Thursday, February 7, 2013

Hippety Hop

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.”
“What 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.

Julie Andrews as Sylvia Lemmins
Gregory Peck as Mr. Rochester
Claire Foy as Alice
Elinor Donahue as Francie
Emma Watson as Celia
Some random kid whose face is fuzzy in my brain as Mark (in other words, haven't found him yet)
Ronnie Howard as Timmy 
Shirley Temple (when she's not being horrid) as Patsy
Richard Beymer as George

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.” 

Thanks, Rachel, for tagging me! I'm passing this on to my sister the Anne-girl at Scribblings... she's pretty close to releasing a novel and I'm looking forward to hearing what she has to say about it!


Miss Melody Muffin said...

Yay, more about The Rochesters!

A howler monkey!! Hahahahaha!!!!!

Hmm, what about using a quote from the manuscript for the title?

I have been known to carry a grudge against young adult fiction, too.

Gregory Peck!!! He is one of my all time favorite actors! My favorite movie that he does is Captain Horatio Hornblower R.N. I'm planning on seeing The Scarlet and the Black soon with him and Christopher Plummer. Have you seen it? (Ok, that was a bit of a rabbit trail!)

I'm horrible at one sentence synopses too! Welcome to the club!

Oh. My. GOSH!!! I laughed FIT TO KILL over that last snippet! Which unfortunately started me coughing. (Seriously, head colds that won't let a person laugh without making them cough and then have a headache should be banned and have dreadful punishments inflicted on them.)

Anyway, it's just HILARIOUS, Amy!!!!!! 'I, on the other hand, take showers with soap.' I LOVE it!!

Anne-girl said...

Thanks dear! I shall probably post next Saturday! The Cleopatra is one of my favorite parts and of course I went into giggles over the howler money.

I always knew Francie was based on you!


Anne-girl said...

Thanks dear! I shall probably post next Saturday! The Cleopatra is one of my favorite parts and of course I went into giggles over the howler money.

I always knew Francie was based on you!


Melody said...

You're sending me more of this, right?? RIGHT?

Heehee, I'd also say that some of Beverly Cleary's books are in a similar genre. ;) ;)

Anonymous said...

Beautiful, Amy! And hilarious at the same time! You have a wonderful way with writing - I always feel inspired after reading about your stories and charming snippets! :-)


P.S. Did you receive my email in response to yours on CreateSpace? I sent it awhile ago, and I just wondered if you received it.

Molly said...

This was so good! I loved the parts about the howler monkey and the soap! :)

Aidyl Ewoh said...

Hi, 'Hey you!' =) I'm hosting a writing contest on my blog and thought you might like to enter it:

Kelsey said...

Hahaha! I liked the snippets!!! Oh, and by the way, I was wondering if your book is available and Barnes and Noble? Because I've only seen it on Amazon, and I don't shop at Amazon...

Great post!!!

Anonymous said...

Hahahahaha.... I LOVE The Rochesters!!! (And no title is perfectly okay. My novel doesn't have a title yet and I'm editing Chapter Three!!!) It reads like an Elizabeth Enright book (LOVE HER NOVELS!!!) and I can't wait to read more!! And it's interesting to know that you're going to maybe try traditionally publishing it - that's what I'm toying with for my second novel.


Una Mariah said...

Oh my word, your snippets are hilarious! And they make me want to write a nice family story...*sigh* And my characters are all yelling at me to finish THEIR stories first. Oh, and if you EVER need a critique or proofreading done on The Rochesters...ASK ME, PLEASE! Your story sounds amazing and I'd love to be able to read it one day. :)