The awesome Jess Sturman-Coombs tagged me to blog hop with her again, so I figured I would discuss my latest writing project (aka, what I’m tackling now that I’m in edit mode with The Order of the Key). Because I’m out of projects to successfully blog about, I’m not going to tag it forward – simply because I fear being tagged again.
And now to attempt to answer some questions about a project I have mentioned on this blog before without going into great depth. Here goes…
1. What is the working title of your current/next book?
2. Where did the idea come from?
This story started as a simple tale of a divorcee who had lived her life for her husband until her divorce, and is now trying to find herself professionally, socially, and personally. That portion of the story admittedly arose from a personal place. My mother was a housewife for my entire childhood, and hadn’t held a job since before my sister (who is 12 years older than me) was born. When I was 14 my parents divorced and my mother was forced to navigate the working and dating world (to varying degrees of success). Leah Marinillo was created at a time where I was creating an active wish-fulfillment world in which my mother had an easier time of her transition. There were differences, of course – Leah is not a mother, she is younger at the time of her divorce, and her husband is a soul-sucking bastard of a human being (my father is not) – but Leah’s journey was in many ways an idealized version of what I wanted for my mother.
However, the story stalled there. I had this great story of a woman re-establishing her own sense of self-worth in the world, but when I tried to sit down and write it, it just didn’t have legs. I couldn’t find a strong motivation for my characters and it was a little too normal for me, given my tendency towards the bizarre.
It wasn’t until I was having a conversation with some of my friends in the Stargate fandom about what it would be like if the characters acted as the angel and the devil on your shoulders (Daniel as the angel, Jack as the devil, for anybody familiar with the series). I thought it over and I started to play it out in my head – walk through my day with either Jack or Daniel commenting on everything I did as I did it. Did they approve? What did they think I could have done better. And Carter St. James was born of that – he became Leah’s Guardian Angel / total hallucination – her favorite television character walking through her life and telling her how badly she was handling it.
3. What genre does your book fall under?
4 . What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
This one, I haven’t got much for. There is a severe lack of actresses who look like Leah – short, somewhat plump, with a mess of auburn curls. Doug, Leah’s love interest would definitely be Michael Shanks. Carter would be Ben Browder. Callie, Leah’s best friend, was created as an amalgam of my two best friends in real life, Joy and Allegra, and my best online friend, Pip. Appearance-wise, I’d probably cast Warehouse 13’s Allison Scagliotti.
5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Previously content to be a housewife, Leah Marinillo navigates a divorce, a new apartment, a new job, new friends and sexual tension with her new boss, all while taking orders from her favorite television character, Carter, who appears to her after a traumatic experience to set her life straight.
SUCH a run-on, but I’ll take it.
6. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
I intend to attempt the traditional publishing route first. If not, wherever the wind takes me. The wind will likely take me to self-publishing, in that event.
7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
I’m still writing it, although admittedly, so far it has been a massive jumble of scenes without any structure. I am just starting to organize it into chapters and see what I have missing (since I write out of order).
8. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
I think this book can compare well with any romantic novel that doesn’t take itself too seriously, and any story about a woman finding her place in the world. There’s a lot of that out there in the world, but I’m hoping my little Carter-shaped twist makes this one unique.
9. Who or what inspired you to write this book?
I think this is accurately answered in number 2.
10. What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?
I’m hoping that this book will accomplish my mission of sending the reader on all of the emotional ups and downs of starting life anew. By Chapter 4, Leah is embarking on a new life and has no idea what to do with it – and even when she gets it, she’s got a bunch of kinks to work out. Even Carter isn’t always the great fount of wisdom she thinks he should be.
Okay, that’s the project I have just started working on. Please pop on back in two weeks when I discuss why time is always on your side. Until then, Happy Valentine’s Day!