Laxmi Hariharan tagged me for the weekly meme of The Next Big Thing! The tagged author gets to answer ten questions. So here goes:
Ten Interview Questions for The Next Big Thing:
1. What is the working title of your book?
Half a House
2. Where did the idea come from for the book?
I saw an episode of a wacky grandfather in my head. When I transcribed it to paper (okay to my laptop), the grandfather’s wife, even more eccentric, demanded to be let in. And what are grandparents without a grandson, right?
The grandparents also have an eccentric, correspondence-course taking friend. But all is not wacky in their world; the granddaughter is having problems with her in-laws.
3. What genre does your book fall under?
Despite how it sounds, this is not YA. It is the same genre (sort of) as my other book, Tell A Thousand Lies. Mainly women’s fiction, with some humor thrown in.
4. Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
The movie is already playing in my head. I can see their faces, but can’t think of actors to play them. Not yet. Besides it is difficult to visualize a globally known character playing a sari-clad grandmother, don’t you think?
Having said that, I’m kind of partial to Dame Judy Dench.
5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Gosh, I’m going to have to work on this.
6. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
Self-published. I chose the same path for my first book despite having a publishing contract.
7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
I wrote snippets involving the grandparents over four years ago. When my other novel demanded to be told, I set this aside.
8. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
It is in the same genre as Khaled Hosseini’s or Vikram Seth’s books except their books are classier and, well, less wacky.
9. Who or What inspired you to write this book?
I Had A Dream.
10. What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
That I don’t shy away from nutty characters?
Tag you’re it!
Kobo, the Japanese counterpart to Amazon, is running a limited time promotion. Between September 1 and November 30 all ebooks priced between $1.99 and $12.99 will earn their authors 80 percent royalty (vs. Amazon’s 70%).
If the book is priced outside of this range, the author will earn 45% royalties (vs. Amazon’s 35%).
Kobo, anyone? kobobooks.com/KoboWritingLife
David Vinjamuri has a terrific article in The Forbes on this. Worth a read whether you’re traditionally published or chose to go the self-publishing route.
A direct quote from the article. (I picked this because a lot of writers seem to think being published traditionally will free them from promoting their work):
“An entire generation of traditionally published authors has come of age learning to self-promote. Particularly for mid-list authors the burden of writing and marketing a book a year without much assistance can be crushing. Some publishing houses have trimmed back even further, limiting editorial assistance to new writers to proofreading and line editing rather than structural editing.
These authors feel less beholden to publishers and more independent. They have been forced to become entrepreneurs, but are not rewarded commensurate with their contributions.”
Here’s another quote:
“One thing that mainstream and Indie authors seem united on is contempt for is the royalty structure that mainstream publishing houses apply to eBooks which is much less favorable than for printed books. This is foolish and counterproductive for publishing houses. Indeed, authors like Edgar-winning mystery author Lawrence Block and Margaret Muir have already embraced indie publishing for the obvious economic benefits. There are also many authors who started as self-publishers and are making a solid living in Indie-land. Many of them would be considered midlist or even minor celebrities if they had more visibility to the existing publishing world – I’m thinking of people like Robert Kroese and Rachel Thompson here.”
Click here for the entire article.
Note: The author will be giving away a $10 Amazon Gift Certificate. Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. See below for details.
When an insecure, bi-racial woman begins a cloak-and-dagger love affair with a Japanese American man, she is intent on keeping her bigoted family in the dark—albeit with devastating consequences. On the night of her brother’s murder, Deena Hammond stumbles upon Takumi Tanaka, lost and on the wrong end of a .32. After rescuing him from the certain fate driving through the hood in a Porsche will bring, a sweet kind of friendship begins. A balm for her grief. Maybe, Deena likes to think, it happened the day her white mother killed her black father. Or maybe, it was always a part of them, like DNA gone bad. Whatever the case, Deena knows that her family would never approve, hell, never acknowledge her fast-growing love for Takumi. And had he never made love to her that way, in that unraveling, soul-searching sort of way, she could’ve done the same. But love’s a devil that way. So, their game begins. One where they hide what they are from everyone. Anyone. And Tak understands this—for now. After all, Deena’s career hinges on the favor of her mentor and boss, his hard-ass of a father. And the Hammond family is already stretched thin with grief. Yet, each step
Deena takes toward family and career brings her closer to an acceptance she’s never had. And away from him.
“I wish that I didn’t want my family’s love so bad. I wish I could be one of those people who wore leather jackets and didn’t give a damned.”
Tak shot her a look. “You’d be musty if you wore a leather jacket in this heat.”
Deena grinned. “You know what I mean.”
He shrugged. “Who doesn’t want a decent family, Dee? It’s not much to ask for.”
Tak paused to pluck a seashell from the sand. Chipped and polished by time, it shone under the glint of a fast setting sun. “I don’t know the answers,” he said. “But they seem to be in things like this,” he held up the shell.
She frowned. “I don’t follow.”
He shrugged. “Well think about it. What’s a shell? It’s just a—a hard, protective outer layer.” He hurled it in the ocean. “The same is true with family. They’re an outer layer, a protection from the world. At least that’s what they’re supposed to be.” He paused. “Think about what happens when you screw with an animal that has one of those hard shells. What does he do?”
“He goes into it.”
“Right. He retreats.” He thumbed the shell thoughtfully. “Now imagine if you were to rip the shell off a turtle and expose him. What do you think you’d find?”
Deena cringed. “Something soft and hurting.
“And dead, if not close to it. So, our hypothetical turtle, who’s able to stand our shell transplant, needs another shell, another form of protection. And so do you.” Tak handed the grooved and sand-polished subject to Deena. She looked down at it.
“So, how’ve I been surviving all this time? What’s my shell?”
Tak grinned. “Tell you what. I’ll let you know when I crack it.”
Copyright by Shewanda Pugh
Follow on Twitter: @ShewandaP
The tour dates may be found here.
If you write only short stories, its been tough to get published traditionally. Self-Publishing has made that easier, of course, but there are other ways.
The Huffington Post has a good post on how to get your short stories published. Click here for the link.
According to an article on Mediabistro.com:
To help promote the new film The Intouchables, The Weinstein Company and Weinstein Books are giving away a free eBook with movie ticket sales.
In exchange for buying a ticket to the film, theater goers who buy a ticket to see the film between July 27 and August 3 will get a code to redeem a free copy of the eBook You Changed My Life: A Memoir, a memoir by Abdel Sellou, the man whose life the film is based on.
Now all I need is someone to film my book. I’m set because I have ebooks to give away.