Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Week 17: The Next Big Thing

I was tagged to participate in this blog hop by the talented Margaret Young, who answered the same set of questions on her own blog, Cruising Right Along, last Wednesday.

Here are the questions with my own answers:


What is the working title of your book?

Resurrecting Sunshine

Where did the idea come from for the book?

Resurrecting Sunshine originated with a failed short story.  Over a period of several years I’d tried a number of times to write the same story.  Though I never succeeded--I think ultimately the ideas were just a little too involved for a short piece-the characters stayed in my mind and eventually it became my 2009 NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) book, at the time titled 
Reconstructing Sunshine.  

As for the idea itself, originally I had this vision for a story where one of the main characters never actually appeared “onstage.”  The whole story was going to revolve around how much she meant to the other characters, how she’d changed their lives long after she was gone.   I always saw her very clearly in my mind’s eye as a young woman in a bright yellow dress, her feet bare, who everyone called Sunshine.

What genre does your book fall under?

It’s a young adult science fiction novel (although in my Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award review, Publisher’s Weekly called it a thriller, so I’ve definitely questioned the genre).  The book actually started out as adult science fiction, but both my critique partner and significant other, thought it would make a perfect YA story--and I found myself agreeing--so YA it became, and it was definitely the right way to go.

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

I’m one of those people who actually prefers a movie with unknown actors, finding it easier to suspend my disbelief and become more fully absorbed in the characters when they aren’t portrayed by brand name actors, so I’d prefer that for a movie rendition of my book, too.  Plus I’m incredibly pop culture illiterate, so there’s that.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Okay, cheating here.  This is two sentences.  But I thought I’d go with my Twitter pitch…

With the death of his one true love, 17-year-old Adam lost everything. Now science wants to give her back in Resurrecting Sunshine.

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

I’m not really interested in taking the self-publishing route, at least for now, but I haven’t as yet had luck finding representation.

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

30 days.  I’m a die-hard National Novel Writing Month participant.  Of course that was just the first draft!

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

I’ve never been much for comparisons.  After all, what is creativity without originality?  But if pressed, I’d draw a comparison with The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary Pearson, which also asks some interesting moral/ethical questions about science and the things we do in the name of holding onto something we love.

Who or What inspired you to write this book? 

I wrote this book during the initial separation from my husband of 15 years, so I think maybe I was inspired by my own personal situation at the time even if I didn’t realize it then.  I related very much to Adam, my protagonist, who was struggling with a huge loss.  I think my life at the time really colored the themes of Resurrecting Sunshine, which are learning to let go and moving on from loss. 

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

I’ve always had a tough time describing Resurrecting Sunshine because on the surface, it’s a book about cloning...and yet for me it’s never been a book about cloning.  Rather, it’s a book about who we are and how the closest relationships in our life inform our own identity.  It’s also a book about love and loss and survival and the limits of personal responsibility. 

It’s funny, too, because in the first draft I felt like I wrote myself into a corner, and the ending of the book never felt right.  Okay, to be honest it felt completely and totally lame.  I had put the manuscript aside, not really considering it a viable book worth revising.  

Then one morning, out of nowhere--I hadn’t consciously thought of the book in years--I woke up and knew how it needed to end, and suddenly I went on a mad rewriting spree that lasted for many months (my goal being that year’s Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award deadline where it ended up making the semifinals in the YA category).  

And of all my novels, it’s probably the one I’m happiest about not giving up on.  And as hard as the new ending was to write, I think it was exactly the ending the book needed.    

-------------------------

Thank you for stopping by to read about my book.  For Week 18 of The Next Big Thing, I'm tagging several extremely talented writers who I've had the great pleasure of getting to know and working closely with over the past several years.  (Right now you'll find two links below; I'll be adding at least two more soon so please stop back again later.)

Next Wednesday, please visit:

Holly Hughes at Holly's Narrative Dream
Loretta Torossian at To write is to live - and other musings...



Rules:

***Answer these ten questions about your current WIP (Work In Progress) on your blog


***Tag five other writers/bloggers and add their links so we can hop over and 


meet them.  


Ten Interview Questions for The Next Big Thing:

What is the working title of your book?


Where did the idea come from for the book?


What genre does your book fall under?


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

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

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

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

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


Who or What inspired you to write this book?

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


7 comments:

  1. I think you and I probably run in the same writing contest circles and just didn't realize it. ABNA, The Writer's Voice (and all the different Twitter pitch parties and blog contests those amazing ladies put on for us!)

    You really skirt around the details of your book but from what little you give away, it sounds very interesting! I'm probably way off with this, but any time a book or movie has something to do with bringing back someone who has passed, I always think of that creepy Gage or the cat from Pet Sematary.*shudder* I know yours is cloning and probably not even a horror, but still got that image in my head.LOL

    I found your inspiration and character comparisons to the situation you were in with your husband at the time, very interesting - and very insightful of you to recognize that connection.

    Good luck with publishing. I'm sure I'll see you in a contest sometime soon!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's a smaller world than we realize sometimes, Margaret. It sounds like we do travel in many of the same circles, so I'm guessing we'll cross paths again.

      Thank you for stopping by to read about my book (and you're right--I guess I did tend to skirt around the details of my book).

      Good luck to you too!

      Delete
  2. Isn't it wonderful how the stories and characters closest to your heart never really leave you? :)

    This sounds like a wonderful book and I enjoyed reading your answers to the blog hop questions.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for stopping by and for your kind words, Dina.

      Delete
  3. Hi Lisa,
    First, thank you for tagging me for the blog tag. It was great learning the background of Resurrecting Sunshine. I love what I read of your story and I'm sure once it's done you'll have no problem placing it with an agent and with a publisher. You're a very talented writer! Good luck and all the best!

    Loretta

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi Lisa, this is Dwight Okita from ABNA. I know you mentioned having an ongoing group for Sci Fi folks. That's not been organized, though anyone could do it if they like on FB, etc. I did start a Google Group for some second rounders who play well with others. Cool folks. It's a nice alternative to the sometimes hostile abna boards. If you'd like to join this group, let me know and I'll send you an invite. You can reach me by FB or the guestbook in my site: dwightland.homestead.com

    ReplyDelete
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