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 http://kerryfisherauthor.blogspot.co.uk/
Donna Douglas http://donnadouglasauthor.wordpress.com/
N E David http://www.nedavid.com/
Laura E James http://www.lauraejames.co.uk/?page_id=33
Debbie Viggiano http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4846516.Debbie_Viggiano/blog?auto_login_attempted=true
I do hope you'll join me in this venture.