To the wandering eye, my friends and family, and those who Google at 2 a.m., welcome. My name is Grace and what is to follow is the inspiration, information, and publication of tales which have long since captivated me from the chilled, dewy morning to the darkest hours of the night. I look forward to sharing with you. The journey has begun.
Today my blog is part of something bigger than usual.A few weeks ago, Karen Malena invited me to
be a part of the blog hop called The Next Big Thing, something I’d never heard
of but is apparently a sensation. The nice thing about this, though, is that it
gives me the opportunity to be a blessing to other authors, while also learning
about different styles and genres. So, here it is: my Blog Hop. The purpose is
to help readers discover the next great book or author; i.e. the one they will
be compelled to read or the author whose work they simply can’t put down.
Her work might just be the next big thing, or perhaps mine
I was asked to answer
the following ten questions in my next blog post:
is the working title of your book? The Woman in Scarlet.
did you get the idea for your book? It kind of came completely out of
nowhere. I was sitting on the porch with my older brother a few months before
our first niece was to be born. He had already written several stories for her
and was trying to think of titles for all of them. I just started listing off
random titles like, “The Spider and the Flea”; “The Bright-Eyed Girl”; “The
Woman in Scarlet.” You know. Grimm’s Fairy Tales kind of titles. Anyway, as
soon as I said “The Woman in Scarlet,” I started thinking what a cool title
that is and wondered what kind of story would go with it. My brother said that
wasn’t one of his stories, so I decided to make it my own. It was really fun,
actually, because I almost had to work backwards, thinking, “Okay, how can I
write this in such a way that it would make sense to use this title?” For
whatever reason, Russia came to mind. I’ve always loved the Russian language,
culture, history. Then one of those spontaneous thoughts just hit me: What if
the Woman in Scarlet was a genie? It was completely random, but it was just
what I needed, or rather, what the story was. Have you ever watched “Aladdin”
or “Arabian Nights” and wondered if there were girl genies? I kind of spawned
the idea from that. But she wasn’t going to be Arabian; she would be exquisite,
with curly brown hair and a gorgeous red dress. After that, everything just
seemed to fall into place.
genre does your book fall under?Fantasy,
actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?The boy playing Sacha would have to have that
wide-eyed curiosity, as well as be able to interpret stubbornness without
words, innocence, but also maturity. One thing I wanted to distinguish in my
first story is the difference in maturity between minors growing up in Europe
versus those raised in the U.S. Honestly, the first person who comes to mind is
Asa Butterfield (“Nanny McFee Returns,” “Hugo”). I think he would make an
excellent Sacha! For Grigori, it would have to be someone who can play that
strong, protective, wise-beyond-his-years character. When I was researching
names for Sacha’s older brother, I was looking more at the meanings, figuring
if I found a meaning which fit him characteristically, it might be an effective
strategy for the future. (I had already decided I wanted to be a writer by this
time.) In short, “Grigori” means “vigilant, watchful, protector.” Can you say
perfect? As for the Woman in Scarlet, I purposefully didn’t base her off of
someone real. But I tried to describe her in a way that the reader could
picture her perfectly. You know how Michelle Pfeiffer hasn’t aged a wrinkle in
ten years? That would be my only requirement when picking an actress. She would
need that timelessness, else it wouldn’t feel right to me. Of course, I highly
suspect I would not have a say in casting even if my story was turned into a
movie, but it’s fun to dream.
is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? Be careful what you wish for;
you just might receive it.
your book be self-published or represented by an agency?My story is represented by Trestle Press.
long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript? Probably
about three months; it’s a short story. Not sure if that says more about the
quality or the speed of my writing. From rough draft to finished product, quite
a few years since I was constantly tweaking it, having the writer’s group I
attend critique it, getting outside input, etc.
other books would you compare this story to within your genre? At first I
would say “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.” I know that’s reaching a
bit, but to me, there wasn’t anything that felt completely ordinary as I wrote
this story, from the way the snow fell to the swell of light which is the Woman
in Scarlet’s signature. Just as with “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe,”
you never have that real-ordinary-life feeling, even when they are being
reprimanded by Mrs. McCreedy. If I had to pick a different book, I would say
“Grimm’s Fairy Tales” merely for the fact that in some of the stories, you have
that magical factor in a seemingly-mundane world. Of course most of their
stories are quite gruesome and they live in lands filled with magic, but I’m
just giving an example here.
or what inspired you to write this book?My brothers and sister, my parents… but I mostly wrote it for me. I was
my audience. I will never write something I wouldn’t want to read.
else about your book might pique the reader’s interest? Did I mention it
was in Russia? That would pique my
interest. And somehow, the vision of scarlet and snow against each other is
Next week, please take the
opportunity to hop on over to the blog listed below.
William Tasch on
Goodreads. He has a blog there that’ll tell you more about his books.