Firstly, I’d like to thank Victoria Corby for tagging me on The Next Big Thing. She’s in the throes of writing French Twist, which sounds like my kind of story. Check it out http://victoriacorby.wordpress.com. I would say I’m a novice literary writer with a capital N. I actually sat down last November to partake in the thing that I’ve said I wanted to do for some time now – writing a book. NaNoWriMo, along with some pretty cool, experienced buddies, put me on the straight and narrow of starting to write my first book. I was nervous and wasn’t sure I was doing things correctly, as if there is a correct way to write a book. What NaNoWriMo did teach me was to be consistent about the quantity that I wrote each day, to persevere even when the story didn’t seem to be turning out exactly as planned, and above all to enjoy myself.
What is the working title of your next book?
The title of my book is called Birthmark. In the beginning, I had put another title but quickly realised that my story had taken a slight turn, but for the better. So this title works a lot better.
Where did the idea come from for the book?
Well, I’ve always had a vague idea of writing a book which would take place in my hometown New Orleans. New Orleans is a place with tremendous character, loads of culture, scrumptious food, and beautiful architecture. I think any avid reader would enjoy reading a book which entails all of that.
What genre does your book fall under?
I guess my book would fall into the genre of contemporary fiction.
What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
I’m not so sure about that just yet. I don’t think I’ve captured the physique nor the complete personalities of my characters enough to answer that question.
What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?
Birthmark is a story which follows the ups and downs of an African-American family from the 1960s to the 1990s. Sorry, I can’t say more than that.
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
Ultimately, I’d like my book to be published by an agency. Personally, I have a problem with a lot of self-published books. They often need a bit of editing and there’s nothing that annoys me more than reading through mistakes, poorly written passages, or scenarios that just aren’t plausible. I want my book to be edited by professionals and of course given a beautiful cover. I want my book to look just as good on the outside as it is in the inside.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
I wouldn’t say my NaNoWriMo writing experience gave me a solid first draft. It did give me an excellent corps 52,650 words in which I can mould into a real first draft hopefully this year. I wrote it in three weeks which was amazing to me. I was sure I’d have trouble getting to 50,000 words, but in the end I could have written a lot more.
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
I can’t actually think of any exact titles at the moment but it would be very similar to a family saga story but with a lot of upheaval, character growth, and a few other twists and turns.
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
I inspired myself to write this book. I was tired of hearing myself constantly saying, “I should write a book.” or “I should put that in a book.” I saw some booktubers on You Tube talking about gearing up for NaNoWriMo and something inside of me said go for it. You’ve got loads of time on your hands and you have nothing to lose. The weekend before November 1st I spent trying to figure out what exactly I was going to write about. My husband helped by asking me questions which then led to me choosing character names and places I wanted to use in New Orleans. I must admit he gave me that extra swift kick I needed to get started. I jotted down some notes in an outline form so that I could somewhat get my story off to a good start and voilà.
What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?
Well there are two story lines going on between two generations. There’s some intrigue, confrontations, New Orleans culture, etc. That’s all I can tell you for now. I don’t want to ruin it for you.
To continue on The Next Big Thing tag, here are two other budding writers that I’d like to tag.
Carole Hill from Piglet in Portugal, http://pigletinportugal.com where she writes about living in Portugal. She also writes about the challenges of living abroad and about her many hobbies (cooking, photography, etc.). She too is a NaNoWriMo winner and on a mission to write a book and to get published.
Kimba Azore who writes the blog Fleur de Curl, http://fleurdecurl.com and is from my home state Louisiana. Her blog details everything you want to know about natural hair, beauty, and fashion. She even has a rubric featuring what she’s reading and writing. What a poet she is!
Hope you enjoyed this post and will check out Piglet in Portugal and Fleur de Curl to read about their writing exploits. I’d love to hear about what you think about self published books as opposed to professionally published ones below.