Monday, April 15, 2013

The Next Big Thing

Big things are often big because they wallop you without warning. Sometimes, though, you can be made aware with a little advance notice, like a tornado warning. That's what The Next Big Thing is all about: it's nascent notification of a global blog tour that originates in Australia, designed to put a spotlight on authors and illustrators and their latest work -- hoping it will be THE NEXT BIG THING! Wowza! My lovely and talented writing colleague and friend, Cynthia Cotten, tagged me, so now I'm IT, as the ol' game goes. Thank you, Cyndy for thinking of me! 

Below are answers to the questions posed by The Next Big Thing, related to my newest book. I've tagged an author colleague below, too, who will then tag a couple of authors as well, and so on and so on. Fun!

So THIS is My Next Big Thing!
1. What is the working title of your new book?

My newest book is MISS SWITCH AND THE VILE VILLAINS, with a short little follow-up book, MISS SWITCH’S BATHSHEBA AND THE CAT CAPER, featuring Miss Switch’s cat -- probably the only feline in the book world who flies a broomstick on her own. Miss Switch, of course, is not only a witch, but a very popular teacher of fifth and sixth grade in an elementary school. How she gets there is learned in the first Miss Switch book, THE TROUBLE WITH MISS SWITCH, followed by MISS SWITCH TO THE RESCUE, and MISS SWITCH ONLINE.

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

I had this idea floating around about MISS SWITCH & THE CLASSICS. I brought it up to my publisher and they loved the idea. With a little refinement, I honed the idea more and came up with the plot for the new book, which puts Miss Switch and her student, Rupert, in a literal page-turning adventure. They must escape some of literature’s most notorious vile villains!

3.  What genre does your book fall under?

Probably fantasy, and I use the word “probably” because I have never thought of this story as fantasy.   The setting of the elementary school and the characters all seem quite real to me. But with the likes of Peter Pan and others joining the tale, I imagine this adventure would fall into the fantasy genre for sure.

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

With the first novel, my dream would be for Carol Burnett to play Miss Switch!  The story has lots of humor, and she would be perfect!  (Carol Burnett, by the way, is a “notable” graduate of UCLA. So am I, wonder of wonders. Fancy that!) For the latest book, I think Tina Fey or Amy Poehler would be fabulous. They’d bring great attitude to the part. For Rupert, maybe Romeo Beckham, the son of David and Victoria Beckham. Romeo’s got a mischievous look and a cocky confidence about him that would really work for the role of Rupert.

5.  What is a one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Rupert gets caught up in an adventure with Miss Switch that propels him into classic stories, where the evil witch Saturna devises a way to make sure that Rupert and his unlucky classmates meet the same terrible ends as the vile villains who’ve gone missing within their respective tales.

6.  Who is publishing your book?

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

This is embarrassing. I wrote the first draft in just a week! It was all in my head and I just had to get it down in a huge hurry. So I did. Of course, the whole process took a little longer because of revisions and such.

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

Can’t think of any.  Apparently it was original enough for ABC Television to take notice. They made THE TROUBLE WITH MISS SWITCH into a TV show for their Weekend Specials. When it became the highest rated of the series, they asked me for another MISS SWITCH story.  So I wrote MISS SWITCH TO THE RESCUE for them, and it joined book one as the other highest rated of the series. We’re developing the book series for entertainment again, as there’s a whole new world of kids out there!

9.  Who or what inspired you to write this book?
My agents told me not to write the first book, so I guess I can only say I inspired myself. Is that possible? Must be! But the latest book was at the request of my publisher. They think there’s an eager market for this kind of classic tale, so who am I to disagree?

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

The story is original, a little suspenseful, only a tiny bit scary, and pretty funny. Miss Switch is an enormously popular teacher at Pepperdine Elementary School, and I would like to think she would be enormously popular with anyone who reads about her! Witch though Miss Switch may be, this is definitely NOT just a story for Halloween. Halloween hardly enters into it. In fact, it isn’t even Halloween when Miss Switch arrives on the scene. Or if it is, nobody mentioned it to ME!

Here is the cover and link to the Next Big Thing in the world of stories about witches -- and the only stories about a witch who's a teacher!

Okay, now to stir the kettle and thicken the binary brew: pixel, mix well, conjure up the hex well! Here's a link to Hamish De'Lamet's blog, where he will tell you about his Next Best Thing!

Monday, April 1, 2013

The Black Cat is on the Prowl!

In my crusade to prove that black cats have gotten a bad rap, I am offering a super deal on a novelette I just penned: MISS SWITCH'S BATHSHEBA & THE CAT CAPER! This is your chance to scratch beneath the surface of Miss Switch -- all through the eyes of her cat, Bathsheba -- and all for the handsome price of 99 cents on Amazon. Click here for your magical morsel tale.

If you've read any of my previous MISS SWITCH novels, I'm certain you'll be highly entertained! Be on the look-out, too, for my full length and latest book, MISS SWITCH & THE VILE VILLAINS, available in printed paperback and for the Kindle, too!

Now get on your broomsticks and start reading!

And, by the way, this is NOT an April's Fool joke! Here's proof!