I've been tagged in a blog chain by the lovely (and recently signed) Rae Rivers - read about her Next Big Thing here. Not that I need an excuse to blather on about my first release lol! So without further ado...
What is the title of your book?
Secrets of the Rich and Famous
How did you come by the idea?
After finalling in New Voices I was lucky enough to be given the chance to work with a M&B editor to develop a story from scratch. I was asked to submit three story ideas and the RIVA team picked the one they thought was the strongest. I got the original idea when I saw a news story about executive house sitters - people who get to live in gorgeous houses at a fraction of the rent in return for keeping the place occupied and secure. I wondered what would happen if you were using a posh place like that as a cover story for something and then the real owner reappeared, wanting it back. That is essentially the beginning of Secrets...
What genre does your book fall under?
Which actors would you choose to play your characters if it were a movie?
As I mentioned in my last post, Alex was always based on Alex O'Loughlin, who plays Steve McGarrett in Hawaii Five-0. I didn't really choose an actress for Jen from the start but I think Kate Hudson would be good.
What is a brief synopsis of your book?
Jen is a village journalist trying to get a foot in the door at a top women's magazine by pitching an article that investigates whether an ordinary girl with a high street wardrobe and an overdraft can land a Chelsea millionaire. Since a man like that would immediately think gold-digger, she needs a makeover on a budget and a fictional new life. Jen has bagged herself a Chelsea apartment to house sit, passing it off as her own, and is scuppered when the real owner, Alex, returns, needing the property back as a bolt hole from a media scandal. Having flown halfway round the world to escape the press, he isn't impressed to find one of them has moved in with him. Jen sees him as a fantastic source of information for her project and when she ropes him into helping her, sparks begin to fly.
Will your book be self-published or traditional?
It will be traditionally published by Mills & Boon RIVA.
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
I'd been targeting M&B for a while and doing well in New Voices really made me more determined than ever. I began to take my writing more seriously and I was determined to grab the chance to work with an editor and throw everything at it. Thankfully it paid off!
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
As this book was written with editorial guidance, I submitted three chapters at a time and then received feedback and revisions on them which I did before proceeding with the next part of the story. This kept me on track and avoided major rewrites/ revisions at the end. Chapters 7-9 took about 3 months including time waiting for feedback and then I wrote the final three chapters in two weeks! By then they'd offered me a contract and asked for the end to be completed quickly. I nearly had a meltdown over it, but the pressure must have done me good because they accepted the final part without revisions.
What about your book might pique the reader's interest?
I think (hope) it's a fun story that will make people smile. And it's set at Christmas time in Chelsea - twinkly lights and frosty pavements - what's not to like!
For the next author in the chain, check out the fabulous (and also newly signed!) Christy McKellen's blog to find out about her Next Big Thing!