So everyone and their dog did this "Next Big Thing" meme, and then tagged other people to do the same.
I was innundated with dozens of tags cause everyone wants to know more about my MS and my kickbooty story and all that.*
*I was not tagged at all. #foreveralone
Anyway, my pals, Jessica Love and Jaye Robin Brown humored me and "faux-tagged" me after I ASKED THEM TO via twitter.
That's true love, people.
So, without further adieu, I present THE NEXT BIG THING: BUT NOT FOR ME
WHAT IS THE WORKING TITLE OF YOUR BOOK?
So, the title, as of now is BUT NOT FOR ME. Don't love it. It's a line from a famous song by George Gershwin. My MC is a musical theatre enthusiast, so that's the tie in, but I'm not sure.
I'm totally open or suggestions if you have a fabulous idea for a novel that is funny and sad and about bullying and obesity and best friends and first love and lost and ALL THE THINGS.
WHERE DID THE IDEA COME FROM?
I am a teacher for adolescents with emotional/behavioral disorders. They are incredible. Students with E/BD can be under the SpEd umbrella, which surprises people. They're not developmentally delayed or physically impaired, nor do they have low IQs. Their disability is their psychological or emotional problems... They're so, so misunderstood.
They are my heart, and I wanted to write a story that one of them could read and see themselves in.
Not a story about a kid who's "sad all the time" or pretty but just doesn't see, but a girl with several, legit, chronic, clinical problems who still has to get through life.
Yeah, it's a lot of issues... but that is REAL for my kids.
The first spark of the idea for the story, after discovering my MC Imogen, was the idea of her stepsister's name being a play on Cinderella (Her name is Carmella Cinder).
At first, I didn't know if it would be a redux or something else, but it ended up DEFINITELY NOT being a retelling.
WHAT GENRE DOES YOUR BOOK FALL UNDER?
WHICH ACTORS WOULD YOU CHOSE TO PLAY YOUR CHARACTERS IN THE MOVIE ADAPTATION?
I don't have actors, but I do have some inspiration photos of some models that I've pinned on pinterest. Yes, I know I'm playing with fire, posting images. All images remain the exclusive copyright of their owners.
My MC: Imogen Keegan
Her BFF: Grant Thornton
Her cruel and beautiful stepsister: Carmella Cinder
These pins are almost EXACTLY the characters in my head, which is a little weird. :)
WHAT IS THE ONE SENTENCE SYNOPSIS OF YOUR BOOK?
BLARGH! I hate this.
Obviously, putting my book into a sentence is obnoxious to me, cause my book isn't "high concept"... it's a broad coming of age story with a lot of issues.
I received a couple of requests from this twitter pitch, though, so this is as good as you're gonna get:
Depressed, overweight, musical-obsessed Imogen’s the ugly step-sister to cruel Ella Cinder. She’ll have to fight for her happy ending.
WILL YOUR BOOK BE SELF-PUBBED OR REPRESENTED BY AN AGENT?
I'm finishing up on a few agent requested revisions now that I hope will result in some traction. However, if those don't pan out, I plan to enter some winter contests and submit another batch of queries before the end of the year.
I believe in this book, and I believe that the perfect agent is out there for it, and for me.
HOW LONG DID IT TAKE YOU TO WRITE THE FIRST DRAFT OF YOUR BOOK?
I went from concept to full-requests in about 70 days.
MAY WE SEE AN INTRO?
It's up on my projects page, so this isn't earth-shattering new information or anything, but my opening is as follows:
I hate buttoning my jeans.
I would rather skip straight to the inevitable muu-muu phase of my life than try to encapsulate my size 20 ass into this denim prison ever again.
Come on, suck it in.
I'm not really into wishing on stars, but being able to magic my way into my paint-splattered jeans without feeling like a summer sausage would be a pretty good reason for a fairy godmother.
Oh, thank God. Houston, we have closure.
But seriously. The girls in fairy tales—they don't need the help. I mean, why would a completely gorgeous girl have trouble looking fabulous in a dress, or need help getting a handsome prince to take her to the ball anyway? I'm not fooled. Snow White has the attention of seven little men, not because she’s the only one who can reach the top of the book shelf, but because she’s a porcelain-skinned, ruby-lipped knockout. The little mermaid got a prince because she had to shut her trap for five whole seconds and looks fierce in a bikini. And Cinderella? She’s a girl who clearly demonstrates to the prince that she’s got lots of experience on her knees, and doesn’t mind getting dirty.
Hot girls get the fairy tales.
WHAT OTHER BOOKS WOULD YOU COMPARE THIS STORY TO?
Ack. This question kills me. Seems so presumptuous to compare your unrepped-unpubbed novel to works, especially ones you like.
I think my MC is as unlikable on the surface as the MC in Lauren Oliver's BEFORE I FALL.
I think my character has a very distinct, very strong voice, but comparing it to other voice masters would make me feel like a hack.
(If you've read/beta'd for me, I'm totally open to COMP suggestions)
WHO OR WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO WRITE THIS STORY?
I opened with this... but my students.
They're the strongest people I've ever met.
I want them to know that they're not alone.
WHAT ELSE ABOUT YOUR BOOK MIGHT PIQUE READERS' INTEREST?
Well, if you like a funny, snarky MC voice, this book has it in spades. If you like heart-wrenching characters who've experienced great tragedy, my book as that too.
In short, it's about a girl who has no reason to believe that a happy ending will ever find for her, and her realization happiness doesn't seek you out, you have to make it happen.
Thank you so, so much for all of your support and encouragement!
I'd love to know what you think in the comments below. :)