Glad you're here!

Welcome to my personal blog. Squirrel(!) is such an appropriate title for this spot on the Internet. This began as a way to share the journal from my walk across England with hubby Jan. That trip is archived here for you to enjoy (June of 2012), but now when you visit you'll read my crazy musings on everything from horses, to cars, to grammar, to books, baseball, or weasels. Don't get whiplash trying to figure out a theme; just watch out for the squirrels!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The Next Big Thing

Happy Week After Christmas--I hope your celebrations were wonderful!  And - - happy "Welcome Back to The Squirrel(!) Blog Day!  I've been letting this site languish and be no more than an archive for the online diary of my trip to England this past summer. It's always been my intention to start blogging again in the new year -- and a nudge from one of my best writing buddies has given me just the launch topic.  I was invited to take part in an ongoing hop from blog to blog of writers talking about their own "next big things."  So I'm back here to update you on the story that's almost finished and ready to send off to my agent and editor.  

At the end of the post you'll find some links to other authors telling you about their works in progress (aka WIPs). I hope you'll click through and circle around to see what's coming.  And check back during this week to see who might be blogging their next big thing next week.

So--drum roll--here are ten questions I was given to answer about Liz Selvig's "Next Big Thing."  

1. What is your working title of your book?

The original title of this manuscript was “Angelwings.” But I already know that won’t be the final title. I’m currently calling it “The Horsewoman’s Hero.”

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

This is a very, very old idea—and an old book actually. It’s a revision of my very first manuscript and really just grew over a long time as I got to know the characters.

3. What genre does your book fall under?

This is definitely a contemporary romance. The story takes place in the fictitious town of Kennison Falls, MN – the place I created for my first novel, “The Rancher and the Rock Star.”

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

I have photos of the two people who I’d love to play Chase and Jill. Do you remember the gorgeous old Diet Coke commercial where all the women in the office ran to window at break time to watch a construction worker remove his shirt and drink a Diet Coke? The construction worker was Lucky Vanous and he’s the perfect Chase. As forJill, she’s a beautiful ex-Miss World Sweden. Nobody would know her, nobody would recognize her. Trust me that she’s a beautiful, doe-eyed, dark blonde!

5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

A woman with Olympic hopes, a man with a heart-breaking secret, a magical dog, a teen with purple hair, and a cranky farmer with a giant horse and the surprising key to everyone’s happiness, form an unlikely bond during a summer that flips dreams upside down and nourishes the unlikeliest of loves.

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

I have a wonderful agent, Elizabeth Winick Rubinstein from the McIntosh & Otis agency. She’s patiently awaiting this manuscript, as is my editor at Avon, Tessa Woodward. I don’t have a contract for the book yet, but I was promised that they want it—so I’m excited!

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

Oh, the answer to this is almost embarrassing now—I worked on this story for years when my children were little and when I was toying with the idea of being a romance writer. Once I finished “Angelwings” in 2005, I marketed it and actually found an agent to represent it. But, truth to tell, it was a first draft, really. I consider the “real” book to have been written in the past six months – and I’m so thrilled with how it’s turned out.

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

I think people who enjoy books by some of my biggest inspirations will like “Horsewoman’s Hero.” Robyn Carr, Katherine Anderson, Susan Anderson, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Jennifer Bernard.  I think I have my own style—and I love rich, layered stories—but these wonderful writers are who I strive to be like.

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

This book is purely and simply a work that’s grown out of years of daydreaming and favorite movies, and ways I always imagined a hero of mine would act. I feel like I’ve been living with Chase and Jill for a very long time. I love them dearly!

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

This book  has a very special dog in it--Angel, the black and white mutt with the batwing-shaped ears. Angel shows up just when she's needed most, and has an uncanny knack for getting her new people to exactly the spots they need to be in, precisely when they need to be in them! Is she magic? Is she just a smart puppy? Or, is she even more special than that?

I’ve also brought back a few of my favorite secondary characters from “Rancher,” so anyone who’s read that will be glad to know Gray and Abby each make cameos, as do the wonderful cockatiels Lester and Cotton. And, of course, it wouldn’t be Kennison Falls if The Sisters (Gladdie and Claudia) weren’t there to save the day in their own inimitable ways!

Plus, there are some really fun new characters, like the irascible old farmer Robert McCormick. And—if you love horses, I have several beauties for you:  Dragon, Jill’s talented black thoroughbred, Belle a beautiful golden Belgian, and Gypsy, the gorgeous Clydesdale who gives birth to the funniest foal this side of Black Beauty: T.N.Tatters. 

And, as usual, there'll be the four things I always put in my stories:  horses, a British accent, a Beatles reference, and an elderly person. You'll have to read it when it finally comes out and search out each reference!

So--there's my WIP for you. I plan to turn it into my "bosses" by mid-January, and I'll definitely let you know what the plans are for it after that.

Now for a couple of other  Big Things -- please check out these awesome blogs from some cool writers: Jennifer BernardMorgan Q. O'Reilly, Boone Brux.  

Ans thanks for checking out my blog today. I promise more random fun in the New Year. (Maybe I'll do "Diary of a Wimpy Writer.")

Happy New Year everyone!