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The Next Big thing is a meme for writers. I don't ever seem to get this kind of thing correct, but in this case there are now a few variants of The Next Big Thing floating the internets and different rules apply to them. so mine matches some but doesn't match others.

I was tagged to respond to this meme by several quite amazing writers. Every time I delay writing my post because of lifehappenings, someone else tags me! You should check out the previous posts in this meme, but especially those by the gentle writers who have named me: Nicole R Murphy, Mary Victoria, Sophie Masson, Kim Falconer and Talie Helene. They're all wonderful, and worth visiting.

The next big thing is supposed to be about a work that’s coming out soon but, like others before me, I'm waiting to hear. Nicole has dropped gentle hints that she would like to know more about my time travel novel. Since it 's currently being examined as part of my PhD (as regular readers of my blog know) it feels very much like tempting fate to talk too much about it at this stage. Later, I promise. In the meantime, another novel of mine had a death to life story very recently, and this means that it has more than deserved a little time in the sun.

What is the title of your book?

Ms Cellophane - and here is the crucial link: http://momentumbooks.com.au/books/ms-cellophane/

Where did the idea come from for the book?


From my frustration that:
a) women I knew were invisible. I call this 'the time of cellophane' and a lot of people go through it, but especially middle-aged women. You know (if you've been there) the moment when you're left off dinner party lists and not served in shops and relatives check dates with everyone but you and…; also, however (and just as important)
b) middle-aged women don't get nearly enough carriage of the plot in fantasy novels. I was sure we'd do things differently, given half the chance, so I gave my character half a chance. She does indeed, do things differently. Usually with cake. Although the ingredients for eggnog icecream also appear in the novel. Very seasonal.

What genre does your book fall under?

I call it suburban fantasy. One reviewer called it magic realism. One publisher called it café latte horror. I guess no-one really knows. Contemporary fantasy-realism?

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

I find this a very difficult question to answer. I obviously think about my books from the wrong direction entirely. I can only give you three of the characters and those after great reflection.
Liz - Sigrid Thornton
The Beehive - Toni Collette (though I really, really wanted to say Bronwyn Bishop - I think she would do a splendid job. She has the hair for it, after all.)
Andrew - Sam Worthington

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Liz descends into a very peculiar hell and tries to interior-decorate her way out of it by buying a mirror that may not have her best interests at heart.

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

I really don't know. I wrote it over a period of time, in scribbles and scrabbles. I did a big rush at one stage, though, and then went back to scribbles and scrabbles. The big rush came at this time of year and ever since then I have associated this time of year with Liz struggling with Christmas.

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

I so wish I knew. Suggestions are very welcome. Suggestions containing icecream recipes are particularly welcome, for I'm feeling the heat today.

Who or What inspired you to write this book?

Women! I was tidying up and getting out of a phase of my life that included lots of committee work on women's issues. The stuff that took me to the committees was still fretting at me. I wanted to explore for myself why some things happen in the way they do.
Also, I wanted to explore why so few actual life experiences made their way into the novels I was reading. Also, the Mirror. And a plague of ants.

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

It's very gentle. It's seriously strange. It explores the inner life of the sacked Canberra public servant. OK, maybe that last is not the biggest drawcard. It should be, though. Sacked Canberra public servants are many, varied and can be decidedly exotic.

I would like to tag two writers who are quite, quite different and whose writing fascinates me (for quite, quite different reasons): Marianne de Pierres and Kari Sperring.

May 2013

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