Thursday, August 29, 2013

The Next Big Thing Blog Tour

So excited to share in The Next Big Thing blog tour.

TNBT Blog Tour is a series of questions for authors to talk about what they have in the works. Thank you Kathryn Rose for tagging me! I had so much fun with this.  You can see which awesome writers I'm tagging at the end of my post.

What is the title of you book?


Where did the idea come from for the book?

TPofA is definitely a mash-up of a lot of ideas. I'd wanted to write a story about a shy girl who was thrust into the spotlight after saving a local celebrity's life.  It was one of those ideas that burrowed into my brain while I worked on other things. I'd fool around with it every so often, but I'd never get very far.

Then we moved. While researching my current area, I was alarmed to find that home invasion was the biggest part of the crime pie. So even though I loved the idea of a sprawling, green suburbia after being a city gal for so long, the home invasion statistic bothered me. I asked the realtor about it and she explained that while yes it was alarming (indeed!!) the break-ins usually weren't random - more like a rash of crimes. She then went on to describe a crime spree involving a group of teens who would scope out shopping centers, take garage door openers from cars, get the address off the registration and then go to the target's house while they were still out shopping.  I thought three things after hearing that:

1) I was not going to leave my garage door opener in my car.
2) That was a pretty thought out (well, sort of) crime.
3) That would make a great story.

But - it was nothing I could see myself writing.  When the time came to work on something new the idea kept stalking me. I ran a rough outline by my agent and she told me to go for it and offered some suggestions. I took Wren's story, changed the 'local celebrity' to 'former thief' and put a different spin on a break-in and it fell into place.

In what genre does your book fall?

Young Adult Contemporary Romance

What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in the movie rendition?

Fun question, but tricky since one of the most magical things about books is that the reader gets to decide what a character looks like.  I'm not sure I have a good idea of who I would cast - that said I definitely had certain types in mind as I was writing.

Wren - I imagined Wren as someone quietly pretty - a person you might not notice at first, but once you take a closer look and get to know her, you can't help but be drawn to her. She feels more comfortable in jeans than a prom dress but can pull off both looks and totally be a knockout.  Saorsie Ronan is pretty close to the way I imagined Wren.

Grayson - I thought of Gray as hot but quirky.  A guy who could look slightly dangerous but someone who doesn't take himself too seriously.  Tyson Ritter circa the "Move Along" video is sort of the Grayson in my mind.

What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?

Girl saves boy, boy pukes on girl's shoes, after a series of complicated events they realize they are perfect for each other?  Confession: I hate one sentence elevator pitches. As I said to a writer pal recently - If I were ever pitching you a story in an elevator, I'd end up following you out the door, down the hall and onto your destination and even then wouldn't be able to describe it sufficiently.

It's also a story about finding your place in your family and in a bigger sense, the world.

Who is publishing your book?

TPofA will be released on December 31st, 2013 by Balzer +Bray/HarperCollins.  I will never forget the moment my agent called and told me that Donna Bray loved my book.  Outwardly I kept my cool, inwardly I was... OEMGEEEEEEDONNABRAYLOVESMYBOOK.  I am so grateful to be working with such an innovative and awesome imprint. It's really a dream come true.

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

Six months.

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

I've had some crit partners tell me TPofA reminded them of Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles which is supremely flattering.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

A guidance counselor did say "None of you are going to Harvard" to my honors lit class.  I always thought that was an odd way to inspire someone to action but I guess in a roundabout way it did inspire me to write this story!  So maybe I should thank her.

I also liked the idea of a love interest being someone who is far from perfect.  Grayson started out as a character in another book I'd been writing and when I shelved that - I took him along with me.  He's definitely not the boy next door.

Oh, and I wanted to write a kissing scene in a dressing room!

What else about the book might pique the reader's interest?

The place where Wren and Grayson work, The Camelot Inn, is loosely based on a catering hall I worked at during college.  It was one of those jobs that was fun and horrible at the same time!!  Lots and lots of characters.

And now for the tagging!!  Meet these awesome writers and hear about their Next Big Thing:
Susan Adrian
Ariel Zeitlin Cooke