September 19, 2012

Week 14: The Next Big Thing & ROW80 Update

Today I’m participating in The Next Big Thing blog hop. Thanks so much to Sandi Tuttle for tagging me. Below, I will answer ten questions about my current WIP (Work in Progress) and feature five other bloggers who have recently done the same.

The original rules suggested tagging 5 new authors to answer the questions. I know this is a busy time of year for writers (I, for one, am just starting to get back on my feet after a crazy summer!), so I’m bending the rules. If you’d like to participate, please consider yourself tagged and feel free to link back to my post.

Without further ado…

Ten Interview Questions for The Next Big Thing

What is the working title of your book?

Mom and I have gone round and round about the working title of our follow-up to our award-winning Depression Cookies. We’ve considered Bourbon Blues, Bourbon Haze, Straight Up, and several others. We still haven’t decided. We want to keep with a two-word title to tie into Depression Cookies. The new book will follow Krista, now 18 and heading off to college, and Abby through their continued mother-daughter journey. It will again feature two distinct perspectives, with my mom writing Abby while I write Krista.

Where did the idea come from for the book?  

So many people connected with our first novel and wanted to know more about the Simmons family. The first novel centered on Krista and the teenage years, the first time a kid pulls away and tries to find his/her own identity. The next logical step was to follow Krista to college and see how she and Abby dealt with the separation. Plus, it opens up a whole new world to Krista… that first baby steps into being an adult. Did you notice the mention of alcohol in possible title names above? Let’s just say both Abby and Krista lose their way for a bit.

What genre does your book fall under?

Women’s fiction. I love books that explore women and their relationships, particularly with each other. Sometimes we can be our own worst enemies, but for the most part, I don’t know what I would do without the women in my life. I’m sure I’m a bit biased since I have a wonderful relationship with my mom, two amazing sisters, and three beautiful daughters (plus amazing friends).  

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

I covered this in an earlier post: Oprah Winfrey and Roger Ebert: Dreaming About Depression Cookies. A quick recap from that post:

Topping my list, Diane Lane would play Abby, the mother and heart of the story. Diane Lane has grace, beauty, and an amazing emotional range.

I would want Elizabeth Olsen (after she dyed her hair darker) or Lily Collins (from Mirror Mirror) to play the part of Krista, the teenager. I would have loved Jennifer Lawrence of Hunger Games fame, but I bet she’s a bit too busy. The part requires spunk and vulnerability.

The “mean girls” in the book could be played by Ali Lohan, Lindsay Lohan’s sister (since Lindsay is a bit too aged, not by years but by lifestyle), and Anna Kendrick (Bella’s friend, Jessica, in Twilight). Both could embody the “pretty on the outside” teenagers who make Krista’s life so miserable.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Two distinct voices, two stories interwoven within the walls of family and love.

I’m using this one from our Depression Cookies back cover, because it really does speak to this book as well.

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

We will explore all our options. We know the value of self-publishing and doing things our way, especially now that we can apply all we learned from publishing Depression Cookies. But, we will query agents and look into small presses as well.

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

Still writing. Depression Cookies took us ten years from idea spark to publication. We are more than a third of the way through this book (almost halfway done!), and we are ramping up our writing efforts after a crazy summer. We are hoping to have the second book out several months before Mother’s Day 2013.

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

I’ve always compared Depression Cookies to Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume, except with the addition of the mom’s point of view. The same could hold true for this piece, but on an older level.

Women’s fiction is one of my favorite genres to read, but it’s also one of the most varied. What I really love is a story rich in female characters that allows me to feel the emotional results of their actions, including: love, pain, loss, strength, courage, joy, and sadness.

Who or What inspired you to write this book?

I am one of three daughters and now have three daughters of my own. I have a vested interest in exploring the mother-daughter dynamic, as well as female relationships in general. But at the end of the day, my mother inspires me to write. Always has.

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

Mom and I both know the way to get through the trials and tribulations of life is to inject humor. It’s something we’ve always done as a family, and a very important part of our writing. Sometimes the best thing to do when you feel like crying is have a good laugh followed by a hug.

We love the idea of mothers and daughters reading this book, and Depression Cookies, together in the hopes of opening up a dialogue about our choices and feelings. But beyond that, we hope all women will read it and embrace the female relationships in their life.


Please visit the following authors and find out about their next big thing.

Sandi Tuttle – An Average Woman in a SuperWoman World
Jo Michaels
Bridgette O’Hare – Random Writes of Passage
Crystal Lee ~ Author
Beth Jones – The Hungry Freelancer
Even if you don’t have time to answer all ten questions, I’d love to hear your one sentence synopsis of your Next Big Thing. Feel free to leave it in the comments section below.


A quick A Round of Words in 80 Days(ROW80) Update

Man, this round went fast! I’m finally finding my footing after a whirlwind summer followed by a manic few weeks of catch up. Writing progress: 762 words in two days. I’m back! (On second thought, maybe I’ll whisper that to make sure I don’t tempt the evil word-stealing gremlins to come back.)

Finally made a breakthrough on an editing project, and I’m excited to talk to the author about it. Reading and blogging are back on track.

I’m looking forward to starting a new round on October 1 with some fresh goals and new determination.


Cherie Reich said...

Depression Cookies sounds like a great book! It was fun learning more about it!

Good luck with your ROW80 goals!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Glad your mom has played such a pivotal role in helping you write. Keeping with a two-word title to match the first is a good idea.

Julie Glover said...

So glad you're getting back into the groove! I loved reading about your WIP.

alberta ross said...

great interview - your family sound good fun - look foward to the next round all of us full of sparkling new goals or polished up olden keep smiling:)

Unknown said...

Sound like everything is going really well. Keep up the good work, and I'll see you next round!

Jo Michaels said...

SWEET!! I'm planning on grabbing the first one for Christmas :) I'm glad to see you writing. WRITE ON!

Tia Bach said...

Thanks for all your lovely comments! Truly!