The Next Big Thing

King Charles II ruled England from 1661 until his death in 1685

You may have noticed the recent “NEXT BIG THING” meme popping up on your favorite writer’s websites. Last week, Naomi Hirahara, author of the Edgar Award-winning Mas Arai series, tagged me and a handful of other writers, including Gar Anthony Haywood, SJ Rozan, Sujata Massey, and Ed Lin to write about our NEXT BIG THING. So here’s mine:

1) What is the working title of your next book?

DIARY OF DECEPTION. It’s the second novel featuring Lady Isabel Wilde, a favorite in the court of King Charles II of England who secretly makes her living disguised as fortuneteller Mistress Ruby.

2) Where did the idea come from?

Originally the idea came from a contemporary news story about a girl with amnesia who showed up in NYC and didn’t know who she was or how she got there. As the idea evolved, I realized I wanted to explore Isabel Wilde’s family history, particularly that of her deceased brother, Adam, and how she’d react if she discovered he’d harbored secrets from her.

3) What genre does your book fall under?

Historical mystery

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

The only part I’m sure of is Federico Castelluccio as King Charles II. He’d be perfect.

Federico Castelluccio

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

When a young girl claiming to be Isabel Wilde’s deceased brother’s daughter comes into Isabel’s life, she tells Isabel that her father was murdered, not killed in the plague as Isabel has always believed, driving Isabel to investigate a twelve-year-old death to learn the truth.

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

I can’t talk about the details publicly yet but a couple of exciting things are in the works!

7) How long did it take you to write the first draft?

Thus far it’s only a book proposal! But DIARY OF BEDLAM, the first novel in the series, took about six months to write. I expect DIARY OF DECEPTION will take less time.

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

The story bears similarities to Sue Grafton’s “O” IS FOR OUTLAW in that both Kinsey Milhone (Grafton’s protagonist) and Isabel must revisit events of the past in order to learn the truth about someone they care about. In Isabel’s case, she’s forced to confront some discomfiting secrets about her beloved brother.

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

I’ve wanted to write a novel set in Restoration London for almost as long as I can remember. DIARY OF BEDLAM was that novel, and for a long time I thought it would be a standalone. Now it’s looking very much like it will be a series of at least 2 books. So my inspiration for DIARY OF DECEPTION has really been recent developments pertaining to DIARY OF BEDLAM.

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

The Isabel Wilde books are not romances, but she does have an ongoing relationship with King Charles II that is kind of steamy. My favorite scenes to write are the ones in which he appears because I think I’ve succeeded in creating a monarch who is well aware of the power he wields but very human at the same time. I kind of have a crush on him.

On December 12, be sure to visit these authors to see what their NEXT BIG THING is:

Lisa Brackmann – Author of ROCK PAPER TIGER and GETAWAY
Travis Richardson – Author of LOST IN CLOVER
Eric Beetner – Most recently, the author of THE DEVIL DOESN’T WANT ME
Susanna Calkins – Author of the upcoming A MURDER AT ROSAMUND’S GATE

I’m looking forward to reading what these great writers have in store!

Holly West

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