Saturday, June 1, 2013

The Next Big Thing Authors' Blog Hop

The Next Big Thing Blog Hop” was created by writer and poet Zoe Brooks in August 2012 on She Writes

What is the working title of your book?
"Out of the Frying Pan." This is only the working title and has been since the project came into being. I am doing major revisions so have not landed on the actual title yet.

Where did the idea come from for the book?It emerged from several writing exercises in weekend intensives and online workshops with Ariel Gore in The Literary Kitchen. As the stories started to appear on the page before me, I realized there was a book in there somewhere!

What genre does your book fall under?
Memoir - creative non-fiction.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
I don't have actors in mind for the movie rendition of this story. But I do know who I would want to direct the movie : Jane Campion. I would trust her decision in choosing the actors best suited for the characters and the story. I don't think there would be a role for Holly Hunter, but I could be wrong. Wait! I take that back - I can think of one. But I will leave it up to Jane Campion.

What is a one-sentence synopsis of your book?
This is the story of how a young woman learns to open her own doors, and by the end, she also knows how to close them.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
That is yet to be decided. I would love for a publisher to pick it up and I have a handful I'd like to reach out to. But I'm open to the possibility of self-publishing. I know that memoir can be a hard genre to jump into in terms of traditional publishing.

How long did it take to write the first draft of your manuscript?
The first draft? That's hard to say what constitutes the "first draft." If I look at when I thought I had the 1st first draft done, I'd say about two years from first story to everything ordered and written and in a binder. But then when I had an actual first draft, ready to give the whole manuscript over to someone for editing feedback on the piece as a whole? I'd say it was nearly three years. Now, I have new insights, with some exciting changes which are going to make it sing, so the fourth or so draft is on its way. But the first draft, the real first draft, was nearly three years in the writing.

Who, or what, inspired you to write this book?
Ariel Gore. Blame her. I do, with a smile. Ariel and the various other Wayward Writers and The Attic workshop participants, and other writing partners and critique group members who have inspired me, given feedback, shared their own work. And Lidia Yuknavitch, who helped me find the missing key for this book. Also Bonnie Hearn Hill, who encouraged and supported my writer self, even during the years we lost contact. To be completely honest, I didn't set out to write a memoir. I was writing short stories and some poetry; I'd written for newsletters, some articles, other non-fiction. My intent was a novel (and I do have one of those in the works, too). But the memoir was born of its own insistence and it's nearing its release into the world.

What else about your book might pique the reader's interest?
This is a story about putting one foot in front of the other to get through each day, each stage of life, each change. Of pretending you know what you're doing but making it up as you go. It's about trusting those who say they care even when it hurts, even when it's a lie, even when you know it's a lie. It's about being the tallest girl in school, with ringlet curly red hair, glasses and freckles, who likes to write, until you can't. Until even you are telling lies. It's a story about growing into a woman who thinks she's escaped but finds herself feeling eerily similar to what she left. It's about finding the door to get out.

painting by Serena Barton

You can read one chapter, The Shotgun and the Peacock Feather, which was recently posted on The Literary Kitchen.
Thank you to Jenna Zine for tagging me for "The Next Big Thing!"

Up next in this line will be Deb Scott and Rooze Garcia (links to come later) - and maybe a couple of other authors I've contacted to tell us about their recent or upcoming projects!