The Next Big Thing encourages writers to share their work. Participants answer questions on their next big project (usually a book, but not always – one of the nominees listed with me was a playwright) each Wednesday, and pass the baton on to five other writers to continue the project the following week.
Last week, I was tagged by Rachel Hills.
This provides me with the perfect excuse to discuss my next book which I have just completed. I had the pleasure of co-writing this with my dear friend Nina Funnell.
1) What is the working title of your next book?
“Love – An Empowered Girl’s Guide to Dating and Relationships”. It must be said though that we are still playing around with a number of titles. Like all expectant parents, we are keen to ensure we get the name for our baby just right.
2) Where did the idea come from for the book?
Recently Nina and I met for coffee and found ourselves browsing through the self-help / relationship section at a local bookshop. We noted there was a whole genre of books out there aimed at young women, that would have them believe that landing a man means being less of who they really are. And there didn’t seem to be any books at all that were offering the kind of advice we actually wanted when we were teen girls – how to survive crushes, how to tell if someone likes you, how to cope with heartbreak, how to set relationship boundaries, how to know when it’s time to break up with your partner, and even (shock horror) how to actually enjoy being single (because it can be awesome)!
And while there are hundreds of studies conducted on teenagers and sex every year, there are almost no comprehensive studies (or very few) about teen relationships, in part because teen relationships are often viewed as trivial or unworthy of serious academic study. But the reality is, teen relationships are far from trivial. In fact these early experiences help shape us and lay the foundation for future relationships.
So we decided that if we didn’t think any of what was out there already was particularly helpful, that we should offer something different.
3) What genre does your book fall under?
Relationships – non-fiction.
4) What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
My initial thoughts were that it is not the type of book that would be made into a film; but I then realised that of course one of the classic guides to relationships, “He’s Just Not That Into You”, was made into a very successful movie. So, should Hollywood call, I would suggest a cast of young, diverse, interesting actors and actresses. With the soundtrack by Paul Dempsey / Something For Kate.
Hey, if we are dreaming here…
5) What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
This book is an up –front guide to ethical dating and relationships which will empower young women.
6) Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
The book will be published by Harper Collins, February 2014.
7) How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
Nina and I had discussed the book concept for some time, but really only began writing 6 months ago.
8) What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
The chapters I wrote are similar in their tone to my other book for teen girls, The Girl With The Butterfly Tattoo. However, the book itself deliberately parts ways with other guides to relationships that are already on the market for young people.
9) Who or what inspired you to write this book?
All the girls Nina and I work with in schools inspired this book.
10) What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?
Think of this book as being a little like a “Lonely Planet” guide to Love written specifically for teen girls. We tell them about our travels, what we liked, what we hated, the places we would definitely go again and those they need to avoid… and we invited many other “travelers” to share their experiences too. It is warm and wise – and the teen girls we have shared it with to date absolutely love it!
Next Wednesday, you’ll see a response from this writer I hereby tag*:
* Technically, I am supposed to tag 5 writers but as as it is the Christmas season, I could only access one willing to participate at this time. Hey – it’s quality, not quantity that counts.