Friday 23 November 2012

The Next Big Thing

I've been tagged by the gorgeous Heidi Rice has tagged me to join in with THE NEXT BIG THING, a series of questions on my next book. So here's the skinny:

What is the title of your book?
Kiss Me Under The Mistletoe

How did you come by the idea?
I was fascinated by the idea of a WAG (short for Wives And Girlfriends, normally applied to partners of famous men). In this age of unprecedented opportunity for women, why would she decide to define herself by her husband. And what would she do if she wasn’t married to him any more and lost that key piece to her identity?

What genre does your book fall under?
Romance/Women’s Fiction

Which actors would you choose to play your characters if it were a movie?
Ooh, interesting! Maybe Jennifer Connelly as Louise and Hugh Jackman as Ben.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
A WAG leaves her celebrity life – and her cheating husband – behind and seeks to build a new life for herself in a crumbling deserted mansion in the country.

Will your book be self-published or traditional?
Traditionally published.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
Hmm. Not sure. This was an ‘elongation’ of an earlier book (think, the 12” compared to the 7”). I think the earlier version (60k words) probably took about 4 months, but I added another 30k words in four weeks!

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Liz Fenwick’s The Cornish House took a similar theme – woman on her own moving to a new place, and a very special old house, rebuilding her life and finding love again – but our styles are quite different.

Who or What inspired you to write this book?
The idea of my WAG character, Louise, but also the location. When I was a teenager my father owned a boat that he moored near Dittisham, up the River Dart, in Devon. If we ever took the boat out to sea, or went down river, just for a few seconds we’d catch a glimpse of a marvellous old white mansion on the hill, half hidden by trees. I used to wonder who lived there and what it was like inside.
Years later I was very excited to discover the name of the house was Greenway and had once been owned by the famous crime writer Agatha Christie. And there, the idea for the story of a haunting old house on the riverside, once lived in by a famous woman, was born – although in my version, the former owner was a movie star and not a writer.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
My heroine carries the scars of being a child carer for her ailing father, and the guilt she feels after his death has brought her to where she is now. Even with the seemingly ‘perfect’ husband and the life everyone dreams of, she hasn’t been able to be happy.

And I tag the following people to take up the baton and talk about The Next Big Thing:
Liz Fenwick
Jessica Hart
Nina Harrington
and brand-new author Jennifer Faye, who'll be giving her answers HERE next week!

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