The Next Big Thing
We writers don’t play nearly enough. Perhaps that’s why someone invented Blog Tag. Called ‘the next big thing’ we are tagged by writers and go on to tag other writers, so that we get to talk about our own books – but even better, we get to meet and learn about other writers. Headline’s Julia Crouch tagged me, so here I am, answering her questions. To see who I tagged, scroll on down to the bottom:
What is the working title of your next book? My first novel, Amity & Sorrow, is out next spring.
Where did the idea come from for the book? I saw a couple of unconnected photographs, of a church on fire and of some women in ruffled prairie dresses, whom I learned were fundamentalist Mormons, leaving a city courthouse. I started to ask questions of them, which led me to creating my own cult.
What genre does your book fall under? Fiction that’s a little literary?
What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition? Ha! There is a Pinterest board for this that Tinder Press is having great fun with. I would be exceptionally pleased if Jeff Bridges played patriarch and preacher Zachariah.
What is the one sentence synopsis of your book? On the night they believe the world is ending, Amaranth takes her two daughters from their fundamentalist, polygamous compound and crashes into a farm in the Oklahoma Panhandle; once there, they begin build a new life with the farmer, but Sorrow will do anything to get back home. It’s cheating to use a semicolon, isn’t it?
How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript? The first draft took a year to write. I’ve lost track of how many drafts I’ve done since then, truly.
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? Oh dear. That is the hardest question. Can I duck out and say that Tinder Press says, “It’s Room meets Witness.” I can’t top that.
Who or what inspired you to write this book? Stubbornness, I think. I have been a playwright for many years and leaving London found me wanting to write something new, in a new way. It was a big learning curve to move to prose, to learn to write fiction, but there’s no going back now. I’m hooked.
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest? It’s about God, sex, and farming. What more does a book need?
I’m delighted to be passing it on to three writers all with new books out in the spring:
To fellow Tinder Press author Brian Kimberling – tweeting @spypop22 – whose debut, Snapper, is all about love – and birdwatching
Colette McBeth – tweeting @colettemcbeth – whose debut, Precious Thing, is part of a two-book deal with Headline
And Jenn Ashworth – tweeting @jennashworth – whose third novel, The Friday Gospels, is out this spring with Sceptre. As it’s about the Latter Day Saints, it’s dear to my heart. Please visit all of them and give them a read!