Author, Fiction, My Books, Novel, Promotion, Writing

The Next Big Thing

Author Christa Polkinhorn, tagged me to answer these questions about my work in progress. This author meme is called The Next Big Thing. Please read Christa’s responses about Emilia, her next big thing. At the end of  this post, you’ll see who I’ve tagged.

AIT_page_frontWhat is the working title of your next book? It’s titled An Illusion of Trust and is now available at Amazon in ebook and print.

Where did the idea come from for the book? It’s a sequel to my novel The Brevity of Roses. I ended that book with Jalal and Renee’s engagement, but that wasn’t the end of the story I’d written in my head. They were both troubled people, but I knew for certain Renee’s emotional damage would surface as she experienced the realities of marriage and parenthood, so I wrote An Illusion of Trust to tell that part of the story.

What genre does your book fall under? This is contemporary fiction. I suppose it will appeal mainly to women, but I hesitate to call it women’s fiction because that classification is often interpreted as romance or chick lit, which this is not. Maybe I could call it literary women’s fiction.

What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

Though I do mentally cast certain actors as my characters, I decline to share my picks for the same reason I don’t dwell a lot on the physical descriptions of characters in my writing. Unless there’s a good reason to force my image on readers, I want them to visualize my characters as they like. I mention or allude to Renee’s petite stature and long hair several times, and I mention once (in this book) that she has gray eyes. In my head, she’s a more petite version of a certain actress.

Jalal was described in more detail in The Brevity of Roses because Meredith gave her poetic mind free reign as she observed him: “… it was hard to ignore this man with his beautiful skin, like fine tea-dyed silk, and hair, as black as any she had ever seen, curling down to his shoulders, and if he chanced to look up from the book he now read, she was certain his eyes would seem as deep and dark as temple pools on a moonless night.” He has a slight change of appearance in An Illusion of Trust, but even with this number of details I think readers could “cast” several different actors in his role.

If you’re familiar with my characters Renee and Jalal and pictured a celebrity as you read about them, please share. I’m curious to know if anyone sees who I see.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

This is the tag line: In this sequel to The Brevity of Roses, Renee Vaziri discovers that even when your dreams come true your nightmares remain.

Here’s a distillation from the back cover blurb, which is more a one-line synopsis: When Renee Marshall locked the door on her dark past and married Jalal Vaziri, she hoped for a quiet life, but as the stress of living in his society increases, the traumas of her past begin to poison the present and threaten to destroy everything she treasures.

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

This sequel will be another indie novel published under my imprint Two-Four-Six Publishing.

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

That’s a difficult question for me to answer because I don’t write a typical first draft. I develop the story in my head and make written notes for several months to a year (or more) before I start to actually write a draft. And because I edit as I write, what I end up with is a step or two beyond the proverbial “shitty first draft”. Specifically, I wrote this “first draft” in two stages. I wrote for three months and then a health problem forced me to let it languish for a couple of months, during which indecision on what my next book should be cropped up and delayed me even more. When I picked up my WIP again, I finished in seven months, so I guess it took about ten months to write what I call a first draft.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? I’m going to have to pass on this one. Most every novel I read is contemporary, but I’m not familiar with one I can compare to this story. My favorite author is Anne Tyler, so I’m sure her style has influenced mine.

Who or what inspired you to write this book? After I finished writing The Brevity of Roses, my characters refused to stop talking to me. In fact, as I was writing it, I kept thinking about what would happen to them past the point I planned to end the book. So while I was still editing Brevity, I started writing out scenes and snatches of dialogue that would, mostly, become part of An Illusion of Trust. An image that haunted me, from a scene that didn’t make it into Illusion, was the impetus for a particular element in this book.

