Wednesday, 26 September 2012

The Next Big Thing!

Hello there!

Thank you so much for visiting my blog today. Unlike my first posting, How to Keep a Secret Safe in the Bath, (which the library censored for a short while), this one has very little reference to sex, so I’m hoping that you’ll be able to relax and enjoy yourself reading about my journey with my latest novel. Oh and just because I don’t refer much to sex here, doesn’t mean that it doesn’t ‘pop up’ in my book. *nudges and winks a couple of times*

Two weeks ago, writer, Anneli Purchase tagged me in her post The Next Big Thing and today it's my turn! Basically, I have ten questions to answer about my Work in Progress and then I have to tag five other writers who will tell you about their latest novel next Wednesday. So...let the games begin!

• What is the working title of your next book?
The working title of this book is ‘Love’s Fair Trade’. I am polishing it now until it gleams, before sending it out, by the end of the week, to the agent who requested it at a Festival of Writing. I’m very excited about that, hence the frenzied attack on it with a red pen removing all adverbs and adjectives!

• Where did the idea come from for the book?
Funnily enough, it came from a Rom-Com workshop at Winchester Writers’ Conference lead by Allie Spencer. A small group of writers thrashed out a few characters, a vague plot and there it was, at the end of one day, in a very raw form. I’d just finished my ‘in-the-bottom-drawer-and-staying-there’ novel, so I was ready to go again and I loved the ideas for this book, so, after receiving permission from the rest of the group, I ran with it. The finished product is nothing like the original idea. Nothing at all.

Enter ‘lover of high-heels, wearer of trainers’, Katie Noble, a netball coach, vegetarian and fair-trade fanatic, who meets Robert Davenport, mysterious, handsome but shy, Head of IT and devout carnivore. Fund embezzling, a female stalker, a mad chase to the airport, greasy burgers and alfalfa sprouts, and a determination not to fall in love, are mere snippets of the antics occurring within this novel!

• What genre does your book fall under?
I would call it Rom-Com, but a publisher told me only a couple of weeks ago that she thinks it’s Romantic Drama with quirky characters. Maybe I’ll let you guys decide.

• What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
Well now, that’s dead easy. It’s got to be Jack Davenport for Robert, as I think he’s got it all going on – those devilish good looks, that lovely British reserve, but we ladies know that smouldering just below the surface and ready to strike at any moment, is raw sex. And for Katie, it would have to be Rosamund Pike, for her perfect character portrayals and her lively sense of adventure.

• What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?
Can a dedicated vegetarian and devout carnivore break bread together or will it be hearts that get broken?

• Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
It will be in the hands of the aforementioned agent very soon, and then it will be all fingers crossed. To entertain myself until the rejection letter arrives, I’m going to edit the first draft of my new novel, ‘Building Bathrooms for Lydia’, written in the Write a Novel in a Week Challenge. Actually, could be quite difficult editing with all my fingers crossed...maybe I’ll cross a maximum of two on each hand?

• How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
First draft took two years, but I was still doing others things then. Now I am only writing, (oh and selling a little bit of Temple Spa) the focus is far more on the novel, so I can now produce a working draft much faster. The week challenge (above) nearly killed me though, so I wouldn’t want to do that regularly, but the lessons and discipline I learned from it enabled me so much that now I reckon I could definitely have a working draft completed in a month.

• What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
I wouldn’t have compared it to this book, because at the time I hadn’t read it, but a couple of agents said that it reminded them slightly of ‘One Day’ by David Nicholls. Having now read it, I would say, different, but yes, I see what they mean. Jane Lovering’s ‘Please Don’t Stop the Music’ has similarities in viewpoint, as the chapters alternate between the lead male and female’s perspectives, which is inevitably entertaining.

• Who or what inspired you to write this book?
Feedback from Winchester Writers’ Conference on How to Keep a Secret Safe in the Bath (see previous postings in September) and achieving Highly Commended in two categories there, gave me the confidence to use my quirky humour to attempt this novel. Well, that and a false sense of security...or should that be stupidity? Hmmm, not sure.

