Friday, 23 November 2012

The Next Big Thing

Last week, fellow American transplant (such an unlovely term for such a lovely person!) Teresa Flavin, author of the Blackhope Enigma trilogy, tagged me in the series "The Next Big Thing," which started with Lari Don's blog and involves "tagging" five fellow UK based children's writers and having them answer questions about their latest work in progress. I met Teresa at the Edinburgh International Book Festival this summer, and am delighted to take part.


I have been unable to find five writers to tag. Writers I contacted had already been tagged or weren't bloggers, or didn't feel comfortable writing about their latest WIP.

So, I have broken the chain--and we all know what that means! Fortunately, I broke every chain letter I ever received as a child and didn't suffer any adverse effects (despite all the warnings about "BREAKING THE CHAIN!!"). Hopefully, I've built up some chain-breaking hex immunity.

I'm also going to be a little tongue in cheek about my answers to most of the questions. Due to the closing of the Frances Lincoln children's fiction list, I have a novel that is on submission at the moment and the "next big thing" that I'm writing about today hasn't been seen by my agent yet!

What is the working title of your latest book?

That School Thingy

Where did the idea for the story come from?

I've always thought of schools as evil places.

What genre does your book fall under?

A MG (11+) mystery.

What actors would you choose to cast in a movie version of your book?

Can't decide between Rufus Sewell or Javier Bardem for the male lead (OK, if Teresa wants Javier, I'll graciously accept Rufus). Adult female characters? Helen McCrory, Frances Barber, Jodie Whittaker. Most of the parts would be played by children, though...

What is the one sentence synopsis of your book? 

A lonely girl discovers the horrifying truth about Javier Bardem (or Rufus Sewell) and other stuff. (How's that for an amazing pitch?)  

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

The idea for this story has taken several was actually a screenplay at one time, with the focus on the adult characters. This draft has taken about 6 months, but a lot of the basic planning had been done before. My first draft of At Yellow Lake took over 2 years!

Will your book be self-published or are you represented by an agent? 

I am very lucky to be represented by Sallyanne Sweeney at Watson, Little.

Again, thanks to Teresa and all the other writers who have taken part. Hopefully, I'll be able to include clearer details on this (and other) work in the near future.

In the meantime....Javier, if you're reading this, I'm more than happy to write in a part for Penelope, too!

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