I have been tagged by the lovely Heather Marie to participate in The Next Big Thing blog hop. And since my debut novel was recently acquired by HarperTeen, really her timing is fantastic.
What is the working title of your next book?
Girls Evolved, which is absolutely a working title as the book is still a baby and was very recently acquired by HarperTeen (Publisher’s Marketplace announcement was on January 30, 2013.)
Where did the idea come from for the book?
Girls. Not the HBO show, just girls in general – girls on reality TV, girls on dramas (hi, Carrie, Samantha, Miranda, and Charlotte), girls in movies, girls in my sorority, girls who wrote some of my favorite books, girls in books. Most importantly though, it came from my close friends and how we navigated the world of dating with the girls from the list above chirping in our ears.
What genre does your book fall under?
Young Adult Contemporary.
What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
It’s funny, I’m very opinionated when it comes to the casting of books-turned-into-movies, but for my own book I just want actors who can act. Also, actors who won’t bad mouth the movie to the press like the cast of the old Spiderman franchise did during Spiderman III promotions (does anyone else remember that?). And I’m pretty sure it’s inevitable that there would be Alex Pettyfer casting rumors, as this seems to be the standard. I would be fine with those.
What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?
It’s about four best friends who have made it to second semester senior year heartbreak-free by abiding by the wisdom of Marilyn Monroe -- "A wise girl kisses but doesn't love, listens but doesn't believe, and leaves before she is left" -- until a boy moves to town and makes them question everything they thought was keeping them safe from heartbreak.
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
I am incredibly lucky to have the most amazing agent, Suzie Townsend of New Leaf Literary. The book is coming out from HarperTeen in Fall 2014.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
Fifteen days. But it must be noted that the first draft was word-vomit, and it took at least a year to revise it to readable status.
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
This is a hard question and I’m drawing a blank. Is ‘pass’ an acceptable answer? ;)
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
The core of the inspiration came from things discussed sitting with my college roommates on our black pleather couch sipping milk (what can I say, we loved milk); and especially from the things we spoke about right before graduation, which mirrored the things we thought when we graduated from HS – like, what do these past four years mean and what do we want from them, and does it matter what we want from them if everything is going to change so suddenly anyway? Also, we talked a lot about boys and that served to inspire too. ;)
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
I cannot share an excerpt. Because like I said, it’s still a baby book. An excerpt I share today might be all grown up and different tomorrow! But you should definitely know this book contains: a Superman reference, an incorrect Batman reference, a Back to the Future reference, and a Drive Me Crazy reference (the movie, not the song).
And you should absolutely definitely know that one of the early readers (Hi Christa) was reminded of it when reading the ‘Cool Girl’ tirade in Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl.