My Next Big Thing

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Tuesday 23rd October 2012

I’ve been a fan of Karen Wheeler’s books about her life in France for ages so it was a pleasure to meet her on Twitter. I loved her latest book, Tout Soul, and I’m an avid reader of her blog, Tout Sweet, too. Her stories of how she hung up her fashion editor’s high heels and left chic west London to start a new life in rural France make me want to abandon grey, wet Oxford and cross the Channel right this minute.

This week Karen (@mimipompom1) invited me to take part in a web event called My Next Big Thing, where authors answer a series of questions about their latest project.

So I took a deep breath and here are my answers:

What is the working title of your book?

I am completely hopeless at titles but the working title is Three in the Morning.

Where did the idea come from for the book?

That’s such a hard question! My second novel, Moving On, was inspired by a newspaper cutting about two sisters who took over their family business. But for this one I had loads of ideas floating through my head, all of which became intertwined – family, bereavement, Fleet Street, Pendle Hill in Lancashire, teenagers, teachers… I’ve somehow blended all of them into the first full-length novel I’ve written since Taking Sides.

What genre does your book fall under?

Contemporary drama. It covers a multitude of sins but that’s the genre, I reckon.

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

The main characters are three sisters. So my choice would be Vanessa Kirby (she was Estella in BBC One’s recent adaptation of Great Expectations) for Jess, the youngest sister. Helen McCrory could play the eldest sister, Flo, and Claire Danes for the middle sister, Finn. They’d make a very starry line-up…

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

The three Barker sisters never spend any time in the same country, let alone the same house – so how do they cope when a family crisis flings them together for the first time in years?

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

Three years – in between novellas and journalistic work!

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

I love Marian Keyes’s books because they combine heart and humour. I only wish I could write like her…

What else about your blog post might pique the reader’s interest?

My first three books, Hard Copy, Moving On and Taking Sides, were published in quick succession. They’ve never been available electronically before but Piatkus is publishing them as ebooks in January, February and March next year (2013), which I’m thrilled about. Also, Endeavour Press has just published my second romantic novella, School Ties.

And now I’m going to nominate four fantastic writers to tell us about their next big thing:

Kate Lace (@LaceKate) has written 15 novels, including The Chalet Girl and Moonlightingand two non-fiction books. Cox, her latest novel, is the unputdownable tale of two rival hotshot rowers and has been dubbed “Jilly Cooper in a boat.”

Liz Harris (@lizharrisauthor) is the author of The Road Back. Her debut novel is a love story set in a remote region north of the Himalayas. Liz writes contemporary and historical fiction and her blog is called Welcome to My World.

Jenny Smith (@jennysmithbooks) writes humorous fiction for children and teenagers. I adore Jenny’s titles. Her first book is Diary of a Parent Trainer and her latest is the hilarious My Big Fat Teen Crisis, both out now.

Kate Morris (@KateMorris1) is the author of three novels, The Single Girl’s Diary, The Seven Year Itch and Seven Days One Summer. I love Kate’s description of a writer’s life on her blog – “I sit at my desk all day,” she says, “trying not to get distracted by emails, Facebook, Twitter and what’s going on outside my study window.” Y

14 comments so far

  • I so enjoyed reading My (meaning your, of course!) Next Big Thing, Emma. I’m feeling inspired as I do My (meaning my, of course!)Next Big Thing.

    Liz X

  • Lovely post. Thank you Emma for getting involved and for the links on to other authors (and back to me!). Congrats also on the Piatkus linkup. It sounds like it is all go at The House With No Name.
    Karen X (PS: Clare Danes is an inspired choice to play one of your characters; really wish I’d thought of her!) PPS: love the pic that goes with this post. Are they dahlias? Or peonies?)

  • I am so going to have to get a kindle (roll on Christmas!) so I can read your two latest! And you didn’t tell me about School Ties, you dark horse. So when is Three in the Morning going to get finished. *taps fingers impatiently*

  • I’ve got a Kindle now and I love it. It’s so easy that even an IT-idiot like me can download books in a trice! I thought I’d told you about School Ties. It’s quite short but I’d love you to give me your verdict. And as for Three in the Morning – some redrafting necessary I think.

  • Thank you so much, Karen. It was a real honour to be involved. Thank you for asking me! I think Claire Danes is my favourite actress right now. She is brilliant in Homeland. Are you watching it in France?
    PS. Yes, they are dahlias, bought at my local flower shop. I’m the world’s worst photographer but I couldn’t resist using the picture.

  • Loved reading this! I have been tagged in this meme too – although I’m not a published author yet – but I am going to focus on the current idea that I have. It’s a great meme to help me pair down the crux of the story!

  • I’ve just looked back at yours and Karen’s answers to My Next Big Thing, Emma, and admired their succinctness. To be succinct is my goal, too. If I succeed, it’ll be a first!!

    Liz X

  • Great reading your replies, Emma! (I dodged the synopsis question in my answers – blame the editing deadline…) Exciting news on the e-book front for you, too.

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