In my life as a fitness professional, I’ve been in front of the camera, on television and video,
and in front of live audiences as guest speaker, and even in a half-time show at Giants Stadium!
But, I have never dreamt of being The Next Big Thing. When I do daydream, I’m signing books
at Barnes and Nobel, and to be honest, talking to the ladies on The View or being interviewed
on NPR. That doesn’t mean I’m The Next Big Thing, the title to this blog-hop. It just means my
book got published and they liked it! And maybe they read this blog-hop. Wouldn’t that be great?
Blog- hopping will give you the opportunity to meet authors, some new, some seasoned.
It may spark your interest to read one of their books or follow their blogs. Like me, all the
bloggers will be answering ten questions about their current work or work-in-progress.
I’ve listed their blogs at the bottom of this post so please, hop over and take a look. There’ll
be something for everyone.
Before I begin answering the interview for The Next Big Thing, I want to thank my friend,
author Ann Everett, for inviting me to join this blog-hop. It’s been fun and so are her books:
Laid Out and Candle Lit and You’re Bustin’ My Nuptials. Please take a look at her blog:
1. What is the working title of your book? Flourish
2. Where did the idea come from for the book? I was having lunch in Manhattan with a high school friend who I hadn’t seen in around 18-19 years, since our 25th high school reunion. So you can tell we weren’t as fresh as a spring daisy, though we try! She told me the story of her winery and the women who helped make it a success. I was totally intrigued. We grew up in suburbia and here Liz (fictitious name) was living on a farm in the Lehigh Valley with a 13 acre vineyard and making award winning wines – all with the help of neighboring women who came to pick grapes. You see, when her husband, who I named Dick for obvious reasons, walked out on Liz and their kids one month before harvest, she didn’t know how she was going to get through the season, no less how she’d get the wine made, bottled and sold, and feed her son and daughter. No, her ex was not giving a penny toward their support. She had to succeed. She had to prove Dick wrong.
3. What genre does your book fall under? Upmarket women’s fiction. It’s actually not a genre. Romance novels, mysteries, thrillers, sci-fi, horror – those are genres. Upmarket suggests the novel blends the lines between commercial and literary, and making it women’s fiction means it would be a good discussion for reading groups.
4. Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition? This is something the real-life Liz and I play with whenever we get together. It’s fun to dream. Read below.
Liz: Her story covers twenty-five years so Kate Winslet for the younger Liz and Meryl Streep for the older. Aside from truly seeing them in the roles physically, why not go for the gold?
There are four women in the novel (and real life) who work with Liz and see their own lives change
Bobbi: Renee Zelwegger, but they’d have to make her age as the story progresses. Liz and Bobbi are not skinny or petite and either are the actors I’ve chosen to play them, plus they’ve all played strong women.
Sandra: Sandra Bullock. The hair color and body type are the same, and Sandra B, like my character, is a strong, tough, no nonsense kind of woman.
Dick: Ian McKellen because he played Gandalf in The Lord of the Rings and Dick looks like Gandalf.
There are several more important characters: Susan and Ilene, Liz’s kids, her dad, and four male characters (Liz does have a love-life after Dick, though an ill-fated one) I’ll let the casting directors make their salaries on those choices. Hey! They get the big bucks.
5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Faced with the possibility of losing her beloved vineyard, and determined to prove her ex husband wrong, Liz Bergen creates an award winning winery with the support of local women who have no knowledge of winemaking, as they all discover new identities for themselves.
6. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency? I’m presently looking for representation.! It’s a long road researching agents and small presses, of query letters and synopses (I think that’s the plural of synopsis), but I’m taking the journey and enjoying the ride.
7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript? About a year. I had lots of interviews with the characters at the winery and tasted lots of wine, since this is based on a true story. I’m now going on 3 ½ years, but please don’t ask how many drafts it’s had.
8. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? Though I haven’t read it, I have “spoken” (through email) with the author of a book, “Women of the Vine.” Her book is non-fiction about the winery she created in the Napa Valley, owned and operated by women. When I told her of my book based on the real life story of the first woman winery owner in Pennsylvania with a woman winemaker, she was impressed and wanted to meet the real Liz. She called her a “pioneer” in the wine industry since her story began in the 1980s, not the 21st century as Women of the Vine.
9. Who or What inspired you to write this book? This is the same answer as #1. “Liz” and her story are a great inspiration for all women. She struggled and came out on top with the help of a sisterhood and quarters – yes, the 25 cent piece. You’ll have to read the novel to figure out what that means – and I hope you’ll be able to in the not too distant future.
10. What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest? Liz has a few love affairs – not too steamy, though. The real-life Liz complained about that when she read the manuscript, but I told her “I stuck to the truth!” And, you’ll learn a little about making wine, “taste” the grapes and “smell” the aromas as the juices ferment and get a picture of life in the vineyard. You’ll definitely want a glass of vino as you read.
Hop on over to these blogs: