I was tagged to be a part of this meme by the totally lovely Keris Stainton, whose own version appeared last Wednesday. (It’s a Wednesday thing.) It’s an opportunity to talk about a work in progress – which is what’s been distracting me from blogging recently, sorry. So here’s a little bit about what I’m writing at the moment …
What is the title of your next book?
A bit of an exclusive, this, but we recently agreed on the title of this book – and it will be ‘You Don’t Know Me’.
Where did the idea come from for the book?
It’s about four girls in a girl band who enter an online talent show, and what happens when they’re encouraged to drop their most talented singer, who happens to be ‘not just large but large‘. What follows involves cyber bullying, but not in the way you might think. I guess it’s pretty clear where the idea came from: I spend a lot of time online and watch too much TV. I also have teenagers who are practically surgically attached to their phones.
What genre does your book fall under?
YA contemporary. It’s taken me four years of writing to know that ‘YA contemporary’ is a thing – but it is, and I’m currently writing in it.
What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
At the moment they’re too embedded in my imagination for me to picture real actors playing them. But one of them has more than a hint of Adele.
What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?
One mistake … A million haters.
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
Funnily enough, neither. I don’t currently have an agent, but I have a great relationship with my publisher at Chicken House, Barry Cunningham. He kind of bought the idea before I officially offered it to him. Very nice man, Barry.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
About six months of hard work, after a couple of months of not really being able to get into it. Sometimes, you just have to believe in the idea and keep going.
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
I haven’t read any quite like it – which doesn’t mean to say they’re not out there. One of the writers I admire, and have in mind when I’m writing the characters, is Ally Carter, who writes the Gallagher Girls spy series. Not that you’d necessarily guess when you read the stories side by side.
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
We’re constantly surrounded by talent shows, online bullying problems and body image issues. They just all came together in one story for me. (People may think the story was partly inspired by Little Mix, but actually, it wasn’t – I didn’t really watch that particular series of X Factor. However, a lot of the issues are there.)
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
Sasha, the narrator, does a mean impression of Kate Bush singing ‘Wuthering Heights’. The girls’ good luck phrase is ‘seminal leotards’. It features not one, but two iPhones, and a video of some of the girls being chased by Star Wars Lego Clone Troopers. I mean, how could it not be interesting?
My five (actually three) writers for next Wednesday are:
Thanks, guys, for agreeing to do this. Look out for them on their blogs next week!