Monday, December 3, 2012

The Next Big Thing Blog Hop

Thank you, Christy Olesen, for tagging me for The Next Big Thing Blog Hop.

The Next Big Thing blog hop poses a series of questions to writers about their current WIP. Since I've got two works-in-progress (A Love to Call Her Own in the Tuesday Night Margarita Club/Tallgrass series and an as-yet untitled story in the Copper Lake series), I've decided to answer the questions about my next book, already written and on the schedule.

What is the working title of your book?

The book is Copper Lake Confidential and is scheduled with Harlequin Romantic Suspense for April 2013. That means it will actually be on the shelves around mid- to late March.

I'd like to be able to tell you what number in the series it is, but I've lost track. Tenth? Twelfth? There've been a bunch. It stands alone, though. You don't need to know anything about the previous books to enjoy it.

Where did the idea of the book come from?

I have a real fondness for atmospheric stories – you know, creepy, ghosty, spine-tingling types – and I love vulnerable, flawed characters. Usually it's my heroes who have issues, but in this one Stephen's as normal as a hero could be, while it's Macy who's got problems. After her husband's death revealed horrific secrets about the man she loved, she wound up in a psychiatric ward for a time. She's trying to take back her life – and begin caring once again for her three-year-old daughter – but either she's going crazy again . . . or someone's trying to make her think so.

What genre does your book fall under?

This one is romantic suspense, though, like I said, more of a psychological suspense. I can write action scenes. I just prefer to raise goosebumps.

Which actor would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Um . . . here's one of my quirks: I don't watch many movies or watch a whole lot of television. (Getting fewer than a dozen channels helps with that.) I don't recognize most people on the screen or in magazines like People.

I was lucky enough to have a movie made from my book, Season for Miracles. I didn't know who David Conrad was at the time, but no one else could ever possibly be Nathan; he made that character his own. So I'd leave the casting to someone who's actually familiar with actors.

What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?

Ugh. I'm a big believer that more is more. Why say in twenty words what I can put into two hundred? Let's see . . .

Macy Howard's come home to Copper Lake to put the past to rest so she can make a new start for herself and little Clary, but when danger stalks her, she begins to doubt her competence and her sanity. The only thing she doesn't doubt is new neighbor Stephen Noble, who believes in her when she can't believe in herself.

Okay, so it's two sentences. Close enough, right?

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

The book will be published by Harlequin.

How long did it take you to finish the first draft of your project?

I'm a first-draft writer. Probably 99% of what you see in the published book is my original version. It generally takes me about five to six weeks to write a 70,000-word book. Each day when I start work, I reread the pages I wrote the day before, and I make whatever changes are necessary then.

I love that I normally don't have to do second drafts or revisions, because usually by the time I reach the end of a story, I'm so ready for it to be done that I'd kill the characters rather than live with them any longer.  

What other books would you compare this story to in your genre?

Um, other Harlequin Romantic Suspenses, I guess. In the past, my romantic suspense books have been compared to Sandra Brown's, JD Robb/Nora Roberts's and Linda Howard's, and my straight romances with Robyn Carr's and Debbie Macomber's.

Who or what inspired you to write this story?

I love the Copper Lake series, with Copper Lake Scandal my all-time favorite. The villain in that book had a wife and an infant daughter whom he adored. I always think a villain, to be effective, has to have some redeeming traits. After finishing that book, I wondered from time to time about that wife. What happened to her after her husband's death? After all his creepy, horrifying secrets came out?

What else about your book may pique readers’ interest?

There's a dog in it – isn't there usually? Scooter is a yellow Lab mix who shares a lot of traits with my own puppers. He's not only the mechanism through which Macy and Stephen meet, but he's a lot of fun, too.

So now that I've answered the questions, I'm supposed to tag some other authors to find out what's THE NEXT BIG THING they're working on. I'm choosing some of my favorite people:

Linda Trout (new book out!)

Lynn Somerville (new book out!)

M.A. Golla (great middle-grade fantasy books, with a Christmas tale available now!)

Susan Shay (just sold my favorite of everything she's ever written!)


  1. As your biggest fan, I have to say I CAN'T WAIT!!! Love your creepy stuff, but I adore your action stuff and your other stuff.
    Heck, I just like living in your "worlds". LOL.
    Thanks for the tag!
    Susan Shay

    1. Aw, shucks, thanks so much! I'm glad other people don't find my worlds strange places that they'd rather run screaming from!

      Be sure to let me know when you get yours up, Susan.

  2. Marilyn, so glad you took the time to participate in the tag. I love your Copper Lake stories, and learning about your upcoming book.

    1. Thanks, Christy. I appreciate the tag. It's wonderful to have a topic/questions provided -- easier on my brain when I'm writing. :)