As you may well know the 'Next Big Thing' blog tour is well under way and thanks to Gabrielle Aquilina it has made a stop here. If you haven’t visited Gabby’s blog – take a look- it’s a brilliant read. Gabby was one of the founder’s of Abingdon Writers and you can read the answers about her book, Rock-a-Lillie, here.
What is the working title of your book?
The Bittersweet Vine.
Where did the idea come from for the book?
I love reading psychological thrillers and as a result I see story lines develop from the most mundane of thoughts and I also have really random thoughts. One day, at work, I thought to myself: what if I blacked out in an empty office and woke up two days later? And what if I woke in my own bed, with no recollection of where I had been or what had been done to me? It was the perfect idea to explore.
What genre does your book fall under?
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Mmm…that’s a tough one. I would like the main character, Maria, to be played by someone like Selena Gomez or Katie Holmes; sweet on the inside but tough at the same time. Alice, her estranged sister, by Rose McGowan; Owen, Maria’s ex-lover, who is now Alice’s fiancé would be played by Ewan McGregor. Other characters would include Hugh Grant, Kate Moss, Mark Ruffalo Jay Kay… Yes it would be star studded!
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Traumatized abduction victim, Maria Shroder, wakes physically unharmed, but suffering from hysterical amnesia. Desperate to pull into consciousness the secrets her mind has buried, Maria must first uncover the lies hidden in her past.
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
I am currently in talks with a literary agency. If I don’t succeed in publishing traditionally, I will definitely self-publish as I did with my first novel, Goa Traffic.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
About 6 months, but the end product was really rough!! It took about a year to get a decent draft together.
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
I love psychological thrillers and I aspire to write like Sophie Hannah. I grew up reading books by Minette Walters. She writes great thrillers revolving around obscure topics. In The Bittersweet Vine the unfamiliar topic of hysterical amnesia is brought into centre stage, and the reader is held in suspense as Maria struggles to unravel the cause of her abduction.
Who or What inspired you to write this book?
After publishing Goa Traffic, I was keen to start writing a second novel. Writing is in my blood, and when I had the idea for The Bittersweet Vine I couldn't stop until I had written the last word. Sibling rivalry plays a huge part in my novel as well and something readers can easily identify with. Having an older sister myself I had a lot of experience to draw on!
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
There is a subplot that runs through the book; between Penelope (a researcher by day; stripper by night) and a mysterious post-grad student, Jason. They are desperately in love, but not everything is as it appears. The reader soon discovers both Penelope and Jason have secrets which will change the course of their relationship forever.
Well I hope the 'Next Big Thing' Blog tour doesn't stop here! Clearly I need more friends that write! keep checking back for links to other writing blogs for their answers!