The Next Big Thing is a series of blog posts where authors talk about their work using the same ten questions. At the end of the blog we tag other authors who will do the same thing a week later. So not only do you get to find out more about my book but you also will discover some other interesting writers. The wonderful Ian Irvine tagged me and here are my answers:
1. What is the working title of your next book?
My title is sex, drugs & meditation. Due to my publisher’s concerns this may change. Remember to Breathe is an option.
2. Where did the idea come from for the book?
I used to read self-help and personal growth books. They were full of jargon and exercises I was supposed to do – which I never did. The bits I really liked were the case studies, the stories. When my life was transformed by meditation, and by one ten-day, silent mediation retreat in particular, I decided to write a case study, the story of what happened.
3. What genre does your book fall under?
Non-fiction. It’s my meditation memoir.
4. What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
This book would be hard, but not impossible, to turn into a movie. It’s based within the frame of a ten-day silent meditation retreat – tough to write a screenplay for that! However there are a lot of flashbacks involving sex, drugs and my life playing in bands and working in radio. Charlize Theron would be great to play me especially as she doesn’t mind not looking too pretty if the role demands it. Ben Kingsley could reprise his Gandhi role and play the teacher.
5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Mary-Lou does not have it all. Never has. And now the one thing she does have is under threat. (Okay it’s three sentences but they’re very short.)
6. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
My publisher is Pan Macmillan. Selwa Anthony is my agent. The book is due to be released in April 2013
7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
Oh Lordy, that’s a tough question. I had so many false starts. I had written 50,000 words most of which didn’t work. I started again after I was given some great advice by a literary agent. “If you’re going to write this book you need to be totally honest.” I freaked out, put the project aside and wrote ten drafts of a novel instead (unpublished). When I was ready to be totally honest I started writing again. This process took about six years.
8. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Teach Us to Sit Still – Tim Parks
Oh and yes, that book, Eat, Pray, Love. I stated writing my memoir way before Elizabeth Gilbert’s book was released, I promise.
9. Who or what inspired you to write this book?
It is an amazing story and it’s all true. When I read my final draft (before the publishing deal) I said to The Hubby, “This is such a great story. I can’t believe everything in it happened to me. I can’t fathom how I went through so much change and transformation and I’m still completely fucked up.”
He was kind enough to agree that it was an amazing story and not agree with the last bit.
10. What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?
If you’ve ever been in a situation that you’ve found unbearable – with your work, relationship, health, weight, friends, etc – this book is for you.
If you’ve ever been in a state that you wanted to change but didn’t know how – this is the book for you.
If you’ve ever wanted to clear emotional baggage and be free – this book is perfect.
If you’ve ever wondered what being a radio presenter is really like – you’ll love this book.
If you’re wondering how someone who gets paid to talk could stay silent for ten days – this book will interest you.
If you have any curiosity about, or interest in, meditation – this book is a must.
So that’s it for me. If you want to discover some other great writers check these out:
Nikki Stern – her memoir Not Your Ordinary Housewife was released this week.
Paul Fogarty – not only a writer of prose but a writer of songs
Taylor Fulks – her book My Prison Without Bars was released this week.
Sean Tretheway – two novels released so far and many more to come.