Wednesday, 31 October 2012

The Next Big Thing

Last week the effervescent Clodagh Murphy tagged me to answer questions about my work-in-progress. I thought, ooh, a game of tag, how fun! Even better if it involved baked goods of some kind, but I couldn’t figure out how to do that without getting icing on the keyboard. So here are my calorie-free answers.

What is the working title of your next book?
This is the rough cover idea
It’s called Bella Summer Takes a Chance. The title came to me very early on in the process, which is unusual for me. We’re usually brainstorming title ideas up to the last minute. In fact, my debut novel was originally called The Expat Diaries … which is why my Twitter name is @expatdiaries. Then, a few months before publication, the lovely marketing bods over at Penguin UK changed it to Single in the City.

Where did the idea come from for the book?
All of my books start with the question: What if? In Bella’s case, I thought, what if someone who has a stable home life and career believes there’s more out there for her? And more importantly, what if she acts upon that belief, leaving her relationship and her career behind in the quest for “more”, only to learn that it isn't as easy as she thinks

She's caught between her heart and her head. Her heart told her to end her stable, decade-long relationship, follow her musical dreams and find true love. But her head, and her ex-boyfriend, have other ideas.  

I love playing with new beginnings, transformations and ‘fish out of water’ experiences. It’s a theme that carries through all three books in the Single in the City series, as well as my pen-named book, Little Sacrifices. Generally, I like knocking my characters off-kilter to see how they react :-)

What genre does your book fall under?
Chick lit

What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
There are 5 main women characters. 86 year old Marjorie is feisty, so someone like Shirley MacClean (with an English accent) would do a good job. 38 year old flame-haired Bella would be someone like Julianne Moore. I’d need help from readers to cast Bella’s friends Faith (30, English, blonde, beautiful), Kat (32, Austrian with a jet black bob) and Claire (26, English girl next door).

What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?
What if the life you walk away from doesn’t let you walk away?

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
My agent and I have decided that we’ll self-publish all my chick lit, and talk to publishers about my commercial/historical/literary fiction, which I write under the pen-name Jamie Scott.

Bella Summer Takes a Chance will be published globally in February 2013.

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

I don’t actually remember, but it didn’t seem like very long. The story flowed easily, although it needed a few big rewrites to get it in shape.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
I think there are elements of the story in many books – after all, it’s about not being satisfied with the status quo, and searching for something more. It’s an empowering concept that embraces our belief that we deserve the best that life has to offer, and the courage we all have within us to pursue our dreams.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?
© Ale333 | Stock Free Images
The idea of “in love”, and whether it really exists, was my inspiration for the story.

What else about your book might pique the reader's interest?
There’s a threesome scene, for which I had to do research, having no first-hand experience. You’ll be pleased (or perhaps disappointed) to know that I interrogated a close friend over an eye-opening lunch for details.

My five writers for next Wednesday's The Next Big Thing post are:

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