Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Next Big Thing

I've been tagged by Vijaya to spill about my WIP. I'm actually pretty excited about this book and I like questionnaire/interview type stuff, so I'm happy to play.

What is the working title of your book?

Where did the idea come from?
A newspaper article about how to legally steal real estate.

What genre does your book fall under?
Upper MG contemporary mystery.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
I absolutely haven't the foggiest. I don't know enough actors to be able to choose. My guess is that the kids would be played by newcomers and the adults might be played by more established actors. Funny thing: My daughter-in-law is an actress, but this story wouldn't really have a role for her.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
When Candy, age twelve, reacts to her discovery that her mother stole their house, she unwittingly lures a murderer out of hiding.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
I'm going for an agent and traditional publication.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
This is another toughie. I started the book so long ago; in 2003-04 if I remember right. Then I stopped writing it and wrote 1.5 others and published yet another in between. And I probably threw away more than half of what I wrote in that first stint. I'm going to say my overall total time on the first draft is 18 months.

May we see an intro?
Two summers have passed since the forgotten man--homeless, harmless, younger than his scraggly gray looks suggested--was murdered on a humid night in a small woods.

What books in your genre would you compare this story to?
Oh, I am horrible at this. In fact, I recently took a stab at this with a friend and she said, no, I don't write like any of those people. All I can say is that someone who likes "smart MG mysteries" would like this. Don't anybody quote me, but how about "The Penderwicks meets Elise Broach"? Y'know, I really am not comfortable with the comparison stuff.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?
I just couldn't let that great newspaper article get away. Plus, I've done mysteries before and adored mysteries as a kid.

What else about your book might pique the reader's interest?
I actually see it as kind of a "big book." Large cast. Large homestead. Three POVs. 60,000 words.

Let's see: five people who might like to play. I know lots of people have already, and I don't remember who did or didn't, but here goes.

Mirka Breen
Joyce Moyer Hostetter
Ruth Donnelly
Ruth Schiffman
Barbara Watson

 Rules of The Next Big Thing:

*Use this format for your post
*Answer the ten questions about your current WIP (work in progress)
*Tag five other writers/bloggers and add their links so we can hop over and meet them.

Ten Interview Questions for the Next Big Thing:

What is your working title of your book?
Where did the idea come from for the book?
What genre does your book fall under?
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
May we see an intro?
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
What else about your book might pique the reader's interest?


Vijaya said...

Marcia, your one sentence summary is brilliant ... I also adore a smart mystery. Hate the comparison thing too (because I'm not good enough yet) but I think of it as something to shoot for.

I can see why you are a good writer, but a bad XXX. Write on!

Jaye Robin Brown said...

Oooh, this sounds good!

Marcia said...

Vijaya -- When I was a young thing reading The Writer before it became a slick mag, I know most of those authors whose essays I gobbled up would have been APPALLED at having to analyze who they wrote like. They just wrote their books and let other people figure that stuff out. Sometimes it just feels like contemporary navel-gazing has invaded this industry, too.

Oh, and thanks for XXXing out what I'm being bad about. :D

Jaye -- Thanks!

Bish Denham said...

This sounds like a good one, Marcia. The opening draws you right in. It's a mystery to me how a mystery is written.

Faith E. Hough said...

Ooh, I love MG mysteries, and this sounds great. I can't wait to read it!
And, yes! I hate comparing my books to others'! Whenever an agent asks for a comparison I have to grit my teeth and spit something out...

Barbara Watson said...

I love hearing about other writers' stories!

And thanks for tagging me. I was invited to participate by someone else, but...I don't like to spill too much about own stories. I hold my cards close to my chest, I guess. :-)

Mirka Breen said...

I *love* that you tagged me, Marcia. But I’m one of those funny ones who just can’t speak of a WIP while it’s still very much on the kettle. (Once it’s boiling you can’t shut me up…) So I have to regretfully pass. I’m at a tender stage where I’m almost done with the bare-bones first draft. That’s about all I’m comfortable putting out.
I love those Penderwicks meeting Elise Broach- yes, this is almost a quotation- (sorry) and like Vijaya- it’s just what I like to read.

Anonymous said...

I love mysteries and your synopsis is intriguing.

Marcia said...

Bish -- A mystery is kind of written backwards, in that you usually know whodunit first. But I think mysteries benefit a lot from revision, which is my favorite stage. You can work back and forth and plant things.

Faith -- I think I'll say "readers who like ____ and ___ might like this." Just seems a better way to try to state it.

Barbara and Mirka -- I totally get that. I declined to participate in a meme that wanted you to post a significant portion (I thought, anyway) of the work. And I would not want to try to discuss a WIP that was in very early stages.

Medeia -- Thanks!

Emily R. King said...

Oooh, nice one-sentence synopsis. I'm hooked!

Kristen Lippert-Martin said...

That books sounds absolutely cool. I'm glad you shared some of it online.

(*calling all agents who might be trawling the blogosphere for promisng projects -- get here quick*)

Marcia said...

Emily -- Great! :)

Kristen -- Aw, thanks for your last line. :)

Joyce Moyer Hostetter said...

Glad I'm not the only one who knows next to nothing about actors and actresses!

Your mystery is truly intriguing. Love the intro.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I love this meme, and this sounds like a great premise. It's amazing what we can come up with when hit by a spark of an idea. :D

Janet Johnson said...

Wow, your book sounds awesome! Rooting for you so I can read it soon. :)

Marcia said...

Joyce -- Yeah, I read books; for the most part don't watch movies, and am really behind on any current ones. Glad you like the intro!

Stina -- One of the things that keeps me going in this business is that my ability with concepts and premises seems to be getting sharper. One of these days! :)

Janet -- Thanks, and congrats again on your new agent!

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

Thanks for sharing your WIP with us, Marcia! I love that you got the idea from the newspaper.

Anonymous said...

I love this. Great idea and great details.

Jill (new to your blog)

Peggy Eddleman said...

I LOVE your one sentence summary! It sounds fabulous!

Christina Farley said...

What a fun review of your book. I love seeing your story organized this way.

Marcia said...

Sharon -- I've had pretty good luck with the newspaper, overall. :)

Jill -- Thanks, and glad you came! :)

Peggy -- Thank you! I have to admit, it excites me. :)

Christina -- Organized -- yes! Often, memes are more than just fun. They're another way of getting us to see what works and what doesn't.

Rena and Denny said...

Sounds like a great book, Marcia. :)

Scribbles From Jenn said...

Great tease! AWESOME one sentence synopsis. I'm trying to do that for my W.I.P.

Marcia said...

Rena (and Denny) -- Thank you!

Jenn -- I have to admit I'm pleased with the one-sentence pitch. I think it's the best one I've ever done. I know just how my critique partner feels; she said, of her WIP's first sentence, "That's the best first sentence I've ever written." And it is!

Angela Ackerman said...

Great concept! What a wonderful tight spot to put the MC into, her mom stealing the house! And it makes me ask lots of questions too, wondering about the murderers and how they tie in. ;)


Susan Fields said...

Sounds like a great book! I'm writing my first mystery right now and loving it!

Marcia said...

Angela -- Thanks; glad the idea attracts you. :)

Susan -- Happy you're loving that mystery!

Janet Smart said...

Good luck with your WIP. It sounds like it's going to be a good one.