The Next Big Thing Blog Tour – Redux

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I’ve been tagged by Vicki Hudson for the Next Big Thing Blog Tour. I’ve done this recently but thought it would be cool to do a new spin on my current project. Check out Vicki’s post here. She’s working on a thriller called The Republic.

Here we go!


What is the working title of your book?
The New Mrs. Collins

Where did the idea for the book come from?
I had an idea for a story where something tragic happens to a woman on her wedding day. I had another idea about a woman with this mysterious aura who lived in a house by a lake. That mysterious woman had the power of suggestion, and her words, for whatever reason, made a person vulnerable to do her will. The two ideas came together and the New Mrs. Collins was born.

What genre does it fall under?
Speculative Fiction

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Jill Scott or Sanaa Lathan as the main character Leena, and best friend in my head, Kerry Washington, as the villain, Adira.

What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?
Leena Williams discovers that her son’s new stepmother is a sinister woman with mystic powers.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
I am open to either process.

How long did it take you to write the first draft?
About a year.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Probably anything by Tannarive Due.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?
There are bits of magical realism in Toni Morrison’s Sula that I just adore, and since reading that, I have always wanted to write a story where something magical is happening in an otherwise mundane world. Also, the hair stylist who encouraged me to write this novel when I thought the idea sucked.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
It’s set in Louisiana and has a strong willed female protagonist that can’t keep her behind out of trouble!

# IWSG: Getting Better

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Sometimes we writers are hard on ourselves. We beat ourselves up over what we perceive as failure or tell ourselves that we should be further along than we are, but sometimes we have to take comfort in the fact that we are getting better.

Think about that first novel you wrote vs. the one you’re writing now. World’s apart? Probably so.

We grow as writers, and we have to allow ourselves time to get better without putting constant pressure on ourselves to be everywhere but where we are supposed to be in our writer’s journey.

You’re right where you need to be. Still learning, still growing, but most importantly, getting better.

Keep writing and eventually you’ll get where you’re supposed to be.

Happy IWSG day! You can find a list of other IWSG members here.


What do Readers Like?

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I’ll be honest; I have not read Fifty Shades of Grey. I’ve talked to people who love the book and others who hated it, and I’ve also read reviews online that seem to indicate that some people think that the actual wordsmithing in the novel isn’t up to par or that it’s poorly edited. But despite these things, people seem to love this book. What gives?

That got me thinking about something I heard on a self publishing panel at a writer’s conference last year. An agent was talking about the rise of independent publishing and how people in traditional publishing were surprised that “poorly written” books or books filled with grammatical errors were still selling well. Or more specifically, that (some) readers just don’t care about that stuff.

That doesn’t really surprise me. I don’t think that all readers care if your sentences are long and flowing and elegantly crafted or even, if you put your commas on your nose. All they care about is the story and getting to the end of it, and for some readers, bad grammar doesn’t get in the way.

I think the fact that some of these books that would have been rejected by traditional publishers are actually doing well just proves that no one really knows what readers will like. It also proves that no matter how bad people think a book may be, there there is an absolute market for everything.