The Next Big Thing: Death Perception by Lee Allen Howard

I’m participating in a blog hop called The Next Big Thing, about my latest work in progress. I’ve got other things in the work, but here’s what’s up next…

What is the title of your next book/work?

DEATH PERCEPTION. You can read the summary and the first chapter here.

DEATH PERCEPTION by Lee Allen HowardWhere did the idea come from for the book/work?

Where it came from, I’m not certain and am a bit afraid to know! But the original idea was that a young man can discern the cause of death of those he cremates–by toasting marshmallows over their ashes. When what he discerns differs from what’s listed on the death certificate, he finds himself in the midst of murderers.

What genre does your work fall under?

DEATH PERCEPTION is a blend of supernatural crime, horror, and the paranormal. With a touch of black humor.

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

I’m showing my age here with a few of these answers, but if he were younger, Casey Affleck would be a great fit for protagonist Kennet Singleton. Richard Deacon (if he were still alive) could play antagonist Cecil Grinold. And a younger Joan Collins would do justice to co-antagonist Flavia Costa. Reese Witherspoon could portray Kennet’s love interest, Christy Sprunger.

What is the one-sentence synopsis to explain where your work begins?

Nineteen-year-old Kennet Singleton is cremating his last corpse of the day when he receives a call urging him to visit his invalid mother.

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

I’m inquiring about agency representation for DEATH PERCEPTION, but have a plan to self-publish digitally, as I’ve done with my other works such as THE SIXTH SEED, DESPERATE SPIRITS, and “MAMA SAID.”

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

DEATH PERCEPTION was my thesis project at Seton Hill University, where I earned a master’s in Writing Popular Fiction. It took me two years in the program to complete the first draft. By the time I graduated, I was burned out on the project that I put it away for a few years. Off and on, I did a few more revisions and finally completed my ninth at the end of 2012.

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

Although I wrote most of DEATH PERCEPTION before I read the popular Dean Koontz book, the protagonist and his spiritualistic, paranormal world is similar to ODD THOMAS.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

I became obsessed with the idea of someone who could communicate with the spirits of those he had cremated. It wouldn’t leave me, so I honored it and turned it into a story.

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

When I first started this project, I didn’t believe in communication with the departed. Since then I’ve completed a course of study with the Morris Pratt Institute and now work part time as a Spiritualist medium. I found that many things in the early manuscript were accurate when compared to actual studies of after-death communication. In later revisions, I used my education and experience as a medium to flesh out Kennet’s psychic abilities and enhance scenes.

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My Amazon Author page is here: http://www.amazon.com/Lee-Allen-Howard/e/B004U7773C/. Thanks for your support!

I was tagged for The Next Big Thing by award-winning author Meg Mims. Visit her and these writers for their next big thing!

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The 777 Game

Author friend Rose Vanden Eynden tagged me in her blog post today. It’s a fun game, and here are the rules:

  1. Go to page 77 of your current work in progress.
  2. Scroll down 7 lines.
  3. Paste the next 7 sentences into your blog.
  4. Then tag 7 more authors to carry forward the 777 game. Add their links, and remember to link to the person who tagged you… (Also, let everyone know.)

From page 77 of DEATH PERCEPTION:

Antogonist Cecil Grinold puts protagonist Kennet Singleton to the test, to see if the young man really can discern cause of death by toasting marshmallows over the cremated remains of the deceased. But Grinold is up to no good, of course.

“I was just thinking of a little experiment.” Yes, why not find out whether my young employee is telling the truth or inventing tall tales? Knowing that his psychic “gift” was impossible, Cecil gloated about the time when he would fire Kennet for good. Hopefully, soon.

“Experiment?”

“Yes, Kennet. Are the marshmallows still here?”

“Unless you threw them away.”

“I should have, but I didn’t. Bring them out.”

“I hope there’s no problem . . . ”

“Relax. Just get the marshmallows.” Dummy.

Okay, so I posted a few more than 7 sentences, but it was a good breaking point. You can learn more about DEATH PERCEPTION here.

Rose’s links are at the beginning of this post, and here are links to 7 of my friends’ blogs. Check them out. Read their stuff. Support writers!