Sunday, February 10, 2013

Next Big Thing Blog Hop

The Next Big Thing Blog Hop is a chance for authors around the world to tell you what they’re working on. The author answers 10 questions about their next book, and tags the person who first tagged them, plus one or more additional authors.   

I was excited when fellow writing colleagues, James Iver Mattson and Barbara Brauner tagged me  to participate in this blog hop. I've gotten to know these writers through the Lucky 13's Blog. 

I like how James described the Next Big Thing series:

"It’s like the plate spinner on the old Ed Sullivan show, or maybe a Ponzi scheme." 

James and Barbara are the authors of the upcoming OH MY GODMOTHER; The Glitter Trap, the first book in a four book series! The story centers on a 12-year-old girl who becomes a reluctant fairy godmother. Read James and Barbara's Next Big Thing post here. Also, look for their book here on Goodreads.

Thank you again, James Iver Mattson and Barbara Brauner, for allowing me to join this party! 

What is your working title of your book (or story)?


Anyone can show you a book cover, but can everyone
show you a book cover made of cake?

Where did the idea come from for the book?

The idea was first given to me by a reader of my first novel, JANEOLOGY. In that novel (a legal thriller about a woman on trial for killing her son) a man struggles to come to terms with his new life. His daughter, Sarah, is his primary concern. A kind reader wrote to me one day asking about Sarah and wondering what would become of her. As it turns out, I wondered a lot about that, too. I'm so grateful that a reader took the time to write to me. 

 What genre does your book fall under?

Fiction for middle grade and young adult readers.

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

Can we talk about how much fun it is to imagine one's book as a movie? I picture a young Ellen Page (JUNO) for Sarah, or some actress with her spunk. Emma Watson would also be an interesting choice! And I like Mark Ruffalo for Sarah’s dad, Tom Nelson. Sarah's crush is a character named Finn Reynolds and I think someone like Andrew Garfield or Jake Gyllenhaal would be interesting choices.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Twelve-year-old Sarah writes letters to her hero, To Kill a Mockingbird's Atticus Finch, for help understanding her mentally ill mother, her first real crush, and life in her small Texas town, all in the course of one momentous summer.

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

My book will be published by Little Brown Books for Young Readers this coming July.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

Around a year and half. I wrote the first draft during National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), which is a 30-day novel in a month challenge.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

I hope this novel could appear on the bookshelf with other wonderful, contemporary coming- of-age stories like Sharon Creech’s WALK TWO MOONS or Kate DiCamillo’s BECAUSE OF WINN DIXIE.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

A few things. As I mentioned earlier, the genesis of this idea came from my curiosity about the characters in my first novel. I kept wondering where they would be in ten years, how they would change and respond to life. Second, Harper Lee’s TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD, which is one of my all-time favorite novels, was a huge inspiration for so many reasons. Last, my sixth grade English teacher, who continues to inspire me to this day.

What else about your book might pique the reader's interest?

I hope readers will be drawn to Sarah’s special brand of honesty and moxie and her love of words. She frequently discovers new favorite words throughout the book (and will be Tweeting her new favorite words at @NEWFAVEWORD  this summer.) 

Now, I'm so thrilled to tag the talented fellow Little Brown author Henry Clark (who really and truly is the next big thing) and introduce you to his fine book WHAT WE FOUND IN THE SOFA AND HOW IT CHANGED THE WORLD which comes out this July. 

Who could resist this premise? 

The story of how one crayon launches a wonderfully wacky quest to defeat a diabolical billionaire! 

Lucky for me, I was able to read an early copy of this middle-grade adventure and cannot recommend it enough. (My 9-year-old has stolen my copy and I want it back!)

(Tag, you're it, Henry.) I invite you all to go read his Next Big Thing Blog post and learn all about his book and writing. And also, he has photos of Doritos, which he somehow secretly knows are one of my favorite writing rewards. 

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