the Next Big Thing

Welcome to the NEXT BIG THING Blog Hop.

What is a blog hop? Basically, it’s a way for readers to discover authors new to them.  I hope you’ll find new-to-you authors whose works you enjoy.  On this stop on the blog hop, you’ll find a bit of information on me and one of my books and links to other authors you can explore!

My gratitude to fellow author, J. L. Mbewe, for inviting me to participate in this event.  Head over to Jennette’s blog to learn more about her and her fiction.

In this blog hop, my fellow authors and I, in our respective blogs, have answered ten questions about our current book or work-in-progress (giving you a sneak peek). We’ve also included some behind-the-scenes information about how and why we write what we write – the characters, inspirations, plotting and other choices we make. I hope you enjoy it!

Please feel free to comment and share your thoughts and questions. Here is my Next Big Thing!

1: What is the working title of your book?
My recently published novel is called Keeping the Family Peace.

2: Where did the idea come from for the book?
This may be a convoluted explanation, but the seeds for this date back years! I wanted to write a story about a large military family who served on spaceships! A father, his sons, & one daughter – her name was Stephanie. They were all officers in this space “Navy.” (Hm…shades of Star Trek? Probably.) Instead, I ended up with a story set in the 20th century: a father, 5 daughters, & 1 son (and no one named Stephanie). Dad & the girls are Naval officers. Son Nick, the youngest child, is the rebel – no military, except military history – for him.

3: What genre does your book come under?
It’s a contemporary mainstream family saga.

4: Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Nick & his father Jack are the main characters. The college-aged Nick would be played by Chris Hemsworth with that look from Thor. And for some reason, I keep picturing Steve Martin in his Father of the Bride character, as Jack Peace. That might be because of the weddings & Jack’s silvery hair in Family Peace! 🙂

5: What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Deprived of his father’s love and approval growing up, a history scholar must convince his aging father to reveal family secrets. The revelations will either tear them apart or allow him to become the man his father was never able to be.

6: Is your book self-published, published by an independent publisher, or represented by an agency?
The novel is self-published, available as an ebook for Kindle, Nook, etc., and as a trade paperback. There are links to the various formats on My Fiction page.

7: How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
It took close to 3 years to finish the first draft. The manuscript is about 90,000 words. It took me about 2 years to write the first half; 1 year to write the last 45K & get to THE END. That was Nov. 2011. I put the manuscript aside for 6 weeks, then started revisions. In April 2012, I enlisted the help of several beta readers when the 2nd draft was done. With their comments in hand, I revised again during the summer. My writers group served as editors and received the 3rd draft in late August. I completed the final draft at the end of November 2012. Published the ebook in mid-December. Whoa! What a long process, eh? (Oh – did I mention that I started writing my 2nd novel in April? This one won’t be a 4 year process! I finished a very rough draft of it a few weeks ago.)

8: What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
<big guilty look> Maybe my readers could help me out here because I honestly don’t have a clue. It certainly is no Little Women. My characters have a lot of different ‘problems’ – nothing like Yours, Mine, and Ours. My book, as my niece wrote in a mini-review, “… [is] a great family drama full of surprises, sorrow, intrigue and joy.”

9: Who or what inspired you to write this book?
Life. Not mine – the only similarity between the Peace family & me is that I served in the Navy, lived in Maryland, and worked at the place where Willa Peace works. 🙂  I just wanted to write a story about a father-son relationship.

10: What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
Here are a few tidbits about the development of the plot:
1) In my original outline, character Anne Bailey was not a nice person. She had a much smaller, but significant, role and disappeared (in shame!) from the lives of the Peace family about 2/3rds of the way through the story.

2) Baseball. As a finished my rough draft, I knew I needed more foreshadowing about Jack’s secret. I can’t tell you anything more than that without spoiling it.

3) I also knew there were plenty of stories about abusive relationships and their impact on family members. Readers learn very early that Jack was a victim. How would I do something different? What is Jack’s story? I hope the reader’s curiosity keeps him/her turning the pages.

If you’ve read Keeping the Family Peace and have any questions about the characters, their lives, etc., just pop a note in the comments!

Below you will find authors who will be joining me virtually, via blog, next Wednesday. Please be sure to bookmark their sites, and add them to your calendars for updates on their upcoming books!  Happy Writing and Reading!

Cathy Hedge

Jen Fitzgerald

and here’s one that was recently posted by author Alex Beecroft. I plan to write up a Talking About the Book post of her book Blessed Isle in the not-too-distant future.


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