Work-In-Progress Blog Hop – What’s Your Next Big Thing?

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I would like to thank Celia Kennedy for tagging me in this blog hop: What’s Your Next Big Thing?

I had the pleasure of working with Celia recently on the chick lit short story anthology Fools Rush In and she was just a joy to work with. I am very much indebted to her for all she did to make the anthology a reality. I feel lucky to have been included in the book alongside experienced and talented writers such as Celia. Her story was, incidentally, a total page turner of serious swoon-worthy proportions.

Celia is working on book three in her Accidental Series: Marian’s Misguided, The Accidental Roadie. Sarcastic, witty, and up-for-anything Irish lawyer Marian Conolly is ready for the next chapter of her life to begin. Like the rest of the series, this book promises to deliver love, laughs, travel, and a some exploration of life’s harder moments as well. Celia offers this tagline tease: “She’s bold, brash, and brazen, and taking to the open road to find out which path to take.” I can’t wait to see what develops for Marian!

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Now, here are Celia’s questions for me:


What is your working title of your book (or story)?

I’m working on the first book of a novella series. The whole series is called Where Is Asher Stone? (for reasons that should become clear as you read on). The first novella is tentatively (sub?) titled The Gentleman Vanishes.

Where did the idea come from for these books?

It’s been evolving for the past year or so. I somehow stumbled onto this video of Bridget Jones interviewing Colin Firth (I think for the second Bridget Jones movie, but it wasn’t included in the end). Which was hilarious and kind of went along with some things I’d read about him being–while certainly grateful for the fans’ support–a little tired of everyone being so focused on his role as Mr. Darcy and little else. That got me thinking about what it must be like to be an actor and be loved but have the public sort of take ownership of you in a way. To have them see you how they want to see you, not how you’d like to be seen or how you actually are.

What genre do your books fall under?

Generally chick lit or romantic comedy, I guess. Though I’ve got a Veronica Mars tie-in novella (done on the Kindle Worlds platform). That’s certainly not chick lit, though I’d argue it’s chick-lit adjacent.

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

I’ve got a pretty clear picture of Asher in my head, but that image comes from someone I knew in college, not a famous actor. Margaret, my female lead, is still a little hazy for me. But I’d rather not try to cast them. I’m really just starting the project and I don’t want the want to inhibit their development as characters with any preconceived notions.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Tired of fame and feeling under-appreciated, movie star Asher Stone runs off for the evening for a much-needed escape and ends up in a quaint New England town where he meets a therapist who wants to help him.

Yeah. I know. It needs work.

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

They’ll be self-published as ebooks. The short format—each novella will be somewhere around 15,000-20,000 words—really lends itself to ebooks, I think.

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

I’ll let you know once I’m done. 😉 I estimate it will take a few months. I’m also working simultaneously on a short story that will be part of a summer anthology put together with other authors. My story will be a prequel to the novella series, actually.

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

I’m more comfortable comparing my work to TV, I think. Not only because my background is in script writing but because, structurally, these stories will very much like individual television episodes (see below..). This project, and probably most of what I do, falls into the female-skewing dramedy category, I suppose. Hart of Dixie, maybe, or Gilmore Girls, but with much less clever dialogue.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

I began writing with a focus on scripts. I was a drama major in school and then I went on to a graduate program in screen and television writing. I always loved TV in particular, the way a series could explore characters and relationships in depth and over time.

So, really, what I want to do with this series is create a sort of fiction version of a TV series. Each novella will be an “episode” in the series, containing its own smaller story and also giving you a piece of the longer story arc. Of course it will be significantly shorter series than your standard 20-plus-episode-a-year show, but the idea’s basically the same.

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Thank you so much for inviting me, Celia!

Now it’s my turn! After another recent blog hop, I’m low on people I haven’t just recently tagged or who weren’t already tagged in the same blog hop by someone else, so I’m afraid I only have three to offer, but they’re good ones! I tag Katherine Hauswirth, Julia Park Tracey, and Selena Robins.

All you need to do is answer the same questions I did, add a link to my blog, and nominate five writers you know!

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