THE NEXT BIG THING, REDUX 2
Michael Lea Answers Ten Questions
(Editor's note: I realized that last week was probably a terrible week to give you more information about Michael Lea, what with everyone running around making merry and drinking too much egg nog or going to the movies and out for Chinese food while others lit up trees and hung their socks on the mantle... So I am running it again. Here's your second chance to get to know a terrific writer.)
My guest this week is Michael Lea. I met Michael when he was editing POW!erful Tales for Peryton Publishing. Michael not only edited the book, he stitched all the stories together with an overarching narrative (including my story, "Legacy").
As often happens, we found ourselves in some of the same anthologies, including "The Book of Exodi," edited by Michael K. Eidson for Eposic Diversions. Michael Lea's story "Planetfall" contained a mixture of technology and magic that was quite wonderful and unlike anything I had read before. When a chance came to tell everyone about his next project, I jumped at it.
Here's Michael Lea with his answer to the NBT's Ten Questions:
1) What is the title of your next book/work?
Right now I'm working on "The Pony Riders," which is a TV pilot (loosely) based on the "Pony Rider Boys" series of western adventure novels from the early 20th century.
Two of the Pony Riders books - note the cover swipe!
2) Where did the idea come from for the book/work?
The idea came from Scorpio Studios, who hired me to adapt the books into a TV series.
3) What genre does your book/work fall under?
It's a supernatural western, or what some call "weird west."
Like Stephen King's tales of Roland the Gunslinger
(The Dark Tower series), "The Pony Boys" will
fall under the sub-genre "Weird Western"
4) What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
I hesitate to say at this point -- we have a casting agency trying to get talent attached.
5) What is the one-sentence synopsis of your work?
In the old West, a group of young riders confront supernatural menaces in a quest to save their friend's soul -- and the soul of America itself.
6) Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
I'm afraid I don't have the resources to produce and broadcast a television show -- so it's on a network or nothing.
7) How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
Ask me when I'm finished. I'm writing the pilot now. The series bible took me four or five weeks.
8) What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
It's been compared to a cross between "Young Guns" and "Raiders of the Lost Ark." Hopefully the finished product will (a) exist and (b) live up to that comparison.
"The Pony Boys" will be akin to
"Young Guns" meets Indiana Jones
I was offered a contract to do it. Money can be quite inspiring. I decided that I actually wanted to take the job after looking at the source material and hearing what they wanted to do with it (and how much leeway I would have to make it my own). It's not exactly great literature, but the bones are there to build something interesting. And I had the opportunity to really put my own stamp on it, so I jumped at that.
10) What else about the series might pique the reader's interest?
There's a bit of a steampunk influence too. So hopefully it will be something that fans of multiple genres can enjoy.
Fans of Steampunk will also love
"The Pony Boys"
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I'd also like to mention that Michael's story "Hollow" will appear in Forsaken, the anthology I am co-editing with Joe McKinney for 23 House.