J. L. Willow

Author ~ Blogger ~ Storyteller

Way back in June, Jordan from Just Write nominated me for an Author WIP Tag! Although it took me a long time to get to it, I did not forget. I’m finally ready to take on the challenge!  So, here we go!

  1. What is the working title of your book?

Well, for a pretty long while the title was The Webs that Bind the City. But finally, I’ve settled on The Scavenger. And that’s the final title!

2.  Where did the idea for your book come from?

Actually, the idea came about in a pretty weird way. I had just finished a show I was in (I’m a theater buff if I didn’t already mention it) and I realized that I would have a ton of time on my hands in the next coming months. I thought to myself, “You know? I haven’t written anything substantial in awhile. I should try starting a new project.” So, then I started thinking of something to write about. I got the idea of a certain relationship between two characters (no spoilers 😉 ) and wondered what could cause the tension between them that was necessary to drive the plot. For some reason, the first thing that popped into my head was drugs. I have no idea why — it just did. And, honestly, that was that. From there, I started doing some research, and ideas and characters started falling into place. It wasn’t like the start of any other book I had written, but maybe this is what set them apart. I sort of stumbled upon The Scavenger by accident.

3.   What genre is your current work in progress?

The Scavenger actually spreads across multiple genres. It has some romance in it, but it’s not a full-blown romance novel. It involves police activity, but it’s not really a crime-thriller. After some thought, I eventually decided on ‘coming of age realistic fiction’ as the final genre. It’s really the best way to describe it.

4.   Choose the actors for your movie rendition.

Wow. This one is pretty tricky. I’ve spent a lot of time with these characters, and I think trying to find an actor/actress to perfectly portray them and look the part is pretty difficult. I’m going to try for the four main characters: Catherine, Samuel, Frank and Nathan. If you don’t know who they are, click here to read the description of The Scavenger!






Catherine Linnel: Felicity Jones

If you read the description of my book, you’ll know Catherine is a freshman in high school. So, obviously, we’re talking a younger Felicity Jones. I love her style of acting — it’s soft-spoken but can still portray really deep emotions. I think she would be able to portray Catherine’s many layers well and make her likeable for the audience.


Samuel McGee: Nicholas Hoult

I’m really happy about this find. First off, I LOVED his work in Warm Bodies (he was hysterical) and he definitely has Samuel’s looks. Samuel is another complicated character whose inner motives are slowly revealed as the book goes on, so I think he would be able to keep those in mind throughout his portrayal. Overall, I think he’s pretty close to the perfect choice.

Image result for gary oldman

Nathan Tawallis: Gary Oldman

I mean, I’m not sure what type of budget this movie is supposed to have, but a younger Gary Oldman is perfect for this role. He kicked butt as a cop (Gordan) in The Dark Knight so I could definitely see him playing Nathan. He’d be able to bring a lot to the part and I’d be excited to see what he would do with the character.

Image result for jason bateman

Frank Vastrel: Jason Bateman

Frank is a complicated character. He’s a drug dealer, but there’s a lot more to him than just that. He’s definitely not stereotypical and would be a bit of a challenge to portray. I think Jason Bateman would rise to the challenge and make Frank both realistic and intimidating.

5.   Give a one sentence synopsis of your book.

It’s the story of four very different people and how their lives are impacted by an NYPD investigation regarding laced marijuana.

6.   Will your book be self-published or represented by an agent?

The Scavenger will be self-published. I have thought about attempting to find an agent, but I would like to establish myself as an author first before beginning the search. For my future projects, it’s definitely in the cards!

7.   How long did it take you to write the first draft?

It did not take nearly as long as I thought. Like I mentioned before, I had a lot of free time on my hands after I finished the production. It only took two weeks of writing (pretty obsessively, might I add) to have the first draft down on paper. It wasn’t anywhere close to the book I have now, but The Scavenger had to start somewhere.

8.   What other books would you compare your story to?

It’s difficult to compare my own writing to another author’s, but I would say The Scavenger has the romance/police investigation mix similar to Surrender, New York by Caleb Carr. I would highly recommend the book, by the way! It’s got a ton of plot twists, and I love Carr’s writing style. I’d also like to think it has the edgy nature of Good as Gone by Amy Gentry (also recommend this if you’re looking for a good edge-of-your-seat book!).

9.   Who or what inspired you to write the book?

Like I mentioned before, the idea for The Scavenger really evolved accidentally. But throughout the writing process, different characters/scenes have been inspired by my own life. One example that comes to my mind is a prom scene that is based on my own prom experiences!

10.   What else about your book might peak reader’s interest?

The fact that drugs play a major part of the book draws a lot of people in, but what really sets The Scavenger apart is that it focuses on a side of the drug industry you’ve never seen before. At some points, you may even find yourself voting for someone you once thought of as the villain.

And there you have it! Now you know a little bit more about The Scavenger and my journey to get it where it is today. I look forward to hearing all of your comments when I send it out into the world 🙂

Thank you, Jordan, for tagging me to do this! It was a ton of fun. The original Tag was created by Kristen Martin, so be sure to check out her site here!

Keep working hard, folks!

— J. L. Willow

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