The Next Big Thing

I was tagged to be part of this internet meme by two talented writers – Veronique Martin, whose own version appears here, and Gillian Philips, whose version appears here. It’s supposed to appear on Wednesdays, but Wednesday isn’t a working day for me, so I’m doing on Tuesday instead. Ooh, rebel.

What is the title of your next book?

It’s called Me, Suzy P, and it’s coming out in January 2013. It’s my first novel and will be published by Templar.

What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?

From the publisher: A hilarious tale of 14-year-old Suzy Puttock trying to navigate the perils of school, families and boys.

Where did the idea for the book come from?

You know that saying, ‘there’s always one?’ Well, that one is usually me. If something weird or wonderful is going to happen, it’ll often happen to me. I’m a walking disaster area, but a lot of the stuff that happens is pretty funny (in hindsight). So I thought that would be an interesting idea for a character – a girl who is always getting embarrassed by stuff that happens to her. I also noticed that a lot of the books for girls of this age focused on getting a boyfriend, so I wondered what would happen if a girl already had a boyfriend…but started crushing on someone else and becomes very confused about her own relationship. I put the two together, and Suzy P was born.

What genre does your book fall under?

Teen romantic comedy. It’s a pretty girly book, although I know some boys who’ve enjoyed it too.

What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

I honestly don’t know. And I’d kind of rather not say, because if you read the book then you’ll picture the characters as the famous people I’ve mentioned, rather than forming your own visual image, which I think is half the fun. However, if any movie scouts are hovering, please don’t let this answer put you off bidding a vast sum of cash for the film rights.

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

It’s being published by Templar Books. You can visit their website here. Templar is a fantastic team to work with, they’re all so lovely.

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

The first draft took about a year. But it’s had a lot of rewrites since then, which have taken a long time, so it’s very different to how it started off. Not much of the original writing is left.

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

The publishers have described it as being perfect for fans of Louise Rennison and Cathy Cassidy, which is *very* flattering.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

As I said above, a lot of the things that have happened to me inspired the book to some extent – I’m the person who ended up in a plaster cast while pregnant after injuring their arm opening a window, and had her nose broken during a tickling fight. Somehow, these things just happen to me. I also take inspiration from all around me, such as things that happen to my friends, and stuff I’ve seen on TV. Suzy P features a very tight-knit group of four friends who spend a lot of time hanging out in their favourite coffee shop, which was my little nod to the Friends TV show, which I love.

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

Well, I hope it’ll make you laugh. And let’s face it, everyone needs cheering up in January. You could also read the book and try and figure out which of the embarrassing things really happened to me or my friends, and which ones I completely made up…

Next up, I’m tagging the fantastic writers Anna Wilson, who blogs here, has a website here and tweets @acwilsonwriter and Cathy Hopkins, who blogs on her website here and tweets @CathyHopkins1.

If you’d like to be tagged too, let me know!

Published by Karen Saunders

I'm a writer for children and teenagers. I'm the author of the Me, Suzy P series, and just like Suzy, I'm a walking disaster area. I also suffer from embarrassment-itis. Ask me about the time I got my nose broken in a tickling fight, or ended up in plaster after opening a window or fell in a huge hole or walked into a lamp-post. There are loads more, as well... I'm also the author of the picture book Baby Badger's Wonderful Night. I have little in common with badgers.

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