Monday 29 October 2012

My Next Big Thing

The utterly gorgeous Emma Lee Potter, who writes a blog called House with No Name, was my other half when we blogged for Easy Living Magazine. She blogged as Country Wife and I blogged as City Wife, and we finally met in the summer at the Brit Mums Conference. Read her post above to find out what she is working on at the moment. She tagged me in a post called The Next Big thing in which she has asked me several questions about my next book and then I will ask two writer friends to carry it on.

What is the working title of your book? 

I am terribly bad at titles, but a working title is Double Vision.

Where did the idea come from for the book?

The idea was inspired by two things: The first was that I sat next to a man at dinner who was the father of 14 year old twin boys. I was both shocked and fascinated when he told me that his sons were living in different countries, because they had fallen out over a girl! One boy was living with his mother in New York and the other in Paris, with him – he was still married but commuted between the two cities. He didn't elaborate, but it set me off thinking about sibling rivalry, jealousy etc. The next thing that inspired me was meeting a friend from New York, who told me she was estranged from her sister, (my friend lived in New York and so did her sister, but her parents lived in London) but they were going to be forced together, for a week with their mother in London, as their father had died. I was interested in both those dynamics, ie: being estranged from a sibling, but forced together after many years and then examining the rivalry and betrayal in the relationship.

What genre does your book fall under? 

It's quite commercial but not pink and glittery so. My agent flattered me hugely, when she it was in the genre of Zoe Heller. I loved Notes on A Scandal. 

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

Hard one: Someone like Bill Nighy  for the father, and Cousin Matthews mother in Downton Abbey (Penelope Wilton) as the mother. Perhaps Gynneth Paltrow for one sister and Reethe Witherspoon for the other. Um... I wish I could think of some English actresses.....Perhaps Emilia Fox as one sister

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? 

Estranged twin sisters forced together reenact betrayal and revenge, while paradoxically desperately hoping to connect.

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

Too long. About two years.

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

I just can't think.

Who or what inspired you to write this book? 

I think I've answered this question already in  what gave me the idea. Carrie Kania from Conville and Walsh has been a huge help, particularly at the beginning when I wasn’t sure where I was going or if I had a book at all.

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

I think this is the most interesting of the books that I have so far written, and that is possibly why it has taken me so long to write. I became really involved in these two women - their past boyfriends, partners and parents, and also delving back to their childhood and teenage years. I found it quite gripping, writing about Bella's experience at boarding school, which was lifted from my own, but more horrific. It took me back to a dark place. I also became fascinated  with the sister’s obsession with a teenage lover they shared. I loved writing about teenage love, sex, betrayal. 

Friday 26 October 2012

Writers, authors, bloggers.

I would love to find two or three more writers who want to answer a few questions on their blogs, about their next book project. I've been tagged to do this on my own blog, and want to tag a few more. It's fun and inspiring and really makes you think about your work in progress. Either leave a comment or mail me

Wednesday 10 October 2012

A night to Remember

It’s around six o clock on a dreary, cold, evening – rain threatens.  I’m filling up the car with petrol and sending a text to the babysitter. There are too many things on my mind:  I’m wondering whether my son will make the A team squad for football, whether the kitten still has diarrhea, whether my latest novel will sell to a publisher who is willing to pay good money. I’m about to pay when I realize, with sickening thud, that I’ve put petrol in the Audi diesel estate. It even says diesel, in big capitals on the petrol cap.

I am expecting the nice man behind the till to tell me something miraculous, like he can just syphon out the diesel with a bit of pipe for  £5. He says I mustn’t start the engine but paradoxically that I must get the car off the forecourt as soon as possible.  He adds that it will probably cost £200 to fix it. Nice. Great.  Thank God, we have breakdown cover. I wonder how much it would cost to fix without it?

When I telephone my husband, he replies with a gruff kind of preoccupied hello, and when he hears my appalling news he sighs and hangs up. I call him back because I don’t have any of the insurance details.  He says he’s on to it. It’s dark now, and cold. I sit in the car but am too afraid to turn on the engine in case the car blows up. I read the back of a packet of crisps. I call my husband again, and he tells me, in barely controlled rage, to be patient.

He calls some time later, and says help will arrive in a couple of hours. So I walk home. We wait and we wait but nothing happens. At 9 the nice man from the garage, calls to say he will fine us £500 if we don’t move the car. He’s worried that a tanker of petrol will arrive and won’t have access to the pump.

My husband offers to go to the garage and wait with the car. A couple of hours pass. I ring him on his mobile, but there’s no reply. I feel appalling guilt that I’ve put him in this situation.  I text.  Then I ring again. By now it’s 11.00pm. I worry that perhaps he’s been mugged or run over, or killed. I imagine at any moment, a policeman will turn up to inform me of his death.  I wonder whether to ring my friend and ask her to come over so I can go and search the streets.  He can’t be still waiting. It’s about 1130 when I notice that there is a text form my husband. Its cryptic, it doesn’t make sense. I am thinking now, that the text is a desperate plea for help. He’s just managed to press one button on his phone before he was hit on the head. I am about to cry, when he comes through the door. I rush towards him. I have never been more pleased to see anyone in my whole life.

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