The Next Big Thing: Diary of an Angry Woman

I’m back. But not with poetry today. A friend from the Banff Writing Studio, Jan Redford, tagged me to take part in The Next Big Thing, a literary blog interview. In The Next Big Thing writers answer ten questions about their work-in-progress, then tag five of their writer friends to do the same.

What is the working title of your book?

Diary of an Angry Woman. I’ve had a few friends recoil from the title but others have recognized it. After all, she could be your co-worker, your neighbour, or your ex-wife.

Where did the idea come from for the book?

I was sitting on my sofa reading a novel by Carol Shields when I heard this voice speak in my head. Instead of rushing to a doctor, I went to my computer and started to listen. Out came this tale of rage and loneliness. It was from an older woman remembering her divorce:

It is still a tooth-ache, a splinter, a badly reset bone aching constantly in the background of my mind. Before it, I was like everyone else. I had a husband, children, a circle of friends. After it, my life slipped away until now it is as empty as this house.

What genre does your book fall under?

Literary. I don’t think this would count as a beach read.

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

That’s easy. I’d love Judi Dench or Maggie Smith to play my main character. Both can do that icy disdain. Both know how to soften.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Patricia Chadwick used her children to get revenge on her ex-husband and is now growing old alone and hating it, so she sets out to analyze where her life went wrong and find out whether she can fix it.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

I’ve been debating this. What I’m best at is simply keeping it on my hard drive and editing it regularly. However, I know it needs to leave home so the question is how? I think I’ll try a few of Canada’s wonderful small presses. That’s if I can get myself to stop editing long enough to let go of it.

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

Just over three months. I’m a fast writer. Next question: how long has it taken me to edit? Best not to answer that. I love language and I love to continually hone it.

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

Anne Tyler has written books about women who suddenly stop and reassess their lives: Earthly Possessions, Ladder of Years, and Back When We Were Grownups. Joanna Trollope has also written about divorce and its effect on parents and children. Both authors have been big influences on my writing.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

I was working with older women at the time as part of my job at an Anglican church and so I’d heard many of their stories and knew of their sadnesses (and their joys). But I was also inspired by the image of a road I could have taken, by who I could have become had I made other decisions in life. In some ways, I consider this novel to be my fictional autobiography. I haven’t had children. I haven’t been divorced. But Patricia, my main character, is someone I carry inside me. I know her.

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

Everyone’s curious about what causes the train wrecks they read about in the newspapers, the parents who battle viciously over every hour of Christmas Day. What makes them like that? Where does their anger come from? My novel offers one answer.

 

And now, visit these links to see what these wonderful writers are working on (more names will be added later):

 

Sandra Nicholls

Pearl Pirie

Ben Stephenson

 

Message for tagged authors:

Rules of the Next Big Thing

Use this format for your post

Answer the ten questions about your current WIP (work in progress)

Tag five other writers/bloggers and add their links so we can hop over and meet them.

 

Ten Interview Questions for the Next Big Thing:

What is your working title of your book?

Where did the idea come from for the book?

What genre does your book fall under?

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

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

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

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

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

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

Include the link of who tagged you and this explanation for the people you have tagged.

Be sure to line up your five people in advance.

 

 

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