Emily Benet, http://emilybenet.blogspot.co.uk, author of Shop Girl Diaries and more recently Watpad hit Spray Painted Bananas invited me on a Blog Hop for the ‘Next Big Thing’ in which writers answer ten questions about their work in progress and tag two other writers to do the same. As I have really-nearly-almost finished my novel (you can tell I’ve been saying this for a long time), I thought, why not? It might encourage me to actually think about the themes and ideas behind it and help me distil it to that essential one line. So, here goes.
1) What is the title of your next book?
Ah, stumped on the first question. At the moment it’s called Vita, though not for long. I have a list of about five possible alternatives, but, a little like having a baby, it’s best to wait until the finished product is in your hands to really know it.
2) Where did the idea come from for the book?
After my second child was born I read a few negative books on motherhood and childbirth, and felt I wanted to write something about the sensual nature of becoming a mother. This was the spark and then the story grew into something much bigger about misplaced love, addiction and the potential damage of family secrets.
3) What genre does your book fall under?
Somewhere between literary, realist and quality commercial.
4) What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
5) What is a one sentence synopsis of your book?
I’m still working on this, but here’s an element of it: Altered states.
6) Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
I am represented by the brilliant Judith Murray at Greene and Heaton and she will hopefully send my novel out to prospective publishers in the Spring.
7) How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
It took me about a year to write a good first draft, but then my kids were one and three when I started writing again, and my head was a little foggy. It has taken me almost two years to get to this draft, so, all in all, about three years.
8) What other books would you compare yours to?
I’ll leave that question to the critics.
9) Who or what inspired you to write this book?
My children inspired me to write this book. Also my father who was an alcoholic. He didn’t directly inspire me, but, having been the daughter of an alcoholic, I wanted to write about it.
10) What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?
I’ve been told I’m good at writing about sex.
Next week are two lovely writers and ex colleagues from my days working at Time Out Guides: Rhonda Carrier and CJ Daugherty.
Rhonda Carrier’s fiction is largely inspired by her dual role as a mum to three boys and a travel writer contributing to the likes of The Guardian, National Geographic Traveller, and Conde Nast Traveller. She blogs on writing, travel, parenthood and more at http://mothermind.wordpress.com. She is currently working on two novels; her short stories have appeared in Neonlit: the Time Out Book of New Writing II and the Time Out Book of London Short Stories (both Penguin); Paint a Vulgar Picture: Stories Inspired by the Smiths (Serpent’s Tail), ’68: New Stories from Children of the Revolution (Salt Publishing) and elsewhere. She has reviewed new books for Time Out magazine, and assessed fiction and non-fiction manuscripts for the Cornerstones literary advisory and the publisher Gibson Square. Rhonda is represented by Diana Tyler (fiction) of MBA Literary Agents and can be followed on twitter.
A former journalist and travel writer, CJ Daugherty is the author of Night School, a series of young adult romantic thrillers set in an elite British boarding school. The first two books in the series are out now, published in the UK by Atom. The third book is due out this summer. The series is being translated into nineteen languages. You can find her here: http://www.cjdaugherty.com