Who is “The Next Best Thing”?

According to Lorinda Taylor, over at Ruminations of a Remebrancer, it might just be me, as she nominated me for “The Next Best Thing Award.” I am really very honored by her nomination. For a while now I’ve been kind breaking rules when accepting or giving awards because I don’t feel right about selecting from the many fabulous blogs out there. However, this award struck me differently, because of the questions that go along with it. Basically, the rules say to nominate 5 other websites and answer the questions below.

The questions are what intrigue me, as this is an award for those of us who are working on books, plain and simple. It is also an opportunity for me to clarify my own understanding of my own work, which I think is important if I’m ever going to get it out in the big wide world.

So, this time I will follow directions and nominate 5 people. I am choosing people who I love to read, but also people who I know are working seriously on their own WIPs. I hope someday to have the chance to read their books in published forms. I understand if they choose not to pass the award forward, as they are all busy writing “The Next Best Thing”!

  • Victoria Walters over at Victoria-writes is one of the most inspiring, talented and brave writers I know (as well as being my long-lost twin from a different mother and different continent). She quit her day job and really committed to her dream of becoming a YA writer. Her bravery paid off, as she now has an agent and is well on her way to becoming the next best thing.
  • Andra Watkins, also known as The Accidental Cootchie Mama, is always sharing fabulous short fiction on her blog, while working on her book. She’s a brilliant writer who always amazes me with the strength of her characterizations. I can’t wait to read her book. (Oh, and I used her name for my main character, because I think they have a lot in common).
  • Darla, over at She’s a Maineiac, never fails to make me laugh and is always working on a project. I wonder what she’ll come up with next?  I hope to someday meet her and discuss books, life and parenting over some decadent treats.
  • Kate, aka 4amWriter has finally given into the call of writing, even if she has to get up at 4am to do it. While I write better in the morning, I can’t seem to drag myself out of bed that early, even if I’m lying awake with insomnia. So, you go girl! I’m sure all that writing will pay off.
  • Now she may not forgive me for revealing this, and may not be ready to share anything about it, but Tori Nelson over at The Ramblings has, indeed, started a book. She’s such a talented writer that I have no doubts that her story will someday be read far and wide. Meanwhile, I’m just happy to count her among “the bloggers I’ve met” as well as one of my first readers and a new friend. Good luck writing, Tori! I can’t wait to see what you come up with.

Now to the questions:

What is the title of your Work in Progress?

THE POWER OF WORDS  (although I’m still not sold on that title, it may change).

Where did the idea come from for the book?

I can’t remember exactly where the idea came from, as it has been around for many years. I had proposed it, under a different title (Judith of Lexiconia) for a YA book when I was taking a course in writing novels for young people. The recent attacks on women spurred me to revisit this story with modifications.

What genre does your book fall under?

I am calling it  a NA (New Adult) Contemporary Dystopian Fantasy.

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

I have no idea. Whoever it is needs to be smart and confident. Perhaps a non-traditional beauty, but her appearance is less important than her belief in herself.

What is a one-sentence synopsis of the book?

In the land of New North power lies in the hands of men who have denied access to reading and writing to all females, but Andra  betScrivener’s unexpected abilities over words could be the new power needed to bring down an oppressive regime.

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

Only time will tell. I will be submitting to agents and/or publishers. I would like to find a publishing home. I have another book that started gathering dust after several rejections and  when I became overwhelmed with how to do a quality job self-publishing. At the same time, I feel really proud of this current project, so maybe I’ll get over my own doubts and fears if I can’t find a more traditional route. Stay tuned.

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

That’s difficult to answer. As I said, the initial seed of this idea started years ago. I started actually writing this work when I signed up for a course through the LongRidge Writer’s Group in March 2012. The writing of the first part was slow and sporadic, because of the way the course is set up which asked me to hold off on moving forward until I received feedback from my editor/instructor. However, once I got past the third chapter (which was the last official one he would read) I’ve been moving forward in leaps and bounds. I’m currently starting Chapter 13, have about 30,948 words written, and hope to finish the entire novel by the end of the month. (I’m thinking it will be about 70,000 words more or less).

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

This is another difficult one, as the genre of NA is just beginning. I had originally intended, with this course, to write a book for adults, but at my instructor/editor’s recommendation realized it would function better in YA, although that didn’t fit well either. So now I am here. To me, there is a connection between my book and The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. Some friends have suggested a connection with The Hunger Games.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

My belief in the importance of educating women around the world, as well as my belief in the power of words over weapons. Recent issues in the USA have made this story even more timely and important.

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

This book questions the ability of government and religion to restrict rights. This is an issue that lives on in our current society, and will continue forward even after the results of Tuesday’s election come in. While I am writing a book that I hope will appeal to young adults, I believe it will challenge all types of readers to question how power can and should be used.  It also contains a little bit of “magic” and humor, as well as a cast of characters for everyone to love/hate. Where can I go wrong? (Eek!)

My WIP as of yesterday. The manuscript so far.

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15 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Tori Nelson
    Nov 03, 2012 @ 09:24:55

    So excited about your book and glad the world’s taking notice! Thanks for the shout out. I am honored… and totally unprepared. Can I just answer all the questions with “Ummm. ????” ?


  2. termitespeaker
    Nov 03, 2012 @ 16:23:36

    I’m happy you’re enjoying the process of my nomination! I enjoy your blog for its educated approach and I wish you lots of luck with your book! It’s not my favorite genre, but I don’t mind reading some dystopian material. After all, my future history includes a dystopian period, although I’ve never written about it. I do have one book in mind that would be laid in that time.


    • Lisa Wields Words
      Nov 03, 2012 @ 19:10:35

      I chose the word dystopian because I need some way to describe it. This isn’t as post-apocalyptic as THE HUNGER GAMES but it is a different time/place/society, much as your story is. It’s different from anything I’ve ever written before, but I’m not sure I’m in control.

      Thank you again for the nomination. You are very kind.


  3. Andra Watkins
    Nov 03, 2012 @ 16:59:52

    I am endeavoring to live up to this nomination for tomorrow’s post. Thank you.


  4. Trackback: Who Is “The Next Best Thing”? « The Accidental Cootchie Mama
  5. Victoria-writes
    Nov 05, 2012 @ 05:42:55

    First of all, thank you again for your lovely words, they really made my day. Your book sounds great, this is very exciting. Can’t wait to read it one day :)


  6. 4amWriter
    Nov 05, 2012 @ 21:17:55

    Thank you so much for that wonderful blurb you wrote about me. :) Getting up early to write is a lot easier than getting up early to go to the gym. ;)

    Your book does sound wonderful, and I’m heartened to hear the enthusiasm in your description. I hope you’re enjoying the writing process, no matter what time of day you work on it. :)


  7. She's a Maineiac
    Nov 07, 2012 @ 05:59:48

    Wow, you are inspiring, Lisa! To think you’ll be done with your book by the end of the month. That is such an accomplishment! I’m currently on hold with mine. I hope this winter to get back to it.


  8. Kathy
    Nov 13, 2012 @ 14:21:48

    It is so inspiring that you will soon be done with your book. By year’s end, for sure. Wishing you just the right words to sell your book to thousands upon thousands.


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