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

I don’t want you to leave you with the impression this story is relentless doom and gloom. As those who’ve read the first part of Jalal and Renee’s story already know, they indulge in a healthy dose of smartass humor. And marriage certainly hasn’t turned down the heat between them. 😉

~~~~~

Now, in a week or two, each of these fine authors will tell you about their next big thing. Visit their blogs today and subscribe, if you haven’t already, so you won’t miss learning about three more good books to watch for.

Natasha Alexander

Anne Gallagher

Jessica Luton

If you’d like to help me build a buzz for An Illusion of Trust, please click those cute little share buttons below.

elle

Blog Stuff, Links, Writing

From me to you and you and you and ….

Two fellow bloggers cited me for awards this past week, so I’m taking time to say thank you and pass them on. First up, Jennifer Neri, who gave me the Liebster Blog Award. Liebster is German for dearest or beloved and carries the sense of “favorite”.

The rules say to pass it along to five favorite blogs with the stipulation they’re to have less than 200 followers. Unfortunately, I don’t know how many followers most blogs have, so I’ll just bring to your attention some blogs I’ve never cited before, but enjoy reading.

Recipients, do what you will with your award. Feel free to obey or disobey the “rules” of reciprocation or passing along.

At Judith Baxter’s blog Growing Younger Each Day she rages against growing older with humor and great insight.

Chris King‘s blog is named bridgesburning, but I don’t know why. I do know she says a lot of interesting things there.

Victoria, Lisa, and Christi at Writing Up An Appetite combine writing and food, two of my favorite things!

Darlene Foster blogs often about her travels, so it’s probably no surprise that she’s the author of a series of children’s books featuring world travel.

Kate Cardon Parish‘s blog kateschannel is what it sounds like, her show. So go tune into her thoughts on life.

Jessica Luton shares some uplifiting advice on her Serenity Writer blog. And if you follow her on Twitter she’ll inspire your day too.

Hmmm … that’s six, not five. Oh well, I gave you one to grow on. 🙂

I was going to cover both awards today, but that’s a lot of links to throw at you in one sitting, so I’ll leave the second award for the next post. Enjoy the links.

Inspiration, Writing

Bloggers who inspire and help keep me sane

I’m astounded when I think how many people have come into my life the last three years through blogging. Only twice, since my school days, have I had a “social circle”. The first developed when I joined a church. That lasted twelve years. For several years after that, I retained a couple of church friends, and then we drifted apart.

A circle of virtual friends

In 1988, I moved 2,000 miles away from my birthplace to California. I knew no one here, and since I didn’t work outside the home, I met very few people. My growing family sufficed as a social circle. Fast-forward twenty years. I decided to take fiction writing seriously, and soon realized I needed the company of other writers.

That was the beginning of a new social circle, though for the most part, it’s become a virtual circle. I started this blog five months after I started my new life as a writer. I’ve met many wonderful people, mostly writers and poets, through blogging. I can’t imagine making it this far without them.

If you scroll down, over there on the right side of this page you’ll find links to some of the bloggers who’ve entertained, inspired, and taught me. At various times, most of them have kept me company on this blog. Some have helped me through numerous private emails. A few are writers I’ve met in real life. You would do well to visit their blogs.

I said in my last post that I would mention a few who recently lifted me from my despair and inspired me to come clean about why I self-published. So here goes:

  • Michelle Davidson Argyle is open and honest about her struggles as a writer in both her public and private blogs. Many times, I’ve read her posts and marveled that her thoughts and feelings mirrored mine. With her post on failure, she inspired me to change my attitude about my self-publishing venture.
  • Cristina Trapani Scott has inspired me many times, but recently she wrote a post about words as food that woke me up to how malnourished I’d become. Recalling the days when writing sustained my soul, I felt starved. Her post pointed out not so much a needed change in attitude, but a change in focus.
  • Jessica Luton is new to blogging, but she’s long been an inspiration on Twitter and Facebook. Recently she wrote a post about opening ourselves to abundance. It was another reminder that my attitude needed changing.
  • Chris King wrote a post about aging and how to find more joy and energy. Since all the stress in my life had certainly made me feel I’d aged rapidly, I appreciated her post. Again, it pointed out the need for a change in attitude.

These are not the only bloggers or posts that inspired me this year. I hesitated to make this list, knowing I would leave out important ones, so know that these are only a few of those most crucial to my renaissance. I hope you enjoy them.


Photo credit: showbizsuperstar