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The Next Big Thing: 8 Things You Wanted to Know About My Book But Didn’t Think to Ask

standard May 15, 2013 3 responses

A few weeks ago a relatively new reader, Pauline Wiles, author of the soon to be released Saving Saffron Sweeting,  asked me if she could tag me in the Next Big Thing “meme*” for writers. I don’t often go in for that sort of thing, but these days it doesn’t take much to convince me to talk about my book and I really liked the sound of the questions she was going to send my way. So here you have it! 8 things I bet you really wanted to know about my soon-to-be-published book!

What is the working title of your book?
Right now the book is called Aloha Can Mean Goodbye, but my publisher isn’t a huge fan of the name. She thinks it’s a bit too dark. While she waits for inspiration to strike, I’m secretly hoping she doesn’t come up with anything she likes better. The name has grown on me over the years!
What does the name say to you?

Where did the idea come from for the book?
I once heard that Jodi Picoult came up with her story ideas by asking herself “What if?” questions and riffing off of the possibilities she thought up. Ever since then I’ve played the same game.
After spending a lovely time at a friend’s wedding on the Big Island in Hawaii I started to wonder what would happen if a girl showed up there to get married and ran smack dab into her past upon arrival.
In my mind, the final scene, where the protagonist shows up to her wedding still undecided as to which man she’ll marry, played out. I couldn’t resist writing out the story that led up to that.
Ironically, as I wrote the story, that final scene rewrote itself and the story ended completely differently than I had originally anticipated.
What genre does your book fall under?
Some people are going to want to classify it as Chick-lit, but I believe the book falls squarely under Women’s Fiction. The issues the characters face are more challenging and profound than the issues generally dealt with in traditional Chick-lit.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
I think I’d pick Jennifer Lawrence to play the lead. She’s got just the right amount of “girl next door” attitude to pull it off. For her best friend – a sweet redhead who keeps getting the raw end of deals – I think I’d choose either Emma Stone or Amy Adams. As for the other best friend who is a tall blonde model type? I have no clue. Have any suggestions?

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
It’s a story about love and friendship and about recovering from the past so you can get on with your future.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
Just as I was starting to look into self-publishing options I lucked into a relationship with a local indie publisher, Sand Hill Review Press. I think indie publishing offers the best of both worlds – it’s a small publisher so I get a lot of say in how the book will turn out, but the editor has a lot of experience and has already guided me to turn the book into so much more than I could have done on my own. I’m thrilled with how things are turning out! I’m especially thrilled that I won’t be alone in deciding when the book is “ready,” what the cover art will look like, and all the other little details I was facing while looking into self-publishing. 

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
The first draft took just over a year. I still remember the high I felt when I typed the words “The End” at the end of the last chapter. Then I realized just how much more work still needed to be done and I came down off that writer’s high very, very quickly! It took me another 3 years to get the book finished and ready for publication.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
Everyone who has read it has loved it for different reasons. My sister loved the friendships, my friend loved the lover’s triangle, but everyone agrees that the characters really came to life for them and have stayed with them long after they were done reading the last words. I hope you’ll feel the same way!

Right then, this is the part where I should tag people, but I’m never a huge fan of that bit, so, if you’ve written, are writing, want to write a book consider yourself tagged! Come back and leave a comment with your blog post and I’ll link to it! 

*A meme is sort of a modern day equivalent of a chain letter. Someone writes something, usually answering a series of questions, and then “tags” other people at the end, asking them to answer the questions on their own blogs. 

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3 responses

  • Loved reading this! I agree, titles are super-tricky, but I hope you don’t lose the ‘Aloha’ component of yours.
    Looking forward to hearing more about your process with a small publisher.

  • Sounds intriguing. Writing a book is a huge accomplishment. Nothing lime holding her first book in your hands and knowing you wrote it! Love the first edition of my first book, Fortune is in the Follow-Up.

  • This was fun to read! When someone mentions tall, blonde model type I usually think of Uma Thurman. That would be 3 big name stars though…you might have to go with an unknown. 🙂

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