Mary Wagner, a great friend that I made at the recent Florida Writer's Association Conference in Lake Mary, Florida, sent me a link to her blog with a wonderful idea that goes right along with the FWA's motto of "Writers Helping Writers." After reading her post I wanted to participate and I thank her most profusely for inviting me to do so! The Next Big Thing is a way of reaching out to other writers/bloggers who might want to share their works-in-progress (WIP) with other "artisanal" authors. Another writer I met at the conference, who helped me through the stressing agent appointment process is named Bitten Twice, and come to find out she is who introduced Mary to this blog hop. So I am including Mary's link here (where you can also find Bitten's and those who invited her), so you can check out Mary's WIP, after, of course, you read mine!
Running with Stilettos
Running with Stilettos
So, the deal is, I post the answers to ten questions here on my blog, as Mary did on hers and Bitten did before her. I add the link of the writer who invited me so that blogs keep being added to the "hop" as we go, like a game of "tag." Now, I will invite five authors to participate and if they accept, they will link back to me/us. It seems like a fun way to see other writer's works and to find interesting blogs. So, here are my answers to the ten questions about my WIP.
1. What is the working title of your book?
“The Seventh Man.” I like to title my novels with something that can almost be a double entendre, or, something that pertains very closely to what the book is about. In this case it can mean two things, but you have to read it to find out what those two things are.
2. Where did the idea come from for the book?
First and foremost, my infatuation for the actor Sean Bean inspired the story. If it ever made it to the big screen, it seemed like a movie he might actually do. Second, a story I read about the amount of CCTV cameras used in the UK, more than in any other country thanks to the IRA. Here is one article similar to what I read: http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/mar/02/cctv-cameras-watching-surveillance Third, I love mysteries. I love London. I love York. I wanted to write a mystery tied to those places. Fourth, the “abduction” scene in Robert Ludlum’s novel “The Bourne Identity” gave me the idea for the kidnapping scene in this novel. Other than that it all came the way stories sometimes do, straight out of thin air into my mind.
3. What genre does your book fall under?
Police thriller/procedural. There are three protagonists in this novel, an assassin, a kidnapped writer and the policeman trying to find them.
4. Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Of course Sean Bean would play the assassin. John Hannah would be the policeman. I adore him and he has done police shows before. So far, for the writer the only woman I’ve been able to imagine playing her is Wynona Rider. She has the waif/tragic heroine look about her that fits the character in the novel.
5. What is the one-sentence synopsis for your book?
In London three destinies are altered forever when an assassin, an American woman, and a cop collide on a lethal mission and find that the completion of it might cost each of them more than they bargained for.
6. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
At this point it will be an “artisan published” novel. (artisanal, word coined by APE writer Guy Kawasaki of Apple fame) After all, it is a work of art. I am also querying an agent who asked to see a partial of it. I’m reading Guy’s (co-writer Shawn Welch) APE (Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur) book right now to see if it is of use to me as a fiction writer.Guy and the APE Many of the books out there on the success of self publishing are based on non-fiction books. Fiction is a totally different can of worms, as my writer/fisherman father would say.
7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
One year. That seems to be my time for completing a first draft. (This is my forth novel and each one took a year to see a completed first draft) Now I am in rewrites and have found not only a policewoman in London willing to be my consultant, but also a professional editor who is working with me. So far both women really seem to know their businesses and are making a profound effect upon my writing of this novel. By the way, I think any and all artisan novels should be professionally edited. If we want to be taken seriously, and have readers pay to read us, we need quality out there folks, not just stories. (I didn't have an editor with my first published novel and I regret it. I am doing it now. I thought I knew more than I did and thought I couldn't afford it. Little did I know I couldn't afford NOT to!) Sorry about the soapbox!
8. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
In a way I would compare it to The Bourne Identity and that type, in that it has a lot to do with police, chases, constant movement and questions; a mystery that must be solved to catch the “bad” guy. But there are very personal stories attached to each protagonist that give the story a different feel.
9. Who or what inspired you to write this book?
Sean Bean, CCTV cameras and I love to read mysteries. I’ve never written a police/mystery, why not write about something/one I like?
10. What else about your book might pique your readers’ interest?
I love to read character driven novels and so the characters and their personal dramas are the main focus of this story. I hope readers will find them interesting, relate-able, human and flawed yet sympathetic, not flat or unimaginative. Not just words on a page. There is a race against a short time restriction as the story takes place over only four days. I also, for those into police procedurals, am using something that the actual police in the UK use to solve crime that I haven’t seen or read about in other novels. I’ve tried to make the settings of London and York come alive for the reader.