Writer's moments

The Next Big Thing–My Version

One of my favorite authors, Liz Flaherty, tagged me in a blog-trek called The Next Big Thing, so here I am answering questions about my current works in progress (WIP). This is a first for me, I rarely talk about what I’m working on, but maybe I need to do it more often.  I’m tagging five other authors, so be sure to check in with them next Wednesday and see what’s new in their lives.

Okay, here goes…

What is the working title of your next book?

There are two of them: The Music Is You and Like Fine Wine. They’re not a series, but they are connected because I pulled a secondary character from the first one and gave her a story of her own.

Where did the idea come from for the book?

MUSIC came from my heart, but was inspired by one five-minute scene from a little movie I saw in 1978. Go here for that story.  LIKE FINE WINE’s heroine is a secondary character from MUSIC. She needed a book of her own, so I knocked off her husband, which gave her a great story!

What genre does your book fall under?

Well, according to my betas and several editors, these books more women’s fiction than romance, but to me, they’re simply love stories with a special twist—my characters are older, experienced women in the prime of their lives. They’re like me–Baby Boomers who still have a lot of living and loving to do.

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

Wow, tough one. About 20 years ago, Jeff Bridges could’ve played Liam Reilly, the symphony conductor in MUSIC, but now, maybe John Cusack or Ralph Fiennes. I’ve always pictured Kimberly Williams Paisley as Carrie from that book.

LIKE FINE WINE’s Will Brody is unquestionably Matt Czuchry. Even though he’s a little younger than Will, he’s got the look, the charm, and the humor. Julianne is harder—probably Michelle Pfeiffer or Kim Catrall. Someone sharp and sexy and funny.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your books?

THE MUSIC IS YOU: Photographer Carrie Halligan’s life as a single mom is pretty ordinary until symphony conductor, Liam Reilly, reappears and turns her world upside down.

LIKE FINE WINE: When her husband dies, 52-year-old Julie Miles believes her life is done, but  then younger man Will Brody comes along and shows her that it’s just about to begin…all over again.

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

I’m not sure yet. My agent currently has MUSIC submitted to a couple of e-pubs, so we’ll see what happens. Hold a good thought. I’m planning on submitting LIKE FINE WINE, but I haven’t discounted the possibility of self-pubbing.

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

MUSIC took two years to write and then another two years to convince myself it was worthy of having someone else see it. It’s been through a lot of revision since then, but it is my heart—my favorite story. The first draft of LIKE FINE WINE went pretty fast actually, maybe three months, but the next several iterations—first revisions, then practically a complete rewrite—have taken longer.

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

I don’t know about specific books, but I think readers who enjoy Liz Flaherty’s novels would enjoy these books and so might Lynne Marshall’s fans, since she also writes older heroines. My books are about people like me, women who’ve lived a lot of life, but are still eager for more.

Who or What inspired you to write this book?

Liam has been in my head since 1978 and finally Carrie appeared to fall in love with him. My characters sort of pound on the door of my mind until I let them out and tell their stories. Anything at all can inspire a story… a moment in a movie, a TV commercial, a song on the radio, a news story, a person I pass on the street or in the grocery. My mind is always full of  “What if…”

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

Liam’s a symphony conductor, which is an unusual occupation for a romance hero and was great fun to research. My heroes are generally gentle, arty, sensitive guys. I don’t do macho well because most of the men my life are geeks or musicians and writers.  My heroines always need to find themselves, they’re searching…again, kinda like me…kinda like most of us who grew up in the ’60s and ’70s.

Here are some wonderful authors I’ve tagged to tell you about their Next Big Thing! Visit them on December 5 and see what’s coming up for them.

Kate George (www.http://kategeorge.com/),

Christine Ashworth (http://christine-ashworth.com/)

J.J. Devine (http://definingjjdevine.weebly.com/)

Brenda Maxfield (http://www.brendamaxfield.com/index.html)

Lacey Thorn (http://www.lacythorn.com/)