The next big thing!

by Julie Frayn on December 22, 2012 in  Writing

Welcome to the hop! The Next Big Thing Blog Hop that is.

Here you have the chance to find new authors and discover new and upcoming books, and maybe learn a bit about what I do for fun.

Welcome to S.L. Wallace who tagged me for this event.

She is the author of the Reliance on Citizens trilogy: Price of a Bounty, Canvas Skies, and Heart of Humanity. You can find her here:





Amazon Author Page:

This is my first blog hop, so I’m a mix of excited and nervous. I don’t have a published book, but will use my completed novel, Suicide City to answer the hop questions that everyone is dying to know the answers to. You are, right? Not so much? Well, here we go anyway.

Please comment and share your thoughts and questions. Here is my Next Big Thing (which is really my first big thing with great things to follow).

1: What is the working title of your book?

Suicide City

2: Where did the idea for this book come from?

The idea sprung from one of those ‘what if’ moments you have while bored silly waiting for the C-Train (that’s public transit for all you non-Calgarians). I can’t tell you the specific ‘what if’ because that gives away the climax of the story – but let’s just say it was gruesome and dark. And I have no idea why my mind goes that direction when I’m not immersed in the dull reality of a normal day.

3: What genre does your book come under?

Edgy YA. So I’m told. I remember when I was a teen, YA was Judy Blume. Mine is, well, not Blumish. It’s real and dark and explicit in some very adult themes including drug use and sex and child abuse. But it is, at its heart, the story of August and Reese, a tale of teenage love. I guess that’s what makes it Young Adult. With a dark side.

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

That’s a tough one. Years ago there was this sitcom, Quintuplets with a young man that is the closest I’ve come to what I imagine Reese looks like. But sadly, he died this year. And he’d be too old now anyway. I’ve only seen one image of my view of August – a model in a Banana Republic ad. I’d rather not show readers a picture of how I see the characters but let them form their own vision before any known actor’s face is foisted into their head.

5: What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

This question is posed in such a way that it seems like I should just have this at the ready. I don’t. I’ve struggled with boiling the story down to a query, let alone a sentence. But here goes.

When a teenage girl runs away from home to find freedom and adventure, she finds true love – but all great loves come at a great cost.

Meh… Maybe borrowing a line of her mother’s wisdom from the story covers it.

The grass always looks greener on the other side – until you get there and find out it’s just Astroturf.

6: Is your book self-published, published by an independent publisher, or represented by an agency?

It will be self-published, with a goal of hitting the virtual shelves by early March, 2013. I’ve tried and tried to capture the scant attention of agents, but can’t seem to get the heart and soul of this story across in a one page query.

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

This began as a short story I wrote in 1998. Yes, 1998. In 2004 I began turning it into a novel, but life got in the way and I shelved it. Last year, August 2011, I picked it up again and haven’t stopped writing since. I completed the final draft at the beginning of this month after finally realizing that a professional edit was in order. And thanks to Scott Morgan of Write Hook, the finished story is head and shoulders better than what I sent him. So grateful for that, and for him.

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

Similar to Push, and possibly Smack, but different in big ways. I don’t think edgy YA is ‘my genre.’ It’s just the genre this story fell into. The next two are mainstream fiction, one with a lot of sex, and one without. I admit that I don’t read a lot of other edgy YA. Maybe none.

9: Who or what inspired you to write this book?

No one person inspired me to write (except maybe Agatha Christie, my favourite author when I was young), but my family’s support (especially my daughter, Brynn’s push last summer to get off my ass – or onto it) inspired me to put butt in chair and get it done. And that inspiration has not let up. I’m editing my second novel with the hope of publishing before summer 2013, and have a rough first draft of my third, in addition to short stories that I will publish alongside the novels.

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

Perhaps some of the comments by beta readers and my wonderful editor:

Wow, intense. You have the perfect amount of description. I was riveted and grossed out all at the same time.


I really like how you have not pulled any punches. This sort of abuse really does happen to kids, and I am glad you aren’t afraid to tackle it in writing.


You really make flesh and blood characters.


I’m truly thankful for having the chance to read and edit this because you have a great story.


Oh, it hurts. I’m numb right now.


I’m f#@king impressed. Pardon my French.

Now I get to introduce you to the authors who’ve agreed to join the hop.

Miranda Gargasz who blogs at Scattering Moments and is currently working on her memoir and a crime novel.

Jo Anne Simson who writes fiction, non-fiction, and blogs about Being a Woman. In her words, “Women make up half the human population but are still greatly undervalued by society. Why is that? As a male member of a group I belong to recently pointed out, “A common factor in all the mass killings is that the perpetrators were male.” Can we rethink our values?”

J. Scott Sharp who writes fiction and blogs about writing, in addition to reviewing books and interviewing other authors. He has published short stories, and is the most supportive fellow writer I am proud to call a friend.


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