Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Beach Tale: “The Next Big Thing” Blog Hop

Curious what writer’s are working on?  So am I.  Hence the beauty of “The Next Big Thing” Blog Hop.  How this works is, I answer 10 questions about my current WIP (that’s writerly talk for Work In Process) and then link to 5 more writer friends who are working on something new.  You can click on their links to learn about them.  It’s a great way to be introduced to some new authors. 
A big thanks to Shelia Lowe for inviting me to participate. Please visit her blog, featuring her Claudia Rose forensic handwriting series and her latest book, Last Writes:  http://www.claudiaroseseries.com/SheilaLoweMysteries/node/16
Now, here are my Next Big Thing Blog Hop Q&As:
What is the working title of your book?
Blond Faith, the second in the BLONDS AT THE BEACH series (the first, of course, being The Blond Leading the Blond.) 

Where did the idea come from for the book?
I always start my mysteries with a dead body.  Then I go about figuring out the reasons the person was killed and eventually that leads me—I mean my amateur sleuths—to the killer.   But that usually involves them tripping over a few more dead bodies along the way.  As they say, writing is MUCH cheaper than therapy.  J   
What genre does your book fall under?
My books are defined as “cozy mysteries”.  Many people are confused as to what that means.  According to Webster’s:

Mystery: a piece of fiction dealing usu. with the solution of a mysterious crime. 
Cozy:  Enjoying or affording warmth and ease.  Snug.

          So a cozy mystery combines both elements and makes for a light, quick often humorous read. 
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
The role of Samantha “Sam” Greene was written specifically with Kristin Chenoweth in mind.  Seriously, I had her 8x10 glossy stapled to my plotting board (think: Science Fair Project board.)  I would love nothing more than to see her star in the movie.  (Anybody know how my people can get in touch with her people to discuss the possibility of this?)
The role of Ellery Tinsdale, on account of her height, might be best cast with Gena Davis.  If height weren’t an issue, than I believe either Ellen DeGeneres or Bonnie Hunt have the comedic chops to pull off this character.    
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
With 31,536,000 seconds in a year, what are the odds that the one minute Ellery Tinsdale and Samantha “Sam” Greene choose to break into the confidential files at the church would be the same moment Reverend John Thomas Hammersmith is brutally murdered while eating lunch at his desk?  But becoming suspect #1 is Ellery’s luck since moving to the lakeside resort founded by her distant relative, and the “luck” continues as she and Sam stumble across even more bodies.  (Yes, I am a degreed accountant and yes I can count…I realize that’s two sentences…but if I’d thrown it all into one, the grammar police would be all over me for having a run-on sentence.  Some days a writer just can’t win…)
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
So far it’s unagented.  I’m waiting for an answer from the publisher of the first book, Thomas & Mercer, but after that I’ll be snapping on my spurs and hitting the query trail. 
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
I belonged to a group called Coronado Rebel Writers in Coronado, California and they required me to turn in pages on a regular basis!  So the first draft was done within a year, then it took two more years (not solid writing, there were a lot of diversions) to whip it into the shape it’s in now.  I know mothers aren’t supposed to have favorites, but my literary baby, Blond Faith, is ever-so-slightly favored over its older sister, The Blond Leading the Blond.
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
I have had my books compared to Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series, which is high praise indeed!  I think it can also be comfortably shelved with Mary Dahiem’s B&B mysteries and Lillian Jackson Bruan’s Cat Who…mysteries. 
Who or What inspired you to write this book?
Ellery Tinsdale (a third-grade school teacher) and Samantha “Sam” Greene (a small-town socialite) were still dancing around in my head, begging me to let them loose on another amateur sleuthing adventure.  And they didn’t stop there!  Now they are pestering me to get back to work on book three in the series, Blond Justice. 
What else about your book might pique the reader's interest?
It’s summertime at the lakeside resort of Braddocks Beach, Ohio, so these books are perfect for anyone needing a virtual vacation.   It’s also good for what ails ya, as laughter is the best medicine. 

Now be sure and stop by these blogs to see what these great writers are up to:

Live now-- Sofie Couch:  http://www.sofiecouch.blogspot.com
Live by December 1st--
     Sandra Brown Rarey: http://sandrabrownrarey.wordpress.com/

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