Tag, I’m It: The Next Big Thing

I was delighted when Rabia Gale of writer at play tagged me in The Next Big Thing meme. It’s a fun way to learn about what other writers have got unspooling in their heads. Here’s what I’ve been cobbling, in between fables and my series on inspiration.

1) What is the working title of your next book?

It’s been Grace Blinks forever, but I just changed it to The Ghost Collectors. I like the new title so much it gives me a scrunchy smile.

2) Where did the idea come from for the book?

A small girl in red mittens tosses a copper penny in a fountain. She’s about to lose everything, but she doesn’t know it. She also doesn’t know that when she needs it most, her grandmother’s ghost will come back to lead her home. (That’s the image I had at the beginning. Everything else came from there.)

3) What genre does your book fall under?

Literary fiction, but that makes some folks yawn from the get-go, so let’s say literary fabulism (a term I also owe to the amazing Rabia Gale). I’m heavily influenced by magical realism.

4) What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

I’m chronically bad at this, but the lead male role would definitely go to my TV boyfriend, Taylor Kitsch. He played Tim Riggins on Friday Night Lights, and was in the movie Battleship, among others. I loooove him.

5) What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Grace Holden can’t move past the loss of her brother until her grandmother’s ghost arrives with an improbable story that just may free them both.

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

I’m still working on revisions, but I plan to submit to agents and see what happens after that.

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

I started in January 2008, during my youngest daughter’s naps, and had an acceptable first draft by June of 2010. So, it took awhile, but a lot of that was just figuring out what I was doing as a writer.

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

I’d love to see it on a shelf beside Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus and Sarah Addison Allen’s Garden Spells.

9) Who or what inspired you to write this book?

My grandmothers. They are both gone now, but they gave me so much unconditional love when I was growing up, I feel like they’re right with me, all the time.

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

Let’s see, I’ll throw you a wooden leg, a drowned woman, orphan trains, ballet slippers, a bucket of family secrets, and a bear. How’s that?

Now it’s mine turn to tag, but I’m going to follow in the footsteps of the lovely and talented Julia Munroe Martin and tag you all. What is your current creative project (it doesn’t have to be writing)? What about this project makes you scrunchy smile?

(P.S. Come back on Wednesday 12/19 for a guest post from Rabia — you won’t want to miss it!)

25 thoughts on “Tag, I’m It: The Next Big Thing

  1. Loved reading this post and learning of your book. It sounds every bit as magical as your wing-feathered fables. As for my own creative projects I feel as though I’m slipping. I need to play catch up with the reverb12 prompts, I am really hoping to get some paint on canvas today . . . I’ve got about half a dozen prepped and ready to go and then there’s a post from deep down in my soul that I want to write but am struggling with. The words will come eventually.

    • Kathryn,
      I always feel like I’m slipping lately. I’m actually afraid to make a to-do list. It might frighten me into a cave.
      Thanks so much for the lovely feedback. I hope you get some painting done today, and I’m looking forward to the deep-down soul post.

  2. Love the new title, and your one sentence synopsis really piques my interest. Great job! Literary Fabulism is awesome, too. And my wife’s TV boyfriend is Tim Riggins (she didn’t like him as much as John Carter).

    Cannot wait to read, Lisa! Just thinking about it gives me a scrunchy smile.

  3. I love your story! It sounds so incredibly awesome, partly because I had a great relationship with both my grandmothers and love the idea of seeing one of them again. So happy to have learned more, Lisa, and I can’t wait to read more! I love both titles, so I guess I know who to ask when I need title help :) Lastly, thank you so much for the shoutout, Lisa — you are such a kind and generous friend!

  4. This books sounds incredible! I love literary fiction with a dose of magical realism. And for the record, I adore the title Grace Blinks. The Ghost Collectors is cool too. =)

    • Thank you! It’s funny, after I wrote this, I started to go back and forth on the titles. It’s been Grace Blinks for so long, but I suppose the title is the least of my worries. It’s the revisions that are killing me. :)

  5. Your book sounds wonderful! What you’ve shared of the plot, mixed with your glorious writing style, puts it on my to-read list.

    As for me, I’ve put my first couple of ideas for books away to work on later. Now I feel that a book of poetry would be best for me to begin with. It’ll just be a small ebook, self published with technical help from my very smart, graphic designer sister because self-publishing is cheap and I feel like I don’t have much time or fortitude to wait through the inevitable rejections before having something tangible behind my name. I’ve been feeling like a ghost lately, and the thought of that feeling going away makes me scrunchy smile.

    • One of my good friends just put out a poetry chapbook that made us both scrunchy smile, so I’m all for that idea. It sounds like you have a great plan — and what luck to have a savvy sister. Thanks for sharing your project and for the encouragement on mine.

  6. Oh, I loved hearing about your work in progress and hope to get to read it very soon! I love magical realism or fabulism or whatever you choose to call it, like the Night Circus or Angela Carters’ ‘Nights at the Circus’ (hmm, wonder what it is about circuses and nighttime?).
    And I love your idea of tagging everybody. I may just give it a go, as I need to think out loud about my WIP…

    • I think I need to write a story about a circus now! It’s great to meet another fan of magical realism. I hope you do share more on your WIP. It was a great exercise that helped me clarify my ideas as I went along.

  7. Omg, you had me at the title, then at the image of the red mittens, then at the term literary fabulism, and then at Taylor Kitsch (I LOVE FNL!). It sounds wonderful, and I can’t wait to read it one day!

    • Yeah! Thanks so much Natalia. I’ve enjoyed reading your recent posts about your novel and the waiting game. I’m looking forward to reading your book when it comes out (hurray for you!!!!!!!!!!!!)

  8. Well, you already know what a huge fan I am of your writing. I am intrigued by your story and the way you can create an entire novel from that single scene, of the girl in the red mittens. You always amaze with your ability to include the most interesting and unusual details – the ones that flesh out the character, give them heft and weight, in only a few lines. I so admire that. And of course, you set the hook with the unlikely combination of the following elements: ” a wooden leg, a drowned woman, orphan trains, ballet slippers, a bucket of family secrets, and a bear”. How can I resist? In your creative hands, it will be amazing. I’ll be waiting for my personally signed copy.

  9. I love how stories often spring from a small, yet powerful image, like a tree growing from a seed.

    I love the title. I adore your writing, so I’m looking forward to reading this book! (So, fingers crossed for it to make it into print!).

  10. Pingback: The Next Big Thing: I Wish! « findingtimetowrite

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