Saturday, 1 December 2012

the next big thing...

"The Next Big Thing, authors tagged, questions answered..."

Does the concept sound pompous, slightly up itself perhaps? Well it's not at all; it's a thing of real beauty, a chain that brings together wonderful writers and books in a circle of creativity that is so vibrant it creaks in celebration.

The very lovely Elizabeth Reeder tagged me and in turn I'm going to answer the questions posed and introduce you to some incredibly strong writers who are dedicated to storytelling.

 Here goes!

What is the working title of your next book?

The Dandelion Clock

Where did the idea come from for the book?

When my children were very young they called themselves Mary and Joseph, because as they explained, the Virgin Mary (yeah, that one...) would call in and see them during the night. It got me thinking, in religion people believe the most incredible things with absolute conviction so why not take it a stage further and illustrate that the VM can pop down from heaven and get herself into a bit of an emotional tangle. She was also a good tool to use to illustrate some of Elizabeth's pain. It is Elizabeth’s story and she comes from all of us.

What genre does your book fall under?

Literary fiction

What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

Oh good question. I would love Shirley Manson to play the Virgin Mary, Kathleen McDermott to play Elizabeth and Sadie would have to be a young and very brash Tilda Swinton. There's a couple of very mean boys in my novel, but I would hate to tarnish anyone's reputation by suggesting that they would fit the part...

What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?

When teenage mum Elizabeth is plotting to avenge her girlfriend's death she becomes mixed up in drugs, murder and hard-assed Glasgow gangsters, as well as becoming entangled with the (actual...)Virgin Mary who comes to question her own life and her feelings for Elizabeth.

It's 'aw go as they say.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

Hopefully published and represented, fingers crossed on that one at the moment...
How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

Well, there's a wee story to that. If we ignore the fact that The Dandelion Clock emerged from the roots of another novel then I would say around 12 months. If we add in the previous work, which has mostly been consigned to the dustbin, then it's a lot, lot, longer.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

This is a difficult question to answer but maybe for the language, the raw humour and the stark bite of reality something Des Dillon or Irvine Welsh.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

The need to write a story that narrates Elizabeth's journey. Her road is a road so many travel along. Life is actually like that and we should embrace it and give not always getting it right a voice. It’s okay not to be brilliant. Normal is good.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

It's a story that challenges how we respond to the choices we make, or have made by others for us, and it represents the notion that there isn't a big 'we shall overcome' agenda in life, it's about getting on with it and constantly picking up pieces and slicing up and over the next bit. The story is sad and that's sad because there is always sadness of some degree in a person's life. But there are tiny snippets of hope too and they don't have to be 'happy ever after' paths, they're just there to embrace for the moment and that's the kind of thing that makes life what it is.

This is a story for so many people. It will make you laugh and maybe make you cry too. Key emotions that make us strong and convincing and remind us who we are. It's for you all really.


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