Friday, February 15, 2013

The Next Big Thing


The Next Big Thing Blog Hop


This is a blog tour that's been circulating for quite a while. I was excited when friend and gifted author Sonia Gensler contacted me to participate and gave me a chance to share my work in progress with you.

What is the working title of your current/next book?

Cross Dressing is the book I just completed.

Where did the idea for CROSS DRESSING come from?
One afternoon my husband and I were driving across Oklahoma City, and I saw someone’s clothes strung along the freeway. I started thinking, boy, someone’s going to be really disappointed...or angry...or up the creek when they get to where they’re going and discover they have no clothes. I started thinking about all the possible scenarios. A plot was born.

What genre does your book fall under?

Definitely women’s fiction. It’s what I love to read most, and it’s what I love to write. 

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

My book actually has two protagonists because it is two stories running simultaneously, connected by a wardrobe exchange. Wendie Malick would make a great 56-year-old Estelle Grant-Perkins. In picking an actress for this role, I feel my choices are limited because, as we all know, “mature” actresses are not exactly  in huge demand in the U.S. film industry. Fortunately, that situation is improving, but it’s still a problem. I began writing this book before Hot in Cleveland ever aired, but when I saw Malick in that show, I immediately thought,  Estelle!


The choice for my second protagonist, 26-year-old Paige Perkins, is Emma Stone. She has spunk and sensitivity, and she fits the physical description perfectly.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Near the crossroads of the country, two women reach across generational divides and cultural prejudices to find surprising answers to the question: “Do clothes make the woman?”

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
I’m in the process of pitching it to agents right now. I’ve had one book published by an indie publisher to whom I’m grateful for putting my debut novel in print. It was an excellent learning experience, but one of the lessons I learned was the value of a good agent. If the agent angle doesn’t pan out, I’ll see what direction to go then.

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

About two years. I’m pretty slow, and contrary to popular advice, I edit as I go. I try not to, but my inner-English teacher rears her ugly head and starts  correcting me.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
There are lots and lots of books within women's fiction and every other genre that deal with the "trading places" plot line. But I'm going waaay out on a limb here and comparing Cross Dressing to Sense and Sensibility--only with a contemporary, southwest flavor. I can hear all of my critiquing partners screaming "What?!" but when you think about it, both books deal with women of different generations who find themselves in reduced circumstances. They must rely on their resourcefulness to survive, and they learn much from each other. And there's some romance thrown in along the way!

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

When I reached a certain age as a teacher, I started observing the dynamics between the new, young teachers and the...let’s say... more established ones. At the same time, my own daughter was entering the work force, and she and I would discuss her situations with older co-workers. In my case and hers, these weren’t always situations of conflict. Some were, but others were very positive mentoring/learning relationships for both the old and the young. And that is the way it should be. When women of varying ages and circumstances work together to support and encourage each other, they all benefit. That is a message I hope comes across in my book.
 And I must admit to a not-so-hidden agenda of promoting Oklahoma and, in particular, Oklahoma City. I love reading books about New York City, but, hey, life—interesting life—happens in other locations, too.  Rural Oklahoma has beauty and charm and a no-nonsene, laid-back approach that appeal to many. At the same time, Oklahoma City is a metropolis on its way up. It has much to offer in the way of culture and entertainment. I wanted to share that message with the rest of the country and even—pardon me for dreaming big—the world.


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Be sure to look out for the next installments of The Next Big Thing next week, February 22nd, on the blogs by authors C. D. Jarmola and Jennifer Collar McMurrain.

15 comments:

  1. Dee Dee, you know I LOVE this story! And it was so fun to read about the inspirations behind it. Great casting choices for the movie! And this is my favorite bit:

    I love reading books about New York City, but, hey, life—interesting life—happens in other locations, too.

    YES! Well put.

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    1. Thanks, Sonia! And thanks again for giving me this opportunity!

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  2. Love the story. Can't wait to read the book! And I have to agree with you and Sonia both, I'd much rather read a book about a new location than NYC.

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    1. Thank you, Christine. Looking forward to reading your blog next week and seeing what you have in the works!

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  3. This sounds like a wonderful book, can't wait to read it.

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    1. Thanks, Jennifer. I'm anxious to hear about your current project. I so enjoyed Quail Crossings!

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  4. The book sounds good and your answers to the questions are entertaining, so expect you've written an excellent story.

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    1. Thank you, Eunice, for your encouraging words, and it's always great to hear from a new reader!

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  5. Wendie Malick is perfect as Estelle! Can't wait to see her bring this awesome story to life on the big screen.;)

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    1. I'd settle for getting it in a book, Brandi, but as always I appreciate your enthusiasm! :-)

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  6. I enjoyed the behind-the-scenes peek - thanks for sharing! I like the positive mentoring component and I'm looking forward to reading it!

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    1. You're very welcome, Shel. I hope some day you'll get the opportunity to read it in "book" format, and not in monthly installments! :-)

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  7. I agree that Wendie Malick is a good choice for Estelle. If that sexy vet is still in the final version, I'd like to know who you would cast as his character.

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  8. Martha, I'm so excited about your first comment on my blog!Yes, Clint,the sexy vet,is definitely still in my novel, and I have the perfect actor to portray him--Jon Hamm.

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  9. I just "googled" Jon Hamm and I agree- love him with glasses as the sexy vet. Dee Dee- this is a great format to talk about your writing project. Your descriptions are always full of southernly charm. I want an autographed copy!

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