I tagged Angele Ellis for the Next Big Thing. Be sure to check out her story "Desert Storms" (essentially the first chapter of her novel) at these links:
Ten Interview Questions for the Next Big Thing-in-Progress: Angele Ellis
Angele Ellis is known as a poet—Arab on Radar (Six Gallery, 2007) and Spared (A Main Street Rag Editors’ Choice Chapbook, 2011)—but her roots are in storytelling.
What is your working title of your book?
Where did the idea come from for the book?
In my mind (and then on the page), I linked the death of my powerful Lebanese grandmother with the brief and savage 1991 war known as Operation Desert Storm—although this linkage is not true to history!
What genre does your book fall under?
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
I wish you hadn’t used the word “rendition!” I think more of directors than of actors. Atom Egoyan could do it justice.
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
In the early days of Operation Desert Storm, a fragmented Arab American family gathers for the funeral of its matriarch—and trouble ensues.
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
I’m looking for an agent for this book.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
I’m still writing this manuscript, although a few segments have been published as short fiction—one will appear in Eunoia Review in February 2013. My goal is to have a complete draft by fall.
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
There aren’t many books within this subgenre. Put Diana Abu-Jaber’s Arabian Jazz and Alicia Erian’s Towelhead in a blender, add the unpredictable—and whirr!
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
My late grandmother, whose namesake I am. She influences me from the beyond.
What else about your book might pique the reader's interest?
A comment made by another writer in a workshop: “I don’t know if I want to meet these people—or if I never want to meet these people!” Oh, and that the book is funny, despite everything.