Saturday, 6 April 2013

The Next Big Thing Blog Hop

There are the books everyone has heard about: Twilight, Hunger Games, and Fifty Shades of Gray. But what about all those books written by people you’ve never heard of? Some of them are treasures, just waiting to be found, and that’s what this blog hop is all about: the books you might not have heard about, but that you might end up loving.

The Next Big Thing Blog Hop interviews authors and shares their books and coming attractions.

It is like a game of tag. One author posts and tags other authors who link back to their website the next week and tag new authors. If you follow the blog hop long enough, you’re bound to find some books you’ll love! Maybe you’ll even discover a book that ends up being the next big thing.

I was tagged by my editor/publisher Fiona Gatt.

Besides tagging people, The Next Big Thing Blog Hop includes ten questions to help you learn more about an author’s present work or work in progress. Here is my interview with a little info about my work in progress:

1. What is the working title of your new book?

A Justified Desire

2. Where did the idea come from for the book?

Working with many mothers who are in the painful position of having their children removed from their care and getting to know the complexity of their situations, including domestic violence, mental illness, substance addiction and generational poverty has inspired this book.

3. What genre does your book fall under?

Suspense with a dash of romance.

4. Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Tess, the protaganist, would be played by Scarlett Johannson, while
Tess's mother Trina would be played by Julianne Moore. The main love lead would be played by a yet unknown young and hot Aboriginal actor with plenty of Charisma while the bad-boy would be played by Sterling Beaumon.

5. What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?

When Tess, a talented botanical artist has her daughter removed by Child Protection she must find her way out of a complex maze to get her back.

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

I hope to have my novel published by one of the major publishing houses in Australia.

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

The manuscript is still in progress but the first 50,000 words have taken about four months, working between one to two hours per day.

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

Perhaps No place to Run by Maya Banks, or Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks.

9. Who or What inspired you to write this book?

A mixture of working with mothers who are in complex situations and my own experience of parenting has inspired me.

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

References to botanical drawing, outback Australia, family tensions and dynamics and that everlasting element of suspense should keep the reader's interest throughout the story.

Now, on to tagging other people for The Next Big Thing Blog Hop. I will tag: Hannah Downing


Sorry darling, Mummy has to write! Sue Oaks

With today’s push for Super-Mum status, including having to have the best equipment, the latest styles of children’s clothing, enrolments in every co-curricular activity you could think of and of course, ensuring the children have their names on the list at your choice of school … do any mothers actually remember what they enjoy doing themselves?

I wasn’t in the financial position to provide all those things for my children when they were young. We were helped along a bit by family but mainly made do with op-shop clothing and second-hand furniture and being accommodated in low cost (and low quality) rentals. My husband and I were young when we got married and it took a while for us both to get established in our careers. Eventually we got going but in between were many moves from city to country, eventually settling on the Mornington Peninsula.
Now I have a full time social work career and I’m nearly forty. With my studies finished (two bachelor degrees and two post-graduate diplomas in teaching, social work and writing) I’m faced with an unquenchable desire to … write my novel!!!!!!!! So why do I feel guilty? I won’t start to talk about the many times I have felt guilty in pursuing my studies, in the knowledge of how much it involved both a loss of income to the family and a loss of time available to give to my kids. Now, with studies finished, I just need to do what I think I might have been born to, write.
I wonder if anyone else feels the same? What are your passions and your interests and have you put them aside because you think being a mum means you can’t have any of that in your life anymore? I bet there are a few of you out there. Being Super-Mum is heavily pushed in our society but really, even if we tried, could we ever meet those unrealistic expectations?

If we let it the world will zap our talents and creativity and turn us into guilty cardboard cut-outs whose attempts to keep up with the Joneses merely leave us exhausted and bereft of a soul.
Mother’s Day is coming up soon in Australia. Why not use this day to celebrate who you are and re-evaluate your approach to life. Have you found a balance? Can you see the person behind the label of mother anymore? Motherhood can be wonderful, rewarding, challenging and amazing. But it can also be stressful, expensive, time-consuming and daunting. Do you feel guilty even thinking those things? Don’t worry, you’re human. If you’d like to read about mothers who don’t fit the stereotype of Super-Mum and who go through a colourful emotional journey, you might enjoy my book, ‘Short Stories on Motherhood’, available at