Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Next Big Thing

Wait!! This is not SPAM!  I really am blogging.  With the New Year I am intending to dust off my space here and get back at things.  I have now finished painting the entire first floor of my house and can once again use my *cough* spare time to write more.

To push me towards this goal, I was tagged for participation in The Next Big Thing by the author of THE PATIENCE TRILOGY- Courage in Patience, Hope in Patience, and Truth in Patience, Beth Fehlbaum. THE PATIENCE TRILOGY is currently on submission to several publishers and she's been working on her 4th book,B.F.D. (Big Fat Disaster).  To learn more about her newest writing adventure check out her blog at 

My friend, Beth Fehlbaum, is an inspiration to me as we have both risen from childhood trauma only to inspire and teach as well as write.  I am honored and strengthened by Beth and the voice she gives to survivors.

Enough of the seriousness.  Let's get on with the fun of The Next Big Thing...

What is the working title of your next book?  It was By the Grace of God originally, but I have since changed it to Gracie's Gift

Where did the idea come from for the book?  Wow.  Well, we were doing a character sketch in one of my classes and all of a sudden I had to step away from what everyone else was saying so I could write down my own character sketch.  Gracie and Kaitlin were so loud and forceful, wanting their stories told.  It was pretty freaky.

What genre does your book fall under? Young Adult Contemporary (Realistic) Fiction. 

What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?   For Gracie, I think I would have the actress who played Minny from The Help, Octavia Spencer.  I'm not sure who would play Kaitlin... she's only about 17 through the bulk of the book.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? Kaitlin was abandoned as a young child and raised by Gracie.  After 13 years, her birth mother returns to explain herself, however NOTHING is what the artistic Kaitlin imagined.  

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency? 
I have no clue.  I don't know the first thing about the publishing end of things.  I have to finish the book first.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript? Still writing... 2 years now, with a divorce in the middle that slowed things down a LOT!

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? Oh goodness, I really couldn't say.  Maybe... something like The Skin I'm In by Sharon Flake

Who or what inspired you to write this book? Well, the book forced itself on me sort of and then one of my students inspired the development of the story.  Anger drove so many of her decisions in school and it wasn't until almost the end of the year that I found out why she was so angry.  I was astonished by her story and it fueled my novel.

What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest? I am writing the book attempting to use African American dialect for some of the key characters.  This is challenging me.  I am also scared to finish the book because of the stark examples of racism.  It hurts me to write some of these things.

Check out all of the following author-friends of mine and encourage them to participate in THE NEXT BIG THING on January 2nd! 

Nova Lovette: A dear friend who I don't get to spend enough time writing with or talking writing with.  Check out her work at  

Trish Stewart, author of  Taking Lessons From Ernest, released in 2011.  She has pushed me to "just get it written" and then go back and fix it.  This is easier said than done.

Megan Messina Bostic who wrote Never Eighteen, a wonderful novel that follows a young man's journey to make life right before he dies.  She has inspired me more than she could know, as I "found" her through a mutual friend at a critical turning point in my life.  

I am supposed to have two more authors to feature on here, but would rather go with quality than quantity during this busy busy time of year.  Have a great 2013 and do 2012 out right!!!