Monday, October 29, 2012

WIP - The Next Big Thing

My dear sweet funny friend Heather Haven, whose parents were circus performers and herself on the stage as a performer, is not only fabulously funny and wonderful, but generous.  She tagged me in a game of round robin, or the author's version of Promote Yourself and Your Friends too.

So first:  my friend who tagged me and her website.  Pictured above are her first three novels in a series of fun murder mysteries.  And her blog with HER answers

Makes sense that she would now be the Amy Pohler version of Lee Child, right?  Seriously, check her out.

The game is this:  We answer ten questions (below) with our answers to ten interview questions promoting the thing we are working on.

"I'm in" I cried perkily, even before I finished treading her email.  And thus am assured that I will be linked to by all ten thousand of Heather's fans and she will be linked to all ten of mine.

Here are my answers to the questions: and below are y friends who also need promoting.

Ten Interview Questions for the Next Big Thing:

What is your working title of your book?
            The working title of my book is “Of Mermaids and Mockingbirds.”

Where did the idea come from for the book?
            There is a small island of the coast of North Carolina where I spent some time as a child.  It taught me a lot about community, childhood, and how to be in relationship.  It is the island of my mother’s people.  My family of origin is not the closest of families, but my mother was always the one who taught me about how to be family.  In a way, this is her story,  an homage to her and how she lives today.

What genre does your book fall under?
            I am not sure.  It could be Chick Lit, but it has a lot to say, so it could also be Southern Fiction. And I would love for it to fall under “Literature,” but I am not sure it is tortured enough, or uses long words that are either confusing or erudite.  So I think I have missed out there.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
            Well, I would love Emma Stone to play the grown up version of Weezie, and Jane Levy from Suburgatory would be a great teenage version of her.  I want Queen Latifah to be Miss Maybe, Nathan Fillion would Mr Jack, and Miss Acacia should be Ashley Judd, with Susan Sarandon as Mimi.  I mean this IS my fantasy cast, right?

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
            It is a coming of age novel set on a small island in the South that speaks to us of relationships, redemption and reunion.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
            An agency, please.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
            All together, in fits and starts?  About three years.  And then I threw out half of it, and another third a year later.  I am just now finished two years later with a version that I really happy with.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
            The Help.  The Prince of Tides (for women), and maybe a little bit of Sarah Addison Allen thrown in.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?
My mother.  Always.  And my best friends who love the Southern stories that come flying out of my mouth over wine and blues late after dinner.  They are never sure if I am lying or not.  It is great fun, really.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
            It is funny enough to make you belly laugh for a while, and so sad that your heart will break in millions of pieces.  There is magic and mystery and the wonderfulness that comes of growing up in such a place.

so there it is, the work of my heart, . . .er. . spare time.  I am looking for an agent, or publisher, so if anyone knows of a good one? 

My friends whose work I admire and want to also promote:

Julia Park Tracy

Samantha (never Sam) M. Smith

Monday, October 22, 2012

Say Hey Willie (McCovey)


Here is the thing about Baseball:  Like many children of the South, it was my first love.  As the only daughter of six children, I never understood that only boys could make a living as a third baseman. Then I grew up and couldn’t play baseball any more because I was too old for little league.  I had to play softball, because that is what girls did.  Once again I was reminded of my gender. What?!
(Worst line to a girl who wants to play:  “Oh, you wanna be third base?  Okay, why don’t you go BE third base?”  This was usually uttered by some idiot who found himself thrown out at first, by the Girl at third.  Her brothers laugh wickedly, knowing better.  Take that, dickhead!).
It kinda wasn’t the same thing, even though it was.  So I chose to be a rebel swimmer that could earn a scholarship to UNC.  I wore leather and black and eye liner to the pool, swam a clean race and got back into my angry clothes.  Looking at Brian Wilson, I completely get it.
I missed the green grass and the smell of leather gloves and the heft of a good bat.  I can still whip my arm sideways to nail the douche at first, but the throw doesn’t have as much speed or power.  I didn’t know about the All American Girls Baseball League, even though my aunt played for the Georgia Peaches.  I didn’t know until the great state of North Carolina told me I couldn’t play any more because I was too old.  Aunt Ruth took me to the crab shack for Hush Puppies and told me stories of playing catcher for the Peaches.    Seems like the girls not playing thing has been around a while.  She and I shared that great deep sorrow until her passing last October.  I hope she is somewhere catching serious strikes.
So forgive me if I chose to watch the Giants take out the Cards instead of Mitt Romney drone on about women in binders.  Either way I figured someone was gonna drop a ball, and I had seen Mitt do it twice already.   I am not someone who whoots and hollers about sports.  But I do love me some ball.  It broke my heart a long time ago, and it comforts me that all about this country that is good, is not lost.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Bang Bang Bang (the sound of my head against the table)

2011-09-18 Elf Fantasy Fair 2011 Edition Arcen

Okay, so here I am (yes even as we speak) in class.  This is the class I was most looking forward to, and it is the class I hate.  The teacher is (I think) or Arabic origin and has a thick accent.  He is difficult to understand and is often vague.  He yells a bit and makes us, okay me, not want to answer at all.  When I have answered, and I know I am right, he says something slightly different to make me wrong.  He then wonders why students do not want to sit up front.
            He also gets the theory wrong.  A lot.  But not enough to say anything and not enough to do anything but set my teeth on edge.  There is some sort of language disconnect that does not allow for anyone else to be right, or give an answer that he does not expect.
            It sucks.
            Luckily, the book rocks.  And the projects rock.  I have learned more from writing my midterm than I have in the entire seven weeks of class, so far.
            That’s cool.  And makes me feel like I am moving forward.

            I had forgotten how much it sucked to have a teacher that you don’t enjoy.  Welcome to graduate school.


            The other part is that I am learning how much I just don’t know. I am also learning how to work with all sorts of different people.  I am lucky.  Most of the folks in my program are very nice.  And it startles me when one of them friends me on Facebook or wants to connect on linked in, and I actually have to go and look up who they are.  I am at a disadvantage.  I was called out a couple of times at the beginning of the class as the one with the Doctorate.  That is how people know me, the one with a Ph.D.  Oh excellent.  No pressure.  And no way to fuck up.  And I am gonna’, especially in this class where I cannot seem to find the right language.
            I feel like my face is painted green and my lips are blue.

            And then I remember there are so many people in this program who are so much better at so many things than I am.  I am learning form them all the time.  I am grateful for the girl in my group who does this for a living.  I learn every class from her. And the guy who used to be a rockstar in the HR world. He told me that seeing so many degrees would lead him to think I was indecisive.  Wow.  Good to know.
            I am once again in a world where I am not the brightest person in the room.  It feels pretty good.  There is so much pressure in being the one who is supposed to be the most knowledgeable.  I am expected to be the one who solves conflicts, the last word in any discussion, the test giver, the Power. I am soooooo not in this world.  I get to learn too.
            I like it here.