Monthly Archives: October 2012

The Next Big Thing

It could be me. It could be A. G. Henley, who tagged me, or any other author participating in The Next Big Thing blog hop. How exciting is it to find a fabulous book by an up-and-coming author before the rest of the world jumps on the bandwagon? What must it have been like to read Twilight before it was TWILIGHT? Well, now’s your chance. All you have to do is follow the links like a treasure map to learn about all sorts of little-known books that could one day be the next New York Times Best Seller, the next blockbuster movie sensation, the next billion dollar franchise. Okay, so maybe I’m stretching it a bit, but Harry Potter didn’t start out as one of the biggest series in the world. It was just a book by an unknown author, sitting on the bookstore shelf.

Here’s how it works: I’ll answer 10 questions about my book. At the end, I’ll tag more authors who could also become The Next Big Thing and next week they’ll answer 10 questions about their book and tag more authors. So here it goes:

  1. 1.       What is the working title of your book?

My book is titled Pucker Up.

  1. 2.       Where did the idea come from for the book?

I like stories that take a familiar tale and twist it up. I started thinking about Sleeping Beauty and other fairy tales and why it is always the Prince who saves the Princess. It always bothered me that the women always needed the man to get her out of her mess. What kind of message does that send our daughters? So, I changed it up and made the woman the rescuer and the man the one to need her help.

  1. 3.       What genre does your book fall under?

It is young adult, urban fantasy.

  1. 4.       Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

My answers are going to be different from what Ivy and Garren chose for themselves (see Meet Ivy and Garren from Pucker Up post). For Ivy, I always pictured Evangeline Lilly who played Kate in Lost.


As for Garren, I think Matt Lanter comes pretty close.

  1. 5.       What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

A teenage witch must find and awaken the cursed prince with True Love’s Kiss in order save her magically hidden town from witch-hunting Eradicators, but she’s not looking forward to it.

  1. 6.       Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

Pucker Up is self-published but by no means did I do it all alone. I’m very lucky to have surrounded myself with many talented writers who helped me edit and shape up my book into something I could be proud of.

  1. 7.       How long did it take to write the first draft of your manuscript?

Good question. I think it took me seven months just to get the first draft done and then another year to finish revisions and edits. My goodness, I hope the second book doesn’t take that long.

  1. 8.       What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

That’s a toughie. Right now young adult fantasy seems to be very serious and dark, so mine doesn’t seem to fit in. But I think Pucker UP could compare to the Maximum Ride series by James Patterson because of the humor and sarcastic dialogue. Also, I think Ivy is similar to Rose Hathaway from the Vampire Academy series. So if you like those books, give Pucker Up a try.

  1. 9.       Who or what inspired you to write this book?

I started out writing Vampire Academy fanfiction. That was a blast. The wonderful feedback I received from my readers gave me the courage to try to create my own world and characters. One of my readers and fellow fanfic author, René Gilley, has been a tremendous support and inspiration through this writing journey. But the biggest inspiration has been my teenage daughter, Monica. I wanted to write a story that she would be proud her momma wrote.

  1. 10.   What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

The magical town of Salmagundi is loosely based on the Alaskan town of Haines. I lived there when I was eleven, back in the early eighties. My parents owned a pizza restaurant, Annie’s Pizza. Although I never actually came across any witches or vampires while there, one of our customers did remind me of a werewolf.

So, now I will tag three more authors. Check out their blogs next week to learn about their books. You may just come across the next big thing.

  1. Caroline Hanson
  2. Maureen O. Betita
  3. Andrea Stewart

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Meet Ivy and Garren from Pucker Up

Back in April, I attended the RT Convention in Chicago with my good friend and fellow writer, René Gilley. It was a blast! We also enrolled in the 2-day advanced writing workshop lead by author Bobbi Smith. One of our assignments was to write a description of our hero and heroine. So, I decided to be creative and impress Bobbi with my wit and humor. Yeah, what I handed in wasn’t what she was looking for, but she did say it made her laugh. There’s no better compliment than that, my friend.

So, I thought it would be fun to post my character descriptions here. I had the bright idea of having the characters from my book, Pucker Up, describe themselves. It’s written entirely in dialogue form. To help you follow along, Ivy’s lines are in plain font and Garren’s lines are in italics.


