If it’s Friday, it must be France …
Today I’m inviting you back to beautiful Aix-En-Provence, the home of blogger/book reviewer/writer and mon amie, Claire McAlpine. Claire recently tagged me to join the Be Inspired Blog Hop. This clever idea is being hosted by Vicki Orions on her Page After Page blog, who suggested:
“All of our stories come from somewhere, whether it be a dream, another book, a life event … So, I thought why not give people the chance to talk about their inspirations as well as their stories?”
It’s such fun to hear our peers sharing details about their work, the labours of love that have consumed them while they were writing and taken them on amazing journeys, real and imagined. I loved hearing about Claire’s novel, A Piece Of The Mosaic and cannot wait for publication!
Now I will follow the rules (oh yes, I sometimes do … ) and answer 10 questions about my novel, The Bridge Club, before I tag at least five other authors. For you dear readers who have heard all of this info many times before, please bear with me!
I have to admit I would love to begin telling you about my next novel but I’ll have to be patient for a while longer until the editing process is complete. A good portion of that story takes place in France so you can imagine how much I’m dying to talk about it!
Never mind, I still LOVE talking about The Bridge Club and am thrilled that it recently was a Finalist in two more book competitions. On to the questions.
1. What is the name of your book?
The story is based on my real life Bridge Club and the 40-year friendship we have shared. It is fiction based on fact and the women of my bridge club were happy to share their stories.
3. In what genre would you classify your book?
4. If you had to pick actors to play your characters in a movie rendition, who would you choose?
Oh this is great fun! Since there are 8 characters, I won’t attempt to cast all the roles but I definitely see women such as Susan Sarandon, Annette Benning, Kathy Bates, Meryl Streep, in the movie. It would be a blast! A screenwriter is actually reading the book as I write this.
5. Give us a one-sentence synopsis of your book and tell us about the setting.
Eight women, four decades of friendship, one unimaginable weekend: how far would you go to help a good friend?
The story is basically set in and around our fabulous city of Toronto but the action does cross Canada from the Eastern Townships of Quebec to the spectacular mountains of Whistler, British Columbia.
6. Is your book already published/represented?
I self-published through iUniverse in September 2010 and had a great experience with this company winning … sorry, please excuse a little horn-blowing … their Editor’s Choice, Reader’s Choice, Rising Star and Star designations. I’m pleased I used this company for my first endeavour.
7. How long did it take you to write your book?
Four years. When I first began writing I was just doing it for fun and had no intention of publishing. Also there were times when I was travelling for a few months and didn’t write during those breaks. My current MS has taken just over a year.
8. What other books within your genre would you compare it to and what do you hear from your readers?
It has been compared to The Friday Night Knitting Club and The Girls From Ames, among others; but like every book, it has its own unique qualities and a very unusual ending. The best reward of being published is hearing from readers who want to express their reactions and thoughts about your work. I love this part! I’ve heard from women as young as early twenties right through to mid-eighties and they love to give examples of their own great friendships. So good! Most of them comment on the ending and the discussions their book clubs had about it or their personal thoughts on the matter. It’s that kind of response that helps you feel all the agony and ecstasy of writing was worthwhile!
9. Which authors inspired you to write this book?
Coincidentally, like Claire, I was greatly influenced by Stephen King’s “On Writing: A Memoir Of The Craft”. When I first began writing seriously I attended a few workshops and, without fail, his book would be highly recommended. I found it very inspiring and the most important lesson for me was his advice to simply sit down and write your story, if you feel you have one to tell. Get it on paper and don’t worry about whether it is good or bad until you have finished. Then have an editor look at it and you will soon have your answer.
10. Tell us anything that might pique our interest in your book.
The ending will certainly get your attention as it is controversial and thought- provoking. It’s not chick lit and I wouldn’t want anyone to be disappointed by thinking it is.
I really think the best thing about the story is the way it makes you think about your own BFFs! How lucky are we to have each other?
You may recognize yourself or a friend or two on the pages. The story celebrates friendship and reaffirms that no matter what age you are, there’s nothing like having some fabulous girlfriends whose trust is a given and whose laughter and compassion carry you through whatever life has in store.
Now I’m tagging some writers who are all part of my incredibly supportive and talented WANA community. This time I’m breaking the rules though and tagging more than I’m supposed to because I want you to know about them! They may or may not have time to participate but at least they will be on your radar.
As I began this list, I realized I have so many other incredible names to share with you I’m going to give you another list next week. After all, we can never have too many good books in our TBR pile.
That list will keep you going for a while and there will be more coming! Who inspires you? If you have a name to add, please share it with us. Bon weekend, tout le monde!