The Next Big Thing - The Golden Apple

I agreed to write a 'next big thing' blog when asked by an old friend Michael Bartlett of Crimson Cats  without thinking that almost everyone I know would already have done it. That's the nature of these chain blogs. It's a bit like pyramid selling. Those who are in at the start are OK.  But  one of my friends has a new Next Big Thing due out any time now, so I'll have at least one nomination. Meanwhile, here's a bit about my own Next Big Thing, with more to come soon.

Alan, my husband, on Tenerife, way back when....
What is the title of your next book?
It's the Golden Apple and it's an extensive rewrite of an old backlist title which sank without trace. But I loved the characters and the setting and the story. My original intentions for it got lost somewhere for reasons too complicated (and painful) to go into here. The new book will have the same skeleton but the flesh on those bones will be different.

Where did the idea come from for the book?

It's started out as a book about cross cultural marriage, something that has always interested me, perhaps because my dad was Polish and my mother was Leeds Irish. They loved each other to bits, their whole lives long, but it sometimes struck me that adjustments must have had to be made on both sides. As a child, I was never aware of it. I think my dad was just glad to be alive after the war. But all the same, it's something I have found myself thinking about and tackling in plays and fiction quite often. This was probably my first foray but I've done it since then. My novel Ice Dancing explores vaguely similar territory, and the sequel to that novel, which I'm already planning, certainly will.

What genre does your book fall under?
I'm always a bit phased by this question since just about everything I write crosses genres. I suppose I'll have to categorize it as a romance, but I'd quite like to invent a new genre: Grown Up Love Stories. That's what I often write.

What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition
I always had Antonio Banderas in mind for the hero, but time has passed and Luis is only in his early thirties! It would have to be somebody else tall, dark, sexy and Spanish. Any suggestions?

What is a one sentence synopsis of your book?
She marries him in haste; will she or won't she repent at leisure?

Will your book be self published or represented by an agency?
Oh self published. Like all my books, these days.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
For me, this is always a 'how long is a piece of string?' question. I never really know. When I'm on a roll I can get a first draft finished within a matter of months, and frequently do, but it will be a very very rough draft. Then I set it to one side and come back to it later, and repeat this process many times. I usually have a few projects on the go at once.

What other books would you compare yours to?
I actually can't answer this one. I don't know. I used to be compared to Daphne du Maurier, which is very flattering for me. I'd be happy to write so well.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?
That's easy. Years ago, I spent a winter aboard a big catamaran in the Canary Isles with my husband, who at that time was a charter skipper. It was a company boat and we looked after charterers, but in practice they only arrived quite sporadically. Alan had his hands full most of the time looking after this beautiful big boat (it had two master cabins, three loos and showers, a captain's cabin and a saloon you could comfortably hold a party in) but I spent an enviable amount of time sitting on deck in the sunshine, writing. I wrote the first draft of the Golden Apple at that time. Then it went through the publishing process and got turned into something it wasn't. By the time I came back to Scotland, I was expecting a baby. The following winter, with Alan still working aboard a yacht in the Canaries, we borrowed a friend's apartment and I spent another few months in Los Cristianos, this time with a brand new baby. It was wonderful.
Now I'm restoring The Golden Apple to the novel I intended it to be, returning to the thoughtful book I first wrote. I was particularly inspired by the wonderful island of La Gomera which was my favourite place. I haven't been back since and they suffered with terrible fires last year, but I gather that they are flourishing again. A truly magical place. The novel is a love song to the Canaries really.

What else about the book might pique the reader's interest?
It's a sexy, sunny novel. It should be published later in the spring. Watch this space.

I'm passing this on to Cally Phillips 
Cally has had a 20 year career writing for stage, screen and latterly fiction. She has worked as script reader for Channel 4, as secretary of Scottish Branch of the Writers Guild and held Drama residencies with DGAA and WLYT. As Artistic Director of Bamboo Grove Theatre Company (2002-2006) and facilitator for ABC Drama Group (2003-2010) she developed an advocacy style of theatre. In 2010 Cally set up HoAmPresst Publishing and in 2012 Guerrilla Midgie Press (an advocacy publisher) Cally has published novels, plays and short stories (in Scots). She is the director of the online Edinburgh eBook Festival which is held in August.

Comments

Kate Dunn said…
It's always interesting to hear about the evolution of a story - I hope The Golden Apple does well in its new incarnation