Alison Rattle, author of THE QUIETNESS, was ‘tagged’ in an author blog hop called ‘The Next Big Thing.’ She explains the blog project and her latest work below.
I’ve been invited (tagged!) by novelist Maria McCann (historical writer extraordinaire of As Meat Loves Salt and The Wilding) to take part in the ever expanding blog ‘The Next Big Thing’.
Here’s how it works!
Every writer, poet, and creative person participating, answers the same set of questions about their current or forthcoming work before tagging other writers to do the same thing the following week.
So, as I am just coming to the end of the first draft of my second novel for young adults, I guess this is an apt moment to share.
What is the working title of your next book?
The Dipper’s Daughter, although this is very much a working title. I’ve been mulling over an alternative which I’ve yet to suggest to my editor!
Where did the idea come from for the book?
Two things – A stunningly beautiful Victorian pier in the North Somerset town of Clevedon that totally evokes the bygone days of the Victorian seaside, and my urge to write about a teenage obsession that goes hideously wrong.
What genre does your book fall under?
Historical, psychological drama for teens.
What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
Ooh err. That’s a hard one. As long as they’re not too far off the mark I wouldn’t really mind who. And they’d have to look good in period costume. Jennifer Lawrence from The Hunger games has my main character’s startling blue eyes and blonde locks. So maybe….
What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?
‘A random act of friendship is misunderstood and dire consequences follow.’ Ugh. I’m sure that could have been done so much better. How about instead: ‘What’s the very worse thing that can happen when you can’t have what you want?’ Or, ‘teenage Fatal Attraction set against the backdrop of a genteel Victorian seaside.’ Oh well, I’ve cheated massively and done three sentences. Am rubbish at synopses.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
I can be very precise about this one. It took me six months to the day to write the first draft. Including the research! A tough deadline to be sure, and as a result I’ve developed a severe case of writer’s bum, a horrible, and I fear non-curable, addiction to crisp sandwiches, and have had dust bunnies lurking under cupboards and in corners for so long that my daughter has adopted one and called it Charlie..
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
My love of the sea and quirky history. I was fascinated to discover that during the Victorian era, when ‘ladies’ bathed in the sea for health purposes, a local woman, known as a dipper, would assist the bather; floating her over the waves or literally dipping her under. I loved the idea of the Victorian seaside resort, known in those days as a watering-place. So I suppose setting was my initial inspiration.
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
An unusual and feisty main character with a very dark side to her personality.
Plus, a peek back to the days before bikinis, sun tan lotion, buckets and spades and ice cream, to when stockings and bloomers were worn to merely paddle in the sea and a small dip in the ocean was said to cure everything from melancholy and tuberculosis to asthma and hysteria.
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
It’ll be published by Hot Key Books in spring 2014.
Who are you passing the baton to for next week’s Next Big Thing?
Matt Whyman, a fellow Hot Key writer and author of the forthcoming novel, The Savages, plus many, many, many other wonderful things. He’ll be posting his Next Big Thing blog here too, but you can see what else he’s up to by visiting his website www.mattwhyman.com
Gavin Knight, best selling author of Hood Rat; Shortlisted for the prestigious Orwell Prize 2012 and the Crime Writers’ Association Non-fiction. Gavin has also written for the Guardian, Newsweek, Esquire, The Times and Prospect. (And he is a frequenter of my little tea shop in Somerset.) www.gavinknight.org