The Next Big Thing – Annie Ireson (with make-up, shooting star fingernails and hideous badly-plucked eyebrows)

Many thanks to Jane Risdon for nominating me for The Next Big Thing. Please do pop over to Jane’s blog by clicking on the link above. You can read all about her work in progress which is a crime novel featuring the inimitable Mrs Birdsong, her home in the shadow of the White Horse and who knows, you might even get some clues to help Mrs Birdsong solve her next crime in the varied and intriguing articles you will find there.

Those of you who know me in person will know that I’m quite likely to chop my fingernails off with paper scissors so that they don’t annoy me when typing. I hate wearing make-up and I am disproportionately squeamish and cowardly about plucking hairs from the tender skin above my eyes. I’m afraid I am one of those WYSIWYG type of women who can’t be arsed with glamour and the word ‘elegant’ shouldn’t be used to describe me in any way shape or form.

However, for this post I have full slap on my face – yes, even lipstick! I have put on my best clothes, had my hair done and have perfectly manicured fingernails with tiny shooting stars on the little fingers. All this is just in case, you understand … because, just for one day, I am The Next Big Thing.

Righty ho, here we go. Jane has asked me ten questions about me and my work in progress.

What is the title of your next book?

I am currently working on the first draft of my sixth novel for NaNoWriMo, which has the working title of The Fourteenth Traitor. However, I think my next published novel will probably be my fifth novel – Horns of Angels – which is complete, but needs a bit of work before it is publishable.

Where did the idea come from for the book?

I was watching a documentary from the series ‘Heir Hunters’ on television. I was fascinated by the reaction of some of the potential heirs when they were told they may inherit money or property from a distant, long-forgotten relative. I wondered what mayhem would ensue if someone was the sole beneficiary of a large estate bequeathed to them by a perfect stranger, and so Horns of Angels was conceived.

What genre does your book fall under?

This novel is a family saga, featuring two very different families – that of the beneficiary and that of the man who has left his entire estate to someone completely unknown to his grieving relatives. The story is set over one week in October 1962 when the Cuban missile crisis was at its highest state of alert, and then alternate chapters flashback to the period from 1938 to 1962.

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

Now this is where things really start to get weird. When I wrote the first draft about eighteen months ago, the main character in the 1962 part of the story was called ‘Ella Henderson’. I am now going to have to change the name because of a previously-unknown Ella Henderson becoming a celebrity through the X factor. But the peculiar thing is that she would make a perfect actress for the novel. When I first saw her on TV, not only was her name the same as my character, she looked like her, too!  The main character in the 1938 part of the story is a wealthy man of Greek descent called ‘Geno Petralia’, and I can see see Liam Neeson in that role.

What is a one sentence synopsis of your book?

When a man’s wealth exceeds the number of heartbeats spent yearning for a woman he can never have, the equilibrium between hope and despair can never be restored.

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

I don’t know. I like to keep dreaming it might be traditionally published and represented, but who knows? I have recently self-published The White Cuckoo following a bad experience with so-called independent publishers. I am glad, now, I followed this route, which was challenging but not difficult. If I decide to self-publish again, Horns of Angels is the most likely candidate. I still worry that I have sold the Cuckoo’s soul to the devil by self-publishing, but that worry is diminishing day by day as so many people are telling me they are enjoying my novel.  I have invested in paperback copies, which cost a lot of money, but I have not only broken even but made a small profit, and sold quite a few Kindle versions, too.

I am really bad at promoting myself, so if any of the readers of this blog who have read The White Cuckoo could find the time to post a review on Amazon, I should be eternally grateful, as I need to build up the number of reviews, apparently. Also, I could do with some exposure as an author. I promise I will wear make-up, do my hair, file my nails and not show anyone up if you invite me over to your blog to do an author interview, but I can’t promise not to laugh inappropriately or trip up the step on my way in.

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

Not long. Probably six months or so. The first draft of The White Cuckoo was written in a month. However, I see my first draft as a pencil outline on a huge canvass. It takes many more months to bring the canvass to full colour and perfection.

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

‘The Memory Keeper’s Daughter’ by Kim Edwards or ‘Constance’ by Rosie Thomas. I like my books to be multi-layered and thought provoking, whilst being easy to read. I strive endlessly for the elusive ‘unputdownability’ as I call it. Both these books have the ingredients I strive for and I can recommend them.

