A few weeks ago I was contacted by my friend and fellow author Susan Oleksiw about participating in a blog tour called The Next Big Thing. The idea was that everyone who participated would answer the same group of questions, post them on their blog, and then tag 5 more bloggers/authors in a sort-of pyramid scheme of book promotion. Obviously I was the last blogger/author on the planet to be tagged because nearly every other author I contacted had already done it. Consequently, I have decided to post my answers, thank Susan for her graciousness in inviting me, list five blogger/authors whose work I admire, and then let this thing die a natural, and over-due death. So this is all about my Next Big Thing:
What is your working title of your book?
The Monday Night Needlework & Murder Guild
Where did the idea come from for the book?
I belong to a needlework group that meets once a month and we often get into discussions that are very heated. I was thinking about the fact that, on the surface we all seem like such nice, polite, older ladies, but all of us are so opinionated and full of fire. Then my imagination just went wild.
What genre does your book fall under?
Crime. It is what is called a whydunnit or a reverse mystery. Right from the beginning you know whodunnit, you just don't know why or how. It is somewhat cozy and also pretty funny in places but it is your basic crime story.
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Oh, gosh, I'm terrible at this because I don't watch that many movies so I really have no idea. My characters are always very real to me so it is hard for me to envision them as someone else. It would be interesting to cast because the cast is mostly women in their 50s and 60s and I'm guessing a lot of mature actresses would be great in the roles - especially Cece, Gwen, and Deborah. The lothario is in his 30s so almost any handsome, younger actor would do for him.
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
"Retired high school teacher Miss Cece McGill loves being a part of The Monday Night Needlework & Murder Guild, so when an unscrupulous lothario starts causing trouble, she takes it upon herself to protect the guild's members."
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
It will be self-published as an ebook.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
I've actually been working on this for a couple of years, sporadically. The original version was a short story called Just An Old-Fashioned Murder that I intended to submit to an anthology but there seemed to be too much story for a short work so I put it aside. A couple months ago I started thinking about it and took it out to rework. It grew to 30k words and is now a novella.
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Gosh, it's so hard to say. I'm not sure any author can answer that honestly because we like to think our work is unique. Maybe books by Connie Archer or Mark Schweizer but I think there is a dark core in my writing that is more intense and nerve-wracking.
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
I really admire Susan Oleksiw's books and she is the one who made me want to write crime stories.
What else about your book might pique the reader's interest?
My objective in this story was to look into the lives of the women the lothario is seducing and examine why he gets away with it. This is a small, close-knit group of older, mostly professional, women and yet he seems to have a knack for bamboozling them. As I worked on the story I realized that what made the story interesting to me was 1.) how he got away with what he did and 2.) why Cece was immune to his charms. I am always, first and foremost, interested in the psychology of my characters. That's what keeps me writing.
Since I do not have as many “tagees” as I need for this project I am just listing a few authors whose blogs I find particularly interesting. Please enjoy:
- Maureen McDermott Gill, author of January Moon.
- Skye Alexander, author of mysteries, as well as books on astrology and lifestyles
- Susan Oleksiw, author of the Joe Silva and Anita Ray mysteries
- Billie Hinton, author of some extraordinary novels
- Kiana Davenport, author, editor, mentor, and friend extroardinaire
Thanks for reading.