The lovely Kirsten over at A Scenic Route has tagged me for the Next Big Thing meme! Now that I am done preening, I’m ready to answer ten questions about my unpublished manuscript.

1. What is the book’s title?

Grove. I am on the fence about whether or not it needs a definite article.

2. Where did the idea for the book come from?

I had this other book, a dating/personality-type book (I love those things, I will read them and decide what my friends are all day long), called Wood Nymph Seeks Centaur: A Mythological Dating Guide. Being a happily married lady, I read this book and contented myself with assigning types to my friends’ boyfriends and my ex-boyfriends. It seemed very clear to me that one of my ex-boyfriends qualified as a certain type…which led me to think: what if he were actually a mythological creature? Around that time I had also made a woodcut for a calendar of prints, influenced by a classic fairy-tale. I always felt really sad for one of the characters in that story, who is really nothing more than a messenger for the people who are supposed to be “learning a lesson”.

Around the time that these two thoughts were percolating in my brain, I also had a friend posting constantly about NaNoWriMo on Facebook and I happened to read The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater. I loved that book, and Stiefvater’s posts on it in regard to “writing the book you want to read“. So on October 31st of last year, with nothing more than the last scene in my head, I signed up for NaNoWriMo. By December 1st I had 52,000 words, give or take.

3. What genre does your book fall under?

Is New Adult Suburban (Light) Fantasy a real genre? It is now. I just invented it.

4. What actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

For Silas, there can be no one but Jonathan Rhys Meyers. He has the right kind of humor, the sexiness, the look. That sinewy grace. Ideally J.R.M. ten years ago. Autumn could be played by Kat Dennings or Mae Whitman.

Emily I see as an Emma Watson or Mia Wasikowska type, Mia probably has the edge in terms of acting. Josh Peck would make an acceptable Duan, with teenaged John Cho on reserve.

Eila needs Kate Hudson (or even better, Goldie Hawn) in her early twenties.

5. What is a one sentence synopsis of your book?

Ugh. I have yet to do this in an interesting fashion without giving away the ending. Autumn returns from college to her suburban hometown to begin a soul-crushing job at the local hardware store, and finds herself and her sister swept up in a strange social circle that she never imagined existed.

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

I have absolutely no idea. I was surprised enough that I wrote a book, double-surprised that people liked it, and now I am trying to figure out how to make it the best version of itself. I imagine that when I feel it’s ready I will try to find an agent for some period of time, perhaps a year, and if nothing happens then I will self-publish.

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

One month. I started just after midnight on November 1st and finished early in the evening November 30th. About three days in I lost everything I had written, and had to re-write it all. About four scenes, including the first scene and the ending.

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

Well…I kind of wrote it because I hadn’t read anything else like it, and it was something I wanted to see. It is sort of thematically related to books like Catherine Knutsson’s Shadows Cast by Stars or Jackson Pearce’s Sisters Red.

9. Who or what inspired you to write this book?

Francesca Lia Block’s dating life, an ex-boyfriend, the Print Club Calendar, Greek Myth, Celtic lore, Druidry and other pagan belief systems, my experiences working at a big-box hardware chain, love for my hometown/region, and my relationships with people in my family.

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

You might get a sweet idea for an awesome (if somewhat weird by today’s standards) party! I flatter myself that this book is funny and that I am good at writing dialogue! The scenes at the big-box store might motivate you to go to/stay in college!

Now for the moment in which I become the end of the line. I am supposed to tag other writing-type folks with manuscripts who might be the next big thing. However, the only one I know is the person who tagged me. Should I gain friends who qualify in future, I promise to nominate them here.


2 responses to “Moi?

  1. This is a great post, and I’m sure you will have many writing friends to tag before you know it.

    I loved your picks for the actors playing your characters, and like you did mine, they matched quite well with the image I had in my head of what your characters look like. Why, then are movies sometimes cast so strangely? I suppose there’s contracts and stuff …
    And I would love to go to a party like the ones in your story!

    I’m looking forward to hearing about what you write for Nano this year. 🙂

  2. Thanks 🙂 I am even semi-happy with the one-sentence description I came up with! This was fun.

    We must be excellent describers if our readers can see the characters we imagine in their mind’s eye. I fear movies fall victim to pursuit of the almighty dollar. Who cares if that gal suits the character, or if she can act, if her movies are hot this year! Boo. If I were ever asked to sell film rights, I would get an amazing lawyer to draft a contract that gave me veto in case they tried to cast Chloe Moretz as Autumn or something.

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