I've been tagged in The Next Big Thing by fellow author Emily Harvale http://www.emilyharvale.com/blog/ whose second novel, Lizzie Marshall’s Wedding will be out in November as an ebook, on Amazon. The rules of TNBT are that I have to answer ten set questions about my next book and then tag other authors to write about their Next Big Thing. So here goes:
Q: What is the working title of your next book?
A: Love’s Tangle or perhaps The Duke and the Dairymaid. In the end it will be the publisher’s decision and they may come up with something quite different.
Q: Where did the idea come from for the book?
A: A couple of years ago I visited a country house in West Sussex called Uppark. It had almost burnt down in a fire but the National Trust had been busy restoring it, including the dairy which was at the end of a flagged path if I remember rightly. There was a wonderful story attached to this dairy. Apparently in Regency times, the owner who had inherited the house and estate at a very young age, was a larger than life character. He was a personal friend of the Prince Regent which probably tells you all you need to know about his lifestyle. He scattered by-blows around the local countryside but never married – not that is until he reached eighty. Then, you’ve guessed it, he fell for one of the young dairymaids and married her! He left her and her sister the whole estate, too, so I imagine there were some very unhappy family members. Anyway the story fascinated me and though my duke is not eighty – he’s young and gorgeous - the idea of marrying the dairymaid was still intriguing.
Q: What genre does your book fall under?
A: It comes under the heading of the ever popular Regency Romance.
Q: Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
A: Definitely Richard Armitage as Gabriel and Elinor? That’s more difficult. She needs to be elegant,intelligent but also very sexy. Perhaps Scarlett Johannson with an English accent?
Q: What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
A: Young girl escapes poverty by seeking the man her dying mother commends, but finds instead a mystery, an identity and a deeply passionate love – roughly in that order!
Q: Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
A: I have an American e-publisher currently interested but so far nothing has been finalised.
Q: How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
A: It’s difficult to say since my first drafts get mixed with my second drafts and then the third draft takes over. Overall, I would say the novel took about six months to write which is about average for me for this length of book.
Q: What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
A: I’m spoilt for choice. Regency romances abound and as I say, they’re very popular.
Q: Who or What inspired you to write this book?
A: See my answer above. I loved Uppark – it was small enough not to overwhelm but very beautiful, very stately. And there were some fascinating family portraits hanging on the wall – they gave me the idea for the paintings that Elinor finds when she trespasses and that say to her quite clearly that she doesn’t belong!
Q: What else about your book might pique the reader's interest?
A: It's a Cinderella story but with a heroine who is feisty and brave. In fact both hero and heroine are strong characters, both have known unhappy times, and it’s difficult for them to believe that love has arrived. But when they do believe, and let go, then wow!
I've enjoyed taking part in The Next Big Thing and I hope that you've enjoyed reading about my forthcoming novel. Here are several fabulous authors I've tagged, to tell you about their Next Big Thing, on Wednesday the 7th November:
Helen Hollick at http://helenhollick.blogspot.co.uk/
And Gillian Bagwell at http://www.nellgwynn.blogspot.co.uk/