I seem to be the last of my writer friends to participate in this fun Blog Hop called The Next Big Thing. I got tagged by the funny and talented fantasy and sci-fi writer, Samantha Warren. If you don’t think she’s funny and talented, just read her bio here.
My Next Big Thing is actually a little on the small side. It’s my first crack at a novella (about 1/3rd the length of my other novels).
Here’s how this works. I answer ten questions about my work in progress. Then I’m supposed to tag five other authors, but like I said, I seem to be the last one arriving at this party. So if you’re a writer, and you want to
brag talk about your Next Big Thing, consider yourself tagged.
1. What is the title of the work?
The title was going to be “Sal of St. Augustine, A Kate on Vacation Cozy Mystery” but then my daughter-in-law (one of my best beta readers) said that was kind of boring (she said it much more diplomatically than that, but that’s what she meant).
So I’m looking for ideas for a better title. After you’ve read a bit more here about the story maybe something good will come to you. And just to make it interesting, I’m gonna give a $20 gift card to anyone who comes up with a title so wonderful I decide to use it!
2. Where did the idea for the book come from?
I was joking around one day with fellow misterio press author, JoAnn Bassett. Her mystery series is set in Hawaii and her protagonist is a wedding planner (named Pali Moon) whose weddings always seem to go seriously awry.
Why not write a book together? I said. My protag, Kate Huntington, could come to Hawaii for her niece’s wedding (for those of you who’ve read Family Fallacies, wouldn’t Phyllis, Kate’s sister-in-law, make the perfect mother-of-the-bride from hell?) Then Kate and Pali (pronounced Polly) could end up investigating somebody’s murder together.
JoAnn pointed out we’d probably end up like the best friends who become college roommates, and end up hating each other after one semester.
I agreed and the writing it together idea got scrapped. But a seed had been planted in my fertile little brain. Why not write some shorter, lighter stories starring my main characters while they’re on vacation. Thus the concept of a parallel series to my Kate Huntington books was born.
This first one is set in St. Augustine, Florida, when Kate and her family go to visit her parents for Christmas. I have a second one planned, a locked-room mystery that will happen on a cruise in the Caribbean, and then the Hawaii wedding one (JoAnn’s going to be my consultant on that one!)
3. What genre is the book?
It’s a ‘cozy’ mystery, designed to be a light, fun read. (In this case, think Miss Marple meets Alex Delaware.)
4. What is a one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Even on vacation, Kate Huntington can’t seem to stay out of trouble; while visiting her parents for Christmas in St. Augustine, she and her private detective husband get sucked into investigating when her parents’ friend disappears.
(Yeah, I know. I cheated by using a semi-colon to get in two sentences. I’m really bad about following rules.)
5. Which actors would you choose to play your main characters?
Gonna need some help with this one too. I am absolutely horrible at remembering actors’ names (names in general). Who comes to mind to play Kate and/or Skip, folks? I’d love some suggestions, just in case Hollywood ever comes calling with an offer.
Oh, and while I’m asking for help again, here are some pics I took in St. Augustine this past Christmas. I’m considering using one of them as the cover. What do you think?
Too busy maybe?
It’s sunny 362 days of the year in Florida. Wouldn’t you know it, the day I go to St. Aug to take pics is one of the three when it’s overcast! But I can probably get that doctored by a cover artist.
Please vote for one (or rank them) in the comments. I’m having trouble deciding.
6. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
I’m a control freak, so self-published, of course.
7. How long did it take you to write this book?
About three weeks. Granted it’s a novella, but still I’m not usually that speedy. But when I tell myself a project is “just for fun” it tends to go much faster.
8. What other books would you compare this to?
Maybe Mary Daheim’s Bed and Breakfast series (if I may be so bold) in which the protagonist gets caught up in the shenanigans of the interesting (sometimes downright weird) people who come from all over to stay at her B & B. Only in this case, Kate is doing the traveling.
9. Who or what inspired you to write this book?
I think we’ve already established that it’s JoAnn’s fault. 😛
10. What else about your book might pique readers’ interest?
Part of the idea with this parallel series of cozies is to showcase some interesting vacation destinations so readers can do a little vicarious traveling.
Despite the mild temperatures, no place does Christmas quite like St. Augustine, and the town is chock full of historic sites. A Caribbean cruise and Hawaii speak for themselves. Who wouldn’t want to curl up with a fun book set in one of those exotic places?
Posted by Kassandra Lamb. Check out her Kate Huntington mystery series.
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