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The Next Big Thing: Find Out What I'm Working On

Writers are tagging writers in this new questionnaire going around the web. What’s the next big thing we’re working on? Thanks to historical novelist Sandra Gulland for tagging me!

 

Here’s the mock-up of the cover for “The Empty Room”

What is your working title of your book?

“The Empty Room”  — it’s the final title.

Where did the idea come from for the book?

As an alcoholic who’s been sober for the past seventeen years, I can’t help but wonder why some alcoholics manage to get and stay sober, and others don’t.  I’ve watched many people die from this disease, and many families suffer.  So, this book is a speculative look at how my life might have turned out, if I’d taken a different path and not put down the booze on March 21, 1995.

The main character, Colleen Kerrigan, is a woman much like me in many ways, although she’s fictional.  For example, there’s a scene where she pukes in a night club.  I never did that.  Just to be clear.

What genre does your book fall under?

I don’t much like the idea of ‘genres’ to be honest.  I mean, is Hillary Mantel’s work historical fiction, or some of Margaret Atwood’s work speculative fiction?  I guess, but it’s also more than that. But okay, since you insist . . . book critics classify my work as literary fiction, so I suppose I’ll have to go with that.

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

Hmm…. Who could play that combination of self-delusion, vulnerability, self-centeredness, regret, black humor and longing so central to addiction?  And still be stunningly beautiful?  Snort.  Kidding.  Kate Blanchett?  With Judy Dench as her mother?  That would be a dream team.  Or perhaps Diane Lane and Helen Mirren.  Or Frances McDormand, Diane Wiest,  Marisa Tomei, Jennifer Anniston (who is, in my opinion, truly underrated as a splendid dramatic actor), Tilda Swinton…  Actually, I think there are a lot of actors who would love to get their teeth into a part like this (if I do say so myself! Snort).  Forest Whitaker as the ex-boyfriend?  Lawrence Fishburne? Andre Braugher? Hmm….

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

 Today is the day Colleen Kerrigan’s demons come for her.

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

I am represented by Kim Witherspoon and David Forrer at Inkwell Management.  They have sold the book to HarperCollins Canada, with a May, 2013 pub date, and are now looking for a US publisher as well. Fingers (toes and eyes) firmly crossed.

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

This was a complete anomaly.  I wrote the first draft in three months.  I was obsessed.  Normally I get a first draft out in about a year, often longer.
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Perhaps Brian Moore’s “The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne,” Jean Rhys’s, “Good Morning, Midnight” and Christopher Reid’s “The Song of Lunch.”

 Who or what inspired you to write this book?
In part this was inspired by my two brothers, Ronnie and Bernie, who both died from suicide as a result of addiction, but it was also inspired by the thousands of people I’ve seen suffer from addiction and get well.  It never ceases to be miraculous to me.

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

 I have yet to meet anyone not affected in one way or another by addiction – perhaps not personally, but it seems everyone has a relative or a co-worker or a neighbor who struggles.  I hope a lot of people will want to read about what goes on in the mind of an active alcoholic, and to see what it takes to finally come to terms with it.

Besides, it’s actually pretty funny, if you like dark comedy.

***
I am tagging a gifted group of writers – some novelists, some poets — and warmly invite my readers to visit their sites.  Their contributions will be up soon.
Diane Schoemperlen

Lisa Pasold

Kathryn Kuitenbower

Gary Barwin

Lillian Natel

Message for tagged authors:
Rules of the Next Big Thing

***Use this format for your post
***Answer the ten questions about your current WIP (work in progress)
***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 your 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?
Include the link of who tagged you and this explanation for the people you have tagged.
Be sure to line up your five people in advance.

 

6 Comments

  1. Rebecca Jensen on October 19, 2012 at 6:20 pm

    Thanks to Sandra Gulland for tagging you, and thanks to you for providng such interesting answers to these questions. No doubt your knowledge of the subject matter and empathy for others who suffer from the disease were good motivators for you. I seem to recall you writing about the death of your two brothers … is it something that’s still on your site? Can you provide a link? best, Rebecca

  2. Next Big Thing Interview » Kathryn Kuitenbrouwer on October 20, 2012 at 6:40 pm

    […] going around the web. What’s the next big thing we’re working on? Thanks to historical novelist Lauren B. Davies for tagging […]

  3. Diana Stevan on October 21, 2012 at 8:57 pm

    Lauren, I’m sorry for the loss of your brothers. Addiction is a terrible disease. I saw how it ruined my uncle’s life and his family. It’s a downward spiral. No one wins.

    I’ll write a post regarding the above questionnaire. Great idea!

    • Lauren B. Davis on October 22, 2012 at 9:29 am

      Thanks, Diana. Yup, addiction will kick your ass, that’s for sure. But I see miracles around me every day in the faces of sober people, living their wonderful lives one day at a time. We can recover.
      Lovely of you to comment.

  4. […] Durga by JoydeepThanks to Lauren B. Davis for tagging me on this great questionnaire for writers. I have to confess that I’m […]

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