I’ve been lucky enough to be invited to take part in ‘The Next Big Thing’ – a blog chain which gives authors and artists the chance to provide a sneak peek of their work-in-progress. It’s pretty appropriately named – don’t we all hope our work will indeed become ‘the next big thing’? But also it’s a lovely opportunity to reflect on and share a little of our latest projects – for me, this is perhaps the first stage of letting go of my baby as it takes those tentative first steps into the world. Big thanks to my fellow author at Odyssey Books, Rebecca Bloomer, for including me in the blog chain. Here’s a bit about my upcoming novel:
1) What is the working title of your next book?
2) Where did the idea come from for the book?
A friend of mine sent me a photograph of the Clearwing butterfly a few years ago. It was beautiful but what appealed to me most was the description of how things look and how colours are enhanced looking through the Clearwing’s translucent wings. I always had this image in mind, but when my main character, Jett, came along I knew it represented him and the life journey he goes on – finding beauty amid ugly life circumstances.
3) What genre does your book fall under?
My current novel, Unloched, is a contemporary fiction novel for adults. Clearwing will be geared more towards a young adult (YA) audience.
4) What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
Jett would be played by someone like Sean Keenan, who starred as Gary Hennessy in Puberty Blues. The girl Linda, who Jett meets and falls in love with, appears at first as an angel. So she’d have to have an angelic quality to her – someone like Rachel Hurd-Wood who featured in Tomorrow: When the War Began would be perfect.
5) What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Clearwing is the story of small town Aussie teen, Jett, who battles between following the path of his alcoholic father and choosing his own direction, as his life spirals out of control.
6) Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
Neither, it will be traditionally published.
7) How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
My second daughter was just a baby when I wrote this book so I had one session every week to write. It took me about a year to complete.
8) What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Not too sure, as there’s not a lot out of ‘real life’ stories out there for the YA audience right now with the focus on fantasy novels. In some ways, I think Clearwing could be compared to the Tomorrow series by John Marsden because in both the characters show the strength and resilience of teenagers and how it’s that time of deciding who you want to be as a person despite everything life can throw at you.
9) Who or what inspired you to write this book?
There were three things that inspired me to write this book. The first was the Clearwing photograph I mentioned. The second was Jett, who began as a teenager telling his point of view from the stance of being a bully (That first ‘fight’ scene made me wonder what kind of background that kid had and the kind of life choices he might have to face). Lastly, the setting was inspired by a small, country town where I used to take dance classes as a teenager. As I delved into the history of the town, my character Jett emerged more fully.
10) What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?
I hope that young adults will be interested in the journey of the characters and the questions it raises about the people who come into our lives and how they can help shape who we become.
Thanks for reading!
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