Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The Next Big Thing

My sister, Wendy James, tagged me on her blog, Literary Gnat, to do this meme.

1) What is the working title of your current/next book?

Sweet Damage. It was originally Little Deaths.

2) Where did the idea come from?

I originally had this picture in my head of an unhappy, agoraphobic girl stuck in a big and rambling house. It seemed a good premise for a potentially spooky mystery. I had a boy rent one of her rooms...and took it from there...

3) What genre does your book fall under?

It's another psychological thriller just like Beautiful Malice. (I think it is anyway. It's hard to categorise your own work.) 

4) What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
Hmm. This is tricky because most of the actors I can think of are far too old to play any of the characters in Sweet Damage. Most of the actors on my radar are my age or older. Why is that? I mustn't watch enough movies with younger actors. Yikes. I should try and remedy that!

5) What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

(How long can this sentence be...and how many conjunctions can I get away with?)

Tim Ellison can't believe his luck when he finds a dirt cheap room to rent in a Sydney mansion but the room comes with a condition and his new housemate is troubled and withdrawn, and when her past catches up with a vengeance Tim is caught right in the middle of it. 

(I don't know that I got away with it - that's a pretty horrible sentence  - but it should give you some idea of the plot!)

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

My work is represented by Jo Unwin from Conville and Walsh in the UK. Sweet Damage will be published by Allen and Unwin in Australia in April this year. I'll let you know of any foreign publishing dates as soon as I know them.

7) How long did it take you to write the first draft?

Oh ho ho. This is a long and unhappy story. Well, actually, it's not really unhappy, at least not now that the book is mostly done. The first draft took roughly 2 months to write. But then I had lots of fixing to do. And when I say lots I mean LOTS. I've now written about eight drafts and roughly 500,000 words for what will be an 80,000 word novel. Which means 420000 sad little words that won't make it to print and will reside forever in the dark spaces of various never-to-be-opened-again documents on my laptop. Alas. The poor things. (If only they would get together and rearrange themselves magically and brilliantly into another novel. Wouldn't that be grand?)

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

There is nothing else like it out there! It is original. Unique. Incomparable!

Oh, okay, I'm only joking. The truth is I'm not sure. I'll leave the comparisons (good and bad) to others.

9) Who or what inspired you to write this book?

This question has two possible interpretations: what inspired you to write this particular book -- which I've more or less answered in question 2 - and what inspired you to write a book at all - to which my answer is...oh, there are lots of reasons. Without being too pretentious, I do have some kind of compulsion to write, even though I sometimes find it a bit lonely and very difficult. (In a very first-world, oh-my-poor-creative-soul, I am a failure,  version of difficult).  Having a contract was also quite inspiring. And my partner has expectations - he won't let me sit around all day and play on twitter unless I at least pretend to be accomplishing something. My kids also want to eat. A lot. Which means I have to try and make an income. 

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

It will make you gasp, and shudder, and maybe it will even make you cry! (At least it did all those things to me on a frequent basis -- particularly the crying bit.) 
Seriously, though, it's set in Fairlight in Sydney and there's a big, mysterious house and lots of stuff happens both scary and sad. It also has a few surprising twists. I do believe it's a gripping read and I hope it's not too conceited to say that I'm proud of it and can't wait for people to start reading it.  

I won't tag anyone because I think most people have already done this one, but if you haven't done it yet and you want to, then go for it. (And let me know so I can come and check out your answers).