Who, or what, inspired you to write this book

As I said above, I was watching ‘Heir Hunters’ on television when the inspiration to write Horns of Angels tapped me on the shoulder. Generally, my inspiration to write comes from being a serial daydreamer. It’s a wonder I ever manage to concentrate for long enough to get my minutes down in a Council meeting. I constantly analyse everyday situations and ask myself “what if …”

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

It’s everyone’s dream to win the lottery, or come into a large inheritance, but is it worth all the chaos, innuendo and trouble that goes with it?

Well, that’s it folks. This is Annie Ireson – the self-published author who said she would never self-publish. As Annie says, though, changing your mind or direction is a sign of strength, not weakness. Never be afraid to admit you were wrong because people will respect you, even though you feel they are pointing sarcastic, I-told-you-so fingers in your direction. Everyone makes errors of judgement or mistakes – it’s part of being human. ‘Human’ by the Killers is one of Annie’s favourite songs. Now I bet you didn’t know that!

I am nominating five other talented people to be The Next Big Thing. Not all of them are authors, though, but they all have one thing in common – TALENT.  For details of who these talented people are, please check-in again later this week. I hope you have enjoyed my interview and thank you for popping by and leaving a comment.



8 thoughts on “The Next Big Thing – Annie Ireson (with make-up, shooting star fingernails and hideous badly-plucked eyebrows)

  1. Thoroughly enjoyed your Next Big Thing blog Annie – Your answers to the questions were interesting and informative, and I am so looking forward to reading your book when it arrives. Good luck and happy writing my friend. xx

  2. Well done Anne, enjoyed reading about your writing no end. I used to watch Heir Hunters back when I had TV and I guess the reason is because I love Family History and I am interested in how they traced people, and the reactions to finding long lost heirs who inherited from people they didn’t know ever existed.

    I do Family research and am not only writing Ms Birdsong Investigates, and various other projects, I am also writing our family history – so your story is of real interest to me and I cannot wait to read it.

    The publishing (traditional or self-published) is a mine field I know. I haven’t a clue what I am going to do when the time comes. I get the impression it is working for you. Breaking even is fantastic. I have heard other authors say they have had bad experiences with Publishing houses but wonder why. Anyway, I know that The White Cuckoo will continue to sell and that your new novels will be well received once published (whichever way you decide), and be as successful.

    Enjoy being The Next Big Thing and have fun. xx

  3. Thank you so much, Jane. Yes, sadly, getting published is a minefield. I was talking at length about self-publishing to Morgen Bailey at my book launch. Don’t worry – when your time comes there are plenty of people who can help you. I am a little perturbed by the promotion and marketing aspect, though. I don’t have a lot of time – even now, as I write this, I am eating my tea at my desk at work (blogging is not banned at the Council, only Facebook), waiting to take the minutes at an evening meeting. I won’t get home till about nine and I left the house at eight o’clock this morning.

    Family research is so fascinating, isn’t it? It’s something I always said I’d like to do when I retire.

    Thank you for nominating me. I enjoyed answering the questions.

  4. Hi Jo. Thank you for commenting. I’ll pop by your blog later on, as I’m at work. Congratulations on being The Next Big Thing. I wish you every success. I have posted off your book (well the hubby did) yesterday. The lady in the post office said you should get it by Christmas, although I did send it surface mail to keep the postal cost down.

  5. I know how busy you are Anne and it is a juggling job but am glad you are taking part and enjoy reading all about you and The White Cuckoo and I hope this brings you lots of new readers. Some of my followers are looking at your pages today, they told me so. Your questions and answers were really interesting and informative and just the job…good luck. Thanks for the links back. x

  6. Well, Liam Neeson drew my eye, so the film of the book would certainly appeal to me. Your title is dramatic and the subject of suddenly [and legitimately] acquiring great wealth, is always of interest. How strange that your female character’s name and face should reappear in such a way – but I’ve found that life is all about interconnecting circles.
    However you publish your book, I hope it’s a great success. i’ll be looking out for it.

  7. Thank you Beth. I wish you success in your novel, too. Yes, you are right about coincidences. I’ve now got to change Ella’s name. I thought about just changing to ‘Emma’, but Emma is the main secondary character in ‘The Fourteenth Traitor’, the book I have just started to write. I find it really hard to change a character’s name once I have got to know them!

  8. Have really enjoyed reading all the comments and pieces on insight into your writing ladies. Hope The Next big Thing has been a success for you all. Let us keep making contacts and friends and exchanging information and tips and encouragement….have fun today. J x

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