Side note: thank you so much Katie Pendergrass for choosing me as The Next Big Thing. (If you don't know Katie yet, click here to check out her blog about her upcoming debut novel "Dancing Demons."
The Next Big Thing1. What is the working title of your book?
That's a loaded question. I've gone back and forth between two titles: "Be Seeing You" and "Origin." It's likely that neither will end up as the final title. My publishers are working on that as I type. I can't wait to have a firm name!
2. Where did the idea come from?
Literally, a heavily medicated dream state. I'd taken a nasty spill off of a horse and had a concussion. For the first few nights after the fall, I had some very vivid dreams. A big part of this story was one of them. I also really wanted to craft a story about a capable, savvy heroine.
3. What genre does your WIP/MS fall under?
I would consider it a young adult or new adult urban fantasy with a twist of paranormal, and of course a heavy-handed dash of romance.
4. Which actors would you cast as your main characters if your book is turned into a movie?
FUN! A couple of notes about this before I list my casting roster. First, I have a pintrest account where I have created inspiration boards for all of my main and supporting characters. In a word: eyecandy. Here's the link: www.pintrest.com/jadiejones1. And, I have to say that Stephanie Leigh Schlund actually inspired the look of "Vanessa." Brilliant, blond, beautiful, and tough as nails (and Vanessa's are always manicured.) Stephanie and I met for lunch in a stretch of small town Georgia between where I live and where she lives. She's bi-coastal, so we go stretches without seeing each other. She walked into this tiny, smoky burger joint in a killer black dress and perfect black pumps, without a blond hair out of place. Waiters literally fell over themselves trying to clear a path for her. BAM - Vanessa. And this scene replays itself in a swanky night club in Louisville, Kentucky. (Huge congratulations to my dear friend Stephanie for landing the role of Cashmere in The Hunger Games -Catching Fire movie.) Anyways, on with the casting!
Tanzy Hightower: Alexis Bledel
Vanessa Andrews: Stephanie Leigh Schlund
Asher: James Marsters
Ryan: Alex Pettyfer
Lucas: Greg Finley
5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Gah! I'm terrible at the whole synopsis bit. I emailed my editor and begged for help as soon as I saw this question on the list. Here's my best attempt: After losing everything in one deadly night, Tanzy Hightower must put her faith in a new friend and a scarred, beautiful stranger as she uncovers the terrible reason her soul was first created - and brought back to deliver.
6. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
My book has been picked up by WiDo Publishing, and is due for release next year!
7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
Three or four months, I think. But it took many many drafts between that first one and the manuscript that I sent off in queries to agents and publishers. Over three years and too many drafts to count.
8. What other books would you compare this story to within its genre?
That's tough. I'd describe it as a love child between Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Sea Biscuit. Except no vampires. Or jockeys. I've worked in the horse industry for the better part of 15 years, so I bring that knowledge to this story. Tanzy is a gritty barn chick who's not afraid of hard work. Tanzy reminds me a little bit of Katniss (Hunger Games) in that they are both a little prickly and hard to get to know. They don't rely on others well. But once you matter to them, you MATTER.
9. Who or what inspired you to write this book?
I'd gone through a few hits in my life where I'd stopped being good at seeing something - anything - through to the end. Once I locked on to the idea of it, I couldn't let it go. It wouldn't leave me alone. I was determined to see it through, come hell or high water. Side note: I never missed an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Ever. I would say that I was inspired by my deep and unmet desire for Buffy and Angel to have ended up together in the end.
10. What else about your book might pique a reader's interest?
There are layers of betrayal in this story that peel back all the way through. Also, since I do bring the horse experience to the table, I try to give snippets of real-life information about the equine industry.
Now on to the fun part! Passing along the honor - and the tag - of being "The Next Big Thing!" My tags are...