Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Ze Next Gargantuan Thing...

Well this is larks! Jenny of The Penslayer asked me to participate in a Next Big Thing Blog Hop that began away back at Anne Elisabeth Stengl's blog and continued on from there. I was excited to participate for three main reasons:

1.) The questions were simple, straightforward, and practical
2.) I was asked by the Slayer of Pens herself, and when she calls, you answer.
3.) My targeted participation date happened to be on a Wednesday, allowing me to keep on my nicely tailored "shed-dewl."

So now, enjoy a peek at the not-really-illustrious, but-certainly-hopeful Rachel Heffington's "Next Big Thing"...

What is the working title of your book?

Fly Away Home

Where did the idea come from for the book?

A short story I wrote some years ago titled: "How About Coffee" which, in turn, came from that question floating around my head, wishing for a story to be attached to. It was a very easy story for me to write, quite possibly because I fell in love with the characters right away. Mr. Barnett for the very obvious reason of his total amazingness, Callie because if I had lived her life, I would be very much like her. Our mental process is similar. And because of Nickleby, the cat. And journalism. Also, NYC in the 1950's is a cool combination of place and time that never fails to fascinate and excite me. I wanted to write this book, almost for that reason itself. ;)

What genre does your book fall under?

Inspirational romance

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

Ohhhhh this is hard. See, I wrote Fly Away Home thinking of Gregory Peck as Mr. Barnett. But obviously that can't be, because he's dead. I have been mulling over this problem for ages and ages, so the only two possibilities I could come up with are a clean-shaven, vintage-wearing Hugh Jackman...

 or Thomas Gibson

Neither entirely satisfies me. Jackman's features are too angular, and Gibson's eyebrows and dimples are all wrong. Sorry, I'm just picky. They just don't make 'em like they used to! :P I could find several also-dead actors who could have played Mr. Barnett. It's so much harder with the modern men! I suppose if I was in charge of the casting-call, I'd advertise for Peck look-alikes.

As for Callie, I had little trouble in pegging Michelle Dockery (minus the accent) for the part.

She looks like Callie to me. Elegant, slender, dark eyes. Looks as if she could say a few things of her own if anyone gave her the opportunity.

But then my sister said she never thought Callie was that poised and elegant. So I was forced to come up with a plan 2 in Rachel Weisz.

Then again, I thought of Lily Collins who is a bit young for the part, but might work out pretty well by the time they'd ever get around to making Fly Away Home into a movie. (But by that time Hugh Jackman would be too old....argh.)

Sass. Yes.

Sean Astin is an easy choice for Jerry Atwood.

Tommy Lee Jones could do the curmudgeon-y role of Mr. Shores well

Nigella Lawson is an easy choice as Nalia Crosticinni. Well, her looks. She's a chef...a t.v. chef, yes, but can she act? I would have to look into that. At any rate, her looks are ideal for Nalia.

Jules Cameron...Ahh...JOSEPH GORDON_LEVITT! Charming, stinkin' good-looking, could play the arrogant, evil nemesis rather well...

Yes. Him.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Glamor and Glitz is Calida Harper's career of choice, but when her ticket comes in the form of a recklessly simple man stealing her heart, a hidden past breathing down her collar, and her long-held ideals tumbling from their sandy foundations, is Callie willing to rip off the precious mask to save another?

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

An agency. I hope. That is the road I am actively pursuing, so unless something changes, Fly Away Home will be represented by an agency. Then again, we never can tell what will happen, so if plans change, I'll be sure to let you know.

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

A matter of about 2-3 months all told. This was the first novel I wrote using my thousand-word-a-day system, so it worked up nice and quick. It is not a long novel (75,000 words) so it did not take long to write, and I had little trouble with plot. I was interrupted in the writing of this story by my month of campaigning in Georgia (If I am remembering correctly...) so it was not a fluid couple of months, but it was no longer than 70-90 days of active writing, certainly.

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

Comp titles are the bane of my existence, truly. I have said before that the reason Fly Away Home is a good romance may certainly be influenced by the fact that I've read very little romance so I don't have that baggage carting around in my brain. ;) This novel is also unique because while the setting is 1950's NYC, the plot doesn't circulate closely around historic events, so I can't really compare it to historic romances I have read. I intend to make a trip to town and visit Barnes and Noble this week or next to get my Comp Titles for my queries, so I'll get back to you on this.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

Gregory Peck, actually. And that short story I mentioned beforehand. And my desire to write a book that would, perhaps, minister to young women who are in similar positions as Callie, bewildered as to what true success is, if there is any God in this world that is interested in their case, and who might possibly be fleeing from a past that hunts them down. There is grace. There is healing. And I hope these girls can find a little of that in Fly Away Home.

In other news, Amy Dashwood, author of Only a Novel will be the next stop in the blog hop, so stayed tuned at her blog for her Next Big Thing soiree!


Jade said...

I enjoyed reading this. It is inspiring that a short story you wrote was able to lead you into a novel. I believe that being interested in/loving your characters is key, even if they happen to be unlikeable people in general! Sounds like it's been fun writing the book, even through moments of uncertainty. Wishing you the best!

Stephanie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Stephanie said...

Your list for actors is really good... at first I thought "Hugh is too good looking for Wade." But then on second thought, I think he would be just fine. Although is he too tall? I thought Wade was supposed to be short. But that's okay. ;)

Rachel Weisz I think would be better than Michelle Dockery. I think cast alongside Hugh, Rachel would look better too.

Levitt as Jules... AAAHHH!!! He would be so good at that. :) And Tommy would NAIL MR. SHORES ON THE HEAD!! And Sean Astin would be so cute and pitiful as Jerry. :)

Argh... now that you've made up this cast, now I want them to make a movie with this cast. RIGHT NOW. :D I just like movies because they're visual. And it would be an awesome movie. :D

Ranting now coming to an end... sorry, couldn't help it. ;) But what can I say when I love this story?

Miss Dashwood said...

That last answer... wow. I loved that. Loved it. The "bewildered as to what true sucess is"-- our world SO NEEDS a book like this! Cannot WAIT for it to be published. Well, that goes without saying. Heehee.

Oooh, when it finally IS published, Jeeves shall be a lady author!!!! *highly unladylike snort* Have you seen that episode? The one in which Jeeves IS a lady author? :P

My goodness, I had such a laugh over that picture of Hugh Jackman as the potential Mr. Barnett (excellent choice, by the by), because I had to do a double-take. "Why... he's quite good-looking!" I'd never even heard of him before Les Mis, you must remember, so I'm accustomed to seeing him in a scruffy convict's beard or as an aged, respected monsieur. :P So it really never entered my head that he might be handsome. And that picture bowled me over. Heeheehee.

Oooh, Michelle Dockery as Callie! Love it! She's so pretty... though that dress in the picture... ugh.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt would be SO PERFECT for Jules. I've never actually seen him in anything, but I have no doubt he'd be quite charmingly hateable.

What about Annamaria? You didn't choose anyone for her... is she too much of a minor character?

Looking forward to doing this! Thanks again for tagging me!

Sarah Holman said...

So fun to see your characters!

Arielle Melody Bailey said...

Fly Away Home sounds vastly interesting!

Michelle Dockery is one of my favorite actresses. And I like that dress she's wearing. Well, with a few um, alterations.

I just 'met' Joseph Gordon-Leavitt last weekend in Dark Knight Rises and I have to say- he's one blazing good actor. And yeah, good-looking. :) I think he'd be a great 'baddie'.

A hidden past breathing down her collar? Ooh, intriguing!

Your last answer interests me even more in the story. How long until you hope to have it published?