The Next Big Thing–Patricia Anderson

Last week, I tagged good friend and fellow writer, Patricia Anderson, in  The Next Big Thing post. The idea comes from She Writes and is meant to help female authors promote their WIPs (Works in Progress). As per the rules, what follows are her answers to ten interview questions about her WIP.

What is the working title of your book?

Potholes in Paradise

Where did the idea come from for the book?

While house hunting,  people seem to be more concerned with crown mouldings and counter tops, rather than who’s living in the house next door. Remodelling and renovating are easy fixes, but an inconsiderate or obnoxious neighbour can be an immovable source of misery. Yes, I’m speaking from experience. And I’m saddened by the loss of  ‘neighbourhoods’. How many people actually know  who their neighbours are, or even care? I realize that we can’t all live on Sesame Street, but I find modern subdivisions frightening.

What genre does your book fall under?

I’m not sure what shelf I would put it on. Spoiler alert: There are no dead bodies. That eliminates most of the genres. “Amusing Family Drama” sounds more like a TV sitcom. How about a four-day experiment with “Social Realism”?

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

The protagonist is an average 42-year old, hard-working wife and mother (me, only younger). And then there are half a dozen rebellious and troublesome teenagers, and add to that a sizable group of rebellious and troublesome senior citizens. There are no fancy costumes or even makeup, just a lot of dust, mud, sunburns, bug bites and hangovers. I’d cast the movie with unknowns, and they’d all be Canadian. Well, there might be small part for William Shatner.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Potholes in Paradise follows the antics of a dysfunctional group of seasonal residents in a trailer park in south-central Ontario.

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

Still sitting on that fence.

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

Three long years of part-time binge writing.

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

I haven’t yet come across such a thing. I’m flying over unfamiliar territory.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

I’ve spent the last five summers in a similar place: a scenic paradise riddled with enormous potholes (intentional speed traps) and an infinite supply of problems. It has been an invaluable and rich source of inspiration for story lines and character studies.

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

It deals with common themes and issues, like raising teenagers, family secrets, communities, addiction, and essentially, the meaning of life.

Now, it’s Patricia’s  turn to tag some follow authors.

Cindy Carroll

Linda Johnston

Erica Williams

Mes­sage for the tagged authors and inter­ested others

Rules of The Next Big Thing

  • Use this for­mat for your post.
  • Answer the ten ques­tions about your cur­rent WIP (Work In Progress).
  • Tag five other writers/bloggers and add their links so we can hop over and meet them.

Ten Inter­view Ques­tions for The Next Big Thing

What is the work­ing title of your book?

Where did the idea come from for the book?

What genre does your book fall under?

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

What is the one-sentence syn­op­sis of your book?

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

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

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

Who or What inspired you to write this book?

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

Include the link of who tagged you and this expla­na­tion for the peo­ple you have tagged.

The Next Big Thing

lifpaty

Author Jenny Herrera tagged me in her The Next Big Thing post. The idea comes from She Writes and is meant to help female authors promote their WIPs (Works in Progress). As per the rules, what follows are my answers to ten interview questions about my WIP. At the end, I’ll tag five other writers to carry the banner.

What is the working title of your book?

A Season for Killing Blondes

Where did the idea come from for the book?

Eight years ago, I was diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer. While receiving my treatments, I started reading murder mysteries. I must have read at least two a week for the entire ten months.  I started to think about writing a murder mystery based in my hometown of Sudbury, Ontario. I considered the following scenario: What if a 50something woman wins a nineteen million dollar lottery and returns to her hometown. While reinventing herself as a career counselor for boomers,  the woman encounters a number of obstacles, among them four dead blondes neatly arranged in dumpsters near her favorite haunts.

What genre does your book fall under?

It’s a cozy.

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

Since most of the characters are boomers, I would prefer to use actors in that particular age group. Lorraine Bracco would make a great Gilda Greco, the protagonist of the novel. For her love interest, I would go with Pierce Brosnan.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

It is a season for killing blondes and a brunette lottery winner never has an alibi when dead bodies turn up in dumpsters near her favorite haunts.

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

I would prefer the traditional route, but am open to all options.

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

I started the novel eight years ago and took almost a year to finish it. This past January, I revisited the manuscript and rewrote it in first person. I added another sub-plot and more characters.

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

Cozies written by Denise Swanson (Murder of a Small Town Honey, Murder of a Sleeping Beauty, Murder of a Smart Cookie) and Mary Jane Maffini (Organize Your Corpses, The Cluttered Corpse, Death has a Messy Desk).

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

As I was going through my own difficult season, I started thinking about other people’s rough patches. I combined that with my new interest in reading murder mysteries and came up with a plot for A Season for Killing Blondes.

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

Not too many cozies are based in Northern Ontario. Also, the combination of fifty something Italian women, their mothers, their men, food and four dead blondes is an interesting one. I have included eight dessert recipes.

Now, it’s my turn to tag some follow authors.

Cindy Carroll

Linda Johnston

Jordanna East

Beth Verde

Patricia Anderson

Is Your Writing Muse in a Snit?

When Guelph writer Linda Johnston informed everyone on her Twitter feed that she had written 17,000 words in three weeks, we all congratulated her and wanted to know the secret of her success. I enjoyed following her tweets regarding this sudden burst of creativity.

June 26

My writing muse has returned from her snit and is in full swing. She has fused me to the computer.

July 13

My muse dictates how much I write. I just do her bidding.

I imagined one of the nine daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne visiting Linda each morning, taking her hand and guiding her to the computer. There, she remains offering words of encouragement until Linda produces her daily quota. Later, I discovered that Linda received inspiration from a more concrete source: Sarah Domet’s book, 90 Days to Your Novel.

Patricia Anderson, another Guelph writer, found a muse that enables her to write prolifically and enjoy a vacation at the same time. At the end of June, she sets off for her trailer in Algonquin Park where she spends the summer working on her novel (without distractions).

While researching several famous writers, I discovered some unusual muses.

  • Alexander Dumas color coordinated his paper. He used blue paper for novels, yellow paper for poetry and rose-colored pages for nonfiction.
  • Mark Twain and Truman Capote write lying down.
  • Ernest Hemingway sharpened dozens of pencils before starting to write.
  • Willa Cather read the Bible before writing each day.
  • Before picking up his pen, John Donne liked to lie in an open coffin. (I wonder about this one!)

In my case, I like to stick to my morning ritual of easing into the writing. After breakfast, I linger over coffee as I check my emails, Twitter and other social media. Once I finish drinking  two cups of coffee, I start writing. When I hit a writer’s block, I follow Julia Cameron‘s advice from her inspirational books—The Artist’s Way, Walking In the Wind, The Prosperous Heart—and get myself back on track. I  enjoy the morning pages, twenty-minute walks and artist’s dates.

Any other muses out there? I’d love to hear about the eccentric ones.

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