The Next Big Thing Blog Hop
Tag: I’m it.
Welcome to the next stop on the Big Blog Hop. As you’all know, I was tagged by the incomparable Jordan Dane, with whom I also share space on ADR3NALIN3. If you don’t know Jordan, drop her site and give her latest project a look-see.
As you probably know, the blog hop’s designed for us authors to either gab about a work in progress or showcase one that’s forthcoming. I’ll be honest: I’m incredibly superstitious about wips. I hate talking about them because almost anything sounds stupid, especially when it’s in draft.
So, instead, I’ll give you the scoop on my latest stand-alone. Also, as part of the NEXT BIG THING, I’ll be giving away THREE copies through GOODREADS. Contest rules follow below after my Q&A.
1) What’s the title of your forthcoming book?
The Sin-Eater’s Confession
2) Where did the idea come from for the book?
To be honest, I think it came from a couple different sources: a true story, courtesy of a librarian; the general mindset of where I live versus where I last came from; my sneaking suspicion that, while people may like to believe otherwise, the vast majority of the US population does not live in New York or San Francisco, and even there, the notion of people being open-minded and oh-so-tolerant is a comforting fiction. Really, city people aren’t necessarily all that tolerant either; it’s just that the bigots know how to be a tad more politically correct. People say a lot of things in private they’d never dream of saying in public (and vice versa); they believe a lot more they’ll never say, regardless.
That goes for kids, too.
Plus, erotic obsession also works both ways. Ask any kid who’s major crushing. In addition, just because a kid or adult might be homosexual doesn’t mean he or she can’t also be seriously screwed up. Gay or straight, people—and rumor—ruin other people’s reputations and lives all the time.
3) What genre does your book fall under?
Very gritty YA contemporary, darkly psychological and a tad thriller-ish, with a big helping of mystery. I think it was Kirkus that said the book is both a “page-turning whodunit” and “blistering confessional.” So, yeah.
4) Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie version?
Heck, I don’t know. If Matt Damon were twenty years younger, I can see him as Ben. Jimmy’s tougher . . . but Elijah Wood jumps to mind.
5) What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Oh, crikey . . . I’m gonna cheat and give you part of the Kirkus synopsis: “When the tiny town of Merit, Wis., loses its football hero to a drunk-driving accident, his family needs help on their dairy farm. High school senior Ben steps up to help. His mother hopes it’ll give him fodder for his Yale admissions essay; Ben, unsure he wants to follow the path she’s laid out for him, just likes helping the stern Mr. and Mrs. Lange and their 15-year-old son, Jimmy. When Jimmy wins a national photography contest with sensual photographs of his own father and Ben (both taken without permission), rumors that the baby-faced Jimmy is gay jump into overdrive—and start circulating about Ben, who then distances himself from Jimmy. When Ben witnesses a horrific crime and does nothing, his life spins out of control; he begins to doubt himself, his senses, his motives…even his connection to reality.”
I know: more than one sentence.
6) Is your book self-published, published by an independent publisher, or represented by an agency?
The good folks at Carolrhoda Lab set the pub date as March 1. That being said, you can find the novel now on Amazon, B&N, Lerner Books (parent company of Carolrhoda Lab), among other places. It should be turning up in brick and mortar stores pretty soon, too.
7) How long did it take to write the first draft of your manuscript?
About three months.
8) What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
YA psychological mysteries and thrillers by authors as various as Laurie Halse Anderson, Gail Giles, Nancy Werlin, Graham McNamee, and Blake Nelson.
9) Who or what inspired you to write this book?
That kind of dovetails with how I got the idea for the book to begin with, I think. It’s funny, but I’ve seen one reader comment that, oh, this isn’t such a big deal anymore and no kid would behave like this and make such dumb decisions.
And I say, HAH.
Kids make bone-headed decisions and dig themselves in deeper and deeper all the time. (So do a lot of adults.) Coming out—or being the subject of gossip, whether that talk is accurate or not—is a HUGE deal, especially in more rural areas. And sexuality, as well as identity, is mutable. Kids break into hives just thinking about asking someone out (which, I’m convinced, is why no one dates anymore; instead, they “hang out”). You really think coming out is so easy? You honestly believe kids aren’t talking about you behind your back, or laughing? Or their parents aren’t gossiping about it? Get real.
10) What else about your book might pique a reader’s interest?
Because things like this really can—and do—happen. They really do.
Next up on the hop:
Look for these writers–a hefty chunk of them not only terrific writers but blasts from my STAR TREK past–to post about their own Next Big Things next Wednesday, February 6th.
Okay . . . I, like, gotta go write something. Thanks for stopping by!
And don’t forget: enter for your chance to win a copy of The Sin-Eater’s Confession. Contest ends on the book’s birthday, March 1!