• What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
With a great sense of place, Love’s Fair Trade is set against the beautiful, ancient backdrop of one of England's old cities and the wild, rugged coastline of Cornwall. Both places reflect the characteristics of our hero and heroine. The shy urbanite man meets the untamed, rural woman and all hell and restrained hearts are let loose! Now does that whet your appetite?

The authors I am tagging are:
Kerry Fisher
Donna Douglas
N E David
Laura E James
Debbie Viggiano

I do hope you'll join me in this venture.

Thanks Wendy


  1. Thank you, Wendy. I love the sound of your book. I am a dedicated vegetarian...not so wild though :-)
    I look forward to telling you a little about my WIP next week.
    Take care xx

    1. Laura Hi, I'm so excited about that. Really looking forward to hearing about your WIP and this is an excellent way to let people in without giving too much away. So glad you are happy to join in. xx

  2. Wendy...I look forward to reading this as I was there in that little group with Allie Spencer right at the beginning when Robert and Katie were just a twinkle in your eye...
    I'm sure that lovely agent will adore it - we need books with a quirky sense of humour. Make sure you come back and tell us how it pans out.

    Good luck!

    1. Aye lass - you try stopping me! I'll be straight ont phone. Do you remember Katie was originally called Sarah in the workshop, but she became Katie and her best friend became Sarah. According to them, I'd got their names wrong! Don't you just love it when our characters take over and tell their own story their way?

    2. Now, I LIKE to hear that--! I've sat thru lectures from uber-famous authors who claim they never allow their characters to stray from the outlines ("or youre not in control!")versus equally uber-famous authors who (like me) don't always know exactly where everyone will end up. I too create a character and allow her/him to make a few decisions. I want to read this, Wendy!!

  3. Loved reading this blog post Wendy and looking forward to reading the book! xx

    1. Thank you Debbie adn I'm looking forward to reading all about your WIP next Wednesday x

  4. Oooh, like PDSTM, eh? Excellent - then I wish it as much success as I have had!

    1. Jane, have I ever told you how much I love you? And thanks for that wish. It'll save me precious editing time if someone else out there takes over the wish list management for me xx

  5. Hi Wendy, This sounds like fun - thanks for tagging me! Your book sounds great, too. I should be finished writing mine by the weekend, so shall we get together soon? I've been such a party pooper lately!

    1. Good Lord YES! You have been a party pooper (missing two of my Ladies nights in a row, *harrumphs*)and you know what they say about that? Something to do with Working Playing and some lad called Jack. Anyway give me a call when you're done and maybe we'll go eat out next week, eh? xx

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. The comment here that has been removed was me trying to reply to Donna above and I used the new comment button instead - didn't want you all thinking I was removing your comments - they're ace - Thank you xx

  7. Second attempt at posting a comment. I can be a thick head sometimes ha ha.
    Great to read your Blog Wendy. Your seedling has blossomed nicely, wonderful to see. Feel like an aunty at a Christening after watching your literary bump grow :-)
    Well done on getting an agent. That's a tough call these days. I'll cross my fingers too.
    I loved the questions above, please that's a great idea.
    Mine is still brewing but do keep thinking of starting a blog. May need a grown up to help me there. Lol

    1. I think if it's a blog you're wanting, you may well need a 6yr old - they tend to know more about computers than most adults - me included! Oh Lord - did I just call myself an 'adult' there? It could have been worse I suppose, I could have referred to myself as a 'grown up'. Mind you look out for Francine (the bursar) in Love's Fair Trade...she knows far too much about them for Robert Davenport's own good!!!

  8. Random "please" in that. My predictive text is very polite :-)

  9. Great post, Wendy. I'll be checking out your books. Best of luck in your writing endeavours.

  10. Hi Wendy,

    great post and both books sound fab - I'm eager to learn even more...

    Thanks for tagging Laura James for The Next Big Thing; she in turn tagged me and I've had loads of fun answering the questions. My post will be up on my blog on Wednesday 10 October - hope you can pop over for a look. And CONGRATULATIONS on the request by the agent. Happy days!

    Take care, Nikki x