The Next Big Thing

Recently I was tagged by another author as an up and coming ‘next big thing’, an accolade I felt honoured to have had bestowed upon me and one I accepted with grateful thanks.

The Next Big Thing, is a blog project where authors answer a series of set questions and then go on to nominate five other authors who they believe will achieve measured success and go on to great things.

So, as I have been nominated I feel I must therefore undertake to answer the questions and then nominate the authors I feel deserve to be successful. My chosen authors below include writers of different genres and an extremely talented playwright.

Rachael Halliwell Brilliant playwright and creator of the critically acclaimed one-woman show, Deidre and Me. You can read my review, The Reluctant Drama Queen, here on my blog or at the Different Scene website

Jan Edwards  Fantasy novelist and prolific short story writer. Author of the excellent Sex, Lies and Family Ties, written under the pseudonym of Sarah J Graham.

Misha Herwin  Writer of fiction for children and young adult’s and author of Dragonfire. An accomplished creator of words and imagery making her stories leap out from the page.

EDITED 13.05.2013

Helen Saker-Parsons A writer for whom history brings forth inspiration. Blending fact with fiction, Helen creates evocative and though provoking masterpieces.

And so, onto the questions:

1. What is the working title of your next book? I have a couple of non-fiction features that I’ve had commissioned at the moment that need my immediate attention in the New Year, however the book I am working on is called ’52’. A story about a Potteries born woman living with cancer and a prognosis/life expectancy of just twelve-months. More information can be found on this site.

2. Where did your idea come from? The idea came from a short monologue that I had written and as I had already had a nice fictional group of characters I’d written for the stage, it seemed a good idea to merge the two. I quite fancied the idea of writing it as 52 chapters, each one counting down the year in weekly chunks.

3. What genre does your book fall under? Hard to believe with the subject matter but it would sit easily in mainstream comedy or more selective female comedy. This said it is definitely not a book aimed solely at a female audience; laughter is good for everyone regardless of gender.

4. What actors would you choose to play the parts of your characters in a movie rendition of your book? Ooh that’s a hard one, because the lead character is a strong Northern woman with a comedic bent it would have to be a versatile actress, maybe if sufficiently aged-up someone like Gaynor Faye. Personally I’d love her to be played by someone like Hazel O’Connor, but sadly she’d need ageing up too. Maybe Dame Judi Dench could be persuaded. Len would have to be Hugh Bonneville and their son Victor would be a great vehicle for David Tennant. The only stipulation I’d demand would be an ability to speak with a Potteries accent. So get practising those flat vowels.

5. What is the one sentence synopsis of your book? Bugger, one year, fifty-two weeks, I’d better make the most of it.

6. Will your book be self-published or represented through an agency? I’d like to think the second option. I’ve spoken to several British agents who have shown an interest, one who contacted me after reading a draft extract online here.

7. How long did it take you to write the first draft? It’s still being completed, but as I’m very organised and know what each chapter is about I can dip in and out of the story at different intervals. For example I wrote chapter 38 one week then chapter 6 the following week. Because of the planning i have done i expect the first draft to be completed within 8 months.

8. What other books would you compare this story to? I’d like to think there is no other books out there like ’52’. But I wouldn’t say no to anyone wanting to compare my style to either Victoria Wood or Alan Bennett.

9. Who or what inspired you to write this book? A friend who passed away twenty-seven years ago. Despite being twice my age, she was an inspiration to me. Some of her phrasing is the bedrock for Beryl’s dialogue.

10. What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest? The touches of the history of the Potteries and its people. Oh and possibly the absurdity of the mundane.

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