I've been tagged by Terri Whittington-Haynes
to blog hop about my current manuscript.
The rules of the blog hop:
1. What is the title of your next book?
Tentatively, it’s Shadows of Death but I’m not terribly attached to it. The book is about three weeks old, so lots will change before it's done.
2. Where did the idea come from for the book?
Two places, really. My son gave me Killing Lincoln for my birthday in October, and there was a lot of interesting background information about John Wilkes Booth which I didn't know. Then, in December, when the terrible shooting happened in Newtown, CT, I heard that the shooter's father heard what had happened when TV crews showed up at his work where he was an executive of a large company. Now, I don't know how much of the last part is true, but it doesn't really matter. It sparked the inspiration question, "What happens to innocent family members who are left behind to deal with the aftermath when someone in their family commits an atrocity?"
3. What genre does your book fall under?
4. What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
Sarah would be played by a young Winona Ryder...
and Zach would be played by Sean Astin.
5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Um...uh...hmmm. Like I said, the book is three weeks into the process, and I'm working really hard at character development before I jump into the plot. But the basic idea is that Sarah is a relative of John Wilkes Booth. After he assassinated President Lincoln, members of his family were imprisoned. So was Jefferson Davis. I'm still trying to see if I can make those two historically accurate tidbits cause an extra layer of conflict for Sarah and Zach.
6. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
I would love for it to be represented by an agency, but since I haven't ever published a book...
7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
Yeah...three weeks and counting. The last manuscript took almost eighteen months before I put it on the shelf because the more I tried to fix it the worse it got. Writing for publication is a learning process. You have to be willing to persevere, but you also have to be willing to let go. While writing my last novel, Honor's Betrayal which finaled in the ACFW Genesis Contest, I learned two, very surprising things about myself. First, I write suspense. Who knew? And second, I have a much easier time developing plot than characters. The general feedback on HB was that the plot rocked but the character's were flat. I tried to go back in and add character development, but it just wasn't working. So...I put it aside and started Shadows of Death to begin with character development.
8) What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
To Whisper Her Name by Tamera Alexander, though I feel terribly prideful even thinking it. If you haven't read this book, it's just stunning. Also, though she did not write for the Christian market, I am a HUGE fan of Patricia Veryan. She died several years ago, but her novels have given me hour after hour of reading pleasure. (Warning: she writes "old style" with the omniscient point of view so she "head hops." Sometimes even the parrot will chime into the narration.)
9) Who or what inspired you to write this book?
My husband and I are of one political persuasion, but we have close relatives who are just as adamantly of another. During the presidential campaign, we saw lots of posts on Facebook from both sides of the political line. I found the name-calling appalling. No intellectual debate, no reasoning together, just name-calling, exaggerations, and digging into "my side" and turning the "other side" into a personal enemy. After the election, there were people signing petitions to allow their states to secede from the Union. Now, what does that sound like to you?
Did you know that Jefferson Davis, the President of the Confederacy, was imprisoned for two years without formal charges? He was never charged with treason, and he was never declared innocent of any charges. He just languished in prison until the general populace didn't care much anymore. As a result, nothing has been resolved. Do states have the right to determine issues like who qualifies as human and who doesn't? Or does the Federal government have the right to make all-encompassing decisions about who qualifies and make the rest of us comply regardless of our individual beliefs? And where does Biblical truth come into the debate? Not the twisting of Bible verses to support my personal beliefs, but an honest look at God's beliefs about the issues...even if that means I'm wrong and have to change my beliefs.
10. What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?
The Booth family has a fascinating history. We all know John Wilkes Booth as Lincoln's killer, but did you know his family was famous? Really, really famous! Did you know one of his brothers saved one of Lincoln's sons? If you are like me, you didn't even know John Wilkes Booth had brothers. Or sisters. Or a famous father who kept his family a secret for about twenty-five years.
Now for the tagging: