Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The Next Big Thing

Hey, all,

I was tagged by Erika Chase to participate in The Next Big Thing, a fun, interesting kind of blog chain!

Have a look at Erika Chase's blog, for an idea of what I mean:

So, in The Next Big Thing, I'm supposed to answer ten questions about my WIP, or Work In Progress!

First, an explanation: I am, of course, the author of Vintage Kitchen Mysteries, and last year I was thrilled to sign a contract for a new series, Merry's Muffins and Mysteries! Then I heard that Berkley was looking for an author to write a series based on an idea they had for a Teapot Collector cozy mystery series.


I collect teapots (a few, I don't have room for many!) and teacups. I would collect more if I had the room, but I photograph teapots wherever I go, too!! I was thrilled when I got the job, and that is the book I am working on right now, Book 1 in that series, which I will be writing under the pseudonym Amanda Cooper. By the way, those names have a family connection I'll probably talk about some day.

So... on to the ten questions!

1 - What is the working title of the book?

Tempest in a Teapot. After I thought of it I heard about Kari Lee Townsend's Tempest in the Tea Leaves, (more about her later!) but the titles are similar but not identical so I figure it's okay!!

2 - Where did the idea for the book come from?

Well, actually, this is MUCH different than my usual way of working in that the idea came from someone else, my editor at Berkley, the wonderful Michelle Vega. I only hope I take her vision and make her proud! Of course, I have lots of latitude, so the book truly is being shaped by me.

3 - What genre does the book fall under?

Cozy Mystery of course!!

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

Hmm... tough one. Sophie Freemont Taylor should be played by Michelle Monaghan, (she was in Made of Honor with Patrick Dempsey, among other things) I think. She's a little older than 27 year old Sophie, but she's beautiful, dark haired, with an intelligent good girl aura that would suit Sophie well. Nana would be perfectly played by Betty White, and Thelma Mae Earnshaw, one of the more colorful characters in the book, (she's a quirky senior) could be handled marvelously by Cloris Leachman.

5 - What is a one sentence synopsis of your book.

Sophie Freemont Taylor, back in Gracious Grove, New York to help her Nana with her tearoom, worries that a fatal poisoning at the tearoom next door is going to be pinned on cantankerous Thelma Mae Earnshaw, so she and her Nana and friends try to figure out who wanted influential matriarch (and Sophie's best friends future mother-in-law) dead. 

6 - Who represents you and who is publishing the book?

It will be published by Berkley Prime Crime. I am represented by BookEnds Literary Agency.

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

I'll let you know when I'm done!

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

Well, it's by me, so inevitably it will be in a similar tone to A Deadly Grind, my first Vintage Kitchen Mystery! But pick any one of the books by my Killer Characters' compatriots and you'll get the same kind of coziness!!

9 - Who or what inspired you to write this book?

My wonderful editor gave me the basics of the plot and characters, and I'm working on fleshing it out!

10 - What else about your book might pique the reader's interest?

A couple of things, I suppose... my editor was very specific about the kind of cat that Sophie's Nana has, a Birman. Now, I had never seen a Birman before, but they are gorgeous, very Persian-like, with with amazing coloring and markings! I can't wait to see if they put her on the cover. But other than that, I hope they like the very cozy elements of the setting, a tearoom, and the plotting is always super important to me!

The Next Big Thing chain is supposed to have five writers linked to it, but at this busy time of year I only found one writer able to commit the time and energy necessary, but what a writer she is! I am pleased to link to Kari Lee Townsend.

Here is the blog she participates in on Wednesdays:

And here is her website!

Shout out to you, Kari!