I was asked by fellow writer Karina Gioertz to join in The Next Big Thing. I have to answer the following questions about my current project:
What is the working title of Your Book?
Where did the idea come from for the book?
A really bad day at work. I practice juvenile law and deal with a lot of drug-addicted parents trying to get their kids back. Well, some of them try, anyway. Others, not so much. I had a frustrating day last summer dealing with a parent in the latter category and I decided to vent by writing a novel about the child welfare system and juvenile court process. I actually expected the attorney to be the main character that drove the book, but it turns out the addict mom has stolen the show.
What genre does your book fall under?
Good question. I think it’s more mainstream than my other books, but all of my main characters are women and the book does have some romantic element to it in the subplot, so it’s probably still best categorized as women’s lit. I expect most of my readership will be women.
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie?
Okay, I had to think hard about this one, but I finally came up with what I think is a great cast. Scarlett Johannson will play Devin, the young addict trying to turn her life around. Kate Mara in the role of social worker Taylor. Julia Roberts as Devin’s attorney, Elisa. And Charlize Theron will take the role of Sarah, who is the juvenile court judge with a past link to Devin. Those are my main characters.
For the primary supporting roles, I’d like Jennifer Aniston as Kelsey (assuming she agrees to go red for the role), Chris Hemsworth as Colin and Chad Michael Murray as Nate. Yeah, this movie is going to need a big budget!
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
I’m still writing it and hope to complete it this year. So far, I’ve been working on it about four months, but I haven’t always worked on it consistently because I’ve also been editing and ultimately publishing another book during the same time frame, so I took some extended breaks from this project.
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
I don’t really like to compare my writing to other books, but if I had to, I would say there are some similarities with Jodi Picoult’s style in the sense that I have a story that deals with some difficult legal and ethical issues and is told from multiple points of view.
Who or What inspired you to write this book?
My inspiration was that difficult day at work that I mentioned in the second question.
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
I think at its core, it is a story about family- how we define and redefine family- and about hope and recovery. Hopefully those ingredients make a story that will appeal to readers.
I have tagged these writers to be the Next Big Thing. Be sure to go to their links and say hi next Wednesday, November 7th, when they will be answering these questions.