Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Next Big Thing

My friend, the inestimable Meghan Ward (www.writerland.com), asked me if I'd like to participate in the The Next Big Thing blog chain in which authors get to talk about their work. Well, of course I did! I was highly pleased that Meghan asked me, because the last time we had a play date (meaning, we pretend our kids play together while we actually talk nonstop), we met at a park that was situated in the middle of a freezing cold fog. Meghan came from her house, which was not in the fog, so she had no idea it was going to be the Arctic circle just a few blocks up. I knew it, however, because my house is near the park, and I'd been freezing all day in the fog. Anyway, I wasn't sure Meghan forgave me for her kids getting frostbite on their toes (her son sure as heck didn't: "Mama! I'm freeeeeeeezzziiiinnnnnngggggg!"), but perhaps this is a sign things are looking up.

Be sure to read Meghan's Next Big Thing post, too. (But only after reading mine! Got it?) At first when I read the questions I was a bit intimidated, but actually this was a lot of fun to fill out. Especially when I pictured myself in a comfy armchair being interviewed Babba Waltas style.

What is your working title of your book? 
Lost at Home

What genre does your book fall under?
Women’s fiction

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition? 
This is a toughie because I'm not up on all the actors out there, but I'd like to see a few different guys audition for the role of my main love interest. I would invite Joseph Fiennes to please audition. Also Johnny Lee Miller. A private audition may be necessary for them. For my heroine, anyone except Keira Knightly is welcome to audition. I'd like to say the role would go to someone like Natalie Portman, but she's way too polished for my character. Someone a little rougher, a little scrappier. Maybe Mila Kunis?

And I just revised a scene with a new character in which a guy was clearly fixed in my mind as Thomas from Downton Abbey. So he'd have a bit part. He doesn't have to audition. The role is his.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? 
A woman returns to her native country after her estranged father dies, and spurred by mysterious letters that hint at the existence of another family, she stays to find out who the man was--and in the process, herself.

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

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
It took about eight months, the longest I ever took with a manuscript. It's a little hazy because I was writing it while pregnant with my baby, and revisions were affected by the dementia brought on by sleep deprivation. A minor setback. But I'm not having any more children.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? 
I say my style is like Catherine McKenzie, and I aspire to be like Anna Maxted or Liza Palmer. (died and gone to heaven if so)

Who or what inspired you to write this book?
This story is at its heart about a father and a daughter and their lack of communication due to misunderstandings and lost chances. With my own dad, there remain misunderstandings and disagreements about the past. We have let them lie and moved past them, but they're there. I wanted to write a story about what happens when you don't clear those up. I also wanted to write a story about how parents continue to affect their adult children no matter how much the children might think they've distanced themselves.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest? 
By the end of my book, my heroine falls in love with her guy--and I did, too. This is pathetic to admit. But I wanted him too. Every time I read the end, I feel satisfied. The very last chapter? Oh yeah. The best. Ever.

Here is the place where I list 5 other people I've tagged to do this. But in fact, I haven't, because I didn't get my butt in gear fast enough, and quite frankly, Meghan stole the first person I'd ask. I took this, naturally, as further sign of her intense resentment about the foggy park incident.

So, would you like to play? Leave a comment and let me know and I'll update this post with a link to you so everyone knows to go to your blog. You'd just need to post this next week. Let me know and we'll sort out the deets!

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