The Next Big Thing

The Next Big Thing is a writer promotion event, where writers answer ten questions about their new book, and then ‘tag’ 5 other writers. I was ‘tagged’ by Suzanne Willis, and you can read about her work here:

Here are the questions, and my answers:

1) What is the [working] title of your next book? At the moment, I’m calling it ‘The Silver Serpent’. Originally, it was called ‘The Three Orphans’ but sadly there are now only two orphans in the story

2) Where did the idea come from for the book? The book came out of my obsession with Victoriana.

3) What genre does your book fall under? It’s a historical fantasy adventure for middle grade readers.

4) What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition? I’d have the lovely Richard E Grant to play Professor Sinistair, a stage magician with many evil schemes, and I’d have the fabulous Dawn French to play the obnoxious Aunt Deliverance.

5) What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? In Victorian England, Stella Montgomery, an orphan, is living with her Aunts at the Hotel Majestic in the  town of Withering-by-Sea, when she discovers a secret and finds herself on the run from a mysterious stage magician and his gang of thugs.

6) Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency? It will be represented by my agent, Jill Corcoran.

7) How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript? Much, much too long. About 2 years. It is nearly finished.

8) What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? Perhaps it is a little like Joan Aiken’s fabulous, classic children’s adventure novels, such as the Wolves of Willoughby Chase. I hope so! I loved those books when I was younger. (Still do!)

9) Who or what inspired you to write this book? I’m a bit obsessed with Victoriana, and I’ve wanted to write a book like this for ages.

10) What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest? Singing cats. A hand of glory. A ghostly sea monster. A magical clockwork beetle. A drowned village. Dancing girls, a military pudding, a Vertical Omnibus, mutton-in-aspic…