One of my YA Valentines compadres, Kristi Helvig, tagged me last week in this blog hop. I did this several months ago for the actual WIP I have, but realize I never did it for Sing To The Wind, my book releasing fall of 2014. So here goes:
1. What is the working title of your book?
SING TO THE WIND
2. Where did the idea come from?
It was a compilation of parts. Take an overheard story about a party from a couple of art students, my main character's voice appearing fully formed on my commute, and the love of this old movie called The Songcatcher and Sing began to take shape.
3. What genre does your book fall under?
Young Adult Contemporary Fiction
4. What actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
You know, they have casting directors for a reason. I have no idea who I would pick. Sure I see them in my head, but I don't know. Honestly she's way too old, but a sassier slightly rounder Michelle Williams would be an amazing Amber. And there are a number of boys who may or may not all stay for the final edits, so I'm going to stop right here.
5. What is a one sentence synopsis of your book?
Amber Vaughn longs to escape her small-town to pursue her love of song but her dysfunctional family keeps getting in the way.
6. Is your book self-published, published by an independent publisher, or represented by an agency?
My book is being published by Harper Collins Teen in the fall of 2014.
7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
I don't keep perfect records on this but typically it takes me about three months to write a first draft. I work in one hour segments during the week and longer on weekends. Looking back through my files I did my first voice jottings in October of 2011. There's a file that says "Through Hikers Real Start" for Novermber 29. 2011. (Through Hikers was my working title but it's not about hiking - there's a scene) The first final first draft appeared in early March of 2012. I got my agent with this manuscript in June of 2012. So full thing - seven months. That's pretty fast.
8. What other books would you compare this story to in your genre?
I compared it to Sara Zarr's Story of a Girl and Kody Keplinger's The Duff when I queried. My agent compared it to Dessen's Dreamland. My editor pitched it as the Southern style The Sky Is Everywhere which completely yanked my chain because I worship that book. (And have only read it once so as not to be unduly influenced!)
9. Who or what inspired you to write this book?
I was inspired by my students. Appalachia gets such a bad rap in the media, and though stereotypes are there for a reason, that's not the whole of it. The teenagers I teach have dreams and longings just like kids who grow up with the world at their fingertips. I wanted to write a book for the girls who don't always make the right choices, who might not have the guidance of example, and so they have to figure things out themselves by doing and undoing, and who, despite it all, have hearts that don't stop giving. This is my love song to them.
10. What else about your book might pique the reader's interest?
Three totally hot boys. All different. (though I've yet to get my edit letter and I might end up losing one of my boys but I hope not) The Appalachian Trail. Bluegrass ballads and a wild party across state lines. Two great best friends. Real parents. A flawed sister. A super nasty brother-in-law - he was SO MUCH FUN to write (I love writing true asshats) and singing. Lots of singing. Oh, and of course, kissing...well, more than kissing ;0) And the setting is an imaginary setting, but it's based on my town, the county where I teach, and the mountains all around me. I'm hoping it's a hug the book sort of book.
So for the final part of this post, I'm to tag another writer. So I'm pleased to tag Jenna Nelson!