Tuesday, 26 February 2013


Welcome to The Next Big Thing

My writer friend, Jeff Joseph, recently tagged me for a ‘chain’ blog entitled ‘The Next Big Thing'. The deal is: I answer a few questions about my current work-in-progress, then I invite other authors to do the same. A bit like a chain letter, except it is only focused on an author’s work-in-progress. Jeff Joseph was tagged previously by Kathy Logan. I've included details of their blogs so you can explore their answers to the same questions. The authors I’ve chosen have been tagged below my answers. So here goes:

What is the working title of your next book?
Two Miracles

Where did the idea come from for the book?
Friends and family after reading the prequel Shadow Across the Sun, the memoir of my first twenty years said, 'You must write a sequel about what happened to you when you set off on your new life at the end of Shadow.'
The title came from what I ask the angels every night - everyone needs a miracle now and then; I need two. To find out what they are you'll have to read the book!

What genre does your book fall under?
Memoir, autobiography

What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
I'd like new people to play my characters, fresh faces that viewers won't associate with previous roles. I'd also like to help kick start actors' careers simultaneously to my own.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
 It is a story of love, marriage, family, birth, illness, death, experiences that everyone has had at least one of but which we all deal with differently.
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
Self published

How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
Due to my health it takes me nine months to a year to write a book, that's without the editing, where it takes 'normal' people a few months. I write it out by hand and work a chapter at a time, re reading and making alterations as I go on so that I don't have to do a complete rewrite at the end. Each chapter only goes onto the computer once I'm happy with it - or as happy as any author is, we can make amendments forever! There has to come a point where you say, 'That's it.'

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
This and its prequel Shadow Across the Sun, Frank McCourt's Angela's Ashes and Tis - and maybe James Herriot's books but only in as much as they are memoirs. Frank McCourt says in his opening paragraphs 'The happy childhood is hardly worth your while.' My childhood was the happiest imaginable - but not for long. It was overshadowed by illness: my sister became ill in the bed next to me and would have died had she been in a room on her own, then the unthinkable happened and my mother died, shattering my childhood abruptly.
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
Shadow came first and what inspired that was sitting in the beautiful summer sunshine in the garden 32 years ago, with my eldest son a baby asleep in the pram beside me as I read Danielle Steele's Fine Things. As her character developed cancer it was as though the sun went in and I had the conscious thought 'I've lived this; I could write it.' Of course it took many years and a lot of practice plus three complete re writes until I was satisfied with it. I'd always had a notion to write a sequel but ideas for novels, which I'd thought would be more commercial, especially as the words 'The market for memoirs by non celebrities is appallingly bad.' came from an agent, took precedence.  

What else about the book might pique the reader's interest?
Personally I've always loved reading the memoirs of ordinary, non celebrity, people since reading James Herriot's books in the 1970s. I find it interesting to read how they deal with the situations life deals them, their careers, relationships etc and I hope that others will enjoy mine for the same reason. I think that many people will relate to my life experiences and compare them to their own.

Here are the blog links for Jeff Joseph and Kathy Logan

The authors I’ve invited to join in the fun are:
Brooklyn Hudson brooklynhudson.blogspot.com
                    Bev Spicer  http://baspicer.blogspot.fr
                    Linda http://www.dakotadouglas.co.uk

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