day SFF about an alien who possesses a middle aged fat guy and convinces him to train and fight for an alien civil war over control of humanity’s evolution.

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

It is represented by Russell Galen of Scovil Galen & Ghosh and will be published by Angry Robot Books on April 30th, 2012.

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

I started writing The Lives of Tao in 2007 and it took about nine months to write the original monstrosity.

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

I have a lighter touch to my writing than most SFF writers.  I’d like to think my style is similar to William Goldman, Terry Pratchett  and John Scalzi. My publisher likens the story to Chuck meets Bourne Identity.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

Ever since I was a kid, I’ve had stories bubbling around my head. Back in 2007, I had narrowed my choices down between writing The Lives of Tao or a story about a contract project manager who gets hired by the Devil to administer natural disasters. I think I made the right choice.

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

The Lives of Tao has everything a guy wants: guns, girls, cars (well, a Fiat), kung fu, a snarky alien, and pizza. It’s got everything a girl could want as well: a love triangle (Roen wishes), and a tear jerker ending.