This writers' blog hop simply asks ten questions about your current story, and then you tag five other writer-blogger friends to participate next week. :) Arlette over at Living Life Bright tagged me. I wasn't sure whether I should talk about Sixteen, since it's releasing this year; Beila and the Griffin, which I recently finished the first draft of; or Kaimalie and the Mermaid, the story I'm doing outlines and notes for right now. I decided that I should probably be talking about Sixteen, what with it being my up-and-coming novella. :) I can always talk about Beila or Kaimalie when it's closer to their big days!
1: What is the working title of your book?
When I first started writing Sixteen, it didn't have a title. Later, when I was editing and trying to write a query letter for it, I chose Sweet Seventeenth, as the ending of the story surrounds the main character's seventeenth birthday. But then I realized that the whole story is about Nikki's sixteenth year more so than her birthday - and that's when I settled on the short and sweet title for this short and sweet book.
2: Where did the idea come from for the book?
Actually, it all started as being centered on teen pregnancy - I had just learned several facts about pregnancy and abortion, and I wanted some way to work through all that was going through my brain.... (see #9 for the rest of the story)
3: What genre does your book come under?
Christian contemporary young adult. It could also be called coming-of-age, although I'm not sure that's a genre, and there's strong romantic elements.
4: Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Hmm... honestly, that never even crossed my mind! The main character, sixteen-year-old Nikki, is quite the rebel, loves ballerina (and has the body for it), and has long, layered blond curls and bright blue eyes. I just did a search for blonde teen actresses and when saw Hayden Panettiere, I knew she was it. She is so completely perfect and fits my idea of Nikki to a tee. Some colored contacts and this girl is Nikki! Even her personal style reflects Nikki's wardrobe!
Man, I'm excited now! This is fun! Okay, next up: Christy is the sweet, supportive best friend. She's a petite girl with short auburn hair and brown eyes. This one was a bit harder to find, but I think I've discovered the perfect girl for the role - and an actress I already love! Of course, I didn't realize until today that's she's only two months younger than me, so I never would have thought of her, but Abigail Breslin (especially with her new hair color!) seems like the best fit for Christy.
The twenty-four-year-old love interest Matt is very important to this story. He's charming, blond, and has an amazing smile and sparkling green eyes. I had a hard time finding someone to play him, but this little-known actor named Daniel Burda seems to fit the part pretty well.
Then there's grown-up Nicole, who's actually at the beginning of the book, and her eighteen-year-old daughter Claire. Adult Nicole has brown-dyed hair in a bob and loves to sew, while Claire is quite the punk (like mother, like daughter!) with her ripped jeans, tank tops, and purple pixie haircut. I'm not good at finding people who resemble each other, much less an adult to look like Hayden all grown up. But I think Carrie Underwood looks a lot like her and is old enough but not too old to be adult Nicole. I mean, her hair doesn't match, but it does look like Nicole's natural hair, so a nice dye and cut would do the job I think.
And finding an actress who already looks like Claire is probably going to be impossible, but I think the face shape and personality I'm looking for would be well played by Demi Lovato.
5: What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
In this Christian coming-of-age novella, a teenage rebel without a cause - but with parent problems - finds herself pregnant by her adult boyfriend.
6: Is your book self-published, published by an independent publisher, or represented by an agency?
It's coming out self-pub on Amazon and possibly other ebook sellers this year! I'm super excited, even if there isn't a release date yet.
7: How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
Actually, it was the fastest first draft I've ever had - I think it took a week or two? Normally I'm on-again-off-again with my first drafts and it takes at least a month of 'on' to finish.
8: What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Hmm... the Christy Miller series? I love those books and am pretty sure my work will never reach that height of amazing, but it is what came to mind and it does have a similar tone, setting, characters, etc.
9: Who or what inspired you to write this book?
(See #2 for the beginning of this tale) ...Then I wanted to do something special with the book, and since Mother's Day was coming up, I decided to center the story around mothers and daughters - which still ties quiet well with pregnancy, motherhood and all that - and make it my Mother's Day gift for my mom that year. It ended up taking another whole year to be ready for Mom's gift, but that's how it became a coming-of-age story rather than activist, teen pregnancy story.
10: What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
Well, as you know there's romance, parent problems, teen rebellion, pregnancy... sound like fun yet? Honestly, though, it's not all angst and sadness - there's best-friend fun, first-date jitters - you know, great teenager stuff!
(To follow along with my inspiration, check out the new Sixteen Pinterest board!)
Now the tagging! I found a few other bloggy writer friends in the Go Teen Writers Facebook group willing to participate: Alyson at Pages From My Journal; Kelsey at Just Simply Unique; Lily's Notes in the Margins; Katelyn at The Life of a Teenage Writer; and Bethany at The Ramblings of a Young Author.