The lovely Indie writer Clare Ashton (Pennance, After Mrs Robinson) has tagged me for the 26th week of The Next Big Thing Blog Hop. The idea is to hop from blog to blog to discover exciting books we might not have heard about or that are still works in progress. Each author will answer the same ten questions, then list authors who will answer the questions on their blogs next Wednesday.
What is the working title of your book?
Well, what was a working title is now an official title: Desolation Point. Or DP to its friends.
Where did the idea come from for the book?
I have a tendency to make up stories while I’m hiking, which led me to think, “Ooh, mountains are not only gorgeous but also great places to get someone good and lost in.” So many of the details that have made it into the novel – sights, smells, and stupid games my partner and I play to take our minds off blisters – have been taken from our own experiences.
Although we tend to hike in Northern England or in Switzerland, I chose to set the novel in the North Cascades because I wanted to write an American/English pairing. Having flummoxed plenty of online American friends with my flagrant use of Britishisms, I thought it might be fun to play around with the separated by a common language theme. And it was fun, and I got to use the word “pillock”, which always makes me smile.
What genre does your book fall under?
Thriller/Intrigue with a lovely romance happening at the same time.
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
I’ve been instructed to cast the rather wonderful Carey Mulligan as Sarah, just so that my better half would be able to say hello to her on the set. So, following that logic, maybe I would cast Lena Headey as Alex (she can do a decent enough American accent!) for my own nefarious reasons.
Dubious casting motives aside, this is a bit of an impossible question for me, because I never really go into much detail as to the appearance of my characters. I know that Sarah has green eyes and hair that’s long enough to tie into a pony tail, and I know Alex has shorter hair and is a bit taller than Sarah. But I think I prefer the reader to make up their own image of the characters. I would be a casting director’s nightmare, or dream, actually, because they could pretty much cast whomever they wanted.
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Unofficially: Two women get lost in the mountains, where they have to escape a dangerous criminal, fall in love, and preserve their stash of Kendal Mint Cake.
What is the longer synopsis of your book?
I’m going to cheat terribly (mainly because I’m crap at writing synopses) and use the book’s official synopsis here:
One wrong step in Los Angeles leaves Alex Pascal scarred and traumatized, unable to continue the career she loves.
In England, a drunk driver shatters Sarah Kent’s family.
For Sarah, leaving England to explore the North Cascades is an opportunity to regain her health and her confidence, while Alex has already abandoned LA to make the mountains her home. Drawn to the beauty and history of Desolation Peak, Sarah is hiking alone when a storm leaves her stranded. Determined to track her down, Alex heads into the wilderness, never anticipating the terrible danger she will face. Because Sarah is already running for her life, fleeing from a ruthless criminal with a mission to complete and nothing left to lose. With everything stacked against them, neither woman expects to survive, let alone fall in love. All they have to do now is find a way out.
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
It will be published by Bold Strokes Books on April 15th, 2013.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
About a year, which is fairly typical for me. I would probably write faster if my brain weren’t so mashed by a ridiculous shift pattern.
Who or What inspired you to write this book?
My partner inspired me to get back into writing – she was the driving force behind Snowbound – so I think she can take credit for the momentum that created this one as well.
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
I’ve just got started on the editing process and the story is making me smile all over again. It’s funny, sweet, sad, and scary in places, and I am very fond of it. I thoroughly enjoyed writing it, and hope folks have a good time reading it.
Next Wednesday check out a brand new, bright young author for the next big thing:
Amy Dunne is another scoop in the growing list of British Bold Strokes Books writers. BSB have just signed up her debut Young Adult novel Scars (provisional title). Check out Amy’s blog here, and look out for her answering the NBT questions next Wednesday.