Archive | October, 2012

Week 19: The Next Big Thing Blog Hop

31 Oct

Oct31 by Kathleen Heady

I’m participating in my first blog hop, which will take us from one author to the next, and introduce some new writers and their works. I hope you will follow our blog hop and be introduced to some exciting reads as well as works in progress. You will learn about me in the questions and answers below. You will also find links to P.S. Gifford’s blog. He will follow me on the blog hop in Week 20. I think you will be impressed with his writing.

Special thanks to P.C. Zick for asking me to participate. Check her out at

Twitter – @PCZick

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/PC-Zick-Author/155644747792596

Blog – Writing Tips, Thoughts, and Whims: www.pittsburghwriter.com

Kathleen Heady’s Ten Interview Questions for The Next Big Thing Blog Hop:

 Q: What is the title of your book?

Lydia’s Story

 Q:Where did the idea come from for the book?

It is a sequel/prequel to my first book, The Gate House. I am fascinated by the World War II period, and wanted to connect my first story with this historical period. The main character, Nara, is given the diaries written by her great-grandmother, who it turns out was a spy for the British.

 Q:What genre does your book fall under?

It is mystery/suspense, along with historical fiction.

Q: Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Meryl Streep would be Lydia (doesn’t everyone want Meryl Streep?); Camilla Belle as Nara; Daniel Radcliffe as Paul. I would love to see him in the role of the trouble-maker.

 Q:What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

A box of mementos, hidden in a farmhouse in Wales for nearly seventy years, sets Nara Blake on a search for the truth about her great-grandparents, and puts her own life in danger as another family also searches for their lost wealth.

 Q: Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

I do not have an agent, but the book is published by Sage Words Publishing, a small publisher who provides excellent service.

Q:How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

It took me about a year. I began while I was teaching high school full time in 2010. After I left teaching, I finished the first draft. With the help of readers and some critiques at writers’ conferences, I revised and finished in early 2012. The book was released in late September, 2012.

Q: What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

There are so many wonderful and inspiring novels written about the World War II period. One of my favorites is The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrow, because of its use of letters. Another is The Postmistress  by Sarah Blake.

Q: Who or what inspired you to write this book?

I have always loved British history, and I had the opportunity to attend two writers’ retreats in Wales, which gave me the inspiration for the Welsh part of the book. My parents were part of the World War II generation, and I think I wanted to write a story that would take readers to that time. It was such a different world.

Q: What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

Nara’s great-grandmother Lydia was Welsh, and as such experienced some prejudice from English people. Her great-granddaughter was born on a Caribbean island to a native mother and an English/Welsh father. I tried to show that these differences emerge in any culture, but the prejudice is often more subtle today.

Next Wednesday, November 7, P.S. Gifford will join The Next Big Thing Blog Hop. Please visit his sites and join him on the blog hop as he answers questions about his work and introduces even more authors for you to discover.

P.S. Gifford:

Website: http://www.psgifford.com

Blog:http://psgifford.com/Wordpress/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/PS-Gifford/242023979163073

Advertisements

Reading Outside the Box

26 Oct

I read mostly mysteries and suspense novels, because that is what I write and because I review books for Suspense Magazine. But occasionally I read something outside of those genres. I find that a different type of book and writing style can spark my own writing and stretch my creativity.

Last night I downloaded The Book Thief to my Kindle, as a borrowed book from my library. I have only read a few chapters, but I was struck by the originality of the writing. The first person narrator is Death. He (or she?) tells the story of a young girl, the book thief, who manages to cheat Death more than once.

The story is set in Nazi Germany, so it is clear in what direction this book is headed. But I know that although the story may have been told before, it has not been told in this way.

As a reader or a writer, it is good to move out of the familiar and try something new. I would never have thought of writing from the point of view of Death, but it would be a good writing exercise to write from the point of view of an inanimate object — the cave where the body was found, or the diaries that held the words of Lydia, the main character in my book Lydia’s Story.

As a reader or a writer, what do you do to climb out of the box of familiarity and try something new?