Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Next Big Thing

Adam Heine tagged me a few weeks ago, so here's my take on "The Next Big Thing." The WIP in question? Clyde!

What is your working title of your book?

This would be the first question, wouldn't it? See below*

Where did the idea come from for the book?

Last spring, Sarah LaPolla tweeted about how she'd love to see a contemporary retelling of a biblical story. (Or maybe it was any kind of retelling of a biblical story, so long as it didn't have religious elements.) I'd been mulling over the idea of writing about a middle school election, and when she mentioned the biblical element, something just clicked. Middle school election. David and Goliath. Done.

What genre does your book fall under?

MG contemporary.

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

Couldn't say, since the kids who'd act in a future movie rendition would be, like, six right now. But if we suspend age requirements for a moment, I could totally see Elle Fanning as Grizelda, the Goliath character in my manuscript.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

I'm feeling a little lazy, so I'll stick with the boring, "It's a contemporary MG retelling of David and Goliath." :)

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

Represented by an agency (assuming Kate thinks the manuscript is solid enough). I really don't think self-publishing is a viable option in the MG market. I think a self-published author would have a tough time reaching MG readers, and it's really hard to fake a professional-looking MG cover, since they're often illustrated.

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

About two months, although it would have been a bit faster if I hadn't been managing this little contest called "The Writer's Voice" while I was writing the first draft:)

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

Several of my critique partners have thought the tone reminds them of Jeff Kinney's Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, but I haven't read any of those yet, so I couldn't say for sure. *dodges tomato*

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

Isn't this kind of the same question as number two? Cross-apply my previous point. (High-five to any fellow policy debaters in the blogosphere!)

What else about your book might pique the reader's interest?

I'm not a fan of playlists, but this manuscript ended up with one by virtue of the fact that so many gorgeous pieces figure prominently in the plot, including Louiguy and Edith Piaf's "La Vie en rose" and Frederic Chopin's "Nocturne in E Flat Major." Oh, and there are paintball guns. Did I mention there were paintball guns?

*Now that you've heard a little more about the manuscript, I need your input on the title. I've come up with three options so far. There are pros and cons to all of them, so I want to know which one you like best (or which ones you hate). And if you have another idea, feel free to suggest it!

HOW TO BEAT A POPULAR
THE UNBEATABLE GRIZELDA PHILLY-STEEN
HOW I, DAVID GRAINGER, BEAT THE UNBEATABLE GRIZELDA PHILLY-STEEN

Last but not least, I'm tagging the following bloggers:

Ben Spendlove
Jenilyn Collings, whose blog is undergoing renovations at the moment
Monica B.W.
Myrna Foster
You! (Feel free to include a link in the comments of this post once you answer the questions!)

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Message for the tagged authors and interested others:

Rules of The Next Big Thing:

*Use this format for your post.
*Answer the ten questions about your current WIP (work-in-progress).
*Tag five other writers/bloggers and add their links so we can hop over and meet them.

Ten Interview Questions for The Next Big Thing:

What is your working title of your book?
Where did the idea come from for the book?
What genre does your book fall under?
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript? May we see an intro?
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
What else about your book might pique the reader's interest?

Include the link of who tagged you and this explanation for the people you have tagged.

14 comments:

Janet Johnson said...

Sounds like a fun book! Of those three, I think I like the first title best. While Philly-Steen is funny, I wonder how many MGers would get it?

Marcia said...

I just played this game myself, and I enjoy seeing glimpses into people's books. You make a great point about the difficulty of getting a pro cover for a SP MG -- never really thought about that! I don't do playlists for books, either.

LisaAnn said...

I love the idea for this story, and Elle Fanning looks like she could totally be the Unbeatable Grizelda Philly-Steen. (Like that title the best, BTW!)

Suzi said...

I don't read much MG, so it'll be fun to do so when the few authors I know get published.

So, MG isn't really big yet for self-publishing? I suppose that age isn't buy their books as much as teens are.

I just did The Next Big Thing post on mine this past Sunday. It's making the blogosphere rounds it seems.

Melodie Wright said...

I like your second one with the Philly-Steen mention. Yeah, kids won't get it but adults who buy their books will. Most MGs don't buy their own books yet so it's hooky, informative and fun.

Krista Van Dolzer said...

Thanks for your input, Janet! So far, I've found Grizelda's name to be a pretty polarizing issue:)

I like learning more about other people's current projects, too, Marcia.

Thanks for your vote, LisaAnn! And yes, I think Elle Fanning would make the perfect Grizelda. Even though I haven't pictured anyone specific as I've been writing, she looks very close to the Grizelda I've had in my head.

I hope to be one of those MG authors you know who gets published someday, Suzi! :)

Another vote for THE UNBEATABLE GRIZELDA PHILLY-STEEN! Thanks, Melodie:) (And you make a great point about the adults who buy those MG books.)

Temre Beltz said...

Thank you so much for sharing, Krista! It is so much fun to learn more about the work of the authors' blogs that I love to visit. I have been tagged and am still working up the courage to do it! I think your story sounds like a really fun concept that kids will love! I am also on the side of thinking that the Philly-steen last name is so clever and quirky :) All of the titles are great, but I think I'll cast my vote for: THE UNBEATABLE GRIZELDA PHILLY-STEEN. Can't wait to see this one on the shelves someday!

Shannon Wixom said...

I got tagged for The Next Big Thing as well. Read my answers at:
http://www.shannonwixom.com/blog.html

-Shannon Wixom

Elaine said...

I love your premise and your titles! I wonder about using a subtitle? Like "David and Grizelda: How I Beat the Unbeatable Philly-Steen" or something? Good luck with this! :)

Ashley Turcotte said...

The Unbeatable Grizelda Philly-Steen makes me think that the book is about her, kind of like The Great Gilly Hopkins. But it seems like it'll be more about David and how he beats her, right? I get the impression that David is the POV character, but does it switch?

If David is the only POV character, of the three, my vote would be for the third one, though I think it's a little long. I like that it puts the focus on David. However, since you asked for suggestions, how about just taking out his name? How I Beat the Unbeatable Grizelda Philly-Steen.

Hope my comments are helpful. This project sounds like a lot of fun! :)

kiperoo said...

I was thinking the exact same thing as Ashley! I love her suggestion for a truncated version of #3 so that we catch the POV from the title.

Krista Van Dolzer said...

Temre, work up the courage! And then come back here and post a link so we can all find out more about your WIP:)

Thanks for sharing, Shannon!

Ooh, subtitles, Elaine. Now you're getting tricky on me... :)

Ashley, David is the POV character, but Grizelda plays a very, very prominent role in the plot. (In fact, I realized not long ago that I even have a line toward the end of the book that says something like, "It really was all about her, and it had been all along." I'm not usually QUITE so literal:) ) My biggest concern with using Grizelda's name in the title is that it would scare away boy readers. It's really too bad that we allow terms like "girl books" and "boy books" to exist, but for the time being, anyway, it's a market reality. (That's why I snuck David's name into that third title). Still, I love Grizelda's name, and I love the simplicity of title number two. Hmm...

Thanks for your thoughts, kiperoo! *goes back to mulling things over*

Myrna Foster said...

The paintball scene in this one is awesome. :o)

Thanks for tagging me!

Krista Van Dolzer said...

Thanks for the plug, Myrna:) And you're welcome!