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Naked beekeeper

WIP Wednesday: The Next Big Thing

Have we all recovered from the election binge? No?

Ah, well. Let’s give it a few days to sink in. Meanwhile, rather than a what-to-read this week, I bring you a meme! Jessi Gage tapped me to participate in “the Next Big Thing,” and since it appears that all I have to do is answer some questions about my work in progress, I think I can handle it! Here goes…

What is your working title of your book?

Truly. (It’s the first of a series. The other two will be called Madly and Deeply, unless someone at Random House decides that’s a terrible idea.)

Where did the idea come from for the book?

My agent, Emily, came up with the idea for a series set at a bar in New York City where Green Bay Packers fans tend to congregate. After that, we brainstormed together about the individual books — which mostly involves me coming up with convoluted plots while hiking, typing them out in e-mail to her, and then waiting for her to phone me up and tell me, very gently, that I’m insane. Truly started as a story where the heroine has just moved to New York, and she gets mugged and has her identity stolen. She ends up at the bar, where the hero buys her a beer, then offers her a place to stay and helps her recover her identity. I ended up ditching most of those elements, but the story does still begin with two exiled Wisconsinites meeting at a Greenwich Village bar shortly after the heroine, May, has been dumped and robbed.

What genre does your book fall under?

It’s single-title (100,000 words) contemporary romance. I hesitate to call it “erotic romance,” since there’s somewhat less sex in the draft than my readers might be expecting. Which is to say, the first sex scene doesn’t happen until around the two-thirds mark. (*ducks* *hides*)

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

No idea. I’m not very up on actors, nor am I someone who models my characters after real people. The heroine is six feet tall and 175 pounds, so good luck finding someone in the movies who looks like that. The hero is a few inches taller, with a hoodie and a scowl, plus a few days’ stubble. He’s a little scary when he’s not smiling. If you need a visual, this fellow will do, though he’s not what the Ben in my head actually looks like.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

The benefit of having sold the book on proposal is that no one ever forced me to write a one-sentence synopsis of it! Can I just say that it involves a naive Wisconsinite heroine who prefers fantasy to reality, a reality-steeped, wounded, short-tempered chef/beekeeper hero who’s determined to sell her on the merits of New York City, and a lot of personal growth?

God. That sounds terrible. Nobody buy this book, okay?

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

I sold it on proposal to Loveswept at Random House. It will be released in January 2014.

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

I’m still writing it, but I expect it to take two months. Then I have a month or so to revise it before I have to turn it in to my editor, and I imagine there will be another round or two of revisions after that.

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

Wow, these questions are hard. Um. Isabel Sharpe has a Harlequin Blaze set in New York City with a Wisconsin heroine, and I think her name is also May. (I am really hoping the hero’s name is not Ben, but it’s possible that it is, because my brain is a jackdaw.) But Isabel’s book is set at a sex hotel, and there are a lot of shenanigans related to that. Truly also has some similarities to Crusie’s Bet Me – New York setting, on-the-large-side heroine who has body image issues, hero who keeps feeding her — but I think they’re mostly superficial. I hope they are. Now you’re making me nervous.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

As I said before, the whole series was my agent’s fault. And then the Naked Beekeeper also kind of tugged my interest in the direction of bees rather than rooftop farming for the hero’s profession. Because . . . yes. It’s all about bees, I swear.

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

If the reader’s interest isn’t piqued by the phrase “naked beekeeper,” I’m more or less doomed.

Jessi Gage and Shannyn Schroeder tagged me to do this thing. I’m supposed to tag five more people, but I have a deep-seated constitutional aversion to passing along chain letters, and for some reason it also applies to memes. But thanks for tagging me, ladies! It was fun.

11 thoughts on “WIP Wednesday: The Next Big Thing

  1. TRULY sounds very fun. Don’t worry, I’ll hang in there ’til the 2/3 mark. I’m sure there will be plenty of humor and angst to keep me clicking through my kindle pages until Ben and May get frisky.

    Also, YAY for a bigger heroine! I loved Jennifer Crusie’s BET ME, and my fearless CP, Julie Brannagh is currently revising a mss (THE BEST OF YOU) about a heroine who works as a secretary for a major football franchise and decides to loose 100 lbs with the help of a player who moves quickly from seeing her as a project to a person. I’m critting the chapters now, and don’t know if the heroine is going to make her goal, but I LOVE that the hero digs her as she is.

    You had me at exiled Wisonsinites. Naked beekeeper just sank the hook deeper. Can’t wait for TRULY!

    1. Thanks! Yes, humor and angst. I need a word for that. Hangst. It’s my specialty! (Or, as Alice Clayton said the other day, “heartwarming and pantswarming.”)

      Julie’s ms. sounds great! Weight-losing heroines are very tricky, because if the motivation is even a teensy bit off on either side I want to throw the book at the wall. But I’m still waiting for the perfect one to come along.

  2. OMG, my new obsession (NYC) plus my old obsession (da Pack!) plus a NON “ideal”-figured heroine, a hero with a softer/dangerous side (b/c bees – seriously, bees!), some sexy times, AND you wrote it? *preorder*

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