Wednesday, 28 November 2012

The Next Big Thing - My Turn

With Apologies to Vic Watson for dropping her baton earlier in the year, I was tagged again by the uber talented Zoe Sharp

Here's my go at it.

What is the working title of your book?
The Ironmonger’s Error

Where did the idea come from for the book?
It came from wanting to write a novel about a detective who was a throwback to the old days trying to survive in a modern police environment. I also wanted to write a novel which has a detective investigating the fringes of a case which is much more serious than he realises.

What genre does your book fall under?
It is a crime thriller with overtones of suspense.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Ideally George Clooney and Brad Pitt would play the two main leads but I’d settle for Jedward if the producer’s cheque was fat enough.

What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?
Two respectable parents are forced into a life of crime to raise the ransom for their children’s release.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
Hopefully I can get a publishing deal in the traditional manner. One agent has already looked at it and given me advice on what I would need to change. Another agent has asked to see it.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
It took two years of very on-off writing.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
That’s a tough one as I have tried very hard to be original. I cannot think of another book which is similar but I’m sure there is one out there. Perhaps the TV show Life on Mars but in reverse as my lead character is very abrasive and not at all politically correct.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?
All the author’s I’ve ever read had a hand in me writing this novel, but on a personal level it has been Col Bury who has kicked my backside and got me pounding the keyboard on a regular basis.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
It starts off as a kind of police procedural with the police being unaware of the kidnapping and the lead detective facing an unwanted retirement. When they find out about the kidnapping roughly halfway through the book the story takes on a different complexion as the lead character moves heaven and earth to rescue the two children.

As most people I know have already been involved in this meme or whatever it’s called I’m gonna tag five eBooks I’ve read this year as a cunning twist / easy get out. I'll let you decide which.

Manchester 6 by Col Bury
Cracking dialogue with a wonderfully gritty feel throughout. 

From a Crowded Mind by David Barber
A sense of place so acute I nearly cut myself reading it.


The Village Idiot Reviews by Pete Sortwell
A great premise brilliantly executed.

The Blues Detective by Andrew Peters
A new twist on the American gumshoe stories which makes for lighter and easier reading

Across the Broken Line by Zoƫ Sharp
A Charlie Fox short story with a fractured timeline that keeps you guessing all the way through.


A late addition to my list is LinkedIn friend Sarah Baethge who will be posting her NBT here on the 10th of December

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Young Adult or Just Plain Adult

This week I'm delighted to have Emerald Barnes over for a guest post.
As a YA writer, there are certain rules that I try to write by. For instance, the protagonist is under eighteen (unless s/he is a vampire). I make sure that school plays a role in my books, and I make sure they struggle through “teenage problems.” I define teenage problems as trying to find/keep/deal with a romantic relationship, fighting with parents or parental figures, thinking they’re invincible or at the very least right about every decision they make. I try to put myself in a teenager’s mind and write from there. I also like love triangles which seem to work better in YA.

Writing for an adult is a little different. The problems seem to be complex in a different way. They too have relationship problems, but they are different than the “does he really like me?” problems teenagers have – typically. Adults think differently. We don’t think about life in perspective of who’s more popular than whom, or who will win prom queen (unless it’s children who are up for prom queen). We focus more on what is happening in the now. We have different worries, like finances, finding a better job, or life not going the way we planned it straight out of high school.

But how is one problem more complex than another between adults and young adults? It isn’t really, but when it comes to writing YA fiction, I make sure that my characters fit the “norm” for teenagers.

We have a target audience in mind when we write. It will either be for young adults, adults, middle grade kids, or the new genre, new adult. It doesn’t mean that different age groups can’t read books that aren’t in their age group, but we still have the target audience we direct our novels to. And yes, there are crossovers, but again, that has to do with target audience choices.

The rules above don’t necessarily apply to every book that is YA or adult. It only applies to me and how I write. I tend to see those rules as something as a guideline for my own writing. Adult books for me, tend to be more, “why should I love him?” Or “I know I love him, but it’s too painful being with him due to our past.” The things that happen to adults vary greatly from my typical YA characters. If I put my YA characters in my adult characters’ situations, I don’t see it working out for the storyline.

Sure, there are different situations for different people. That applies to all characters, young or older. But, it’s something we, as a writer, have to figure out before we write the story forming in our minds.

The difference between writing young adult and adult to me is that there are two different views of life. Adults tend to have those “I wish I knew then what I know now”attitudes, while teens tend to think differently. It’s all about getting in the mindset of your characters, be they 13, 18, or 50.

How do you distinguish between writing for YAs or Adults?
Author Bio:
Emerald Barnes graduated with a B.A. in English with an emphasis on Creative Writing at Mississippi University for Women. She resides in a small town in Mississippi and has the accent to prove it.

She's the author of two books. She mainly writes suspense/thrillers in the YA genre, but she dabbles in other genres and her books are enjoyed by all ages!

She's constantly working on new novels and has more ideas than she knows what to do with. She blogs at, and which takes up more of her time than she anticipates but loves it so very much! She's also a volunteer at the World Literary Cafe which is so amazing!

She's an auntie to two beautiful nieces and two handsome nephews who take up the other half of her time, but she couldn't imagine spending her time in any other way!

She's a Whovian, a little bit of a nerd, a reader, a writer, and a family-oriented person. God is number one in her life, and she thanks Him continuously for His love and favor.


Read Me Dead

Piercing Through the Darkness