The Next Big Thing blog chain has arrived on my blog! Melanie Crowder, talented author of the forthcoming middle grade novel PARCHED, has tagged me.
A quick disclaimer: As I’m not entirely clear on the path my current work in progress is taking, I’m going to take the easy route and answer these questions with EVERY DAY AFTER in mind. Yes, I suppose I’m a bit of a rebel. But, hey, aren’t we all?
Now, on to the fun part…
1. What is the title of your book? EVERY DAY AFTER
2. Where did you get the idea for this book?
My paternal grandparents were both children of the 1920’s, and grew up during the Great Depression. Their stories of the hardships they endured inspired me to dig deeper. This may sound a bit cliché, but looking back I think I always knew, even as a kid, that I would write this book some day, though I never dreamed it would be published.
3. What is the genre of the book? Middle grade historical fiction
4. If you could pick actors to play the lead characters in your story, whom would you pick?
This is a super-fun question, so I decided to do an entire post on this one. Check back here on Wednesday, January 30th to find out.
5. How would you describe your book in one sentence?
Daddy left, but Lizzie’s not letting doctors, bankers, or bratty newcomers take what remains—her mama, her house, or her best friend.
6. How will your book be published?
EVERY DAY AFTER will be released through Delacorte Press/Random House Children’s Books on June 11, 2013. Whoo-hoo!
7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of this book?
The very first draft took me about four months to write, but it went through many revisions afterward. Before I ever submitted the manuscript, I cut main characters, added new characters, expanded plot lines, cut chapters, added new chapters, and on and on. The process was repeated once again with my fabulous editor. From first draft to final book, EVERY DAY AFTER took several years to complete.
8. What other books within your genre are similar to yours?
I’m not going to compare my book to other books. Every story has its own unique qualities. But, I will share the characters I feel are most like Lizzie Hawkins, my book’s young protagonist.
Lizzie is independent and responsible (she takes care of her ailing mama and their home all by herself), spirited (she’s been known to throw a punch or two), rather stubborn (like her daddy, it’s her way or the highway), and oblivious to her own flaws (as are we all).
I’d say she is a mix of Turtle’s responsibility (TURTLE IN PARADISE), Scout Finch’s hot temper (TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD), Abilene Tucker’s emotional scars inflicted by a deserter daddy (MOON OVER MANIFEST), and Sistine Bailey’s feisty determination (THE TIGER RISING).
9. Who or what inspired you to write this book?
*See question #2, or for further detail, be sure to check out The Lucky 13s blog on January 24th for a full post about the inspiration behind the book.
10. What about your book will pique the reader’s interest?
There are hundreds of middle grade novels about spunky girls living through the 1930s. Admittedly, EVERY DAY AFTER is no exception. But there is no doubt that the star of the book is Lizzie herself. If you’ll give her a chance, she just might win you over with her flaws, her mistakes, and her utter humanness. She’ll likely make you mad, she might make you laugh, and she will make you think. I hope she is as real to her readers as she is to her writer.
And there you go! That was actually rather painless! (At least for me.) Thanks for stopping by. Next week, be sure to check out my friend Anita Saxena’s excellent blog Anita’s Edge where she’ll keep the Next Big Thing blog chain going.