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Okay, whoa.guesthousecover

I just refreshed my blog three times because I was sure there had to be a post more recent than my last one LAST YEAR.

Nope. Gah.

Friends, where does the time go?

I’ve missed coming here—I’ve missed having you all visit. So it’s time to get back to it.

I’m sure you’ve all been reading the posts for The Next Big Thing in which writers are tagged to talk about what they’re working on. I’ve been fortunate to be tagged a few times but because I’m such a superstitious goof (I blame my gypsy blood) I was always hesitant to play. Just last week, author Peter Geye, who I had the pleasure of meeting at SIBA and who I’ll be seeing again in two weeks at the UCF Book Festival, tagged me and I figured the Evil Eye might finally be looking away or sleeping or whatever the Evil Eye does when it’s not looking directly at a person.

So now, without further ado, I’m ready to play The Next Big Thing:

What is the working title of your book? The Guest House

What genre does your book fall under? Women’s Fiction

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition? Oh, a hard one, for sure. The novel features many characters—and truly covers the spectrum of romantic relationships and ages so while I did imagine a few actors as I wrote, I would be hard pressed to cast everyone. The novel centers around two families, one a North Carolina family who summers on Cape Cod and the other a local family who owns a construction business on the Cape. The matriarch of the local family, Edie, still runs the business with her son and fiercely supports her all-female crew. She’s sharp-tongued but highly emotional, earthy but feisty—I imagine Sissy Spacek or Sally Field. Her daughter, Lexi, an architectural photographer who finds herself falling in love with the younger brother of the man who broke her heart is more reserved than her tempestuous mother but every bit as passionate. Maybe Emily Blunt or Rachel Weisz.

What is a one-sentence synopsis of your book? The lives and hearts of a wealthy Southern family and a local family of builders become tangled through several generations of summers on Cape Cod.

How long did it take you to write the first draft your manuscript? I would say 4 months, but I tend to rewrite so intensely through the process and change so many things that I can never keep drafts straight.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? I have always been a fan of authors who write about life on the coast, so I’d love to imagine my novel might appeal to the same readers of Karen White, Wendy Wax, Elin Hilderbrand, Patti Callahan Henry and Heidi Jon Schmidt.

Who or what inspired you to write this book? Growing up in New England, I spent a good deal of time on the Cape—but it was a summer I spent working and living on Martha’s Vineyard on the property of one of the shingle-style cottages featured in the novel that was my true inspiration for the story. I’d always remembered it as a deeply romantic place, full of secrets and promises.

What else about your book might pique a reader’s interest? After a long, cold winter (even for those of us in North Carolina!), it might be nice to start summer vacation a little early. Also, as a student of architecture and architectural history, it was important to me to include lots of architectural details in the novel’s setting.

When and how will it be published? It will be released by NAL/Penguin on June 4 of this year—just in time to hit the beach with a good, sandy read!

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Okay—now it’s my turn to pass the questions. I am excited to tag two very gifted writers who I have known since I first started blogging, Laura Maylene Walter and Averil Dean. Ladies, I can’t wait to read all about your Next Big Things.

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