Wednesday, 5 December 2012

The Next Big Thing

I've been tagged by the very talented Claire Dunn  (C.F.Dunn, 'Mortal Fire') to take part in The Next Big Thing, which is a way of telling potential readers about our WIP (Work in Progress.)I didn't manage to tag any other authors to take part but if this changes I'll put them in a future post. You might like to visit Claire's website, though - there are lots of good things to read there and news of her latest projects which are very exciting. (

So here are my (sometimes slightly baffled) answers to the NBT ten questions.

What is the working title of your book? 
I call it, for now, 'A Shed in a Cucumber Field'. The titles of my previous books ('Leviathan with a Fish-hook', 'The Monster Behemoth' and 'The Land of Nimrod') are all Bible quotations and this one is no exception. It comes from Isaiah 1 verse 8. Some people don't like this title at all, others think it's great. I might change it to 'Lost Sheep.'

Where did the idea for the book come from? 
Don't think me obtuse, but...where do ideas come from? I don't know.

What genre does your book fall under?
It's contemporary realistic adult Christian fiction with a British background. Is that a genre?

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
I have a very clear picture in my mind of what my characters look like, and they don't resemble any actors I can think of. At a pinch, perhaps Meryl Streep for Vic.

What is the one-sentence synopsis for your book?
Two sisters, estranged for many years and thrown together by circumstance, are forced to deal with their difficult past and come to greater understanding.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
This has not yet been decided. I self-published my trilogy and I don't regret that for one moment but now I am thinking it would be good to try a more traditional route.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
I started cogitating and note-taking at the beginning of this year. I started writing in July and finished in October.

What other books would you compare your story to within the genre?
I haven't read hundreds of books in Christian fiction, but what I have read isn't anything like mine.It comes chiefly from America and has many forms there. So that is one clear difference: the cultural background. But also my stories aren't romances, don't contain much that is supernatural (in the spooky sense), nor are they historical, nor triumphalist...Now I've told you what they aren't, perhaps you'd better read one to find out what they are! I would be delighted if you did and am always glad to have honest feedback.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?
These questions are tough. If this doesn't sound hideously conceited (it isn't intended to be) I think it was the Holy Spirit.

What else about your book might pique the reader's interest?
It's different!
It's overt and unapologetic Christian fiction, so it is a 'clean' read, in other words there isn't any swearing or graphic sexual description. (I think such things are best left to the reader's imagination anyway.) Apart from that it's about  people we can almost all identify with, people with daily lives and recognisable issues.Readers have said that my stories make them think, but not in a heavy or preachy way.

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