What do you do all day?

Between all the coffee, obsessive vacuuming and keeping Little Sir alive, I write. I also have a paycheck career in social services and education, but I’ve been on hiatus since Little Sir came along.

This week, I’m joining in with some friends to talk about our writing projects. We’re all answering a set list of questions. The links to some writerly friends’ pages are below.  If you’re visiting me for the first time, Welcome and Thank you. I usually post on Thursdays, if you’d like to come back.

1: What is the working title of your book?
Blame It on the Barbecue. Emphasis on working title because titling is one of my least favorite tasks. I know authors who really fight for their title. Not me. However, I wonder if this title might stick because it was the easiest time I’ve ever had coming up with a title and it really fits the book.
 
2: Where did the idea come from for the book? I had a client who was in the foster system. I was working with her on career goals and she was amazing. She crashed and burned (not literally, mentally) though and last I heard was in prison. The stats for foster youth after they leave “the system” are horrendous. I basically created this story as a way to make her story turn out differently. I wanted to give her a happy ending. We all deserve happy endings, regardless of how the story starts.
 
3: Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition? This is such a writer question! We love to think about our books being movies because when we write, when it’s really cooking, it can feel like a movie in your head that you’re merely transcribing.  
For Julia, I’d like to see Amy Adams. I’m not exactly sure Amy could pull off Julia’s darker moments but I think she’d be perfect to show Julia’s hope and enthusiasm for life. And Amy is pretty close physically. 
We’d have to have mass auditions for Foster, Julia’s dog. Here are some candidates:
For John Wayne Russell, Daniel Craig;  though he might be a bit too old. But he
has the right look. He’d have to be much less brooding than I’ve seen him because Wayne has a sense of humor and approaches the world with a lighter touch than 007.

Image from People Style Watch

Viola Davis would be perfect for Miss Gail because she has the right blend of beauty and grit to handle all Miss Gail brings to the story. Miss Gail is the real heroine of the book, she just doesn’t get all the air time that Julia and Wayne do.

4: What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? Julia has to make peace with her once upon a time so she can get her happily ever after.

 

5: How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript? I’m pleading the 5th on this. Let’s say it took me longer than it should have. But all the interruptions gave me plenty of material for my next book!

6: What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? Hmmm… this is hard. I’ve been compared to Lisa Samson and Jennifer Weiner. But I’m not sure about actual stories. Lisa Samson’s Embrace Me would be fair but then again, not really. Jennifer Weiner’s In Her Shoes could work…or not. This is hard because we’re really trying to write something different. But if you like those writers, I think you’d like my books too.

7. What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest? The book is set in Northern California with a lot happening in Yreka. Mount Shasta and the barn (photo below) are featured prominently.

Also, Julia is a big fan of old musicals so lines from some of her favorites are sprinkled throughout the book. Blame It on the Barbecue is told in a dual timeline so we see Julia’s past and how it is affecting her present. And keep our fingers crossed that it doesn’t ruin her future.

Here are what some of my friends are up to:

Katherine Hyde

Diana Symons

Kristin Billerbeck

Julie Cantrell