Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Next Big Thing

My good friend Lois Greiman asked me a few questions about the Next Big Thing in my life. It's a popular interview going around the blogoshere with authors. It's kind of like a promotional pyramid scheme for authors. It's fun, and basically, we're hoping to entice you to buy our books. So here goes.

What is the Working Title of Your Book? Murder by Chance (actually that’s the title. I am currently not working on a project I’d like to announce. But the publication of my next novel is a big deal, to me.) 

Where did the idea come from?  For several years I worked as an entertainer on tour busses heading to casinos in Minnesota and Wisconsin.  Approximately thirty minutes before the bus arrived at its destination, the tour host would introduce me. I’d stand up at the front of the bus, microphone in hand.  I’d do my stand-up comedy routine until we arrived at the casino.  Truthfully, they were some of my best shows.  Comedy is meant to be intimate and the smaller the room, the better the performance. You can’t get too much closer to an audience than being in an interior of a bus. On the way to the casino, everyone was in a great mood.  Happy, chatty, hopeful, all of them convinced they would hit the jackpot.  On the way back, not so much. The mood was much different and as an entertainer you learned to sit at the back of the bus, hidden behind a newspaper.  Although some folks did come out a winner, most did not.  Still, time and again I’d see the same people riding the bus, hoping to make their dreams come true. I too am a gambler and usually lost most of my comedy salary at whatever casino we landed at. Still, I look back at those days as some of the best days of my life. And because I always thought it would be fun to be a tour host, I eventually became one via my book. My main character is Betty Chance, whose husband left her for an older, fatter woman.   She’s broke, unemployed but a strong believer in Oprah’s “do what you love and the money will follow” philosophy.  Because Betty loves to both gamble and eat, she opens not only a tour business that specializes in casino junkets, but reviews casino buffets on her blog.

What genre best defines this book? This is a traditional mystery with a touch of culinary mystery to spice it up.

Which Actors would play roles? Cathy Bates, Camryn Manheim, or Octavia Spencer as Betty.  For the role of the mind reader/ casino entertainer Boris? I’d choose Daniel Craig. Of course the character looks nothing like Daniel Craig or even remotely acts like him. That casting and it’s subsequent fantasy casting couch is just for me and me alone. Sigh.

What is a one-sentence synopsis of the book? Know what? I haven’t even thought about how to condense it…so I won’t. But it’s about being left in your fifties, reclaiming yourself, the importance of friendship, gambling,losses, murder, and of course, all-you-can eat buffets. 

Will it be self-published or represented by a traditional agent? It is being published by Forty Press. I submitted to them directly, via a recommendation that I do so by Once Upon A Crime’s Pat Frovarp.
How long did it take to write the first draft? Probably around a year.

Who or what inspired writing the book? I have no idea why I keep on writing books that until now did now sell. I have had very little success commercially, a few short stories here and there. Oh, and HOTDISH TO DIE FOR which has sold a remarkable 25,000 copies…pretty good for a self-published collection of short stories. I earned way more with comedy than I ever did with writing.  And according to my husband,  I would have earned way a regular, 9 to 5 job.  But, being a writer is just what I am.  It’s in my DNA, and though I have fought it all my life by not doing it, the urge to scribble pops up every now and then. It’s kind of like this creative virus that lives on its own, saying “look at me” every once in a while.

Side Note:  I couldn’t convince any of my friends to do The Next Big Thing interview, not one. Why?  I found out they’ve already been asked by other writers to do it, and most of them did.  Once again, I was the last girl to be invited to the prom. Still, you may want to read their entertaining blogs.  Anne Frasier Aka Theresa Weir’s Monkey with A Pen, Marilyn Victor’s Backyard Views, Sujata Massey’s blog, and Barbara Lindquist Schlichting’s First Lady Blog