“Hey, Garren.”


“The author of our story has to write a description of us and needs some help. You up for it?”

“What does she need our help for? She created us.”

“Just answer the questions. Number one, what is your best physical feature? Hmm, I’d have to say my legs.”

“Your legs? No one’s ever seen them under the baggy jeans you always wear. I thought you were going to say your hazel eyes.”

“That’s so cliché. My roundhouse kicks can incapacitate a man twice my size. Want a demonstration?”

“No thanks. I think my best feature is my smile. Don’t roll your eyes. My smile’s been known to stop traffic.”

“That’s what happens when you stand in the middle of the street grinning like an idiot. Question two. What is your least favorite physical feature? I’d have to say—“

“Your hair.”

“Hey! What’s wrong with my hair? It’s just a little frizzy.”

“A little frizzy? That’s like saying Hurricane Katrina was a light breeze. It’s a big, bushy, brown menace.”

“Don’t touch my hair. It’s humid in here, okay? It’s usually nice and curly. What’s your least favorite feature?”

“That’s a toughie. I don’t think I have any. Maybe… No that’s pretty amazing. How about… I got it! My eyelashes. They’re so thick and long they always bump against my sunglasses when I blink. It’s very annoying. What?”

“Nothing. Okay, question three asks what color best represents you.”

“What color best… What kind of question is that? Next she’ll want to know what tree I see myself as.”

“That’s number eighteen.”

“You’re kidding, right?”

“No, I’m not. Now give that back. Pick a color.”

“These questions are so—“

“Watch it. You do realize that the author can do anything she wants to you, right? Like kill you off.”

“You didn’t let me finish. I was going to say that these questions are so freakin’ fabulous! Is she a genius or what?”

“Mmm hmmm.”

“All right. I guess I’m a red ‘cause I’m passionate and a lover of the ladies. Oh, yeah.”

“It also symbolizes anger and hot tempers. I can see that.”

“Real funny. What color are you? No wait, I know. You’re brown; dull and boring.”

“Brown is also an earthy color; calm and vital. So, thank you. Next question. Who would you want to play you in the movie version of the book? Wow. She’s only just published the book and she’s already casting the movie. I see where you get your arrogance.”

“Too bad Johnny Depp is so old or he’d be perfect to play me.”


“Wait, who played that buff vampire in those Twilight movies? He’d do. Why are you laughing?”

“I’m s-sorry. I thought you were joking. J-Johnny Depp. Ah-hahahaha!”

“I’ll have you know that he and I have very similar bone structure. Will you stop laughing and get off the floor?”

“Oh, man. I haven’t laughed like that in so long. Good thing I don’t wear make-up or I’d be a mess. Okay, who would play me? How about Gina Carano?”

“Who? I was thinking Megan Fox. She’s hot.”

“So. Gina’s hot, too. Plus, she’s a world-ranked mixed martial arts champion. She can kick butt just as well as I can.”

“Whatever. Let’s find another question. Here’s one: Who is your favorite fictional character? That’s easy- me.”

“I don’t think that’s what she meant.”

“Why not? I’m a fictional character, aren’t I? Don’t you think our author created absolutely wonderful and meaningful characters?”

“Fine. What would be your theme song?”

“I’m sexy and I know it. Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle, wiggle.”

“Do you have to do the dance, too? Oh gawd, I think I threw up in my mouth a little.”

“All right, all right. What’s your song?”

“Fighter, by Christina Aguilara.”

“I’m noticing a pattern here. You’re rather violent, aren’t you?”

“Only when I need to be. Let’s answer one more question. What would you change about the other person?”

“That’s a no-brainer. Nothing.”


“Well, maybe just one thing. If Ivy could stop attracting trouble wherever she goes, that’d be great.”

“Make Garren a mute.”


Leave a comment answering one the above questions. For me, right now I think the tree— or in this case, plant— that best represents me is the zinfandel grape. I dyed my hair the other day and now it’s purple. Yeah, it looks like I dunked my head in a barrel of wine. Oh well, my 5-year-old thinks it’s cool.


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