“I am not exactly sure where Francie is at present.” Celia piled a stack of too many board games into Sylvia’s arms. “However, there are sounds issuing from the general vicinity of the bathroom that vaguely resemble those of a howler monkey, and so I am going to summon all my psychological powers and guess that she is taking a shower.”
“I will have you know,” Francie shouted from the bathroom, “that if anyone sounds like a howler monkey in the shower in THIS house, it is CERTAINLY not me, and I might add that Que Sera, Sera is supposed to be sung in a thing called a KEY.”
“I don’t sing Que Sera, Sera in the shower. You do,” Celia hollered back. “Put some clothes on and help us with… um… things.”
“You know, THINGS!” Celia plopped a stack of paper plates on top of the games, causing Sylvia to stagger a bit, and ran to the bathroom door. “FOR THE PARTY,” she added in a whisper that would have pleased any stage manager.~The Rochesters
My darling Rachel very kindly invited me to be the next stop on the blog hop Anne Elisabeth Stengl started a few weeks ago, and I'm quite thrilled, honored and delighted to be asked! The shebang is being called "The Next Big Thing," and as my Cozy Story, as I call it, is the next big thing for me, that's what I'll be nattering about today.
(Before you read any further, however, redirect your browser to Rachel's stop in the blog hop and go read that... she's sharing some juicy details about her tour de force, Fly Away Home!)
What is the working title of your book?
Har dee har har. I don't actually have one. Well, I suppose I call it The Rochesters, but... can we call it a title receiving unemployment? Because it's not working. Not for me.
Where did the idea come from for the book?
I feel like I'm ripping off Rachel's post, but the truth is that it came from a short story I wrote a couple of years ago. I'm not going to tell much about the short story because to be honest I'm heartily ashamed of it (isn't that the way it always goes?) but I do owe a lot to it. :D
What genre does your book fall under?
"Gentle fiction," as they call it. It's not quite juvenile fiction, but I'd hate to call it young adult fiction because I have a thing called a grudge against young adult fiction.
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
I'm choosing to regard this question as if the movie rendition were being made fifty years ago. Heh. Because most of the faces I've placed with my characters are either dead or seriously too old for their parts. Dream casting, people. Dream casting.
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Orphaned Sylvia Lemmins struggles to fit in as she spends the summer with her unusual cousins in a hilarious story written by an exceedingly modest author who stinks at one-sentence synopses.
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
I dreamed a dream in time gone by that someday I'd get a book published through an agency... and I think I may see what can be done about that for The Rochesters. No promises, but I want to give it a shot.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
Ain't done yet. I'm about 40,000 words into it and not yet halfway through, so... I'm guessing the end product will be about 100,000 words. And I've been working on it off and on since... July 2012?
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Pretty much anything by Elizabeth Enright. Also Two are Better Than One and Louly by Carol Ryrie Brink.
Who or What inspired you to write this book?
My siblings, however cheesy it may sound. We're a hilarious bunch, plain and simple, and I'm trying to communicate that humorous family dynamic in this book.
Patsy came to lunch that day with a bath towel wound in intricate formations around her curly head. “I am Cleopatra.”
“Bow down, slaves,” said Mark. “Darest thou to sit in the royal one’s presence? Off with your heads.”
“If you’re Cleopatra, I’m Pharaoh.” Timmy looked around for a headdress of his own. “What did pharaohs wear on their heads?”
“I’m a snake,” said Mark, dropping to the floor and slithering around Alice to the feet of Cleopatra, where he gnashed his teeth and wriggled. “Cleopatra died from a snake bite, you know.”
“Patsy, put that down.” Francie swept Cleopatra’s headdress away and flung it over the newel post at the bottom of the stairs. “That’s the towel I take showers with, for goodness’ sake.”
“That’s the towel Francie takes showers with,” the snake informed Timmy and Sylvia solemnly. “I, on the other hand, take showers with soap.”