Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Next Big Thing - A Blog Hop Post

As part of "The Next Big Thing Blog Hop," I was tagged by Kathleen Wheeler in a post last week.  The purpose of this hop is to expose you to writers and their work that perhaps you haven't heard of, whether a new release or a work in progress (WIP).  This is week 21. 

According to the rules of the hop, I will answer questions (the same ones for every blog hopper) about either my newest release or my WIP, and then at the bottom of the post I've listed authors who will do the same thing in their blogs next Wednesday.

OK then! Fasten your seat belts and let's go! I have two sets of questions and answers (yep, I fudged on the rules). Set one discusses "Love's Spell," which was published earlier this month. Set two discusses "Strange Bedfellows Too," which is in progress.


What is the working title of your book?
Novella, actually. :-)  "Love's Spell" was published last week, so this is a final title, so to speak, not a working title. This novella has 24,000 words.

Where did the idea come from for the book? I'm not sure what sparked the idea. Truth be told, I think of at least one story idea most days. The majority of these ideas go no further, but this one did. I was in the middle of a huge bout of writer's block, and I was so thankful when "Love's Spell" began to come together beautifully. It's the first story idea since  my writer's block that has. I must have started writing and discarded ten to twenty ideas before that. It's not a waste, though. I expect some of these discarded ideas to come back for short stories, if nothing else.

What genre does your book fall under?
Lesbian romance.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Heh! No comment -- usually don't like questions like this. ;-) 

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? 
Ava Van Dorn accidentally places a love spell on the wrong person -- or does she?

What is the longer synopsis of your book?
Ava Van Dorn doesn’t believe in magic, but she believes in possibilities. So, she figures trying a love spell her grandmother left her won’t hurt. Worst case: her life will stay the same. Best case: her fellow second-grade teacher James Friedlander will fall in love with her, and they’ll live happily ever after.


Ava accidentally places the spell on her principal, Libby Lubbock. Libby is wrestling with her own issues in the love department, namely the fact that she’s deciding whether to give her ex a second chance after the ex cheated. Libby is beginning to think she’s the type who is better off single.

The spell can be undone, but it requires Ava and Libby getting to know each other better. Lots better. Libby agrees to the undo because no way does she want to fall in love with Ava if she can help it. However, perhaps the last paragraph in a letter Ava's grandmother wrote is right: “Why all these crazy steps? My great-great grandmother, the witch, strongly believed that things happen for a reason. This time with the ‘wrong person’ will help determine if the wrong person might be the right person, after all.”

Can Libby and Ava cast a love spell that has nothing to do with abracadabra magic and everything to do with the magic of true love?

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
I am indie all the way, baby! This link explains.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
Hmm. I am not sure. One and a half months to two months, maybe. I don't really pay attention to start and end dates.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?
I don't quite remember, but one thing I CAN say is that in the original concept, Ava and Libby had no "history" together; they were simply teacher and principal. Once you get a bit into "Love's Spell," you'll find out that they knew each other a long time ago. I felt that they weren't really clicking as much as they should, so I inserted that bit of character layering.

What else about your book might pique reader interest? 
This book is about two ordinary, everyday women who have to deal with the fact that magic might indeed be real. Ava's and Libby's reactions are probably how I would react. In Ava's case, I'd be curious to try the spell, and as for the undo, like both Ava and Libby, I would prefer "better safe than sorry." Does magic really exist? You be the judge.


What is the working title of your book? "Strange Bedfellows Too"

Where did the idea come from for the book? It's a sequel, so I must give proper credit to "Strange Bedfellows." I tossed around quite a few ideas (and then more) for the sequel, and here I am! I changed the main romantic pairing (Victoria and ???) at least three times, but this newest variation is here to stick, I believe. :)

What genre does your book fall under?  Lesbian romance/lesbian drama-fiction (like the first book, it isn't ALL romance).

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition? OK, I know what I said in my "Love's Spell" answer, but now I'm gonna totally contradict myself! Heh. "Strange Bedfellows" (the first one) may be the only work of mine where I've visualized actors/actresses. Can't say I've done that so far for the sequel, but here's part of my answer for an interview published earlier this year: (link to full interview is

NANCY: If one of your books were to become a movie, which one would you want it to be?

KELLY: That's a toughie. Maybe Strange Bedfellows because I can see who would play the roles. Strange Bedfellows might play to a wider audience (some straights) as well. But, girl, this question is like asking which of your three children you prefer.

NANCY: I would agree with SB.

NANCY: Who would play the roles?

KELLY: I'm a bit embarrassed to say.

NANCY: You embarrassed? HA!

KELLY: Fiiiineee.... Joely Richardson for Frances. Though seeing Chynna Phillips on "Dancing with the Stars" makes me want her for Frances, too.

KELLY: Elena is a tougher one. Several candidates for her, including Amy Adams and Emily Deschanel. A few others I forget right now. They'd probably cast someone without red hair, so really, sky is the limit there.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? At this time, I'm not comfortable giving out a lot of details because the plot may change. However, see below.

What is the longer synopsis of your book? Okay then! :) "Strange Bedfellows Too" takes place four years after the end of the first book. Victoria is eighteen and away at college. Frances and Elena are married, but their pasts continue to haunt them. I wouldn't quite say Victoria's past haunts her too, although in a way, it does. Rather, in Victoria's case, her past kind of continues to be her present. The main plot will be Victoria in love and finding her way in the world, although Frances and Elena will have their fair share of point-of-view chapters. Most everyone from the first book will return, and there will be great new characters as well.

Here's the blurb of the FIRST book: Frances Dourne is apparently a shining example for ex-gays. She  runs Gay is a Choice, a national ex-gays group. What people do not know is that she is deeply unhappy. She is ready to come out of the closet and be true to herself. She seeks help and feedback--and okay, maybe a sexual treat or two--from a high-class call girl.

Elena, the call girl, wants to escape from the realities of her past, and her job allows her to do so. She never gets attached to her clients, but her new client surprises her. Can Elena and Frances learn to trust each other enough to find the love they seek in each other's arms?

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency? I am indie all the way, baby! This link explains.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript? It's still in progress, so I can't say.

Who or what inspired you to write this book? I can't choose what to write; the stories that need to be told choose me. It just happened that the cast members of "Strange Bedfellows" were ready for the continuation of their lives.

What else about your book might pique reader interest? Here's a snippet of the opening I have so far. It's from Victoria's point of view:

Guess what? I struck the jackpot on my first seduction attempt. Never mind that I was eighteen years old, nervous as hell and supposed to screw up.


Pauline Moss said yes. In a necessary, vague, roundabout way, of course. Didn’t take much. Some chatter about her car-themed tie, and she opened up. In the process, she illustrated the validity of my research. People have always been lonely. Often, they don’t want to go home. I sure didn’t. What waited for me: an upside-down dorm room and probably Markie in bed with yet another greasy guy.


Next Wednesday check out these authors' blogs to find out about their Next Big Thing.

J.E. Knowles

If you're a fellow writer and would like to participate in this Blog Hop, please reach out to Jae or J.E.  The more the merrier :)

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