The name of this blog stemmed from my pursuit for publication.Six years and somewhere int he neighborhood of 100 posts later I am proud to say I have achieved the goal of publication a good many times if you count short stories, non-fiction articles, and of course my memoir, THE FEEDSTORE CHRONICLES.
But the slippery ladder to success still has many rungs on it yet for me to climb. Today I am happy and to announce that come May I will lift my foot and inch ever so higher in my pursuit with the publication of my first novel.
These days I am much more active on both Twitter and Facebook than I am here on the blog but I still have a very fond spot in my heart for this blog and my many friends who I came to know via the blogosphere so I decided to announce the details of my novel here first. Several people have tagged me with the NEXT BIG THING meme over the past few months including Kevin Tipple, Peter Dudley, and Avery Debow. All three are talented writers so please go check them out.
As for the meme I sure its name is prophetic.
THE NEXT BIG THING
1: What is the working title of your book? TWISTED ROADS - Not a working title but the actual title as the novel is slated for a May release. No specific date yet, but I'll let y'all know as soon as I get word from my publisher.
2: Where did the idea come from for the book? Much like the characters in the book, this novel has traveled a Twisted Road to publication. I completed the original draft back in 2001. The idea for that version came to me back when I was a high school football referee. Most often I officiated games in tiny out of the way towns here in the Texas Panhandle and being a temporary outsider in such places gives you a unique glimpse at the dynamics of these towns. I began wondering what it would be like to move to such a place. Not by choice but by necessity. At first I wanted a total outsider as my central character, but eventually I decided they would have an easier time adapting as an unknown quantity than say someone who had fled as an exile. What if you had to move back to a close knit small town where few of anyone liked you? From there other character developed and changed over the years in various drafts. The story that will be published in May actually bears little resemblance to the original and now includes four POV characters. It is set in the fictional town of Grand, Texas
3: What genre does your book come under? Women's Fiction. I've yet to a write a single story that does not have at least a thread of a love story and TWISTED ROADS is no exception.
4: Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition? This is tough for me. Unlike many writers I do not picture actors or any other real life person when creating my characters. I have my own mental image and rarely do I think any particular actor is the perfect fit. Having said that, there is one character in this book, an old drunk named L.J. that serves a sort of Yoda wisdom guide role for several characters that I feel Kris Kristofferson would be a perfect for. And the novel has a musical element so that makes him an even better fit. Here are others, though I am not as enamored with those choices.
Angela Ross (the girl with the checkered past returns to Grand after running away 16 years ago) Actress Tricia Helfer
Lucas Cahill (Would be singer/songwriter who gave up not only a chance at a stardom but also his career as a lawyer to be near the woman he loves, but can't have in Grand, Texas)
I'm conflicted here because signer Dierks Bentley has the look I imagined for Lucas, but his Nashville sound contradicts with Lucas's brand of Texas music. And really he needs darker hair.
Shelly Sampson assumed her role Grand, Texas royalty back with her homecoming victory and in the sixteen years since she had fought desperately to remain atop the town's social ladder. But her looks are fading, her marriage is crumbling and she is hiding one hell of a secret.
Hilary Swank might work, but again she needs dark hair.
Jake Sampson a good ol' boy coasting along on the reputation he earned back in High School when he led the Grand Cougars to back-to-back state football titles. These days he can't even score with his own wife. But he would like another go at Angela now that she has returned.
This is another tough one for me. I can see Jake but I can't think of a real close match so I'll go with actor Ryan Hurst.
5: What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? Desperation brought her back, love convinced her to linger, but that was before she learned Grand, Texas is a small town, hiding big lies.
6: Is your book self-published, published by an independent publisher, or represented by an agency? TWISTED ROADS is being published by TAG Publishing LLC.
7: How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?Nine months for the first draft, but many drafts and years have slid by since then.
8: What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? Jennifer Crusie's Welcome to Temptation comes to mind first. And not really in the genre but there are elements of Larry McMurtry's The Last Picture Show as well.
9: Who or what inspired you to write this book? Not a who and the what was covered up above. But I will add my love of Texas music colored Lucas's character, who was not in the original draft. Once Lucas hit the scene the book took on more life.
10: What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest? Life rarely travels the exact path we envision or want, but often the twists and turns along the way lead us to our best moments. The same can be said for this novels as well as the characters it contains. I came with a whisker, okay actually a marketing meeting of of placing this novel with a big New York House a decade ago. At the time I was bummed. Looking back I'm glad it didn't happen. The team at TAG saw potential in the book and urged me to improve upon it. TWISTED ROADS is a better book for it, and I am excited for y'all to read it. Had it been published 10 years ago as it was, I wouldn't be half as proud as I am now.