Next Big Thing Blog Hop

I was tagged in this blog hop by Heather Marie (who writes YA supernatural horror-yay creepy stuff!) and it seemed like the perfect way to kick off my blog. So, here’s all you could ever want to know about my next big thing.

What is the working title of your book?

Wicked Stepmother

Where did the idea come from for the book?

Oh boy. This could get me in a little trouble if my family ever reads this. I have a…contentious relationship with my stepmom. It’s better now that I’m an adult, but there were many years when we didn’t get along at all. One day, when I was having some issues with her, I was talking to a writer friend and said, “She better be careful or one of these days I’m going to kill her off in one of my books.” It’s a common joke among writers. But, having a suspense-oriented imagination, the idea started percolating. Amanda (the heroine) came to me pretty much fully formed. I was in the middle of revising another book, but this book was so powerful I set the other aside and started writing this one.

I will say, after getting the idea from my own stepmom, I made a lot of changes to the family and especially Karen, the stepmom. My own stepmom and I have our issues, but she is nowhere near the monster I made Karen.

What genre does your book fall under?

Romantic suspense.

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

I’m really not sure. Matt Damon can always play one of my heroes, but he’s not quite how I picture Greg (the hero). I picture Elisabeth Shue as Amanda, although since Amanda’s 33, the age doesn’t quite match if there were an actual movie. Which is ever so likely.

What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?

When the latest homicide victim is her wicked stepmother, Amanda must work with fellow-detective Greg to catch a killer bent on destroying her reputation and possibly ending her life.

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

I don’t have an agent, so that’s my goal. But I’m not ready to go the self-pub route yet. I want to try my hand at traditional first.

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

There were 4+ years between when I wrote the first words to the last. But in between I went through a phase where I lost enthusiasm – my stepmom and I drastically improved our relationship, so I lost some of my inspiration – and I also had two kids. Pregnancy completely zapped me of any creative abilities. If I patch together the times I was seriously working on it, it was probably about 6 months.

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

I have no idea. I know books I’d like it to be compared to. But, honestly, I’ve never read one quite like this, which is part of the reason I wrote it; it’s the same, but different.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

My Wednesday night BN girls have been my biggest inspiration. We meet each week and use positive peer pressure in the form of 20 minute writing sprints. And we celebrate each other’s successes, support each other’s setbacks and kick each other’s butts.

My other inspiration is my kids. After my son was born, I decided I needed to get back to writing. And be serious about it instead of dabbling. How can I raise my kids to follow their passions if I’m not following my own.

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

I hope the wicked stepmother hook garners interest. It’s also set in Milwaukee, which isn’t a very utilized location. So if you’re tired of the same old NCY, LA settings, it’s got that. And there are some very vivid secondary characters who will get their own happily ever afters in future books.