The Next Big Thing

Fellow author Kay LaLone challenged me to the next big thing, where I talk about my current work in progress. That was the easy part, but a nasty cold sidelined me, on top of recovering from a holiday guest I'd looked forward to seeing for most of this year. So, I don't have anyone to refer you to after this, which makes it back to Kay!

Kay, along with the other ten people who are privy to my works in progress, know I always have something simmering from idea to awaiting submission. There are so many ideas, so many stories screaming for release, I just have to write down bits and pieces here and there. But the star this month is one I've labored over many, many times. It's now in the final editing stages, and I hope will find a home soon.

What is your working title of your book?

Take Chances

Where did the idea come from for the book?

The Virginia Tech Shooting – the first one. That's when I started the research.

What genre does your book fall under?

Young Adult, contemporary, social issues.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Julie first – I think Aimee Teegarden. There's an intensity to Ms. Teegarden which matches that of Julie: world traveler, able to instantly adjust to changes in her life, longs for normalcy.

Michael – modern day pirate describes Julie's secret crush, Michael. Alex Pettyfer would be the perfect guy to draw Julie's attention away from the ghosts of her past, and firmly ground her in the present.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Lightning never strikes twice – right?

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

I hope Solstice will take on this project.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

Me and first drafts. Take Chances had an even dozen. It took me many tries to hit the right tone for this book. It's serious from the beginning, where the reader is dragged right into Julie's past, and an event she really wants to put behind her.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Just Another Hero by: Sharon M. Draper. Ms. Draper's synopsis is closest to what Julie experiences in Take Chances, but there are very subtle differences.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

The research. I was amazed to discover school violence is American born. The date was July 26, 1764. The location was Franklin County, Pennsylvania. The final count of injuries/deaths at the hands of four Lenape warriors was 10 or 11 dead, including the headmaster (reports vary on the number in the school at the time), and two boys scalped who survived. What's even more amazing is how a lot of shootings, from the beginning, are done more by adults than children, but that trend changed in the early 1990s.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

This book is more about Julie's determination to take chances, to escape from under her mother's controlling thumb. She survived school violence while in Germany and is determined never to let it happen again. But it does, and Julie is thrust back in time for the few seconds where she could have escaped. During the ordeal, she learns about courage from unexpected sources, and how the people we depend on the most can fail us when we most need them, or so we think.
Back to you, Kay, and we have to do this again with a lot more warning next time!


I know what's going to happen because I was one of the ones privy and I'll tell you it's awesome and meaningful too.
G. B. Miller said…
Very cool to read how another writer comes up with their story and how their unique writing process works.

If it's anything like "Softly Say Goodbye" then you got another winner.
KC Sprayberry said…
It is a lot like Softly Say Goodbye, George. Just a few pesky details to clean up.