I’m just about to recover from the Great Book Tour (see previous entry). I’ve done one more event since we got back, a wonderful gig at Tempe Public Library on November 14 in conjunction with their Mysterious Arizona series for the Arizona Centennial. A perfect fit, since The Wrong Hill to Die On is set in Arizona in 1916. I was most honored that my publisher Barbara Peters came and brought the great Alaskan mystery author Dana Stabenow with her. I had a big, enthusiastic audience and had a very good time.
Now, down to business. I’ve been invited to participate in the Next Big Thing blog series, in which authors get to describe what they are working on right now. I was invited to participate by my friend and traveling companion Vicki Delany, who posted her own Next Big Thing last week at http://klondikeandtrafalgar.blogspot.com . Then at the end of this blog, I’m tagging other writers who will tell you about their Next Big Thing next week. Each of us will answer the same ten questions about our upcoming books. And here they are:
1. What is your working title of your book?
My newest Alafair Tucker book has just been released, so it’ll be a while before another book comes out. But you never stand still, so right now, I am working on two things at once. One is a new series, a contemporary mystery which I’m calling MacPherson’s Lament. The other is a new Alafair. No title for that one yet, I’m waiting for one of the characters to give me an idea.
2. Where did the idea come from for the book?
Carolyn Hart and I were brainstorming last year over dinner, trying to think of a new series for me, when I mentioned that for ten years I owned a Scottish gift shop in downtown Tempe. “I should set a series around Highland Games,” I said. “Then there would be a new location for every murder.” Carolyn said, “Great idea,” and a series idea was born.
3. What genre does your book fall under?
It’s a traditional mystery
4. Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
The protagonist is an older woman called Mrs. Mac. Kathy Bates might be a good choice. Or Judi Dench, if she were in the mood to play an American.
5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Archie MacPherson kills himself one month before the grand opening of his dream business, a Scottish import emporium, leaving his wife, Mrs. Mac, to prove that he would never have committed suicide.
6. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
The Alafair Tucker series is published by Poisoned Pen Press. The Scottish Shop series has not been sold yet.
7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
Neither draft is done – usually takes me about three to six months to finish a first draft.
8. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
That’s hard to say at this early date. I’d like it to have a bit of depth, some humor, some compelling characters, like Margaret Maron’s books, or Carolyn Hart’s.
9. Who or what inspired you to write this book?
My Alafair books are a labor of love and an homage to my foremothers. But after six books in the series, I think it’s good for a author’s craft to stretch herself and try something new. This is why I’m exercising some different writing muscles with a new location and cast of characters.
10. What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
Anyone who has followed my historical mystery series and come to love Alafair and her family as much as I do might be surprised to see that I also have a very different sensibility lurking within, just aching to come out. Mrs. Mac is not Alafair, that’s for sure.
And now, here are the links to four other excellent writers who during the week of November 26 will be telling you about their own Next Big Thing. Check them out. There is some great reading in store for you.
Velda Brotherton at http://veldabrotherton.com
Kris Neri at http://krisneri.com
Deborah J. Ledford (posting on December 5) at http://secondwindpub.wordpress.com
Charlotte Hinger at http://charlottehinger.com
Carmen Peone at http://carmenpeone.tateauthor.com/blog