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Monday, March 4, 2013

The Next Big Thing

Hi all.  Yvonne at TheOrganic Writer  tagged me for The Next Big Thing.  Yvonne is currently working on Black River, which she calls a crossover between literary, commercial and contemporary NA and if you ask me, it looks amazing.  She asked me to share some details about my newest project.  I’m excited, because even this little exercise helped me to pull it into better focus.  Here are my answers...

What is the title of your current work? 

Working title: Marnie I-don’t-know.

Where did the idea come from for the book?

It was my turn to present my work in progress at my local writing group.  They’d just finished reading a draft of my previous novel, so it was time to start something new.  I wanted to touch on a challenging topic, one in which I had to dig down to my own emotional core to address.  Once I gave myself those parameters, I sat down at the computer and started typing. 

What genre does your book fall under?

Adult fiction/Woman’s fiction

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

I’m lacking in pop culture-expertise, so this is hard for me, but when I think of Marnie, I imagine Ashley Judd.  Vinnie is George Clooney, ten years younger. 

What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?

When Marnie St. Marie sees images of a boy from the nineteenth century in her apple tree, she can’t decide whether she’s going off the deep end, or if her son who’s been missing for years is trying to communicate with her.

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

I’d love for it to be represented by an agency…I'm not sure I have the patience or fortitude to do it any other way.

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

I’m still writing it, and I have a long way to go.

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

Since I’m not even close to being done yet, I’m struggling here, but I’ll go with Anita Shreve, Light on Snow (A girl can dream, can’t she?).

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

I had 20K of Marnie complete when I read a book this fall, written by a college classmate of mine (Cascade, by Maryanne O’Hara).  Her book is a fictionalized account of the building of the Quabbin Reservoir in western Massachusetts, a topic that always intrigued me…but she got there so well, and so very…first.  This made me realize I shouldn’t hesitate to go after another idea that’s been churning around my brain for years.  I’ve been captivated by the story of an Irish immigrant ship that hit ledge and sunk off our coast in 1849.  When I began writing about Marnie I thought of including something related to that in her story, but wasn’t sure how well it would tie in with the rest of the tale. 

Cascade gave me the inspiration to scrap about 14K of the manuscript and write about what I wanted to all along.  As expected, it is hard, and it’s making the going slow.  But I don’t want someone beating me out this this time.  Now, if only I could write as well as Maryanne O’Hara.

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

Well, when I get the thing written, there may or may not be supernatural images, and there’s probably going to be some forensic stuff, but in all, it is a book about discovering the strength to survive and embrace life in spite of unbearable misfortune.  

Other participants have posted a snippet...so here's mine...

He sat above the spot where a blizzard had hacked a huge branch from the tree Thomas’s parents had planted when they were first married.  The remaining limb splayed out like a crooked wire and to hold it up, Marnie had fashioned a crutch out of two-by-fours and forced it underneath.  With his back to her, the boy’s feet dangled.  Bare calves reflected below pants that ended mid-shin.  Raising a hand to her heart, she pressed her chest, trying to still the rapid beating.  After ten years, she still dreamed Trevor might return…but this child had blond hair, not dark curls, and he wore cloth cap.  She couldn’t be sure, but she thought he wore leather shoes.



Kittie Howard said...

She couldn’t be sure, but she thought he wore leather shoes.

Liza, that sentence is pure gold. I want to know more, more, more!

Yvonne Osborne said...

Wow. This sounds like a wonderful novel, Liza, and I hope you will keep us abreast of your progress. The boy in the apple tree makes for a puzzle that needs unraveling and you will do a great job of that. When we write about what we really want to, good things happen. I'm so glad I tagged you and that this exercise has helped you pull it into focus.

Old Kitty said...

Wow!! Thanks for the intro to Marnie, lovely Liza!! It sounds most intriguing and the snippet is already messing with my head! Yay!! Take care

mshatch said...

Definitely intriguing :) I want to know what happens next!

J.B. Chicoine said...

Oh Liza, I'm so happy you are busy at work on another novel. Your writing is just beautiful--can't wait to hear how it all develops!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Sounds like you are still discovering a lot about the story yourself

Words A Day said...

Love the name Marnie, and the ghostly elements... the snippet left me wanting more:)

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Good for you for writing what you really wanted to. It sounds very intriguing.

Jan Morrison said...

this is very exciting! Thanks so much for sharing so generously.

Robin said...

I am intrigued by your story. And don't shortchange yourself. I think you are an excellent writer. You truly do have a lovely way with words.

Anne Gallagher said...

YAY! YAY! YAY! I want to read this so much when it's done.

Carolina M. Valdez Schneider said...

Dang, Liza. This sounds amazing. And Anita Shreve is one of my favorite adult fiction authors, FYI! But your premise is just, I don't know--it's captivating. The snippet definitely makes me want to read it. I can't wait to see how this turns out.