The Next Big Thing

It is my pleasure to have made a wonderful online friend who is a terrific writer and a genuine good guy. Gordon Bonnet (https://skeptophilia.blogspot.com) asked me if I’d like to be part of an “author-centered ‘blog hop.’” He explained that it is something like a “chain letter for bloggers” that is passed to three authors, and those authors pass it along to three of their own author friends. No, you don’t get $50,000 by next Friday. Your luck will not markedly improve. I seriously doubt mayhem and maladies will befall you if you don’t participate. What it does do, is let authors share a bit about themselves and their writing lives with anyone who cares enough to read.

Shortly after Gordon invited me to participate, so did Andrew Butters (https://potatochipmath.blogspot.ca/2012/12/the-next-big-thing.html), who just proves there’s a good reason (reasons) that I love Canadians.

The questions that follow are all related to “my next book.” This is rather tricky for me to write about because I write for several different publishers, and I have several “next books.” For the purpose here, though, I have chosen to talk about only one.

So here are the questions put forth in this “blog hop extravaganza.”

1. What is the working title of your next book?
I have several books in the wings, but I think the next one I will be working on when I’m finished with my current WIP is Charlotte and Mr. Abernathy. I hope to turn it into a new series of kids’ books.

2. Where did the idea come from for your book?
I’ve had the idea for this series for a long time, so I really don’t recall where it came from initially. However, I like ghost stories, and I thought a story with plenty of humor and a lonely, dearly-departed who has all kinds of human frailties teaming up with an artistic, gutsy kid could be a lot of fun to write.

3. What genre does your book fall under?
I’m pretty sure it will either be considered “tween” fiction or young adult.

4. What is your synopsis or blurb for this book?
When Charlotte Porter spots Mr. Abernathy at her breakfast table one morning, it doesn’t take long to realize the grumpy old guy in peculiar clothes died long ago, and he can’t “move on” until he finds out why someone killed him in his own kitchen almost ninety years earlier. Is Charlotte up for the challenge? You better believe it!

5. What actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Until the book is written, this is a question I can’t answer.

6. Will your book be self-published, or represented by an agency?
I am represented by Jeanie Loiacono of Loiacono Literary Agency, and she has sold a lot of books for me. She is all excited about this new series and is pretty sure she’ll be able to find it a home.

7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
Let’s step away from Charlotte and Mr. Abernathy for this question, and talk for a moment about the very first book I ever wrote. It was 600+ pages and took me only 7 weeks to write. That’s because I’d bottled up my stories for so long that when I finally let the creativity flow, it came in a massive flood. I understand this happens a lot with first books. The novel was awful, but most first books are. That’s OK. Writing an entire book is a significant accomplishment.

8. Who or what inspired you to write this book?
Inspiration is everywhere. It’s far easier for me to answer “What did not inspire you?”

9. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
I honestly do not have an answer for this. The other children’s series I wrote, The Confessions of April Grace” involves a spunky heroine who plays detective a lot, but no ghost is involved, and the setting is rural, not city. The books will not be silly, or slap-dash. I hope they will be humorous but also have heart and some redemptive value. That is, I hope when a kid finishes reading, he or she will have learned a little something about life.

10. What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
How a girl of the 21st century can relate to a stodgy old banker from the 1920s and how they help each other ought to create a dynamic that appeals to others and draws a reader in. Each book will have a mystery that Charlotte must solve, along with the help of Mr. Abernathy.

11. Who’s next in the Blog Hop?
The lovely and talented mystery author, Lin Waterhouse https://www.linwaterhouse.com
The beautiful Dr. Fab, Shay Fabbro https://www.linwaterhouse.com
The gorgeous author of romance, Valerie Haight www.thewriteoneval.blogspot.com

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