The delightful Jenn J McLeod tagged me *ahem* some time ago to take part in the Next Big Thing meme. She also roped in Lily Malone, Cate Ellink and Allison Tait.
To be honest, I feel like I’m here under false pretenses as they all have debut novels out this year and I … well … I don’t. Yet. (Hear that, universe?!)
So here goes…
1) What is the working title of your current/next book?
I’m hopeless at titles. The finished work that I’m about to start querying is called ‘Sisters’. My current (very new) WIP is tentatively called ‘Birthday Wishes’.
2) Where did the idea come from?
Who knows? When I first started writing, I attempted to write a category romance. But these two characters kept bugging me – they were estranged sisters and wouldn’t let me rest until I wrote about them and discovered why they were estranged. I never did finish writing that category! (although I may steal the heroine for another book!)
3) What genre does your book fall under?
Contemporary women’s fiction.
4) What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
I always had a slightly unfit Rachel Griffiths in mind as one sister, and someone sleek and polished as the other sister. (Any suggestions?) One hero was always David Wenham and the other was a younger Hugh Jackman. (he gets around a lot that man – always plenty of work being cast in our books!)
5) What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Sorry, I had enough trouble getting it down to this – I can’t do one sentence (unless it’s a very long run-on sentence!)
‘Sisters’ is the story of Helen, staying in a destructive marriage for the sake of the kids, and her estranged sister Toni, whose life is undergoing a major upheaval. Will their reunion be destroyed by family secrets or will they have the strength to find their happiness?
6) Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
I’m going down the traditional route of trying to find an agent or publisher.
7) How long did it take you to write the first draft?
I started writing it in August 2011 – immediately after the Melbourne conference when Bob Mayer asked the question that gave me my epiphany. ‘If you died right now, would the book that you’re writing now be the one that you’d want to be known for?’ (roughly paraphrased!)
I was about 10,000 words in when feedback from the 2011 STALI competition convinced me I’d started the story in completely the wrong spot. So I put that aside and started the story all over again in Dec 2011. I wrote The End on a very dirty draft in July 2012 (thanks mainly to 50K in 30 days in June!), and finished getting it into a readable shape in early Jan 2012.
8) What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
I’m inspired by great Aussie writers like Dianne Blacklock and Monica McInerney, and overseas authors like Cathy Kelly. So I think its similar in style and content to those.
9) Who or what inspired you to write this book?
The characters – they wouldn’t leave me alone. It was also the realisation that my dream of ‘one day I’ll write a book’ actually required me to work at it so I’d better get started 🙂
10) What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?
One of the heroes is a sexy Aussie farmer 🙂 (That would be Hugh Jackman if you want to picture it! Here – I’ll help…)
I don’t have a new release this year – well, none that I know about! I had a short story last year but that’s all. So I’m with you in the still hoping group 🙂
I like the sound of “Sisters”. I like those kind of stories – families are always interesting and not easy! Good luck with the agent/editor rounds.
Thanks Cate – at least you’re published in some form 🙂 We will get there!
I love a good family story too – so much potential for conflict!
Everything you are saying about that WIP sounds bloody brilliant. My book 3 is about sisters and I have to say, siblings of any sort make for wonderful angsty plots. Get polishing, KP. Your path sounds similar to mine in terms of epiphanies, Nanos, re-drafts and comparison author styles. You are now investing more of yourself and you are thinking like a published author – and that is the best thing you can do. (Now think about all the things you are juggling and life and make some decision that are for YOU. Give yourself the best chance by giving yourself, your business and your family the most time out of your day and rop what will NOT get you that dream. Get the hint!
I hope you get the chance to read the book one day, Jenn 🙂 Thanks for the pep talk – does that mean you want me to send my son and husband up to you?! 🙂 (I’ve tried selling them on ebay – you’re not allowed 🙁 )
I have to admit I’m doing a lot better than 12 months ago, but carving out that time and feeling like I deserve to have that time because I AM A WRITER is still tough for me.
Love the sound of your estranged sister’s story, Kerrie. Well done on condensing it into a one sentence tag line!! (So much harder to do than it looks!!)
And David Wenham? What a gorgeous man, fell in love with him in Sea Change and still sigh whenever I see him on the big screen!
So will wait patiently to read the story and then sweat it out until it hits the big screen!!!
Thanks Helene. Yep, Diver Dan – *sigh* He does it for me 🙂
I love the sound of Sisters. Who could resist a story with a character like Hugh Jackman! You did pretty well in the one sentence synopsis. They’re hard!
Thanks Stacey. It’s incredibly tough writing a one-sentence synopsis!
Hugh Jackman does get around, doesn’t he! I picked Hugh for a leading man, so did Juanita Keys and it’s not just us romance writers/women’s literature writers going for Hugh. I saw Cameron Raynes nominate Hugh for his hero too.
I would say you should take your finalist placing in the Emerald as a huge positive sign that you are not far behind in this Published Author caper. Every bit of luck with Sisters.
Thanks Lily – it’s certainly been a big boost for my confidence!
Great responses, Kerrie. I particularly loved the Bob Mayer quote–very thought-provoking!
Thanks Stephanie. Yes, the Bob Mayer quote was such a lightbulb for me!
Hi Kerrie, popping in here to say, I have read Sisters and love it.
Its a story that resonates with every woman who has known and faced hard choices in her life and who has put her life on hold for others. Your writing is wonderful, Kerrie, it flows like a soothing stream of words and I feel your star is close.
Personally, I’d choose David Wenham, quiet, sexy and with an understated charm, ooooh, lovely.
I’m still smiling about your Emerald results :).
Thanks SE. Your support and critiquing has been invaluable to me. I think I’m finally getting a handle on ‘showing not telling’ thanks to you 🙂
Sounds an intersting story and I love the Bob Mayer quote.