Wednesday, November 07, 2012

The Next Big Thing - My Turn!

Last week Lari Don, author of, among others, the First Aid for Fairies series, kindly tagged me as one of her 5 authors for The Next Big Thing.  This is a book/writer recommendation/don’t worry it’s not THAT sort of chain thing that involves me answering some questions – see below! – and then passing the NBT baton on to 5 other authors who I delicately draw to your attention to enhance your general reading delight – see below that!

And here we go …

• What is the title of your new book?

The newest Slightly Jones Mystery which came out this year is called The Case of the Cambridge Mummy.  I’m now hard at work on the fourth – The Case of the Hidden City, which takes Slightly – and me – to Paris.  (I love my job!)

• Where did the idea come from for the book?

The series is about a Victorian girl who is desperate to become as great a detective as Sherlock Holmes, and each of the crimes she investigates take place in a different city, in a different Victorian museum.  The idea for the first book - The Case of the London Dragonfish - came to me as I was being shooed out of the Natural History Museum in London.

• What genre does your book fall under?

These are Victorian detective adventures for readers aged 8-12.

• What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

Can I go for Tilda Swinton when she was a girl, to play Slightly? 

• What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?

The Case of the Cambridge Mummy:  Bicycles – bloomers - a cursed Egyptian necklace - the mysterious destruction of ancient artefacts – things are looking grim in wintry Cambridge.

The Case of the Hidden City:  Beneath the streets of Paris lie mysterious secrets – can Slightly find her way to the answers in the dark, as the water rises and the roof threatens to cave in … ? 

(Okay, I admit that's stretching the "one sentence" concept a bit.  Well, a lot.  Never mind.) 

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

The series is published by Catnip Books, and my agents are Fraser Ross Associates.

• How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

About 3 months.  And then the editing begins.

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

Elizabeth Peters’ Amelia Peabody Mysteries feel like Slightly Jones for grown-ups to me – I love them!

• Who or what inspired you to write this book?

Museums are bursting with stories – I can’t go into one without being accosted on every side by some artefact demanding a place in my next book!

• What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

How about a greenly glowing long-dead Egyptian queen stalking the corridors?  Or getting lost in tunnels full of human bones? 

Right – questions answered – and now it’s on to my list of 5 authors well worthy of the accolade The Next Big Thing!  In alphabetical order:

Gill Arbuthnott - author of Lost at the Zoo, The Keeper's Daughter, and Germ Wars - and that's just a taste!

Emma Barnes - whose most recent book Wolfie is about a oddly large dog ... 

 Jo Cotterill - One of the founders of the awesomely successful group blog Girls Heart Books and author of the Sweet Hearts series.

Barry Hutchison - the man behind the "deliciously nightmarish" Invisible Fiends series and one of the men behind the excellently useful online resource for parents and teachers - Start the Story

Susan Price - Powerhouse of another group blog - Do Authors Dream of Electric Books? - and author of, among many others, The Sterkam Handshake and The Sterkam Kiss.



At 4:41 AM, Blogger Lari Don said...

I love your answers! I particularly enjoyed discovering that you got the idea for the books when being shooed out of the Natural History Museum. Was it closing time, or had you been drawing extravagant moustaches on the exhibits? Whatever the (shady) circumstances, it's a great example of how the best ideas come to us when we aren't looking for them. All the best with Slightly's next adventure!

At 5:40 AM, Blogger Joan Lennon said...

I assure you it was entirely because it was closing time - really! And thanks for tagging me!

At 9:17 AM, Blogger madwippitt said...

Ah yes, museums are wonderful places. Do you have a favourite one? It's a shame they don't allow well-behaved whippets in - worried about all those bones they have I suppose ...

At 12:40 AM, Blogger Joan Lennon said...

I'm fickle about favourites - whatever museum I was last in tends to be my favourite!


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