The Next Big Thing!
What is the title of your book?
When the World was Flat (and we were in love). Feel free to add it to-read on GoodReads!
Where did the idea come from for the book?
I originally set out to write a modern day Pride and Prejudice, being a total tragic for Jane Austen. I added in the science fiction elements after the first draft, using the theory of parallel dimensions as a backdrop to the love story. This is a theory that has both fascinated and scared the beejezus out of me for years! Now I am going to use a really cheesy pun here and say that it took the story to a whole other world… It also meant I had to do another trillion edits and a bucketload of research, especially on Albert Einstein. I am somewhat shocked to say that a few of the original scenes actually made it through the four years of writing and editing. Yes. You heard me. FOUR YEARS!
What genre does your book fall under?
Young Adult/ Contemporary Romance/ Urban Science Fiction
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
I actually have a folder on my computer with photos of my characters – or at least photos of models and actors who I think look like my characters!
For my protagonist Lillie Hart I was using photo of Anna Popplewell, but my fellow Strange Chemist Laura Lam recently cast her as a character in Pantomime (and I would hate to have scheduling conflicts!). I actually think my second option would be brilliant as Lillie (AND she starred in the television version of Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey).
Introducing the beautiful Felicity Jones…
My male lead — Tom Windsor-Smith — would be a challenge to cast, because I am totally in love with him. I do have a photo of a male model on file who I used as inspiration (see this previous blog post), but in terms of actors I think I have always pictured a younger Jensen Ackles…
I know that is kind of cheating — especially as Tom has a British accent — but I am sure I will be thanked by my fellow fans of Supernatural.
Oh Jo Green! How I love Jo and her relationship with her bestfriend Lillie. I would probably cast Aussie actress Emily Bowning as Jo. Although her hair would need to be a lighter shade of red than in this clip…
Sylvia Dartmouth would be fun to cast. She is totally over the top with her hair and make-up — and with her attitude. I would definitely cast Dakota Fanning, after her Oh Lola! photoshoot…
Why do I have a hard time casting my males? Again, I pictured a younger version of an adult actor while writing Jackson Murphy. That actor was Owen Wilson. I searched high and low on the internet though and have come up with an age-appropriate substitute — William Moseley…
A friend asked why I made the school bitch a brunette instead of the stereotypical blonde. Aside from the fact that I am blonde, I actually pictured Megan Fox when I wrote the character of Melissa Hodge. I think I had recently seen her in Jennifer’s Body…
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Arghhh one sentence! Talk about TORTURE! O.K.
When Tom Windsor-Smith arrives in her small town, sixteen-year-old Lillie Hart discovers a secret about herself that will unlock other worlds and unleash a powerful enemy upon them both.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
I edit as I write (and then go back and re-edit again and again), so I am not sure at what point I finished the first draft. I do know as I shouted in one of the above responses that it took me four years from go to whoa (writing to book deal). Yes. I was shocked too, especially as the first draft of The Frank Frankie only took me about three months. This was my completed first young adult manuscript however and it went through a number of life-cycles. I have already written a second young adult manuscript in less than half of that time – although who knows how long it will take to edit! It would be a much different story (mind the pun again) if I was writing full-time of course, but I do try and squeeze as much writing time out of each week as I can, usually at the expense of my social and family life.
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen — in terms of the general themes of the narrative.
Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger — with regards to the love story; although my story is nowhere near as gritty.
Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen — with regards to the writing style.
Who or What inspired you to write this book?
Romance! Sigh! I would pound out another thousand words or so whenever I read a romantic book or watched a romantic movie. I have a well-worn copy of Pride and Prejudice that I would skim through for inspiration, as well as a ton of books by Sarah Dessen. As the manuscript progressed and I started moving into the science fiction genre I found myself very inspired by Einstein. I read a lot of books about him and was enamored by his eccentricities. Did you know once forgot his own address? One account says he had to ask the taxi driver. Another account says he had to phone Princeton University.
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
In addition to the romance, it contains many theories about parallel dimensions, including explanations around phenomenon like ghosts; deja vu; and soul mates. If you liked the theories in the Matrix, I think you will like the theories in When the World was Flat (and we were in love)!
I am now passing on this meme to other authors, starting with my fellow Strange Chemist:
- A. E. Rought. She has already been tagged once by Gwenda Bond, but her copy edits have delayed her blog post, so I am giving her a reminder! You will find the result of the reminder here! I was a bit late with my post!
I am also tagging fellow Canberrans:
- Jack Heath, who is the author of six young adult thrillers, published in nine countries!
- K. J. Taylor is another Canberran, who is the author of the amazing Dark Griffin Trilogy and its follow up — the Risen Sun Trilogy.
- The beautiful and bubbly Tania McCartney, the author of Beijing Tai Tai and creator of Riley the Little Aviator.
- Nicole Murphy (who also writes as Elizabeth Dunk), who is the author of a multitude of short stories and novels including the The Dream of Asarlai Trilogy.