The Next Big Thing

Hi folks

If you hang out in the Blogosphere, I’m SURE you’ve heard of The Next Big Thing recently. I was first tagged by the lovely Cari Kamm but didn’t get my act together in time to participate. Next two talented Aussies asked me if I’d like to be involved – Michelle Diener and Alissa Callen. I saw how HUGE this thing had become and knew I’d be crazy not to be involved. Since then the brilliant Aussie author Greg Barron has also asked me to participate.

So, today I’m finally taking up the challenge:

I’ve just subbed a book to Harlequin Australia which I hope will be the first in a linked series focusing on some fabulous characters in the fictional town of Merindah, Western Australia. If all goes well, book one will be out later this year and I’m about to start writing book two in the series, so I decided to do my Next Big Thing post on this book!

Ten Interview Questions for The Next Big Thing:

What is your working title of your book?

Outback Blaze or Playing With Fire – not 100% yet, will depend on what my publishers want to call book one.

Where did the idea come from for the book?

A few years back when I was living in Kojonup, WA, my husband’s place of work burnt to the ground in the middle of the night. He worked at the Co-op, which housed a supermarket, liquor store and drapery. Many of the towns residents were employed here and locals had been shopping here for years. The whole town came down in their pyjamas to watch as the local volunteer firefighters did their absolute best to save the building. Since that night, I knew I wanted to write a book involving a major fire and when I started writing rural romance, the idea seemed even more fitting.

What genre does your book fall under?

Rural romance, farm-lit, Ru-ro, chook-lit – whatever you want to call it, it’s currently doing amazingly well with Aussie readers!

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

Ooh I haven’t got as far as thinking about this yet, but Jessica Marais who rose to fame in Aussie show Packed To The Rafters would be perfect for Ruby and the hero in this is actually an American and I’m very partial to Matthew McConaughey so might have to give him the role of Noah Tucker.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Argh, you’re joking right? I’m hopeless at this stuff.

Okay… here goes… Recovering from OCD, the last thing Ruby Jones needs is for her livelihood to burn to the ground or for the cop she finds herself attracted to pointing the finger at her.

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

I’m represented by the lovely Helen Breitweiser from Cornerstone Agency and I’m hoping my current publisher Harlequin Australia will snap this one up as well πŸ™‚

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

I haven’t actually written this yet but most of my STs take between five and six months!

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

There are so many rural authors out there now and the degrees of romance among them varies, I’d say my books are at the romance end of the spectrum and more similar to authors like Cathryn Hein, Karly Lane and Barbara Hannay.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

The fact I wanted to write the book before and after it πŸ™‚ Seriously! However saying that, when I met Ruby in book one, I knew there was a lot more to her than met the eye and I wanted to explore what things in her life had made her into the woman she is when the book starts – someone recovering from OCD and thinking they are finally getting their life back on track.

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

I think it’s the first rural book I’ve read with an American hero and he’s oh-so-divine. I hope readers will like this point of difference. The mystery thread that will really come to the forefront in book three will also be developed more in this book.

Thanks to Cari, Michelle, Alissa and Greg for asking me to participate in this fun blogging event. I hope you’ll all check out their blogs as well! And now I’m supposed to tag more authors but almost everyone I know seems already to have done this, so I’m putting out an open tag to my author friends. If you haven’t yet participated in The Next Big Thing – I tag you!!

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