Monday, November 5, 2012

The Next Big Thing

Thanks to author Nancy Adams for inviting me to take part in this fun event. Check out her blog from last week where she answers the same questions about her work in progress, titled CHIMERA, that I do below. 

"The Next Big Thing" was started by blogger She Writes to help female authors promote their current work by answering a set of ten questions and then "tagging" other writers, inviting them to do the same. 

Here's my contribution.

What is your working title of your book?
'Til Dirt Do Us Part

Where did the idea come from for the book?
It's the second book in my Local Foods Mystery series, and I wanted to set it in the fall, so it opens at a Farm-to-Table dinner on farmer Cam Flaherty's organic farm with the food cooked by a local chef. We get to meet a few new characters and touch base with the regulars from the first book, A Tine to Live, a Tine to Die. I modeled the dinner on the fabulous one I attended at month ago at Cider Hill Farm in Amesbury (that's a pic of the table). Phat Cats Bistro did the cooking with all local ingredients and it was, excuse the expression, to die for!

What genre does your book fall under?
This is a cozy mystery series -- think Agatha Christie's Miss Marple. The protagonist is Cam Flaherty, an amateur sleuth. The violence is all off screen and the action takes place in a circumscribed area, in this case her farm, the fictional small town it's in, and a nearby small city.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Oh, my! That's a challenge. Maybe Clare Dane for Cam - she's about the right age and can be both serious and funny, although she's not really tall enough. As for Jake, the chef and romantic interest - I don't know. I'd need a really tall Scandinavian-looking man with some weight on him. Any ideas?

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

During the fall harvest dinner at the end of Cam Flaherty's first season, she has no idea that a toxic threat to her quiet life as an organic farmer festers under society's topsoil.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
I'm really fortunate to be represented by John Talbot and the series is published by Kensington Publishing.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
It took me about six months to write the first draft of A Tine to Live, a Tine to Die, and that's my goal for 'Til Dirt Do Us Part, too. I have a full-time day job, so it's tricky!

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

Sheila Connolly's Orchard Mystery series, Paige Shelton's Farmers Market Mystery series, and Susan Wittig Albert's China Bayles Herbal Mystery series are all cozies with a farm theme.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?
I was an organic farmer myself many years ago so I know the language and tensions of growing food for a living. I love diving back into that world and creating stories within it.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
The Local Foods movement is getting more and more popular. Barbara Kingsolver's book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle tracked her family's project of eating only locally produced food for a year and popularized the term locavore. So members of the Westbury Locavore Club belong to Cam's farm-share program, or CSA. Also, Cam is a geek, a former software engineer, which informs her personality and some of her interactions.

Next week be sure to check out "The Next Big Thing" from the following authors who are carrying on this event!
What do you think the next big thing will be? Have you heard of locavores? Leave a question or comment (along with your email address) and win a free copy of my first mystery, Speaking of Murder.


  1. Edith, loved the post and I enjoy when an author picks the actors --let's me know if I visualized them right.

    1. Thanks, Marian! Can't wait to read your post next week.

  2. Terrific post, Edith. It must be exciting to apply some of your personal history with an topic that's important to you, and create great fiction from it.

    1. Thanks, Ramona. Yes, it's really fun to be a farmer again, even if it's only on paper (although I am a committed home gardener, so I guess I'm a mini-farmer). I look forward to your answers to the same questions!

  3. Replies
    1. Thanks, Hank! Hey, I was supposed to get five people for next week. Want to join in?

  4. The question-and-answer format turned out great, Edith! So much fun. I think locavore will be the new paleo, the next big thing in food and nutrition. As for your Scandinavian actor, these days Alexander Skarsgard from TRUE BLOOD sort of sets the gold standard, but I'm impressed by - and this will surprise you - former WWE wrestler known as Edge on Syfy's show HAVEN. Norse AND some meat on his bones. Win, win. :) :) (Seeya later this week, too.)

    1. Ooh, Rhonda, I'll have to check out those actors. Thanks! And see you Friday.

  5. Hi Edith, I suggest actor Trond Espen Seim. He may be a little old for the role (he's my age after all) but, that's who I envision. I'm so appreciative of anything--literature or otherwise--that promotes localism. So interesting to know how you weave your experience into your books. See you on Facebook!

    1. Thanks, Annie. He looks pretty good in the pictures I saw.

      And thanks for stopping by!