The Next Big Thing:
What is your working title of your book (or story)?
BLACK HEART, RED RUBY
Where did the idea come from for the book?
I wish I could say it came to me in a dream a la S.Meyer, but I usually have to hunt down my ideas and whip them into shape like a lion tamer.
I told my boyfriend I wanted to write YA Raiders of the Lost Ark with the love/hate romantic chemistry found in Pride and Prejudice. Following the Indiana Jones route, I needed my MacGuffin or ‘the object all the characters desire and are willing to plot, manipulate, kill, and die for.’ Think the Ark of the Covenant, the glowing brief case in Pulp Fiction, the ring in Lord of the Rings, etc… In high school, I wrote a short story about a cursed ruby. I recycled said ruby and gave it resurrection powers. BAM! MacGuffin in the house!
As for my main character, I turned her into Captain Ahab and made the ruby her white whale. She gets a little intense, obsessive. Somewhere during my master planning, I read that ‘no one could hurt you more than your family’ so I gave those closest to her secret evil. They are the snakes in the pit, so to speak.
It’s all very premeditated. I might have a PowerPoint presentation of this book floating around my hard drive. I would be happy to give you a lecture after I locate my laser pointer and um, get a life.
What genre does your book fall under?
YA gothic horror
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Remember when this blog used to be the hot spot for my Outlander and Witch of Blackbird Pond fantasy casting? Aside from writer, my other dream job is casting director. I made a casting board of the main characters because that’s how I roll. That thing about getting a life? Yeah, I need to start…pronto.
This is probably for my critique partners’ benefit or for the agent(s) who currently have my manuscript and decide to drop by to confirm that I’m not an ax murderer (no, I’m just a nerd). Anyway, do I have the character descriptions down or what?
Ava Nolan: Felicity Jones with more eyeliner. She was my model for Ava since the beginning.
Ben Wolcott: Andrew Garfield. Originally Gaspard Ulliell and Ben Whishaw (notice a similarity in names?). I needed someone cute, nerdy, on the scrawny side, but creepy…
Cam: Tom Felton after a few sessions at the gym.
Uncle Tav: Richard Armitage. Oh man, this picture! It’s like he’s undressing me with his eyes. Also, this role is secretly ‘Oscar bait’ so Daniel Day Lewis, you know you want it.
Ava’s mother: Eva Green because I am charmed by her wicked eyes and come-hither stares.
Ava’s Dad: Michael Fassbender because he can play the ‘man on the verge of a nihilistic abyss’ role and ugly cry with the best of them. Ava’s ‘daddy issues’ explained.
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Seventeen-year-old Ava Nolan’s life as an amateur relic hunter is filled with backstabbing—not to mention literal stabbing—when her hunt for an occult ruby pits her against her graverobber uncle and her ambitious boyfriend.
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
As God as my witness, it will be pimped by an agent!
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
I give you the Goldilocks answer: long enough but not too long.
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Nevermore by Kelly Creagh and the recently published Madman’s Daughter by Megan Shepherd for the gothic-y vibe. The Pretty Little Liars and The Luxe series for the salacious dramarama.
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
See Raiders answer above. And all the V.C. Andrews novels I read as a pre-teen. The DRAMA, the SCANDAL, the creepy family portraits, the ‘daddy issues’ and ‘mommy issues.’
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
Sex, lies, murder, madness, macabre artifacts, haunted houses, tomb raiding, and sinister family secrets. Need I bust out my PowerPoint presentation?