As if there hasn't excitement enough regarding my writing lately, the lovely Gina Salamon tagged me in a blog hop named The Next Big Thing (as you can tell by the title of this post, haha). The deal is that you answer ten questions about a manuscript that you're either working on, or polishing. Then, you tag up to five other writers, who will answer the same questions.
Sounds fun, right?
Of course it does!
(Well, probably only if you're a writer but let's not split hairs.)
So let's get started!
1. What is the working title of your book?
My working title is ROBIN’S A LITTLE HOOD. I freaking LOVE titles that are twists on old favourites. Or puns. I also really, really like puns.
2. Where did the idea for the book come from?
The idea for the book was one that I’d mulled over after finishing my first (and very bad) manuscript. In fact, as soon as I came up with the title, the story began to unfold. Before I got sick, I was a volunteer rape crisis counselor and the stress from the work often had me fantasizing on how I could take care of the abusive men who essentially got away with their actions. And, of course, I mean "take care" in a Mafioso sense (minus the actual Mafia, of course...hmm...that's making me think I should add something about concrete shoes, haha!).
3. What genre does your book fall under?
Women’s fiction (but not chick-lit--oh no, it's far too violent to be considered chick-lit).
4. Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
When I first began drafting, I had two actresses in mind for my MCs but as I waded into the deep pool of revisions, they changed. So, after the third draft, I made new character boards (I’m a visual person so the boards REALLY help me stay focused) and found two much more appropriate representations.
Robin Richards, played by Michelle Williams Nina Soleti, played by Monica Bellucci
5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Frustrated with abusive men getting slaps on the wrist from the judicial system, two front-line social workers decide to shock some sense into them—literally.
6. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
While I have NO JUDGEMENT regarding authors who choose to self-publish, I will be pursing representation by an agency. I’m well aware of where my talents lie and they're not in contract negotiation, royalty collection or any of the other one thousand things that agents do. Also, I’m very much into the idea of having someone by my side throughout the process instead of going at it alone. It’s scary out there!
7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
It took a very short three months to get the first draft down but I’m on month four of revisions. The story began as a much more lighthearted tale but I quickly realized that the subject matter was too intense for such a delivery. And, as other authors can sympathize with, every time I had “finished” revisions, I would get another great idea that—like the proverbial thrown pebble in still water—had a ripple effect, which left me no other choice but to rip the MS apart. That said, the carnage was, and is, totally worth it.
8. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Obviously, the tone of the book is very similar to the original Robin Hood but there's a lot of swearing. Like, a lot of swearing. A very talented editor suggested that my MS is a cross between Dexter and Nine to Five (an 80s movie featuring the awesome Dolly Parton) because although there is violence and raw emotion, there is also humour.
9. Who or What inspired you to write this book?
A few things inspired me to write this book. First, the dedicated front-line workers who I had the priviledge of working with and secondly, the horrific injustices that I witnessed with my own eyes, where the Canadian judicial system would declare that sexual assault and battery offences weren't "serious" enough to merit action. Yeah, seriously. It happened all of the time. Don't.Get.Me.Started.
10. What else about your book might pique the reader's interest?
Aside from seeing abusive men get their just desserts, there are also a few scenes with pot-related shenanigans. Yes, good old Mary Jane is almost a character in her own right. *puts on a little Bob Marley* My book is also a love-song to feminist counselling methodology. Say what you want about The Crazy Feminists (although you should tread carefully as I'm one of them) but their perspective on supporting female survivors of intimate violence is far and away the best that I've encountered.
So now it’s time to tag some other fabulous writers!
Megan Peterson – Super cool writer with a fantastic blog that's full of posts about her process (she keeps it real, people). And she has biceps that I’d kill for (haha, I’ve got murder on the brain).
Gina Denny – Awesome writer with a beyond witty sense of humour (mostly because she has three sons and therefore has no other choice) but I strongly suspect that she's part robot, as she manages to find time to write while homeschooling said sons.
Natasha Rauf – Former reporter turned author so you just know that she’s the bee’s knees when it comes to prose. And she reads. A lot. I imagine she'd be a great Jeopardy contestant. Also, she has really pretty hair.
Suzanne Gale – The woman who single-handedly made my love for blue and purple streaks far less of an issue by introducing me to Elumen hair dye (thanks!) AND she’s freaking hilarious. Just watch some of her vlogs and you'll know what I'm talking about. Oh, and she's also a fabulous writer.
Megan Whitmer – Amazing writer and one of the funniest gals on Twitter. Seriously. Start following her right now. If you don't have a Twitter account, get one (if only to read about her Mom's texts--trust me, it's worth it).