The Next Big Thing…

Rachel Gold was nice enough to start us off on  this, so I’m carrying forward. As Rachel said, I don’t think I’m the “next big thing,” but I think this is a great chance to meet new authors. I’ve linked to Rachel’s site above, and since I feel as if I struck gold in “discovering” MB Panichi, I’m linking to her as well. My “second” author (Rachel doesn’t count as she added me) is the wonderful Erica Abbott.

Each author fills out a short blog interview like the one you see below and then recommends a few other authors with upcoming projects.

So without further ado, here’s my response to this blog hopping interview:

What is the working title of your next book?

Celtic Tide

Where did the idea come from for the book?

There’s a folk song about the women in Dundee, Scotland, who kept the village fed and basically alive during extremely lean years at the turn of the century.  As a musician and a writer, I wanted to explore that…the basis for men (the traditional singers of folk songs) to write a song about the efforts of women. To make it relevant to today, one of my characters is an ethnomusicologist, a careers I’d have loved to tackle had I the talent.

I have a terrific source in my aunt who is in fact a musicologist and music historian, so I’m excited to be in the middle of this project.

What genre does your book fall under?

Contemporary romance.

What is the synopsis or blurb of your book?

Celtic Tide is the story of Grace O’Malley, an American musician and researcher who has run away to Ireland to escape her troubles, and Anne Flaherty, the woman who rights Grace’s upside-down world.  Though she tells herself she is simply “expanding her research opportunities,” Grace, a 35-year-old music professor, is hiding.  The scandal that rocked her small-town college shattered her confidence and broke her heart, and she wants nothing more than to tuck herself away in the small village of An Daingean (Dingle), Ireland—the village in which her grandfather grew up.

Anne Flaherty has lived in the village of An Daingean all of her life, save for two brief years away at Trinity College, Dublin.  Her time at Trinity was bittersweet, allowing her to grow and build her musical range, but battering both her confidence and her gentle heart.  A Catholic struggling with her own demons, she resists her growing attraction to the American musician, insisting on a platonic friendship, despite wanting . . . and needing . . . more.

This is Grace and Anne’s story.  Neither is looking for love and both have been deeply hurt.  Together they will heal each other and themselves, and begin to build a friendship that can only deepen into love.  This is a story that can only be told here, in Dingle, Ireland, where the endless days of summer are painted in fairylike light and the music of a community blends with the rhythm of life and love to make magic happen.

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

Wow. Um…I’m terrible at this part since I don’t see a lot of movies or watch a lot of TV. Let’s see…nope. I’ve got nuthin.’

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

Bella published my first book and graciously accepted this, my second.

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

Hmm…hard to quantify, because I don’t write full-time. Truthfully, I’m still hammering out the last parts of the manuscript, but I think…yes, if I had to quantify, I’d say about six months.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

This is similar to the “get the idea…” question, but I’ll answer this: what inspired me to set it in Ireland? We took a trip to Ireland a few years ago and I fell in love with the village of Dingle (An Daingean). The pub in which Grace meets Anne is a real place. Most of the characters in the book are based upon real people from the village.

As for why Ireland and not Scotland, I wanted the book set in Ireland, but the song that inspired the story, the Women of Dundee, is set, of course, in Scotland. In working out why Grace is in Ireland and not Scotland, I also found a good deal of Grace…her reasons for moving around, her spinta.

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

There’s romance, there’s music, there’s self-discovery (though this is not a coming-out story, per se).

Here are the writers whose work you can check out next:

If you’re a fan of women in uniform, Erica Abbott’s Fragmentary Blue is for you. Erica writes a tight, well-plotted tale, and her knowledge of the legal system adds terrific depth and texture to the story without being overwhelming.

I was lucky enough to be the Golden Crown Literary Society mentor to a bright new author, MB Panichi. MaryBeth’s debut novel, Saving Morgan, is due out in Fall of 2013. The best part of mentoring is the chance to read terrific new talent long before anyone else gets to.  Saving Morgan is a taught, well-crafted sci-fi story that I cannot wait to hold in my hands. The only problem I have with having read her manuscript so early is that I have to wait that much longer for the sequel.

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6 Comments on “The Next Big Thing…”

  1. Erica Abbott says:

    Polly–Thanks for the kind words! I’m really looking forward to your second book, for, as you know, I loved Open Water. I can hardly wait!

  2. Sheila says:

    This new tome sounds terrific! We fell in love with Ireland on a visit a few years ago and are anxious to go back. Reading this will certainly fuel that (turf) fire! Thanks – and I loved Open Water as well!

  3. MB Panichi says:

    Pol — Celtic Tide sounds great, and I’m eagerly awaiting it!!! Thanks for tagging me, and for all the support and encouragement 🙂 It’s been a crazy journey so far, and I’m looking forward to the continuation of it!