First off, many thanks to Lauri Kubuitsile for offering to let me join in on The Next Big Thing. Lauri is not only a great author, she has a fabulous blog. We’ve never met in person since I live in Texas and she lives in Botswana. Despite the distance, I consider her a friend.
So, let's get straight into The Next Big Thing and ten questions I have to answer:
What is the working title of your book?
Dismembering the Past
Where did the idea come from for the book?
I tend to go through phases of reading. I'll read a slew of cozy mysteries, then move on to non-fiction or maybe suspense or whatever resonates with me at the time. I had just finished reading several PI mysteries, when a character settled in my head and I decided to write about her.
What genre does your book fall under?
I would say: PI Suspense. Is that a genre??
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
This question would be easier to answer if I knew more names of actors! Maybe Anne Hathaway. And, yes, I had to go look up "actresses under 30".
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
The Texas Butcher is killing women across the state unless PI Hallie McAllister can stop him, if he doesn't kill her first.
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
High Canyon Books will publish Dismembering the Past.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
Probably about five months.
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
I see Hallie as the lead in a series of books. There are so many possibilities for a character whose job it is to interact with a lot of people, from the police to the FBI to people in need of help. Perhaps that's why series starring Private Investigators are so popular.
Who or What inspired you to write this book?
I came up with the idea of Hallie McAllister while reading Sue Grafton's books. Once I discovered Grafton, I read every book, starting with A until I caught up with the series. During that time, I began to conjure up the image of Hallie, of what kind of person she would be. But I didn't start writing her until years later.
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
Hallie is a complex character. She and her older sister worked together at McAllister Investigations until her sister was killed while on surveillance. Now it's just Hallie. She boxes at the gym of her adopted uncle, Blade, and has an on-again/off-again relationship with a guy who disapproves of her "macho" career. Hallie is hired to find a missing 67 year old woman who rode off on her bicycle and disappeared after doing some pretty strange things. When Mabel's hand turns up in Hallie's yard, the FBI descends on Mesquite Cove. The Texas Butcher always kills three in each town he visits and for the first time he's made it clear who he's targeted -- Hallie.
This was fun. I welcome anyone else who'd like to participate in The Next Big Thing to let me know. All you have to do is answer the same questions I did and post your answers on your blog one week from today -- December 5. Let me know you're participating and include the link so that day I can link to your blog from mine so others can jump over to read about your book-in-progress!