Wednesday, 17 October 2012

“The Next Big Thing” Blog Hop

I'm honoured to be chosen to be part of this blog hop and I’d like to thank Marva Dasef for tagging me to participate. This gives us all a chance to view new releases from authors we admire as well as introduce us to some works in progress.

 Why - oh why - oh why do I always go about things the hard way? It would have been so much simpler to talk about my published YA Historical novel, The Unhewn Stone, or my Sci fi short story Happiness Guaranteed or the MG animal short Billy the Bonsai Bull, but I’ve chosen to talk up a work in progress. I know why. I’m trying to get a handle on it and convince myself this story is still a worthwhile endeavour.

 So, here are my answers to the ten interview questions:

What is the working title of your book?

Titles I’m considering for my work in progress are Motive for Murder or Fisherman’s Row.

 Where did the idea come from for the book?

 At the Muse Online Writers Conference a couple of years ago, I attended a course on ‘Writing a Cosy’ by Kim Smith. I developed a prĂ©cis around a group of tourists, a crabby old fisherman and a seaside murder. Since then I have demoted the fisherman to an important minor character and made the three girls Uni students who have returned home for the summer holidays. The three young men are new to the area.

 What genre does your book fall under?

 Mainstream Murder Mystery or Romantic Mystery.

Since this story is character driven it has a lot more to do with relationships than with the mystery so I will need to study the Mystery genre more to tighten it up. I think six friends trying to solve the mystery might be too many main characters. If it had more humour it could resemble ‘Friends’ but I haven’t managed that yet.

 Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

 For the moment I’ll stick with the cast of ‘Friends’ but will need to add a couple who can play at being manipulatively sinister.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

I don’t have one yet and this is my main problem. Apart from the characters getting into heaps of trouble while trying to solve the crime and falling for each other, I don’t have a good grip on the story yet. Oh, this might do:
Sun, sand and surf at holiday time and an impossible mystery to solve brings a group of friends much closer together.

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

 If my book isn’t worthy to be accepted by a publisher, I wouldn’t expect it to be worthy to be purchased by a reader. Besides, it will need the input of the editors, the cover artist and the publisher to prepare the layout and production before it is as good as it can possibly be. I’m grateful to MuseItUp Publishing for bringing my first novel, The Unhewn Stone, up to the acceptable standard for the reading public. And for doing the same with my short stories Happiness Guaranteed and Billy the Bonsai Bull.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

 This was a NaNo project. Write 50,000 words in a month. I just made it with 50,623 before I ran out of puff. During the month I had a lot of fun making my sinister character really nasty and placing my goody two shoes in lots of danger. But the first draft is a mess. I have character arcs but no real story arc. So the second draft is taking a long time and taking its toll on my dedication. For me, writing is a more pleasant task when I plan thoroughly first. Still if I hadn’t jumped in to Nano empty-headed, I wouldn’t have the good solid foundation for Fisherman’s Row story now.

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

None I can think of. What I’d like to compare it with when it’s finished would be…gosh, I still have no idea, something written by Tami Hoag, I guess.  She’s one of my favourites.Mine is too heavy to be a cosy and too light to be a thriller, so somewhere in between.

 Who or What inspired you to write this book?

I wanted to follow up with another book when my first novel was published by MuseItUp but I needed to write a story that could be researched at home, here in Australia. Having my YA historical novel The Unhewn Stone, set in modern-day and medieval Switzerland, I knew how difficult it was to travel to the location and do my research so far from home. I had already decided my next novel would have a setting nearby and already familiar to me.

Also, I’d never written a mystery before and since this is my favourite genre to read, I wanted to try my hand at one. I have discovered it is more difficult than I imagined to get inside a contemporary’s head and show modern society as reality. I’m still happiest writing in the middle ages or creating a fantasy world to escape in.

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

The mystery in Fisherman’s Row centres round an Aussie beachside village. Older readers might remember what having a crush on a boy or girl was like, and younger readers will realise that when it comes to falling in love the generations aren’t all that different. Also one theme, ‘change is not necessarily a bad thing’, should resonate with the modern age.

What I would like to know is, does this story sound interesting enough to finish? If not, I can always go back to working on the Elfin Bride trilogy J

On October 24th, my dear friends will be answering the questions about their fabulous novels. So for a treat, hop over and visit them.

 Rosalie Skinner
 Laurel Lamperd
 Rick Bylina


Saturday, 13 October 2012

Top 10 in Omnilit for Happiness Guaranteed

I'm so excited - 'Happiness Guaranteed' has reached the Top 10 in Omnilit Best Sellers. I can't believe it! At the time of posting it is also No 1 in Best Selling Short Stories ebooks and No 1 in Highest Rated Short Stories ebook. I have to thank Lea Schizas MuseItUp Publisher, my editors Anne Duguid and Nancy Rafter Bell for their wonderful input and Tiger Matthews, cover designer, for this captivating cover.
This is a millionare moment :) I know it can't last but...while it does it will be here. OMNILIT