Saturday, September 15, 2012

The Next Big Thing: The Vesuvius Isotope

I have been tagged in The Next Big Thing, by Kim Koning.  What this means is that I answer a series of ten interview questions and then tag other authors.  The questions are around our works in progress, and mine is The Vesuvius Isotope.

First and foremost - I beg you - please click on the link above and check out the WIP of Kim Koning, entitled The Tattooist - Liquid Ink.  It is an awesome premise and one I'm quite jealous I didn't think of myself.  Then, follow her blog, and buy her book when it comes out.  I'm sure you'll be glad you did.

At the bottom of this post, please look for the writers I have tagged and linked.  Their "Next Big Thing" posts will be available between the 18th and 24th of September, so please keep your eyes peeled for those.

Now, without further delay...

What is the working title of your book?
The Vesuvius Isotope

Where did the idea come from for the book?
Personal experience as a drug discovery biologist, an intriguing visit to Pompeii, and a fascination with all things Cleopatra.

What genre does your book fall under?
Historical and medical thriller

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

Biologist Katrina Stone is played by Julianne Moore.  She is a strong, smart, occasionally brash redhead with a vulnerability she is very adept at hiding.  Katrina is in her 40s (Julianne is in her 50s!) and both are still sexy as ever.

Nobel Laureate Jeffrey Wilson is a high bar.  He needs to be handsome and sexy as well as brilliant, not too young, a little bit deviant and unpredictable.  I nominate Hugh Jackman.  He and our Katrina make a smoking couple.

Alexis Stone is portrayed by Kirsten Dunst.  This girl's intelligence is piercing, and she goes from sweet to bitch in one smile.  And now that I look at her next to Julianne Moore, I think a DNA test might be in order.  Meet the Stone family.

Maria Bello is perfect as Egyptologist Alyssa Iacovani.  Hollywood needs more smart blondes with a degree of complexity, wit and intrigue.  I think this lady can pull it off.

Aldo de Luca is an Italian Nick Nolte.  Period.  Brush up on your accent, Nick.  We need you.

Young Dante Giordano is played by Emanuele Propizio.  This kid is the perfect combination of youthful innocence and latent mafioso.  He epitomizes Dante.  Propizio will require extensive tattooing for the role.

And last, but certainly not least, is our villian.  Corrupt Naples transit cop Carmello Rossi is played by Ronan Vibert.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

When her Nobel Laureate husband is murdered, her search for answers leads biologist Katrina Stone to a two thousand year old medical mystery, the secret life of one of history's most enigmatic women, and a clandestine modern-day war that will resurrect an ancient plague into the twenty-first century.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
Undecided.  I was thinking of consulting She Writes Press first, as this strikes me as a way to form a truly collaborative relationship with those more skilled in the publishing arts than myself.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
Too long.  The plot is complicated enough that I had to re-work it over, and over, and over again, and this led to multiple false starts.  I'm thrilled to say that I have now worked out those bugs (finally!) and the result is going to be worth it.  I can't wait to publish.  At present, the story is complete, but I'm still line editing.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
It is like a Dan Brown novel in that historical mystery becomes entwined with modern-day conflict.  It is also like Ariana Franklin's Mistress of the Art of Death, in that it draws upon the history of medicine and roles played by various cultures in the development of a specific event.  And, it is like a novel by Michael Crichton or Robin Cook in that it introduces technologies widely used in today's medical community, but frequently unfamiliar to the layperson.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?
It was really the aforementioned visit to Pompeii that planted the seed.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
Katrina chases medicine across Italy and Egypt and through the centuries to solve the murder of her husband.  What she reveals are a legacy of corruption and greed, and a sinister epidemic that threatens the lives of thousands - including her own, and that of her daughter.

Tag, you're it!
Please check back next week for the works in progress by these talented authors:

Sara McBride
Catherine Stine


  1. Kristen, I am loving the premise of your WIP - You had me when you mentioned Cleopatra. Really love your acting cast you have put together too! Julianne Moore is brilliant and I could totally see her in your MC role. Va-Va Voom Hugh Jackman - sigh...
    Can't wait to read this book when it is out :)
    Thanks for playing Tag - The Next Big Thing!
    Ps* Thanks for the lovely intro!

  2. Thanks Kim, and thanks again for tagging me... I enjoyed writing the post as well as learning about your WIP

  3. Hello, I'm a new follower from over at Book Blogs! I'm snowed in today so I'm doing some blog hopping. I have a couple giveaways going on at my blog if you'd like to enter, one only has 10 hours left! Just click on the giveaways tab to check them out. I would love it if you would stop by for a visit! Here's the link if you would like to follow back: MaMa's Book Corner I hope you have a wonderful weekend! :)

  4. Hi Leigh Ann,
    Thanks for the follow. Will definitely return it...thanks for the link. Enjoy your snow day... it's a frigid 64 degrees here in San Diego so I'm stuck inside as well :)