My Next Big Thing:1) What is the working title of your book or project?
The Girl Who Was Never Not Broken
2) Where did the idea come from for this book or project?
A song I heard in the TV series McLeod's Daughters. It took me awhile to track it down online and purchase it for my iTunes library, and I listened to it for several months, maybe close to a year, before the story began to come. The song, Last of the Happy by Eva Trout, seemed to be the soundtrack to a novel that had not yet been written. And for whatever reason, it picked me to write it.
3) What genre does it fall under, if any?
4) If applicable, who would you choose to play your characters in a movie?
This question often pops up in interviews and blog hops. Having lived and worked in Hollywood, I know how unlikely it is that I would ever get to choose the actors for a project based on one of my books. So I don't even think about it. All I can say is that if they pay me enough money, they can cast anyone they want to in the roles. If Javier Bardem was involved, that would be just fine with me.
5) What is the synopsis of your manuscript or project?
A young woman leaves Needles, California when her father is jailed, she thinks for writing bad checks, and a mysterious man comes looking for her to ask questions. She drives south, meets a young cowboy in a bar over dinner, and drives him to the ranch near the border of Arizona where he works. What begins as a quick visit to ride a horse turns into a new life. She falls in love with the horses, the work, and especially with the woman who takes care of things and feeds the cowboys. Shug quickly becomes the mother Ava Lee never had.
But Shug has a son who is involved with running drugs and stolen horses across the border, and he falls in love with Ava Lee. Ava Lee's father is not in jail for writing checks but because he witnessed a UFO fall into the river outside Needles - he is in custody because he won't cooperate with CIA agents, one of whom happens to be Shug's other son Tag. Tag is assigned to track Ava Lee and finds her living on the ranch where he grew up, the daughter his mother never had, and getting quickly pulled into his brother Dixon's life of crime.
6) Will your book or story be self-published or represented by an agent?
This will be the second "Borderland Book" published by my imprint, November Hill Press.
7) How long did it take you to write the first draft?
It is still in progress.
8) What other book or stories would you compare this to within the genre?
I'd say Cormac McCarthy's Borderland Trilogy and Ellen Gilchrist's novels.
9) Who or what inspired you to write this story?
It grew from that aforementioned song!
10) What else about the book or story might pique the reader’s interest?
It addresses the issue of horse slaughter, which is something I don't think the average person knows much about.