Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Next Big Thing Blog Hop

We interrupt our usual programming to bring you a special broadcast: my part in The Next Big Thing Blog Hop. This is an opportunity for writers/bloggers to promote the work of others in the same field, as well as their own work. My task today is to answer the following questions in relation to my latest work. Although I currently have several other projects under way, my novel Maybe they’ll remember me is still a baby in my eyes, so I will focus on that. I hope you enjoy the experience: 

What is the working title of your book?

Well, I hope it’s working! It works for me anyway. When I was trying to come up with a title, this line, spoken by one of the central characters, leaped out at me.

Where did the idea come from for the book?

Hmmm, how do I begin to answer this? Some of the ideas in this story have been hanging around in my head for as long as 35 years. However, these ideas lacked a single, unifying idea to bring them together. I began writing this book at the beginning of this year, and it just wasn’t working. Then suddenly I had the idea, which was to tell the story by focusing on the previous generation.  

What genre does your book fall under?

Another tricky question, but one which people always want answered – it is this tendency we human beings have to want “to give names to all the animals”. By other people this novel has been described as a romance and as a family saga. It is not quite either. I toyed with the idea of “literary fiction”, but what the hell does that mean? How about this: a real life drama.

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

I am not sure how well-known some of these actors are outside the UK (or Australia). Some Googling may be required to identify some of them. Oh, and I see this more as a BBC miniseries than a Hollywood blockbuster.
·         Gregory (present day) – Anthony la Paglia, to give him an Australian voice.
·         Maggie (in the forties and fifties) – tough role: Jessica Raine perhaps?.
·         Harold (in the forties and fifties) – I say, give Daniel Radcliffe a chance.
·         Kate (in the forties and fifties) – her physical appearance is probably more important than for the others. Rachelle Hurd-Wood?
·         Kate (present day) – who else but Judi Dench?

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

If you try to possess a butterfly, you end up with a dead thing under glass, pinned to a board. (A little too esoteric? I think you’ll get it when you read the book.)

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

It is already published, by this here particular self.

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

About a month, once the characters finally figured out who they were and where they wanted to go.

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

This book is, of course, unique and incomparable. But, although I haven’t read any of her books, some of the novels of Denise Robertson sound as though they may have a similar setting and similar themes. I like to think there are hints of D. H. Lawrence here also, although without (hopefully) quite so much self-indulgent introspection. Perhaps, also, there is a little of East of Eden, although I don’t claim to be on a par with Steinbeck.

Who or What inspired you to write this book?

The simplest answer to this is that the writer’s whose books I have loved, and the people I have met during my lifetime, inspired me to write this. I am inspired by the beautiful use of words, and by the complexities of human life.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

My sincere wish is that as they are reading this book, people will feel that they are meeting real people dealing with real life issues. I hope that they will see a little of themselves and the people around them in these characters. These are not people living lives far removed from our own: they are not spies or action heroes. They are you and I, our parents, our brothers and sisters, and our friends.


The next writer/blogger to participate in the Hop on December 5 is Gil Schmidt, author of Enter the Phenomenologists: I invite you to visit his site today, and again next week.

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